Beyond using Liferay as a development platform for new applications, Liferay Portal has also been designed to be extended and modified. As an open source project, its source code is available, but Liferay Portal’s developers have designed the product to make it easy to build whatever you want out of it.
Special software components called hook and ext plugins enable developers to change any aspect of Liferay’s interface and behavior–without having to modify any of Liferay Portal’s source code. This provides you all the benefits of the “build from scratch” strategy we mentioned earlier, but without all the effort to build from scratch. If you want to make a change to the user registration screens, add support for a proprietary single sign-on mechanism that you’ve written, revise the user interface for the message boards application, or anything else, you can make those customizations. And if you’re a developer, we’re sure you know that it’s a whole lot easier to customize something that almost does things exactly the way you want than it is to write that feature from scratch. With Liferay Portal, you can have your cake and eat it too.