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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle WebCenter Spaces
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.4.0)

Part Number E10149-06
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59 Working with the Announcements Service

This chapter describes how to use the features provided with the Announcements service. Announcements offer a quick, convenient way to create and distribute messages instantly or at a time you specify. You can use the Announcements service to view, create, and manage announcements.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Audience

This chapter is intended for WebCenter users who want to view, create, and manage Space announcements. To perform announcement-related tasks, you must have appropriate permissions: Create, Edit, and Delete Announcements, Create and Edit Announcements, or View Announcements. For more information, see Section 52.2.1.2, "Understanding Permissions and Permission Models in a Space."

Note:

Tasks discussed in this chapter are not available if the Announcements service is not enabled in the current Space.

59.1 What You Should Know About the Announcements Service

The Announcements service provides the ability to post announcements about important activities and events to all authenticated users. For example, an application administrator can use this service to announce the availability of a new feature or the plan to shut down the application temporarily for maintenance (Figure 59-1).

Figure 59-1 Sample Announcement in the Announcements - Quick View Task Flow

sample announcement

The Announcements service is integrated with many WebCenter services, such as the Activity Stream, RSS, Search (to search announcement text), Instant Messaging and Presence services. You can use link announcements to other services, such as Events or Discussions. For example, suppose your company is announcing a new product, you can link from the announcement directly to a discussion forum, where potential customers can ask other customers about the product, or link to an instant messenger to speak directly with a customer service representative to purchase the product.

In Spaces, announcements are scoped to the Space where you create them. In Home Space pages, announcements are scoped application-wide, to all logged-in (authenticated) users.

The Announcements page is added to Spaces created with the Communities of Interest and Group Project templates (Figure 59-2). The Announcements page is available in every Space, provided the Space is configured to display announcements. For information about enabling services in a Space, see Section 51.10.1, "Enabling and Disabling Services Available to a Space."

Figure 59-2 The Announcements Page in a Space

Announcements page

59.2 Working with Announcements Service Task Flows

Both the Announcements and the Announcements - Quick View task flows display current announcements. The Announcements task flow additionally offers tools for managing announcements within the task flow. With the Announcements - Quick View task flow, you must click the Open Announcement Manager icon to manage announcements.

The Announcements - Quick View task flow includes numerous parameters to customize your view. For example, administrators can remove the link to the Announcement Manager. This lets you present announcements to end users where manage controls are not needed. The task flow lists 10 announcements by default, but you can change this number and change how much of the announcement is displayed. The More Announcements ... link launches a popup containing the complete list of all announcements with pagination behavior. This is called the Extended Quick View (or Extended Mini View).

Depending on the privileges you have on the page, you can perform some or all tasks described in this section:

This section contains the following subsections:

59.2.1 Adding an Announcements Service Task Flow to a Page

For the steps to add an Announcements service task flow to a page, see Section 17.5, "Adding Resource Catalog Components to Pages."

Notes:

  • You cannot add an Announcements task flow to your Home Space page. The Announcements task flow only displays in the component catalog if you have manage privilege and if you are adding content in a Space page. By default, this privilege is available to a Space moderator.

  • All instances of the Announcements task flow in an application run against the same server and therefore, it serves no purpose to add multiple Announcements task flow instances.

The Announcements task flow is displayed on your page, as shown in Figure 59-3.

Figure 59-3 Announcements Task Flow

Announcements task flow

Users with Edit privileges can access the task flow's region parameter through the Component Properties dialog in Oracle Composer to specify the ID of the discussion forum under which announcements must be created.

For information about accessing the Component Properties dialog and editing properties, see Section 59.3, "Setting Announcements Service Task Flow Properties."

Note:

The Announcements - Quick View task flow opens in a Space, regardless of the discussion forum ID specified.

For more information about setting task flow properties, see Section 59.3, "Setting Announcements Service Task Flow Properties."

