Implementing Application Display Templates

Application Display Templates (ADTs) let you add custom display templates to your widgets from the portal. The figure below shows what the Display Template option looks like in a widget’s Configuration menu.

Figure 1: By using a custom display template, your portlets display can be customized.

Figure 1: By using a custom display template, your portlet's display can be customized.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Application Display Templates API to add an ADT to a portlet.

Using the Application Display Templates API

To leverage the ADT API, there are several steps you must follow. These steps involve

  • registering your portlet to use ADTs
  • defining permissions
  • exposing the ADT functionality to users

You’ll walk through these steps next.

  1. Create and register a custom *PortletDisplayTemplateHandler component. Liferay provides the BasePortletDisplayTemplateHandler as a base implementation for you to extend. You can check the TemplateHandler interface Javadoc to learn about each template handler method.

    The @Component annotation ties your handler to a specific portlet by setting the property to your portlet’s name. The same property should be found in your portlet class. For example,

        immediate = true,
        property = {
            ""+ AssetCategoriesNavigationPortletKeys.ASSET_CATEGORIES_NAVIGATION
        service = TemplateHandler.class

    Each of the methods in this class have a significant role in defining and implementing ADTs for your custom portlet. The list below highlights some of the methods defined specifically for ADTs:

    getClassName(): Defines the type of entry your portlet is rendering.

    getName(): Declares the name of your ADT type (typically, the name of the portlet).

    getResourceName(): Specifies which resource is using the ADT (e.g., a portlet) for permission checking. This method must return the portlet’s fully qualified portlet ID (e.g., com_liferay_wiki_web_portlet_WikiPortlet).

    getTemplateVariableGroups(): Defines the variables exposed in the template editor.

    As an example *PortletDisplayTemplateHandler implementation, you can look at the WikiPortletDisplayTemplateHandler class.

  2. Since the ability to add ADTs is new to your portlet, you must configure permissions so that administrative users can grant permissions to the roles that will be allowed to create and manage display templates. Add the action key ADD_PORTLET_DISPLAY_TEMPLATE to your portlet’s /src/main/resources/resource-actions/default.xml file:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE resource-action-mapping PUBLIC "-//Liferay//DTD Resource Action Mapping 7.1.0//EN" "">
  3. Next, you must ensure that Liferay DXP can find the updated default.xml with the new resource action when you deploy the module. Create a file named in the /resources folder and add the following contents providing the path to your default.xml:
  4. Now that your portlet officially supports ADTs, you should expose the ADT option to your users. Include the <liferay-ui:ddm-template-selector> tag in the JSP file you’re using to control your portlet’s configuration.

    For example, it may be helpful for you to insert an <aui:fieldset> in your configuration JSP file like this:

        <div class="display-template">
                classNameId="<%= YourEntity.class.getName() %>"
                displayStyle="<%= displayStyle %>"
                displayStyleGroupId="<%= displayStyleGroupId %>"
                refreshURL="<%= PortalUtil.getCurrentURL(request) %>"
                showEmptyOption="<%= true %>"

    In this JSP, the <liferay-ddm:template-selector> tag specifies the Display Template drop-down menu to be used in the widget’s Configuration menu. The variables displayStyle and displayStyleGroupId are preferences that your portlet stores when you use this taglib and your portlet uses the BaseJSPSettingsConfigurationAction or DefaultConfigurationAction. Otherwise, you must obtain the value of those parameters and store them manually in your configuration class.

    As an example JSP, see the Wiki widget’s configuration.jsp.

  5. You must now extend your view code to render your portlet with the selected ADT. This lets you decide which part of your view is rendered by the ADT and what is available in the template context.

    First, initialize the Java variables needed for the ADT:

    String displayStyle = GetterUtil.getString(portletPreferences.getValue("displayStyle", StringPool.BLANK));
    long displayStyleGroupId = GetterUtil.getLong(portletPreferences.getValue("displayStyleGroupId", null), scopeGroupId);

    Next, you can test if the ADT is configured, grabs the entities to be rendered, and renders them using the ADT. The tag <liferay-ddm:template-renderer> aids with this process. It automatically uses the selected template, or renders its body if no template is selected.

    Here’s some example code that demonstrates implementing this:

        className="<%= YourEntity.class.getName() %>"
        contextObjects="<%= contextObjects %>"
        displayStyle="<%= displayStyle %>"
        displayStyleGroupId="<%= displayStyleGroupId %>"
        entries="<%= yourEntities %>"
        <%-- The code that will be rendered by default when there is no
        template available should be inserted here. --%>

    In this step, you initialized variables dealing with the display settings (displayStyle and displayStyleGroupId) and passed them to the tag along with other parameters listed below:

    • className: your entity’s class name.
    • contextObjects: accepts a Map<String, Object> with any object you want to the template context.
    • entries: accepts a list of your entities (e.g., List<YourEntity>).

    For an example that demonstrates implementing this, see configuration.jsp.

Awesome! Your portlet now supports ADTs! Once your script is uploaded into the portal and saved, users with the specified roles can select the template when they’re configuring the display settings of your portlet on a page. You can visit the Styling Widgets with Application Display Templates section for more details on using ADTs.

« Introduction to Application Display TemplatesRecommendations for Using ADTs »
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