Reading Unscoped Configuration Values from an MVC Portlet

If your configuration is scoped to SYSTEM or is unscoped (which amounts to the same thing), you have a couple of options for reading configuration values. There are two ways to do this:

  • Add a configuration to the request and read it from the view layer (commonly a JSP).

  • Read values directly from the portlet class.

This tutorial uses dummy code from a portlet we’ll call the Example Configuration Portlet. The import statements are included in the code snippets so that you can see the fully qualified class names (FQCNs) of all the classes that are used.

Accessing the Configuration Object in the Portlet Class

Whether you need the configuration values in the portlet class or the JSPs, the first step is to get access to the configuration object in the *Portlet class.

  1. Imports first:

    import java.util.Map;
    import javax.portlet.Portlet;
    import javax.portlet.PortletException;
    import javax.portlet.RenderRequest;
    import javax.portlet.RenderResponse;
    import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Activate;
    import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Component;
    import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Modified;
    import com.liferay.portal.kernel.portlet.bridges.mvc.MVCPortlet;
    import com.liferay.portal.configuration.metatype.bnd.util.ConfigurableUtil;
  2. MVC Portlet classes are Component classes. If you have a Bean Portlet or PortletMVC4Spring class, the configuration below goes in portlet.xml and liferay-portlet.xml. To mate the configuration with the Component, provide the configurationPid property with the FQCN of the configuration class.

        configurationPid = "",
        immediate = true,
        property = {
        service = Portlet.class
    public class ExampleConfigPortlet extends MVCPortlet {

    Note that you can specify more than one configuration PID here by enclosing the values in curly braces ({}) and placing commas between each PID.

  3. Write an activate method annotated with @Activate and @Modified. This ensures that the method is invoked when the Component is started, and again whenever the configuration is changed.

    protected void activate(Map<String, Object> properties) {
        _configuration = ConfigurableUtil.createConfigurable(
        ExampleConfiguration.class, properties);
    private volatile ExampleConfiguration _configuration;

A volatile field _configuration is created by the createConfigurable method. Now the field can be used to retrieve configuration values or to set the values in the request, so they can be retrieved in the application’s JSPs.

Accessing the Configuration from a JSP

In the case of reading from a JSP, add the configuration object to the request object so its values can be read from the JSPs that comprise the application’s view layer.

  1. Add the configuration object to the request. Here’s what it looks like in a simple portlet’s doView method:

    public void doView(RenderRequest renderRequest,
        RenderResponse renderResponse) throws IOException, PortletException {
            ExampleConfiguration.class.getName(), _configuration);
        super.doView(renderRequest, renderResponse);

    The main difference between this example and the component class covered in the next section is that this class is a portlet class and it sets the configuration object as a request attribute in its doView() method.

  2. Read configuration values from a JSP. First add these imports to the top of your view.jsp file:

    <%@ page import="" %>
    <%@ page import="com.liferay.portal.kernel.util.GetterUtil" %>
  3. In the JSP, obtain the configuration object from the request object and read the desired configuration value from it. Here’s a view.jsp file that does this:

    <%@ include file="/init.jsp" %>
        <b>Hello from the Example Configuration portlet!</b>
    ExampleConfiguration configuration = (ExampleConfiguration) GetterUtil.getObject(
    String favoriteColor = configuration.favoriteColor();
    <p>Favorite color: <span style="color: <%= favoriteColor %>;"><%= favoriteColor %></span></p

The example code here would make the application display a message like this:

Favorite color: blue

The word blue is written in blue text. Note that blue is displayed by default since you specified it as the default in your ExampleConfiguration interface. If you go to Control PanelConfigurationSystem SettingsPlatformThird Party and click on the Example configuration link, you can find the Favorite color setting and change its value. The JSP reads the configuration, and refreshing the UI reflects this update.

Accessing the Configuration from the Portlet Class

Now that you’ve seen a detailed example of accessing the configuration values in a JSP, there’s not much more to cover when accessing the configuration directly in the -Portlet class. Wherever you require the value of a configuration property, call _configuration.propertyName and you have access to the currently configured value. For example, this code compares the favoriteColor configuration value with a userFavoriteColor that’s fetched from the request object:

public boolean isFavoriteColorMatched {

    String userFavoriteColor = ParamUtil.getString(request, "userFavoriteColor");

    if (_configuration.favoriteColor() == userFavoriteColor) {

        SessionMessages.add(request, "congratulateUser");

        return true;

    return false;

It returns true and adds a success message if the two Strings match each other, but you can do anything that makes sense for your application’s controller logic.

That’s all there is to reading configuration values in a Portlet. The next section covers reading configuration values from an OSGi Component class that is not part of a portlet.

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