Developing a Fragment Renderer

When creating Fragments through Liferay DXP’s provided UI, you’re given three front-end languages to leverage: CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. Although you can harness a lot of power with these languages alone, they do not provide an easy way to retrieve and process information from the database or third party systems. A common solution for this issue is creating a full-fledged portlet to complete common back-end necessities, but this is sometimes overkill for what you need.

For a lightweight alternative, you can develop a Fragment Renderer to use Liferay’s provided Java APIs for back-end tasks related to your Fragment. To do this, you must implement the FragmentRenderer interface.

Optionally, you can

You’ll explore each step next.

Implementing the FragmentRenderer Interface

The FragmentRenderer interface requires the implementation of two methods:

getCollectionKey: returns the unique key for the component’s Collection. Define this key in several components to group them under a collapsible panel in the Page Editor.

getLabel: provides the Fragment name.

The remaining methods are optional, but can be useful in many scenarios:

getImagePreviewURL: returns the URL for previewing the Fragment’s image.

getKey: returns the Fragment’s key.

getType: returns the Fragment’s type. Type values include FragmentConstants.TYPE_COMPONENT and FragmentConstants.TYPE_SECTION.

isSelectable: defines whether page authors can select the Fragment Renderer. You’ll learn more about this in the Choosing When to Display a Component section.

render (highly recommended): defines how to render the Fragment Renderer (e.g., JSP or FreeMarker). You can leverage the FragmentRendererContext in this method to facilitate the rendering process.

Next, you’ll learn about leveraging the FragmentRendererContext.

Leveraging the FragmentRendererContext

The render method receives a read-only instance of the interface FragmentRendererContext. This provides information about the context in which the Fragment is being rendered. The fields of information that are accessible through it include

Fragment Entry Link: The specific instance of the Fragment being rendered. This information can be used to identify the specific site or page to which the Fragment was added, when it was added, the user who added it, etc.

Locale: The current locale to be used for any multi-locale text.

Mode: There are three available modes:

  • VIEW: The component is being rendered within a page being viewed (not edited).
  • ASSET_DISPLAY_PAGE: The component is being edited on a Display Page.
  • EDIT: The component is being edited on a Content Page.

There are other fields which should only be necessary for advanced use cases:

Preview Class PK: If the Fragment supports displaying content, this field supports previewing an In progress version of the content before it’s ready to publish. In this case, the render method returns the content’s primary key.

Preview Type: Represents the preview type you want to show. The accepted values include

  • TYPE_LATEST_APPROVED: The latest approved version of the content.
  • TYPE_LATEST: The latest version of the content.

Field Values: Fragments can have editable elements through <lfr-editable> tags; this also applies to those created with FragmentRenderer. The getFieldValuesOptional() method retrieves the field values the user may have introduced in them. This only applies in the context of a Display Page with the values of the mapped structure.

Segment Experience IDs: A list of identifiers for experiences that have been configured for the current page.

Rendering JSPs

Usually you’ll want to avoid writing HTML in your Java code. Fortunately, you can use the render method to use any templating mechanism of your choice. JSP integration is provided out-of-the box.

For example, rendering a JSP for your Fragment Renderer would look like this:

public void render(
    FragmentRendererContext fragmentRendererContext,
    HttpServletRequest httpServletRequest,
    HttpServletResponse httpServletResponse) throws IOException {

        "fragmentRendererContext", fragmentRendererContext);

        httpServletRequest, httpServletResponse, "/my-component.jsp");

private JSPRenderer _jspRenderer;

    target = "(",
    unbind = "-"
private ServletContext _servletContext;

This sets the FragmentRendererContext in the HTTP servlet request, which is then used to render the included JSP file (e.g., my-component.jsp).

To leverage JSPs, you must specify the servlet context for the JSP files. Since your Fragment Renderer is an OSGi module, your bnd.bnd file must define a web context path:

Web-ContextPath: /my-fragment-renderer

Then you must reference the Servlet context using the symbolic name of your module, as was shown above:

    target = "(",
    unbind = "-"
private ServletContext _servletContext;

Next, you’ll learn about controlling when your Fragment Renderer is displayed.

Choosing When to Display a Component

Sometimes offering Fragment components only makes sense in specific cases. You can implement the isSelectable(...) method to specify under which conditions the Fragment Renderer is available to page authors.

For example, if you wanted to make your Fragment Renderer only available in Display Pages, you could implement the isSelectable method like this:

public boolean isSelectable(HttpServletRequest httpServletRequest) {
    Layout layout = (Layout)httpServletRequest.getAttribute(WebKeys.LAYOUT);

    if (Objects.equals(
        layout.getType(), LayoutConstants.TYPE_ASSET_DISPLAY)) {

        return true;

    return false;

This determines the Fragment Renderer’s page type and returns true when the page type is a Display Page or false if it’s not.

Translating the Collection Language Key

When setting your Fragment Renderer’s collection name via the getCollectionKey method, you should specify it as a language key and then define it in a resource bundle.

For example, a getCollectionKey method could look like this:

public String getCollectionKey() {
    return "sample-components";

To specify sample-components in a resource bundle, create the src/main/resources/content/ file within the Fragment Renderer module and define it using the language key fragment.collection.label.{collection-key}. For example,

fragment.collection.label.sample-components=Sample Components

To learn more about resource bundles, see the Localization section.

Next, you’ll step through creating a Fragment Renderer.

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