59.2.2 Working with the Announcements Task Flow

The Announcements task flow not only provides the tools to create, edit, and delete announcements, it also provides controls for determining when an announcement is published and when it expires and is consequently removed from the task flow. It provides Show lists, which you can use to personalize your view of announcements. After you create an announcement, you are offered the option to mail or link the announcement.

Depending on the privileges you have on the page and whether the required WebCenter services are configured in your application, you may see only a subset of these options in the Announcement Manager. For example, the Delete icon is displayed only to users with manage privilege.

This section provides information about viewing, creating, and managing announcements through the Announcements task flow. Discussions server administrators in Home Spaces and Space moderators in Spaces can access the Announcements task flow.

This section contains the following subsections:

59.2.2.1 Viewing Announcements in the Announcements Task Flow

To view announcements in the Announcements task flow, either select the Announcements task flow on a page, or select the Announcements page.

Figure 59-4 shows an announcement in the Announcements task flow.

Figure 59-4 An Announcement in the Announcements Task Flow

announcements in the Announcements task flow

If Announcements is not available, then in the Space administration settings, display the Services page. On the Services page, choose Announcements. For more information, see Chapter 51, "Managing a Space."

Tip:

The way you access this page depends on the page template in use. For example, in a side navigation template, you may access it through a Manage menu.

You can also navigate to this page using the direct URL provided in Section A.3, "User Interface URLs for Space Pages."

59.2.2.2 Adjusting Your View of the Announcements

You can customize your own view of the Announcements task flow, which does not affect other users' view of announcements. All users who can view the Announcements task flow can customize it.

A Show list provides options for displaying only those announcements that were created within a selected time range. Choose from displaying all announcements to displaying only those created today, since yesterday, and so on—up to 30 days. For example, you may select the option Today from the Show menu, and only those announcements posted today display in the task flow.

Another Show list provides options to display current, future or expired announcements.

To adjust your view of the Announcement Manager:

  1. Go to the application page that contains the Announcements task flow.

  2. In the task flow, expand the Show menu and select from the listed display options (Figure 59-5).

    Figure 59-5 Show Menu on Announcements

    Show drop-down menu on Announcements page

    Choose:

    • All— To display all available announcements.

    • Today—To display only today's announcements.

    • Since Yesterday—To display today and yesterday's announcements.

    • Last 7 Days—To display all announcements made in the last seven days.

    • Last 30 Days—To display all announcements made in the last 30 days.

    The Announcements task flow refreshes and displays the announcements that match your selection.

  3. Expand the other dropdown list to show active, future or expired announcements (Figure 59-6).

    Figure 59-6 Active, Future or Expired Announcements

    Active, Future, or Expired announcements

    Table 59-1 shows what different combinations of these Show lists display.

    Table 59-1 Announcements Displayed Based on Show Lists

    Days Range Announcement Type Display Result

    All

    Active

    All announcements as of today

    Today

    Active

    All announcements with a start date of today.

    Since Yesterday

    Active

    All announcements with a start date as of yesterday.

    Last 7 Days

    Active

    All announcements for the last seven days.

    Last 30 Days

    Active

    All announcements for the last 30 days.

    All

    Future

    All announcements scheduled for a later date.

    Today

    Future

    All announcements scheduled for a later date.

    Since Yesterday

    Future

    All announcements scheduled for a later date.

    Last 7 Days

    Future

    All announcements scheduled for a later date.

    Last 30 Days

    Future

    All announcements scheduled for a later date.

    All

    Expired

    All expired announcements.

    Today

    Expired

    No announcements.

    Since Yesterday

    Expired

    All expired announcements as of yesterday.

    Last 7 Days

    Expired

    All expired announcements for the last seven days.

    Last 30 Days

    Expired

    All expired announcements for the last 30 days.


