1 Introduction

This guide discusses how to use Oracle 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, in the following topics:

1.1 About This Guide

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

Oracle 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, Oracle Content Server can be highly customized, so your content server web pages may look quite different from those in this guide.

1.2.2 Content Repository

When you check in a file, Oracle 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 Section 1.2.5, "Security Groups and Accounts."

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. For more information, see Section 5.3, "Working with File Revisions."

1.2.4 Metadata

Metadata is information about a content item, such as the title, author, release date, and so on. 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 Oracle Content Server automatically. The metadata is stored in a database that works in conjunction with Oracle 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 Oracle 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.

For more information, see Chapter 4, "Finding Content Items."

1.2.5 Security Groups and Accounts

Oracle Content Server's security features are used to control which users can view, edit, and delete particular content items. Although security groups can be configured to allow anonymous (guest) users to check in files, contributors typically must log in to the content server to check in and check out files. Consumers who have access to secured files typically must also log in to the content server 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 Roles

A role is a set of permissions (Read, Write, Delete, Admin) for each security group. For example, as a team member, you may need to view a schedule (Read access), but as the team leader, you may be responsible for updating the schedule (Read and Write access).

Roles are assigned to one or more users by the system administrator to provide access to the security groups. The following roles are predefined on Oracle Oracle Content Server:

Roles Description
contributor The contributor role has Read and Write permission to the Public security group, which enables users to search for, view, check in, and check out content.
guest The guest role has Read permission to the Public security group, which enables users to search for and view content in the Public security group.
sysmanager The sysmanager role has privileges to access the Admin Server on the content server.

1.2.7 Permissions

Each role allows the following permissions for each security group: Read (R), Write (W), Delete (D), or Admin (A). The permissions for a security group are the highest permission defined by any of the roles for that group. For example, if you are assigned guest and contributor roles, where guest is given Read permission and contributor is given Write permission to the Public security group, you have Write permission to content in the Public security group.

Each role allows the following permissions to be assigned for each security group:

Permissions Description
read Allowed to view files in that security group.
write Allowed to view, check in, check out, and get a copy of documents in that security group. Non-authors can change the security group setting of a document if the non-author has admin permission in the new security group.
delete Allowed to view, check in, check out, get a copy, and delete files in that security group.
admin Allowed to view, check in, check out, get a copy, and delete files in that security group. If this user has Workflow rights, they can start or edit a workflow in that security group.

Users are also allowed to check in documents in that security group with another user specified as the Author.

1.2.8 Users

Oracle Content Server is designed for two types of users:

  • Consumers: These are people who need to find, view, or 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 Oracle 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.


As of 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), user logins must be managed with the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console. Although user logins can be managed in Oracle Content Server for special purposes, they are not valid for authentication to Oracle Content Server until they have been created with the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console.

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.

The Oracle WebLogic Server administrator assigns one or more groups to each user. A group provides the user access to files within the security groups. Undefined users are assigned to the guest group, which allows viewing of documents only in the Public security group by default.

1.2.9 Access Control List (ACL) Security

In addition to the standard Oracle Content Server roles, security groups, and accounts, Oracle Content Server can be configured to support access control lists (ACL). An access control list is a list of users, groups, or enterprise roles with permission to access or interact with a content item.

Depending on how access control list security is configured, three new fields are available for use when adding, modifying, or searching for content items:

  • User Access List

  • Group Access List

  • Role Access List

To use access control lists with content items, you assign one or more predefined users, groups, or roles to the item. In addition, you assign the permissions (Read (R), Write (W), Delete (D), or Admin (A)) to each of the access list entries you specify.

For example, suppose you add a content item and you want guests to have read access and you want all logged-in users to have read and write access. First, add the guest role to the content item and click the R (read) permission icon. Then, add the authenticated user role to the content item and click the W (write) permission icon to grant both the read and write permissions.

If either role is valid for the user, they have the access specified for the valid role (there is an implicit OR relationship between access control list entries). If both roles are valid for the user, they have the greater of the two permission sets. In the example above, if both roles are valid, the user then has the read and write permissions assigned to the authenticated user.

Between access control list entries (user, group, and role), there is an implicit OR relationship. Between access control list entries and other security methods (security groups and accounts), there is an implicit AND relationship, where the user is granted access equal to the intersection of the valid permission sets.


The Access Control List metadata associated with a content item can include multiple entries and permissions. When searching for content using Access Control List metadata, use the "Contains" or the "Substring" option (depending on your search engine) to help ensure that you find all instances of the specified metadata.

1.2.10 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.

1.2.11 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, Oracle Content Server looks up your search terms in this index. Once the indexing process is complete, the file is released to the content server.

1.2.12 Finding Content

Oracle 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.

For more information, see Chapter 4, "Finding Content Items."

1.2.13 Storing and Moving Content with Folders and WebDAV

Folders is an optional component for use with Oracle Content Server that, when enabled, provides a hierarchical folder interface to content in Oracle 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.

1.2.14 Grouping Content

Content Server enables you to group content by 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 Oracle Content Server. In practice, a content folio is a logical grouping, or a framework in which content stored in Oracle Content Server can be structured. Simple folios are a flat container, while advanced folios can nest content in a hierarchy within folders.

1.2.15 Managing Images and Videos

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.

1.2.16 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 Oracle 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.

For more information, see Chapter 8, "Working with Workflows."