Friday, 14 August 2009

Wow, those URLs are friendly, man

Thanks to some excellent help from my friend, Mr Rob E, I just realised where I was going wrong with so-called Friendly URLs in WebSphere Portal.

I'd used the Portal User Interface -> Manage Pages -> Edit Page Properties route to add a Friendly URL to a sub-page within the page hierarchy BUT it just didn't flippin' well work.

For example, I created a Friendly URL named 'Dude" for my sub-page, and expected to be able to navigate to it using the URL syntax: -

but kept ending up at the "home" page.

It's obvious where I'd gone wrong, right ? Wrong !

The trick is that you need to create a Friendly URL for EVERY level of the navigation !

So, in my case, I needed to create a Friendly URL for the Home page ( I called it 'Homey' ). 

Once I'd done this, I was able to jump directly to the page using the URL: -

As Aleksandr would say, "Seemples" !

Alternative is to "fake" the navigation from an end user perspective and make your sub-home page a root level context and then you can map the page directly via friendly URLs.

E.g. we have the friendly URL where insrvSpaceNews is a top level page under a root context called insrvSpace.

In terms of what a user sees/experiences the navigation structure is Home -> insrvSpace -> insrvSpaceNews (and works as a friendly URL), but we made the insrvSpace link a label to a new root context so we didn't have to put friendly URLs in for every level of navigation.

Hope this makes some sort of sense???

Oh and this approach does have implications for the "real" top level navigation of portal, i.e. you lose it when you jump into a "sub-site"
Andrew, yep, that makes sense to me :-)
An interesting observation on this from the Portal Admin. course is that using a Friendly URL such as Home is a bad plan e.g. using my example, I'm not able to navigate directly to the subpage, Dude, if the top-level page has a Friendly URL of Home.

I'm assuming that there are reserved words that should not be used here ?
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