59.2.2.3 Creating an Announcement

Create an announcement to distribute information to all members of an application or a Space in one operation. For example, if you are an administrator and want to shut down the application for maintenance, you can create an announcement to inform all application users about the down time. On the publication date you specify while creating the announcement, the announcement appears in the Announcements and Announcements - Quick View task flows, and on the Activity Stream.

In WebCenter Spaces, all participants can create announcements.

To create a new announcement:

  1. Access the Announcements task flow, access the Announcements page, or open the Announcement Manager from the Announcements - Quick View task flow. For more information, see Section 59.2.2.1, "Viewing Announcements in the Announcements Task Flow."

  2. Click Create (Figure 59-7).

    Figure 59-7 Create an Announcement

    Create button on an Announcements page

    The Create Announcement dialog opens (Figure 59-8).

    Figure 59-8 The Create Announcement Dialog

    Create Announcement dialog box
  3. In the Subject field, enter a heading for the announcement.

  4. In the message body text box, enter the text of the announcement.

    The message body is provided through the Rich Text Editor. You can style the announcement with colors, special fonts, and images. For information about Rich Text Editor controls, see the online help.

    Styling information is applied when the announcement is configured with the Content View Only region parameter set to true. For more information, see Section 59.3, "Setting Announcements Service Task Flow Properties."

  5. Under Announcement Active Date, choose:

    • Make Active Now — To post the announcement immediately (the default option)

    • Make Active on Specific Date — To select a date and time to post the announcement

      Click the Select Date icon to the right of the text field to open the Select Date pop-up calendar (Figure 59-9).

      Figure 59-9 The Select Date Pop-Up Calendar

      Select Date pop-up calendar
      Description of "Figure 59-9 The Select Date Pop-Up Calendar"

      In the calendar, click a date to select it. The current date is marked by a solid box.

      Alternatively, use the controls at the top of the calendar to select a month and year for publication.

      After you select a date, the calendar closes.

  6. Under Announcement Expire Date, choose:

    • Never Expires — To post the announcement indefinitely (the default option)

    • Expire After Days — To specify the number of days the announcement is active

      Enter the number of days to display the announcement.

    • Expire on a Specific Date — To set the date and time to expire and remove the announcement

      Click the Select Date icon next to the text field to open the Select Date pop-up calendar (Figure 59-10).

      Figure 59-10 The Select Date and Time Icon

      Select Date and Time icon
      Description of "Figure 59-10 The Select Date and Time Icon"

      In the calendar, only those dates after the publication date are enabled for selection.

  7. Click Create to create the announcement.

    If you chose to post the announcement immediately, then the new announcement appears in following locations: in any Announcements task flow included on a page, on the Activity Stream, and at the top of the list of announcements in the Announcements - Quick View task flow.

59.2.2.4 Editing Announcements

After you have created an announcement, you easily can modify it. For example, if the details of an announcement change, or you want to change the font or color of the announcement text, you can quickly make these changes using the Announcement Manager. You can change an announcement's title, content and expiration date. However, you cannot change its publication date, which is the date on which the announcement is made active (Announcement Active Date).

Note:

To change an announcement's publication date, you must delete the announcement, and re-create it with the correct publication date. For information about deleting an announcement, see Section 59.2.2.5, "Deleting an Announcement." For information about creating an announcement, see Section 59.2.2.3, "Creating an Announcement."

You can edit an announcement only if you created that announcement or have been granted privileges to do so. Typically, Space moderators have privileges to edit all announcements in the Announcements task flow.

To edit an announcement:

  1. Open the Announcements task flow. For information, see Section 59.2.2.1, "Viewing Announcements in the Announcements Task Flow."

  2. Click the Edit Announcement icon (Figure 59-11) on the announcement you want to edit.

    Figure 59-11 Edit Announcement Icon

    Edit Announcement icon

    The Edit Announcement dialog opens (Figure 59-12).

    Figure 59-12 The Edit Announcement Dialog

    Edit Announcement dialog box
  3. Make the changes you want to the announcement. For example, you can change the text of the announcement, or modify its look and feel.

