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Monday, October 8

Navigation in SAP Enterprise Portal

Navigation in portal is controlled by navigation service. There are set of tools using which the user can see his navigation hierarchy in the portal. These tools are navigation service, navigation tag library and navigation iviews. One must of be aware of the Navigation Model, Navigation hierarchy, Navigation URLs, navigation service etc for understanding Navigation in portal.

Navigation Model
Navigation model can be at 3 levels. Data level, Integration level and visualization level. At Data level, navigation connectors are available which are used to connect navigation hierarchies with the navigation services. At integration level, navigation nodes are retrieved from the navigation  connectors and create a final navigation hierarchy. At visualization level, navigation iviews are used to display the navigation hierarchy.

Navigation hierarchy
Navigation hierarchy is structure of navigation nodes. There are different type of nodes inside a navigation structure:

Valid and visible: Navigation iViews display a link to the content for these type of nodes.
Valid and Invisible: navigation iViews do not display a link to the content. But content of these type of folder can be visible by supplying the correct navigation URL.
Invalid: user is not allowed to see the content of such a node.

Navigation URL
A navigation URL navigates to a specific navigation node. A navigation URL looks like below
http:////irj/portal/NavigationTarget  = “

Such a URL consists or 2 parts
1)    The base URL of portal ie http:////irj/portal/
2)    Navigation Target

Navigation Service
Navigation Service enables you to fetch navigation hierarchy for a specified user. Navigation hierarchy is nothing but a structure of navigation nodes. Following lines of code can be used to get the handle of navigation service.
INavigationService service = (INavigationService)
    PortalRuntime.getRuntimeResources().getService(INavigationService.KEY);

There are various methods in navigation service which can be used to get information about the nodes of navigation hierarchy. All these methods take a Hashtable of environment variables as a parameter. There are various interfaces which can be implemented by the navigation service to access more methods which can be used to perform more operations on navigation hierarchy nodes.
These interfaces are :
InavigationConnectorRegistration
InavigationNamingHandler
InavigationRedirector
InavigationGenerator
IobjectBasedNavigation
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