1 Introduction

This guide discusses how to use Content Server, including how to check content in and out of the system, how to use workflows, how to search for files, how to group content, and how to use images and videos. This chapter provides an overview to the system and the document for end users. It covers the following topics:

1.1 About This Guide

This guide is intended to help those using Content Server to manage content. It provides overview and reference information for the pages used when working with Content Server through a standard web browser.

1.2 Product Overview

This section describes concepts discussed in this document and provides an overview of system functionality. It contains the following topics:

1.2.1 Content Server

Content Server is an automated system for sharing, managing, and distributing business information using a web site as a common access point. Current information can be accessed quickly and securely from any standard web browser. You can manage virtually any type of content including letters, reports, engineering drawings, spreadsheets, manuals, sales literature, and more in one powerful content management system.


This user guide describes the standard web pages and procedures that come with the "out-of-the-box" content server. However, Content Server can be highly customized, so your content server web pages might look quite different from those in this guide.

1.2.2 Content Repository

When you check in a file, Content Server stores the original, or native, file in a central repository for native files. If your system has conversion features installed and enabled, a web-viewable version of the file (such as PDF) will be created and stored in a special repository for web-viewable files. (If you are not using conversion, or if a particular file type cannot be converted, a copy of the native file is placed in the repository for web-viewable files.)

A file that is checked into the content server is called a content item. Any user with the correct security permissions can view the web-viewable version of a content item or get a copy of the original file from the repository of native files. Security permissions determine who can view, revise, and delete a particular content item. For more information see "Security".

The various types of files that can be associated with a single content item (the native file and any web-viewable files) are called renditions. For example, the PDF version of a content item is a rendition of that content item, as are the HTML and XML versions.

1.2.3 Revision Control

If you want to change a file that is checked into the content server, you need to check the content item out of the file repository. Only one person can have a content item checked out at any given time, but others can still view the released version of the file.

When you are finished making changes to the file, you check it back into the content server, which automatically stores the new file as a new revision of the content item. Previous revisions remain available for you to view or copy, but the latest revision will always be displayed by default from content server web pages.

Every content item in the repository for web-viewable files has a persistent URL. This means that each content item has a unique web address that does not change from one revision to the next. Therefore, the most current version is always displayed when you point your browser to the URL of a content item. See "Working with File Revisions" for more information.

1.2.4 Metadata

Metadata is information about a content item, such as the title, author, release date, etc. Metadata can be used to find content items in the content server, much as you would search for books in a library by author or subject. When you check in a content item, you will need to assign some of the metadata, while some metadata is assigned by Content Server automatically. The metadata is stored in a database that works in conjunction with Content Server.

Content profiles created by your system administrator can refine the metadata options available to you during check in and searching, as well as what metadata is displayed on a content information page. This feature can improve how you work with Content Server. Check in and search forms defined by content profiles are accessed from the Search menu on the Toolbar.


It is important that you understand your organization's metadata fields and always assign metadata carefully. Proper metadata makes content items easier to find, and ensures that only users who have the proper permissions can access a content item.

See Chapter 4, "Finding Content Items" for more information.

1.2.5 Security

Content Server's security features are used to control which users can view, edit, and delete particular content items. With standard Oracle security, contributors must log in to the content server to be able to check in and check out files. Consumers who have access to secured files must also log in to the content server to be able to view the secured content.

When you check in a file, you may need to specify a value for the following security-related metadata fields:

  • Security group: Each content server user is given a particular level of permission to each security group. When you specify the security group for a content item, only the users who have permission to that security group can work with that content item. The security group is a required metadata field for all content items.

  • Account: Accounts are an optional feature that your system administrator can use to define a more flexible security model. Accounts are similar to security groups, in that only users who have permission to a particular account can work with content items that belong to that account.

1.2.6 Users

Content Server is designed for two types of users:

  • Consumers: These are people who need to find, view, and print files from the content server repository. They do not have permission to create, modify, or delete files.

