Liferay portal forum, London 2014

The 7am train meant an earlier start than usual for James and Mark as we headed down to London for the Liferay Conference on October 29th. Fuelled by coffee and bacon sandwiches we were looking forward to finding out more about the website software that we had been using for the last 18 months and what others have been able to achieve with it. We arrived in good time to meet some of our fellow delegates for more coffee in the fantastic venue. When it is not being used for hosting conferences, Church House in Westminster is the headquarters of the Church of England and our event was in the very impressive Assembly hall.

The conference started with a keynote from Liferay CEO Bryan Chung (pictured below with Mark), who discussed the direction that Liferay is taking as a framework for bringing together a number of different technologies. This interesting approach came as a slight surprise to us as we have mainly used Liferay as a content management system, only adding extras when required. As the conference developed further it became increasingly clear that actually we needed to look at the software in a different way and to embrace its versatility rather than working against it.

After some interesting speakers who discussed their projects using Liferay, lunchtime brought the opportunity to have a discussion with CEO Bryan Cheung and Product Director Edwin Chung. We wanted to quiz them more on the future of the core offering of the software and how modules such as blogging and events would be developed. In many cases we find these are almost good enough for use with our projects, but are not quite complete. Both Ed and Bryan were very happy to discuss things, they had a great approach to their clients and recognised that they needed to do a little work on their basic CMS offering.

Some good topic discussions and networking opportunities completed the afternoon and we left with some great ideas as to how we can take forward our Liferay projects in the future. With version 7 over a year away, our change of approach in our development will see us develop more core functionality of our own in various ways as well as building up a core set of components for use in multi-site development projects – watch this space for more news.

MADE has worked on a number of projects using Liferay, developing responsive websites for clients ranging from charities to universities. We are particularly proud of our creation of a microsite template and series of bespoke modules for university research projects. This enables them to create a platform to develop websites with low cost and low startup overhead.