Accessing the Content Targeting API

The Audience Targeting application can be used to show relevant content to users based on profiles. You might want to take the next step and use the Content Targeting API. For instance, you could list user segments in your own application or update a campaign when someone creates a calendar event. Using the Content Targeting API, you can unleash the power of Audience Targeting to the realms outside of Liferay’s default applications.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to give your application access to the Content Targeting API. Then you can view some examples of how to use the Java and JSON APIs that are available.

Exposing the Content Targeting API

Configuring your app to have access to the Content Targeting API requires only one line of code. This line of code is a dependency that should be added to your Gradle project. Follow the instructions below to add the Content Targeting API dependency.

  1. Open the build.gradle file in your app’s project folder.

  2. Find the dependencies declaration and add the following line within that declaration:

     provided group: "com.liferay.content-targeting", name: "com.liferay.content.targeting.api", version: "4.0.0"

    The complete declaration should look like this:

     dependencies {
         provided group: "com.liferay.content-targeting", name: "com.liferay.content.targeting.api", version: "4.0.0"

Your app now has access to the Content Targeting API and can take advantage of everything Audience Targeting has to offer. In the next section, you’ll learn how to use the Content Targeting API by studying a few examples.

Using the Content Targeting Java API

There are two ways to call the Content Targeting API: through the Java API or through the JSON API.

Suppose you’d like to display a list of existing user segments in your portlet. First you need to obtain an implementation of the UserSegmentLocalService provided by Audience Targeting. You can do this by adding the following code to your Portlet class (e.g., the class that extends the MVCPortlet class):

@Reference(unbind = "-")
protected void setUserSegmentLocalService(
    UserSegmentLocalService userSegmentLocalService) {

    _userSegmentLocalService = userSegmentLocalService;

private UserSegmentLocalService _userSegmentLocalService;

When an implementation of the UserSegmentLocalService is available (i.e., the Audience Targeting app has been installed) the _userSegmentLocalService field is populated. Otherwise, the portlet won’t be available till this dependency is resolved.

It’s a good practice to access Audience Targeting services this way instead of using util classes (e.g., You can take advantage of dependency management, and you also won’t be tied to a specific implementation of the service.

The next step is to use the service to obtain a list of existing user segments and make it available to your view layer as a request attribute. To do this, add logic to your portlet class that obtains user segments and exposes them as a request attribute, like this:

ThemeDisplay themeDisplay = (ThemeDisplay)renderRequest.getAttribute(

List<UserSegment> userSegments = null;

try {
    userSegments = _userSegmentLocalService.getUserSegments(
catch (Exception e) {
    _log.error(e, e);

renderRequest.setAttribute("userSegments", userSegments);

private static final Log _log = LogFactoryUtil.getLog(MyPortlet.class)

Notice that the userSegments list is populated by calling UserSegmentLocalService’s getUserSegments method. This service is part of the Content Targeting API.

To finish off this example, some logic needs to be added to your portlet’s view.jsp:

<h2>User Segments</h2>


List<UserSegment> userSegments = (List<UserSegment>)request.getAttribute("userSegments");

for (UserSegment userSegment : userSegments) {

    <li><%= userSegment.getName(locale) %></li>



This logic uses the UserSegment object to list the existing user segments. That’s it! By importing the UserSegment and UserSegmentLocalService classes into your files, you have direct access to your portal’s user segments through the Content Targeting Java API.

Using the Content Targeting JSON API

Suppose you’d like to show a list of existing campaigns in your portlet using the JSON API. You could do this by opening your portlet’s view.jsp file and using the following code:


<ul id="<portlet:namespace/>campaigns">

<aui:script use="aui-base">
    var campaignsList ='#<portlet:namespace/>campaigns');

        groupId: '<%= scopeGroupId %>'
        function(response) {
            if (response.length) {
                A.Array.each(response, function(item) {
                    campaignsList.append('<li>' + + '</li>');

Notice that the Content Targeting API is called to retrieve the existing campaigns:


Then, each campaign is listed in the campaignsList and displayed in your portlet for users to see.

If you’d like to view all the available methods (with examples) exposed in the JSON API by Audience Targeting, you can visit the /api/jsonws URL (e.g., localhost:8080/api/jsonws). As you can see, accessing the Content Targeting JSON API is just as easy as accessing the related Java API.

You’ve learned how easy it is to expose the Content Targeting API and use it in your application to unleash its power!

Creating New Audience Rule Types

Targeting Content to Your Audience

Running Service Builder and Understanding the Generated Code

« Introduction to Audience TargetingCreating New Audience Targeting Rule Types »
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