  • Contributors: These are people who need to create and revise files in the content server repository. They also have permission to find, view, and print files.

In many Content Server systems, the majority of users are consumers. To safeguard the integrity of files in the system, contributors need a user name and password to check content items in to and out of the content server repository.

Users who have full administrative permission are referred to as system administrators. Your organization may also assign limited administrative permission to certain users, such as the ability to set up user log ins and create workflow templates. These users are referred to as subadministrators.

1.2.7 Conversion Features

The web-viewable formats of a file depend on the original file format of the content item and the conversion features that are installed. For example, your system could be set up to convert Microsoft Word documents to the PDF format using the PDF Converter functionality, and to the HTML format using the Dynamic Converter functionality.

Your content server system may include one or more conversion features, which convert native files to web-viewable file formats. Most conversions take place automatically as soon as you check in a file.

Some file formats cannot be converted, or your system administrator may configure the system to "pass through" certain types of documents without conversion. For example, a compressed zip file cannot be converted to a web-viewable format. In these cases, a copy of the native file is stored in the repository for web-viewable files.

1.2.8 Indexing

Once a file has been converted to a web-viewable format or passed through to the repository for web-viewable files, the file is automatically "full-text indexed" by an indexing engine if the system is set up for full-text indexing. The indexing engine makes a list of all the words in every file in HTML, PDF, TXT, XML, and other supported formats, and stores the list in a database. When you do a full-text search for content, Content Server looks up your search terms in this index. Once the indexing process is complete, the file is released to the content server.

1.2.9 Finding Content

Content Server provides many ways for users to find content:

  • Searching for content: You can search for a content item by its metadata, by full-text, or by a combination of the two. Only the content items you have permission to view will be displayed in the search results.

  • Browsing content: Browsing content using the Browse Content tray enables you to "drill down" to a content item by navigating through a set of hierarchical folders. When you reach the last folder in a particular branch of the structure, content items that you have permission to view will be displayed on a search results page.

Refer to Chapter 4, "Finding Content Items" for more information.

1.2.10 Storing and Moving Content with Folders and WebDAV

Folders is an optional component for use with Content Server that, when enabled, provides a hierarchical folder interface to content in Content Server in the form of "virtual folders" (also called "hierarchical folders"). Virtual folders enable you to create a multi-level folder structure.

WebDAV (Web-Based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) provides a way to remotely author and manage your content using clients that support the WebDAV protocol. For example, you can use Microsoft Windows Explorer to check in, check out, and modify content in the repository rather than using the browser interface.

1.2.11 Grouping Content

Content Server permits you to group content using folios. A content folio is an XML file checked into Content Server that uses elements to define a hierarchical structure of nodes, slots, and specified content items in Content Server. In practice, a content folio is a logical grouping, or a framework in which content stored in Content Server can be structured. Simple folios are a flat container, while advanced folios can nest content in a hierarchy within folders.

1.2.12 Managing Images and Video

You can use Digital Asset Manager functionality to quickly find, group, convert, and download images and videos of various sizes, formats, and resolutions to meet your business needs, all while maintaining a consistency of use across your organization. For example, an organization's logo may need to be available in a variety of sizes for advertisements, web pages, and presentation, or a company training video may need to be available in a variety of formats for streaming on an intranet, presenting to an audience, or copying to tape.

1.2.13 Routing Content through Workflows

The workflow process routes a file for review and approval before it is released to the content server repository. Users are notified by e-mail when they have a file to review.

Two types of workflows can be created in Content Server:

  • In a criteria workflow, files automatically go into a workflow if the values entered in the metadata fields upon check-in meet certain criteria. Criteria workflows are useful for individual content items that are approved by the same reviewers on a regular basis (newsletter articles, for example).

  • In a basic workflow, files are specifically identified in the workflow, along with the contributors, reviewers, and steps. This type of workflow requires an administrator to initiate the process, and is best suited for groups of content items that need to go through a workflow together or individual content items with unique workflow requirements.

See Chapter 8, "Working with Workflows" for more information.