This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience and help us with our marketing and analytics efforts. By continuing to use this website, you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.

Find out more Accept

Liferay Enterprise vs. Liferay Community: What is the Difference?

10 mins read 4686 views
Liferay Enterprise vs. Liferay Community: What is the Difference? article image

Enterprise Information Portals have gradually been turning from the fashion into an indispensable business tool with a united access hub available for employees including business processes management kit and means of information interchange.

Small or big, any merits a prosperous virtual space for sharing and collaboration.

Community Edition. Liferay Community Edition is a standard version mostly used for small enterprises non-sensitive to ongoing feature updates and typically non-critical to high performance. Starting small is a nice privilege for those who make the first steps with a far-reaching vision.

Enterprise Edition. Liferay Enterprise Edition is the subscription paid-only portal with an enterprise license perfectly suitable for demanding production environments. Size doesn’t matter if you are an enterprise. EE works equally well for all applications.

Enterprise Edition or Community Edition: what’s yours?

In The Open University of the Netherlands Open U invited us to participate in developing a student portal. Being an independent government-funded institute, it offers distance learning at the university level in Dutch and English.

Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition

It is evidently critical for the online learning educational resource like mentioned above to have a stable system with a custom developed group chat to be used internally. The licensed Liferay EE version with the object of handling regular access to the university assets for students and academic staff has day-night support in case of urgent calls. It is the very thing why risk-conscious clients prefer Liferay license to a free version. Theoretical studies, scientific papers, databases, online library, audio and video files, news, online courses, teaching materials were considered to be stored, classified, and easily available on-demand in a centralized Liferay portal supporting high traffic loads.

Liferay EE works well for heavily modified portals like a large localization agency with a dozen of offices around the world. We’ve made a collaboration Liferay portal with social network capabilities for such clients. The cornerstone of the Liferay enterprise portal is improved stability associated with multiple offices located in different time zones. Need to work absolutely without fail raises because of continuous user load. It provides a multitude of social-networking capabilities: following/followers, quick upload of files, shared, lots of customized content, etc. It is one of those websites required up and running.

It would be worth recalling the term “dual licensing” here speaking about enterprise subscription opportunities for high-load projects. Let’s get straight with it.

Dual licensing is a model of management of Portal software projects. The matter is that both CE and EE are built on the same open-source codebase. Liferay developers and community enthusiasts contribute to it equally to develop the platform. One wonders, why should I pay Liferay license cost for free community-contributed code? The point is that all code contributions are verified by the Liferay maintenance department under strict quality standards established by Liferay. Actually, the code base offered via Liferay Portal Enterprise subscription is written by individual developers from all over the world. But only after thorough verification it is included in the minor or major version. What kind of functionality to add is left at Liferay’s discretion.

Another major concern to privilege Liferay Enterprise Edition is technical support. Subscribing to Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition, clients are enlisting the round-the-clock support of certified Liferay developers in terms of a license. The subscription is offered in two tires: Gold and Premium. They differ only in the volume of provided services. Software updates (regular patches, service packs, and emergency fixes) along with Liferay DXP settings package are offered in a full volume. The Liferay EE license cost is sealed to the public and available upon request via Liferay request form on the official website only. These and other factors have bearing on Liferay portal pricing.

Liferay Community Edition

What is Liferay in itself? It is a virtual environment for content management. Code contributors are those who create Liferay DMS on an open-source basis. Some improvements become an integral part of the system after acceptance; some take shape in custom portlets in response to a single client’s needs. The rest groundworks are about to be used in the free version. Why can’t’ we use contributions without Liferay official verification? We can, and we do it within Liferay Community Edition.

A platform is a portal with almost the same features as in enterprise version available for free. In this case, critical support can be accomplished by two ways: in-house development team or competent software provider. They are basically the same developers-contributors with a long-term Liferay experience but far cheaper. Liferay developer license is not required here. They know their way around, are hands-on with migration (CE to EE and vice versa) and upgrading. If an enterprise strives to make a shift to the international market, Liferay localization possibility will stand in good stead. Portlets’ user interfaces can be fitted to an international audience with resource bundles by choosing the proper language.

It is advantageous, at times, to integrate Liferay Community Edition talking about effectiveness and cost savings. In the case of Motive Retail, for a company that goes in for partner networks for automotive dealers, it was profitable to use CE for several reasons. The first reason came from the necessity of a big amount of custom portlets with a small kit of functionality focused on ad-hoc search queries for reporting purposes. Portlets include data processing on items availability and condition, movement of goods, arrivals and sales, data retrieval on analysis of dealer networks activity, etc. The second reason of choice was dictated by the accessibility of high-skilled old-hand human resources and efficient cooperation with a provider of software solutions that would be able to ensure the whole spectrum of development and Liferay support services.

Liferay community is diverse and rich. It is on a mission to accelerate corporate communication. Tech enthusiasts are inspired by real-life situations happening in daily work. Liferay Community Edition features now are divided into three groups depending on the purpose: Portal, Enterprise CMS, Collaboration & Social tools.

As can be seen, to become a world-beating enterprise-level solution is not that complicated as seemed to be. It is enough to download CE settings, and you will get a full-fledged collaboration platform at once.

Liferay Community Edition vs Enterprise

Liferay has been riding high among enterprises with fast-paced tempo of operation activity. Obviously, before implementing the platform, you too will pose the question as to what kind of Liferay Enterprise vs Community?

EE is a paid annually version with opportune updates and technical support, availability of exclusive portlets to build mission-critical portals. In its turn, updates in CE are collected and released in one version on average once, in a quarter, the technical support is picked up only on community forums with the help of seasoned developers.