    The Edit Announcement dialog provides Rich Text Editor controls for styling announcement text. For information on Rich Text Editor controls, see the online help.

    You can change an announcement's title and content and, also its expiration date. However, you cannot change its publication date.

  4. Click Save to save your changes and close the dialog.

59.2.2.5 Deleting an Announcement

After you've created an announcement, you can delete it if you are a Space moderator. Other users do not have privileges to delete announcements.

To delete an announcement:

  1. Open the Announcements task flow. For information, see Section 59.2.2.1, "Viewing Announcements in the Announcements Task Flow."

  2. Click the Delete Announcement icon on the announcement you want to delete (Figure 59-13). This icon only displays if you have the appropriate privileges.

    Figure 59-13 The Delete Announcement Icon on an Announcement

    Delete Announcement icon
  3. In the Delete Announcement dialog (Figure 59-14), click Delete to delete the announcement and close the dialog.

    Figure 59-14 Delete Announcement Dialog

    Delete Announcement dialog box

    The selected announcement is removed from the Announcements task flow, the Announcements - Quick View task flow, and the Activity Stream.

59.2.3 Working with the Announcements - Quick View Task Flow

The Announcements - Quick View task flow is essentially a viewer for convenient access to current announcements. More robust features, for such actions as creating and editing announcements, are offered in the Announcements task flow (see Section 59.2.2).

By default, announcements in the Announcements - Quick View task flow show announcement titles as links. But you can configure the task flow to display only announcement titles, titles with some amount of content, or only content.

This section contains the following subsections:

59.2.3.1 Viewing Announcements in the Quick View Task Flow

The Announcements - Quick View task flow provides a read-only view of announcements. To view announcements in an Announcements - Quick View task flow:

  1. In the Announcements - Quick View task flow, click the announcement you want to view (Figure 59-15).

    Figure 59-15 The Announcements - Quick View Task Flow

    Announcements - Quick View Task Flow

    The announcement details display in the Announcement dialog (Figure 59-16). Similar to the announcement content displayed in the Announcements task flow, this dialog displays content with all the formatting that was applied to it

    Figure 59-16 Announcement Accessed from Quick View Task Flow

    Announcement accessed from Quick View Task Flow
    Description of "Figure 59-16 Announcement Accessed from Quick View Task Flow"

  2. Click Close to exit the dialog.

59.2.3.2 Managing Announcements in the Quick View Task Flow

You can manage announcements in the Announcements - Quick View task flow with the Announcement Manager. The Announcement Manager provides the functionality in the Announcements task flow.

Administrators can remove the link to the Announcement Manager. If your administrator allows this functionality, then you see the Open Announcement Manager icon (Figure 59-17). The Announcement Manager lets you create, edit, delete, mail, and link announcements.

Figure 59-17 Open Announcement Manager Icon

open announcement icon

59.2.4 Sending Mail from an Announcement

Each announcement in the Announcements or Announcements - Quick View task flow has an associated Send Mail icon in its toolbar (Figure 59-18). Click the Send Mail icon to initiate a mail message containing the announcement text, location, author, and date it was created. This feature makes it easy for you to communicate interesting announcements to others.

Figure 59-18 Send Mail Icons on Announcement Headers

Send mail icons on announcement toolbars

The WebCenter administrator determines the mail client to use with the Send Mail icon. If a local mail client was set, then a plain text message opens. If the WebCenter Mail service was set as the mail client, then the HTML Mail Compose dialog opens. With either mail client, you can add or edit the standard, prepopulated message before sending.

59.2.5 Linking Announcements

Each announcement in the Announcement Manager or Announcements task flow has an associated Links icon in its toolbar to link other objects to the announcement. For example, you can link an announcement to a new discussion, document, event, note or URL, or you can link an announcement to an existing announcement, discussion, document, or event.

