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New Goodies from the Portal (SPS 15)

It was Christmas time, you were out getting ready for the holiday or end-of-year parties, and you might have missed some of the new features of SP15.

So I wanted to take a few minutes to outline some of the new capabilities. In subsequent weblogs over the next 2 weeks, we will take a more-detailed look at some of the individual features, providing code samples or examples of how to use them.

In SP14, the main new features were the ones for implementing an external-facing portal: Navigation and Framework tag libraries, light framework page, short (hashed) URLs, quick links and navigation cache.

In SP15, we focus more on content creation and reporting. Here they are:

  • Content Reports from the Support Platform: This is technically not even a portal feature, but is of use to portal administrations.

    The Support Platform — a separate J2EE application that enables you to run “plug-ins” (Java programs) — is designed for conducting tests or creating reports of your SAP NetWeaver Application Server — Java system.

    The Support Platform was officially released in SP13, and in SP15 comes with a set of nine portal reports. For example, one report enables you to display all portal objects that were changed in a specific folder during a specified time period. Another shows broken delta links, while another shows content that has not been assigned to a role.


  • Namespaces: The portal provides a mechanism for controlling what namespace (also known as object ID prefixes) an administrator can use when creating or modifying an object.

    Generally, the field is a simple textbox, and the administrator can type in any namespace. You can turn the feature on and, instead, the portal displays a dropdown list of the valid namespaces for this administrator. The list can be based on the current administrator or the location of the object in the Portal Catalog.

  • XML Content and Actions (also known as Generic Creator): Always popular, this feature enables you to automate the creation of content, even thousands of portal objects in complex hierarchies, by simply uploading an XML file.

    What’s new in SP15? You can now create an XML file based on existing content, and create the same content elsewhere in the same portal. Or you can use this exported XML as a template for creating new objects.

    The tool also has some additional handlers for creating new types of objects, or for performing new actions, such as creating system aliases or launching another script from the current script. Though they were added in SP13, you might not be aware of them.


  • Portal Activity Report: A few tweaks to this feature make it much easier to set up and use. You no longer have to deploy the aggregation application — it is integrated into the data collection service, which is now started automatically.

    There are new reports, many having to do with portal users and the content they visited. And the user interface for creating a Portal Activity Report iView has been reorganized and streamlined.

  • iView Tray Color: This might be the prettiest of the features. You can now assign a type (called a Family) to an iView, and then assign a color to each family so that the color of each iView tray reflects the type of iView.

    For example, you can assign blue to Global content and red to National content. Any iView assigned to the Global family is displayed with a blue iView tray and any iView assigned to the National family is displayed with a red iView tray.


    This is supported with the creation of two new tags in the Layout tag library.

For more information about the SP15 features, see the release notes.

Over the next two weeks, I will describe in greater detail several of the above features.

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  • Activity reporting seems to be a nice feature.
    I was looking at the SPS15 doucmentation and it specifies that TREX activities can be traced. But can we identify the search terms and search results and information about top searches and empty searches etc?. specifies (
    that ‘If you activate activity tracing, TREX processing steps that take place internally are also recorded. TREX data is particularly useful if you want to analyze actions such as searching, classifying, or creating an index’.

    Have anyone activiated this feature? is it possible to get search terms and search results for all search conducted in portal?.

    • Thanks for the message. TREX is a completely different tool from the PAR (portal activity report) tool, and one which I am not so familiar. I suggest posting a note on the KMC forum. Sorry I couldn’t help you.


  • Hi Daniel,

    nice weblog, looking forward to the upcoming blogs, especially as we patched our productive portal last week. So we are running on SP15 (form SP12) right now.

    The fact that the activity report now doesn’t need any config for the aggregator is a real nice feature. What bothers me a little bit is that I was not able to get statistics on the content (iViews/Pages) until now.
    Looks like I will have to open a OSS message in the coming days.

    Talking about new features: big hand of applause for the navigation cache (delivered in SP14). That seems to have a big positive impact on the performance, especially of the first page after login. It gets rendered a lot quicker when the cache is turned on.


    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The portal activity report does provide reports on what iViews/pages were viewed, and by whom.

      Is this not working on your installation? Do you need additional information in the report?

      Let me know if I can help.


      • Daniel,

        I too am interested in the same type of user activity reports.  We just went live with, and have tried implementing the Activity Monitoring iView.  We are able to see the iView, but no data is returned.

        It sounds like you have a source of ‘more information’, if so, can you please let me know where to look.  Thanks!!!


  • Daniel

    Very good blog.

    I have a question on colors of the iview. We have webdynpro components aggregated into portal. I want to change the colors of the iview depending on the content displayed by the webdynpro components. Is it possible to change the colors dynamically.

    NagaKishore V

    • Hi NagaKishore,

      You can write any code you want in the iView tray.

      In theory, I’m sure you could find out what iView is running inside, but I’m sure how or if you could receive information from the iView itself (that is, let the iView run, and then pass information from the iView to the layout).

      Which are you looking to do: get information about what iView is inside, or pass data from the iView after it runs to the layout JSP?


  • Hi SDN,

    Thanks for the nice weblog.

    First I have a question to the “iView tray color”.

    I have tried to assign an iview to family, but nothing happens. The color of the iview does not change.

    So I went on reading at for it. I used the PCD Inspector to go into “Portal Content => Content Supplied by SAP => Core Objects => Core iView => portal_content => => default_objects => .

    In the attribute “validvalues” I found the following string “7/group_07/group_17/group_27/group_37/group_47/group_57/group_67/group_77/group_87/group_9/”

    What is that? So I added a new group named Group_1. After that I was not able to open the “information” and “All settings” views in any ivew of the portal. It always results in an error message.

    Can anyone explain the configuration of this feature in detail?

    Second: Portal Activity Reporting

    We have configured the portalactivity reporting in SPS14 and it works for all reports without weekly monthly an qarterly reports, like a lot of users already mentioned here.

    In SPS15 it works for all reports without the weekly and quarterly reports.

    What could happend here?

    Thanks in advanced.

    Best Regards,

    Olaf Reiss

    • Hi Olaf,

      The validvalues meta-attribute has a format (I forget the name) which is that it is a set of strings. Each string is preceded by its length.

      So 7/group_07/group_17/group_27/group_37 would mean the first string is 7 characters (group_0) and the next string is 7 characters (group_1) and so forth.

      Sorry for the confusion. I will make it clearer in the documentation.

      As for portal activity report, I did not understand exactly what happened. Can you explain again? (You said it works for all reports “without weekly, monthly and quarterly reports” — do you mean “except for”, that is, you can get hourly reports but not the others?


      • Hello Daniel,

        thanks for your reply. I have set up the family for some iviews, but the tray color does not change. What do I wrong??? It seems to be so easy. Where is the trick?

        For the second part, you are right. I meant all reports are working except for the weekly, monthly and quarterly in EP6 SPS15. I am now using EP6 SPS16. I will try to configure the reports again in this portal version and see what happens then.

        Thanks for your help.

        Best Regards,

        Olaf Reiss

        • Hi Olaf,

          The color of the iView does not automatically change.

          You need to create a custom layout with a custom tray. In this, you can get the color for the current iView and then set the color of the background (or whatever else you want).

          Did you create a custom layout?