Beyond all peradventure, engineering-grade help would be needed to connect and set up the version whether it be EE or CE. For all its simplicity of usage, however, Liferay requires the interfering of developers with a proper background and experience in integrating the system to ensure the end-user can overtake it seamlessly.

CE version is far preferable when a project requires a lot of custom solutions to be done, for example, in virtual e-Commerce projects or customer care portals. Flexible software architecture with open source code lets fashion custom functionality enabling to stun owners with an astonishing diversity of possibilities.

The breakdown of Liferay Community Edition vs Enterprise Edition is demonstrated in the table below.

Table of comparison Liferay Enterprise vs. Liferay Community

Features Community Edition Enterprise Edition Aimprosoft help


Open source, development, evaluation

Business production environment


Developer tools

Eclipse IDE Plugin

Liferay Developer Studio

IDE-agnostic environment can be built easily with command line,
Eclipse, Intellij IDEA, Sublime Text or similar

Applications, widgets and portlets

Over 60 unities of content management, collaboration and social capabilities


Any kinds of portlets: e-commerce, extentions of Control Panel, ad-hoc CRM and reporting tools

Complete product documentation




Open source innovation



Yes, we are combining bleeding edge technologies with manure frameworks

Access to source code




Injunctive relief




Exclusive Enterprise plug-ins



Can be designed on demand from scratch

Test cycles

Feature quality

production quality

production quality/CI

Performance and security tests at enterprise level



Yes, OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities test, load tests

Notifications about updates



Yes, when releasing a new version

Patch updates




Consolidates servicepacks



Yes, when releasing a new version

Self service customer portal




Web based support

On Your Own

24×7 — response 1 working day

24×7 — response 2 hours

Support by phone

On Your Own

24×7 — response 1 hour

24×7 — response 1 hour

Emergency hot fixes

On Your Own



Liferay server requirements

End users feel no limits working with the system. Thanks to early and extraordinary bug fixing users are able to work in the system with an almost zero ratio of failure-free operation.

Speaking about Liferay server requirements, it should be considered scenarios with different concurrent users’ flow and acceptance threshold. Let’s consider three hardware platforms and requirements to them.

Web Server

  • 1 x Intel Core 2 Duo E6405 2.13GHz CPU, 2MB L2 cache (2 cores total);
  • 4GB memory;
  • 1 x 146GB 7.2k RPM IDE.

Application Server

  • 2 x Intel Core 2 Quad E5430 2.66GHz CPU, 12MB L2 cache (8 cores total);
  • 8GB memory;
  • 2 x 146GB 10k RPM SCSI.

Database Tier

  • 1 x Intel Core 2 Quad E5430 2.66GHz CPU, 12MB L2 cache (8 cores total);
  • 16GB memory.

*Data credit: Liferay Portal EE Reference Architecture & Hardware Requirements

We advisedly gave an example of Liferay EE because Liferay requirements for both versions are the same. The key role here plays load performance metrics.

Liferay Enterprise Subscription allows getting technical support from in-house Liferay engineers accordingly to package kit. Professional support under CE is carried out by the dedicated development team of the chosen software provider.

Expert view

As concerns our experience of using Liferay over 12 years, we can conclude that the community version is rather stable. It was detected only one critical bug (it wasn’t a security one), for the first time we’d ever seen, in the CE version but wasn’t in EE. Herewith our company managed to make a patch by own strength during two working days. Moreover, the EE version has been issued recently relatively Liferay history.

Under other equivalent conditions, we recommend our clients CE version because it shows its worth enough stability even with corporate clients and sites where operation hours 24/7 are critical.

If some hardship happens with a website or a necessity to better something appears our development team is ready to cope with it within the shortest possible period.

The only considerable advantage of using enterprise edition is the direct technical support of Liferay Inc. and its exclusive portlets. Having regard to our longstanding experience in the Liferay solutions development, we can confirm without false modesty that our specialists know the portal as well as a Liferay software engineering staff. Don’t drop that as a possibility to find an alternative to EE exclusive portlets, e.g., to order the development of tailored portlets from scratch.

In any case, it is up to the client to decide. We are ready to undertake any version under agreed mutually beneficial terms. We aim to deliver the best in class solutions for a reasonable price and save client’s time.

We also recommend reading the article about our vision for enterprise intranet portal development.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get Liferay support being on Community Edition?

Even though official Liferay support is available only for enterprise subscription users, you may always ask questions on Liferay Forum or Community Slack, and Liferay specialists will be glad to help you. Also, a software partner to whom you commit your portal’s development can offer you support under agreed terms.

What functionality will be missing if using Community Edition?

Basically, Liferay DXP and Community Edition (CE) provide the same portal functionality. But the Liferay DXP version provides some EE-only features (like Audit, advanced search customization, and workflow builder).

How can I apply a bug fix fixed by Liferay?

The choice between Liferay Enterprise vs. Liferay Community editions may take you by surprise: who has to fix bugs? Because there is a difference in support. DXP users can install Fix Packs using a Patching Tool. CE users need to wait until the next Liferay version is released (which includes the bug fix), fix on their own, or ask a software development company offering Liferay development services to do it.

Let’s talk

We are here to assist with your questions. Write us a message, and we will get back to you shortly.

    Up to 200Kb .pdf, .doc, .docx or .txt file

    Great! Thank you

    The form was submitted successfully. We will contact you shortly. Meanwhile, we suggest checking out what our clients say about software development with Aimprosoft.

    Proceed to Clutch

    Featured in