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

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

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 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 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 a 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 client. The cornerstone of 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 about a 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 project. The matter is that both CE and EE are built on the same open-source code base. 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 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 into 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 the 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 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 which 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 which 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, an 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 interfering of developers with a proper background and experience in integration 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
single blog

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 CE version but wasn’t in EE. Herewith our company managed to make a patch by own strength during two working days. Moreover, EE version has been issued recently relatively the 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 a 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 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 the reasonable price and save client’s time.