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Why is luminis 5 better than 4?

Submitted by phillies40 on Mon, 12/02/2013 - 09:24

Hi all

We are working on upgrading luminis 4 to 5 but my department director wants to know why since our current system running on (windows 2003 OS) is really great and steady.

Are you upgrading to 5 simply for the sake of upgrading or for better reason? Could any school give us reason(s) to upgrade? thanks so much!


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Hi Alan,

We are in the same position as you at the moment. I'd say one of the main reasons we are looking at moving away from Luminis 4 is the old technology stack. uPortal, Java, the OS (we are on Windows 2003 too) are all very old. For us it's time to move ahead before the old gets ancient.


Hi Kerry

We are testing luminis 5 in redhat now so please keep in touch, thanks!


Hi Alan,

As mentioned in the previous comment, LP5 is an advance platform comparing to LP4 technically. However, the things attracted me are:
1. user experience: full ability / freedom to customize the layout / GUI / look and feel; multimedia; client rich application; strong localization / personalization; targeted content / announcement; community / social orientated concept;
2. integration options: E-learning, CAS, GCF, SSB/INB, Google, Win 365, and other social networks
3. CMS: multi-sites support; public and private content; be able to create pages in real time;
4. better admin: many tasks can be done without taking down the service; admin GUI is better
5. mobile support: I heard that it should be able to expose service to mobile app (I haven't tried yet);
6. channel development: better tools / framework from liferay (IDE, APIs, Maven, etc.); support Java / Groovy / Grail portlet.

I believe that the LP4 is a good one, but, LP5, especially, LP5.1 + is a better one in terms of user experience, accessibility, design freedom, channel dev, etc. But, it will come with a cost, if you do have a lot custom uPortal channels on LP4 and want to keep the functions, you would need to re-write them all.

Needs/requirements will be different on different places. You do that because you will be benefited from it, but because everyone else is doing it.

I hope that helps.


Hi Yu

We did have lots of customized processes! We ran our SQL packages to created accts for our school and we love it that we can control it ourselves, this is the major reason that we are holding on upgrading to 5.



In addition to the reasons that have been stated so far, here are a couple of others that came to mind when I saw this question:

* The ability to create links to specific tabs or pages. Because of the way that sites work in Liferay, each individual page can have a specific URL that will always link to that page. We didn't have this capability in Luminis 4, as far as I know, so we would have to tell users to browse to a particular tab.

* The ability to have multiple levels of pages. Because of the way Liferay works, we can now create multiple levels of content beneath our top-level tabs. It's nice to have a full content management system within Luminis, and this is just one of the ways that that functionality shows itself.

I'm sure that I could think of several more things without too much effort, but my main experience is just that there is more to Liferay than there was to uPortal, at least in the Luminis implementations of them (5.1+, with regard to Liferay).

Good luck with your decision-making process!

- Dave -

Why is luminis 5 better than 4?

-- Its NOT better in any shape or form or imagination.
I am fine with LP4 with all it's drawbacks. If support ends for LP4 sometime in the future, I will build my own portal from scratch rather than implementing LP5.

You have some very strong feelings against Luminis 5. As someone who is in the process of determining which route to go in replacing Luminis 4, I'd be interested in hearing your concerns.


My primary concern: BEIS as a requirement to use SSO to INB and SSB.
I feel it is unnecessary, more so for schools that already have a well-established identity management system.

Next, the CAS protocol they follow to use with SSO Manager is rather convoluted. Why introduce another id (UDCIdentifier)? It doesn't seem to be using the standard serviceValidate protocol. I have implemented the regular external CAS to work with Luminis4, INB, ePrint and all this seems unnecessary.

Finally, what exactly is Luminis other than a sea of links to take you to your ERP data (SSB links, email, blackboard etc.)? It has an extra unnecessary LDAP (you can connect to an external LDAP if you want for authorization checks) and data scattered across the Database and LDAP.

Think about it, all that Luminis does can be done by a simple CASified webpage that can show and hide content based on LDAP attributes. If the target applications are using CAS too, you have your SSO by design.

That's why I said that I would rather make my own portal than implement LP5.

I just want to correct a few things that aren't correct.

You don't need the full BEIS install now, you need only the SSOManager component. I've recommended that they stop calling it BEIS SSOManager.

You can now use standard SAML response (in 5.0.4 and above) and an out-of-the-box CAS (as we have at this point).

As for Luminis 5 itself, I think it provides quite a few things, not the least of which is a strong platform in Liferay. You get out of a portal what you put in. If there's no directive on campus to provide a true intranet, you'll not get much out of it.