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A journey from Liferay to XavaPro

May 10, 2016

Many of you started with OpenXava before the version 5 so you were forced to use Liferay. Some of you are still stuck in Liferay and wonder if it is worth to migrate to XavaPro. If this is your case maybe the next interview is interesting to you. We have talked with Federico Alcantara, Sicflex CIO. They have migrated recently from Liferay to XavaPro and talk us about their experience.

Left: Javier Paniza, the interviewer. Right: Federico Alcantara, the interviewee.

Javier: Talk us about your application?
Federico: We have a full fledge Web ERP suitable for small to large organizations. Due to its design, we are able to offer it as a cloud service. It has been developed, almost, in Java, using OpenXava as its underlying platform. OpenXava, in its beginnings offered the possibility of producing a normal web application or a portlet set of modules which can be used in portal compatible to JSR-168, JSR-286 specifications. We've decided to deploy our application on Liferay Portal, thus relaying the user access and module permission to Liferay user management.

Javier: Why did you decide to migrate it to XavaPro?
Federico: While Liferay is a very well known stable and highly reliable portal manager. Liferay requires much server resources than a simple web application, no argues there. On the other hand, XavaPro offers a simple, yet powerful user management, with the advantage of just being added to the application as a small set of components without any penalty to the server resources. There are several other reasons, here are the most relevant we've found (so far).
Several users are running our cloud application with XavaPro integrated into it, and they are having a noticeable better performance. That was expected, since portlets must adhere to the lifecycle round trips specifications when actions are executed. In the end our application has a smoother response thus our users are having a better UI experience.

On the server side, there are less resources in use. Yes, we can serve more users with the same server configuration. Furthermore, our application is using less time to boot with a smaller memory footprint.
Fine grained user management. We developed a fine grained user management compatible with Liferay, including hooks, portlets and utilities to properly notify Liferay. With XavaPro, we can manage which modules are available to users along with its available actions.
Mobile. That single word, in XavaPro means a well designed UI, it is amazing to see how the same desktop-like views are transformed into a rich and intuitive mobile experience, without any re-coding at all!

Javier: Are you happy with the result? Why?
Federico: Undoubtedly. Besides the benefits mentioned before, we must add the programming and infrastructure maintenance as a given plus. We have one less layer to cope with, we can focus on upgrades to XavaPro, Java and the container (Tomcat in our case). That simple fact reduces the possibilities of incompatibilities issues.
One of our challenges included the capability of scale up or scale down in server infrastructure. This kind of configuration can be made available for Liferay and XavaPro deployments, however with XavaPro we were able to setup it up in a simpler way.

Javier: What advice would you give to those thinking in migrating to XavaPro?
Federico: It is a keeper. It is surprisingly simple to enable XavaPro into your OpenXava applications. Then your application will be leveled up to a mature, stable, fine grained user management with a really usable mobile user interface. If you already use a portal as your primary user management, when you switch to XavaPro you will be shocked, at first, then you will be amazed by its superb functionality.

That's all. We invite you to visit the Sicflex site and try their demo:

Visit Sicflex site



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