Liferay 6.1 Features: Dynamic Data Lists

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Welcome to the next part in my series about the forthcoming and promising Liferay 6.1. Today we will take a look at dynamic data lists and what they offer to you. To summarize it in one sentence, dynamic data lists (DDLs) are a little like Excel Workflows in a portlet.

The administrator has the possibility to create a DDL by first creating a data definition. A data definition is kind of a template that specifies which entities (Integer, Boolean, Date, Text ...) the dynamic data list may hold. The DDL is just an instantiation of this template.

Data Definition Editor
The Data Definition Editor allows to drag and drop all the fields that you want to appear in the Dynamic data List.  If we take a look at the DDL Explorer we can see that we now have the possibility to modify our DDL and to enter into a Spreadsheet View. 

Dynamic Data List Explorer

This Spreadship view allows us to enter some data into the DDL and this is the reason why I call it "Excel for Portlets". You enter enter as much data as you want according to the Data Definition we just created.

Spreadsheet View
The DDL we just created and enriched with some data is exportable by CSV or XML so you may well use it in your Excel to calculate monthly incomes etc.

One thing I am missing are formulars and calculations: Wouldn´t it be nice not having to use Excel at all? It would save some money and make some workflows totally automatic. Maybe they will go for that in Liferay 6.2? Who knows...

To use DDLs in your portlet environment, Liferay has already created a working Dynamic Data List Display Portlet that lets you choose a DDL, decide whether it should be editable and assign it to your Users. This lets your Users remotely create records of data that your financial officer can use to calculate summarized monthly expenses.

Dynamic Data List Display Portlet
Also the asset publisher allows to filter its results for only DDL records. Good idea, if someone needs to have a quick glimpse over all newly created records.

If you take a look at the DDLD Portlet, you will see, that you can also create list and detail templates. Isn´t that great? Now you also have the possibility to customize the view of your DDL! So - without and programming you can create a fully working, customizable remote Excel-light. Of course, the DDLs can also be accessed programatically. The tables you need to know are:

  • DDLRecord (the individual DDL),
  • DDLRecordSet (Data Definition) and 
  • DDLRecordVersion (everything is versioned in liferay).

I just saw that Liferay also has a blog entry about dynamic data lists. Take a look here:

If you like this tutorial it would be very nice, if you could click on some of the google ads you see on the right side. It helps me run this block and motivates me ;)

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.