Liferay Workspace

A Liferay Workspace is a generated environment that is built to hold and manage your Liferay projects. This workspace is intended to aid in the management of Liferay projects by providing various build scripts and configured properties. You can download the Liferay Project SDK installer and run it to install Blade CLI (default CLI for workspace), initialize a new Liferay Workspace, and download Dev Studio DXP.

Liferay Workspace is the official way to create/manage Liferay DXP 7.2 projects using Gradle. Do you prefer Maven over Gradle? You can also generate a Maven-based workspace.

You’ll cover the following topics in this section:

Liferay Workspaces can be used in many different development environments, which makes it flexible and applicable to many different developers. For example, a Liferay Workspace easily integrates with Eclipse and IntelliJ, providing a seamless development experience. See how to install and create a Liferay Workspace for more information.

You’ll learn about workspace’s anatomy and development lifecycle next.

Workspace Anatomy

A Liferay Workspace offers a development environment that can be configured to fit your development needs. Properties are available to help manage default and optional folders. This provides you the power to customize your workspace’s folder structure any way you’d like. The top-level files/folder of a Liferay (Gradle) Workspace are outlined below:

  • bundles (generated): the default folder for Liferay DXP bundles.
  • configs: holds the configuration files for different environments. These files serve as your global configuration files for all Liferay DXP servers and projects residing in your workspace. To learn more about using the configs folder, see the Testing Projects section.
  • ext (generated): holds the Ext OSGi modules and Ext plugins.
  • gradle: holds the Gradle Wrapper used by your workspace.
  • modules: holds your custom modules. This can also hold front-end portlets created with the Liferay JS Toolkit.
  • themes: holds Node.js-style themes that use the Liferay JS Theme Toolkit, which are built using the Liferay Theme Generator.
  • wars: holds traditional WAR-style web application projects and theme projects (i.e., generated by the theme project template).
  • build.gradle: the common Gradle build file.
  • specifies the workspace’s project locations and Liferay DXP server configuration globally.
  • sets user-specific properties for your workspace. This lets multiple users use a single workspace, letting them configure specific properties for the workspace on their own machine.
  • gradlew: executes the Gradle command wrapper.
  • settings.gradle: applies plugins to the workspace and configures its dependencies.

If you’re using a workspace generated for Maven projects, your folder hierarchy is the same, except the Gradle build files are swapped out for a pom.xml file.

Visit your workspace’s file for a list of properties (with descriptions) you can define to adapt your workspace. For a Maven-based workspace, see the Bundle Support Plugin article for info on adapting your Maven workspace.

If you’d like to keep the global Gradle properties the same, but want to change them for yourself only (perhaps for local testing), you can override the file with your own file.

Next, you’ll learn about workspace’s development lifecycle.

Development Lifecycle

Liferay Workspaces offer a full development lifecycle for your projects to make your Liferay development easier than ever. The development lifecycle includes

You’ll learn about each lifecycle option next.

Creating Projects

Workspace provides a slew of project templates that you can use to create many different types of Liferay projects. Workspace also provides development support for front-end portlets generated with the Liferay JS Toolkit. They’re stored in the modules folder by default.

You can also configure where to generate certain projects (modules, themes, WARs, etc.). These settings are documented in the file. See the Creating a Project article for more information.

Liferay Workspace manages theme projects in two separate folders based on how they’re created:

Liferay Workspace offers an environment where developers can use the Liferay Theme Generator to create themes and their work can be seamlessly integrated into their overall DevOps strategy. You can leverage the Liferay Theme Generator to create Node.js-based themes inside workspace or you can leverage it externally and copy themes into Workspace.

Workspace also offers a traditional Java-based theme approach (leveraging Gradle/Maven) for those that can’t use the Liferay JS Theme Toolkit’s tools in their CI environment.

Building Projects

Liferay Workspace abstracts many build requirements away so you can focus on developing projects instead of worrying about how to build them. This is done by incorporating a slew of plugins under the hood to allow for easily accessible tooling. See the Gradle Plugins and Maven Plugins sections for information on some of the plugins provided by workspace.

Gradle-based workspaces also include a Gradle wrapper in its ROOT folder (e.g., gradlew), which you can leverage to execute Gradle commands. This means that you can run familiar Gradle build commands (e.g., build, clean, compile, etc.) from a Liferay Workspace without having Gradle installed on your machine. For Maven-based workspaces, Maven build commands are supported (e.g., package, verify, deploy, etc.).

Liferay Workspace lets you build your projects out-of-the-box without the hassle of manual build configurations.

Deploying Projects

Liferay Workspace provides easy-to-use deployment mechanisms that let you deploy your project to a Liferay server without any custom configuration. To learn more about deploying projects from a workspace, visit the Deploying a Project article.

Testing Projects

Liferay provides many configuration settings for Liferay DXP 7.2. Configuring several different Liferay DXP installations to simulate/test certain behaviors can become cumbersome and time consuming. With Liferay Workspace, you can easily organize environment settings and generate an environment installation with those settings.

Liferay Workspace provides the configs folder, which lets you configure different environments in the same workspace. For example, you could configure separate Liferay DXP environment settings for development, testing, and production in a single Liferay Workspace. So how does it work?

The configs folder offers six subfolders:

common: holds a common configuration that you want applied to all environments.

dev: holds the development configuration.

docker: holds the configuration for a Docker container.

local: holds the configuration intended for testing locally.

prod: holds the configuration for a production site.

uat: holds the configuration for a UAT site.

You’re not limited to just these environments. You can create any subfolder in the configs folder (e.g., aws, test, etc.) to simulate any environment. Each environment folder can supply its own database,, Elasticsearch, etc. The files in each folder overlay your Liferay DXP installation, which you generate from within workspace.

Figure 1: The configs/common and configs/[environment] overlay you Liferay DXP bundle when its generated.

Figure 1: The `configs/common` and `configs/[environment]` overlay you Liferay DXP bundle when it's generated.

When workspace generates a Liferay DXP bundle, these things happen:

  1. Configuration files found in the configs/common folder are applied to the Liferay DXP bundle.

  2. The configured workspace environment (dev, local, etc.) is applied on top of any existing configurations from the common folder.

See the Setting Environment Configurations for Liferay Workspace article for more information.

Releasing Projects

Liferay Workspace does not provide a built-in release mechanism, but there are easy ways to use external release tools with workspace. The most popular choice is uploading your projects to a Maven Nexus repository. You could also use other release tools like Artifactory.

Uploading projects to a remote repository is useful if you need to share them with other non-workspace projects. Also, if you’re ready for your projects to be in the spotlight, uploading them to a public remote repository gives other developers the chance to use them.

For more instructions on how to set up a Maven Nexus repository for your workspace’s projects, see the Creating a Maven Repository and Deploying Liferay Maven Artifacts to a Repository articles.

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