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Getting Started with JCMS

1. Installation

JCMS is a Web application that runs on a J2EE application server. It can operate in many environments, but for the purposes of this article we will suppose that you are using an OpenSource Tomcat 5.0 application server on Windows. If you intend to install JCMS in a different environment, consult the Installation and Operating Manual (french).

1.1 Installing Java

Before installing Tomcat, start by installing the Java runtime environment, also called J2SE SDK (Software Development Kit). J2SDK for Windows is available from Sun. JCMS requires J2SE SDK 1.4.2. JCMS can also operate on J2SE SDK 1.5 although it is not certified for this version.

Download J2SE SDK 1.4.2 from the following site (take care not to confuse it with J2EE 1.4 SDK or J2SE JRE):

Install it by running the downloaded application.

Once the installation is terminated the environment variable JAVA_HOME must be declared. To do this, access the properties of the "My Computer" icon (right-click > Properties). Select the Advanced tab then click the "Environment Variables" button then "New" and input the path where J2SDK has been installed (generally in C:\).

Declaring the JAVA_HOME environment Variable.

1.2 Installing Tomcat 5.0.28

Download Tomcat 5.0.28 from:


Unzip the zip file in C:\. The folder jakarta-tomcat-5.0.28 is created.

Edit the server.xml file to add the attribute URIEncoding="UTF-8" in the Connector tag whose port attribute is "8080":

<!-- Define a non-SSL Coyote HTTP/1.1 Connector on port 8080 -->
<Connector port="8080"
maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75"
enableLookups="false" redirectPort="8443" acceptCount="100"
debug="0" connectionTimeout="20000"
URIEncoding="UTF-8" />

1.3 Installing JCMS

Download the most recent version of JCMS.

JCMS comes in the form of a WAR (Web ARchive) file containing a compressed file tree structure in Zip format.

Create a folder named "jcms" in C:\jakarta-tomcat-5.0.28\webapps\.

Rename the downloaded file with the extension ".zip" and unzip the content into the "jcms" folder.

Content of the JCMS webapp.

2. Starting Tomcat

Start Tomcat by opening the folder C:\jakarta-tomcat-5.0.28\bin\ and double-clicking on startup.bat. A window appears displaying scrolling lines. When the line "INFO: Server startup in … ms" appears, this indicates that Tomcat has started correctly.

When you have finished your JCMS learning session, you can stop Tomcat by double-clicking on shutdown.bat.

3. Your first steps with JCMS

To access the JCMS default home page, type the following URL in your browser (the first access to this page can take several minutes):

The JCMS Portal Home Page

3.1 Publishing a first content item

To prepare publications you must first be authenticated. JCMS is pre-configured with an Administrator account; you can add other users later. In the "Identification" portlet enter the identifier "admin" and the password "admin" then click "Login". The page is reloaded with new icons allowing you to use the site.

In the "News" (SmallNews) portlet in the right-hand column, click the icon. An input form "SmallNews Editor" appears in a new window:

Inputting your First Content Item

Enter the "Title" and "Content" fields then click "Save". The window disappears and the title of your first document appears in the News (SmallNews) portlet list. Click the title to display it in the central part of the page:

Display of the new Content Item

Continue by creating content in other portlets.

3.2 Adding a portlet

We will now add a new portlet to the portal. JCMS proposes many standard types of portlet, for example the RSS portlet used to display the content of the RSS feeds available on many websites. We will integrate the "Top Stories" feed from Yahoo! site (http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories)

Click the icon to switch to portal editing mode. The page is refreshed and each portlet appears with its manipulation interface:

Editing the Portal

In the left-hand column, click the icon to the right of the Calendar portlet to insert a portlet under this portlet. The portlet selection interface appears in a new window.

Portlet Selection Interface

Choose the RSS portlet type then click the icon . The portlet editing interface appears in a new window.


Creating an RSS Portlet

Enter the title of the portlet ("Yahoo! News") and its source ("http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories"). In the Templates and Skins tab choose the skin "Jalios Simple Skin 2" with the CSS "JSS - Red". Confirm by clicking the Save button. The window closes and the portlet title then appears in the portlet selection interface. Select this portlet by clicking the radio button; the selection window closes. Finally, click the icon to quit portal editing mode. The RSS portlet is inserted in the portal.


The Yahoo! News RSS feed inserted in the portal.

3.3 Accessing the workspace

Click the icon to access the default workspace.

JCMS workspaces are used to manage publications, often in a collaborative manner. You can create as many as you need.

Within the workspaces authorized users can use the workzones provided to create and edit Content items, circulate publications in Workflows, define and organize Categories to structure publication filing and browsing, manage Portlets and Forms, and so on.

Contributor's workspace

3.4 The Administration Area

Click the icon to access the "Admin Area" reserved for technical administrators. This comprises three parts:

  • Functional Administration: create user accounts, manage groups, workspaces, workflows, etc.;
  • Technical Administration: supervision and operating tools;
  • Development: definition of data structures, development tools.
The Admin Area

3.5 To go farther with JCMS

You have successfully taken your first steps with JCMS. You can continue to explore the functional richness of JCMS in several ways:

  1. Install the demonstration webapp "Jopale" (download it from the JCMS site). You can also use it online on demo.jalios.com.
  2. Consult the articles on the new features of versions 5.0 (french), 5.5 and 5.6.
  3. Read the JCMS User's Guide.
  4. Participate in our training sessions.
  5. Contact us.
"Jopale", the JCMS demonstration webapp