The Links icon displays to all users accessing the Announcements and Announcement Manager task flows, if the Links service is configured in the application (Figure 59-19).

Figure 59-19 Links Icon with Announcements

Links icon in announcements

For more information, see Chapter 63, "Working with the Links Service."

59.3 Setting Announcements Service Task Flow Properties

The Announcements service task flows have associated properties, which users with sufficient privileges can access from the Component Properties dialog in Oracle Composer (Figure 59-20).

Figure 59-20 Announcements Task Flow Component Properties

Announcement Task Flow Component Properties parameters

For information about accessing the Component Properties dialog, see Section 17.5.2.3, "Setting Component Properties."

The following sections provide information about properties of the Announcements service task flows and describe the properties on the Parameters tab.

59.3.1 What You Should Know About the Announcements Service Task Flow Properties

The properties on the Parameters tab of the Component Properties dialog control the default task flow content. For descriptions of the parameters on this tab, see Section 59.3.2, "Announcements Service Task Flow Parameters." For some task flows, parameters on this tab facilitate the wiring of the task flow to page parameters and page definition variables. For more information, see Chapter 19, "Wiring Pages, Task Flows, Portlets, and UI Components."

Changes to the properties on the Display Options, Style, and Content Style tabs affect the appearance and behavior of the task flow for all users. These properties are common to all task flows. For more information, see Section 17.5.2, "Setting Properties on Page Components."

The content of the Events tab depends on the events supported by the task flow. For more information, see Section 17.5.2.8, "Working with Component Contextual Events."

The Child Components tab displays all of the components contained within the current component. It provides controls for rearranging, showing, and hiding child components. Not all components contain children. So this tab may be omitted. For more information, see Section 17.5.2.6, "Working with Child Components."

All properties on the Parameters and Display Options tabs provide access to an Expression Language (EL) editor, which you can use to select or specify a variable value instead of a constant value. Click the Edit icon next to a property field to open the editor. For more information about using the editor and for descriptions of common EL expressions, see Appendix B, "Expression Language Expressions."

59.3.2 Announcements Service Task Flow Parameters

Table 59-2 describes the properties that are unique to the Announcements task flows.

Table 59-2 Announcements Service Task Flow Parameters

Property Description Task Flow

Expand All Announcements in Extended Mini View

Select to display details for all announcements in the extended quick view. The default value is unselected, in which case announcements display the announcement title only.

Announcements - Quick View

Number of Expanded Announcements

The number of announcements to display announcement details. Announcements exceeding this value display the announcement title only. Use only when Content View Only is unselected.

Express values using the following formats:

Announcements - Quick View

Content View Only

Select to remove the announcement title and display just the announcement content. Leave unchecked to render the title.

When selected, the values for Announcement Length and Number of Expanded Announcements are ignored.

Announcements - Quick View

Hide Toolbar

Hides the Announcements toolbar.

Announcements - Quick View

Navigate to Announcement Viewer

Select to navigate to the announcement resource. Default behavior (unselected) is to launch in a popup.

Announcements - Quick View

Number of Announcements on Extended Mini View

The number of announcements to show in a page on extended mini view.

Announcements - Quick View

Forum ID

The ID of the forum under which announcements are created in the back-end discussions server.

In WebCenter Spaces, this property is blank by default. However, internally it maps to the forum ID associated with the current Space. For Home Spaces, global (system) announcements are returned. You can edit this property to specify a different forum ID.

Announcements - Quick View

Announcements

Announcement Length

The number of characters to show in announcement details. Use only when Content View Only is unselected.

If no value is specified, then WebCenter displays 200 characters.

This parameter takes effect with Number of Expanded Announcements.

Express values using the following formats:

The value you enter for Announcement Length is ignored if Content View Only is selected.

Announcements - Quick View

Number of Announcements to Show

The number of announcements to show on the quick view.

Announcements - Quick View