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Oracle® WebCenter Content User's Guide for Desktop
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10624-05
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7 Working with Content Server Connections

This section covers these topics:

7.1 About Content Server Connections

Before you can integrate content management features into your desktop experience, you must establish a connection with a server, so you can access the files on it. You can define server connections in any of the integrated applications (Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, or Lotus Notes). You only need to define a server connection once. When you create a new server connection, that connection will be available to all supported applications on your computer that you use to interact with the content server. Once you have defined a server connection, you can begin working with that server based on your server permissions.

If you add or remove a server connection, or change its display name, this only affects your own computer. The server settings are stored on your own computer; no other users are affected. Also, when you uninstall the Desktop client software from your computer and reinstall it (for example, to upgrade to a newer version), all previously configured server connections will continue to be available after you reinstall the software.

Note:

Your system administrator may decide to set up all content server connections for you.

7.2 Content Server Types

The Desktop client can connect to these types of servers:

You select the content server type when you create the server connection (see Section 7.7, "Adding a Content Server Connection"). Consult your system administrator if you are not sure which server type to use.

Server Type Icons

Each server type has its own icon that visually identifies it in the integration hierarchy.

Server Icons Server Type
Icons for UCM servers

WebCenter Content Server instance

Icons for Content DB servers

Oracle Content Database (Oracle Content DB) server

Icons for WebDAV servers

Other WebDAV server


7.3 Content Server Capabilities

The Desktop client software provides different content management features depending on the server type and configuration (see Section 7.2, "Content Server Types"), as outlined in the table below.

Content Management Capability 11gR1 Oracle WebCenter Content Server with Desktop 11gR1 components and Framework Folders 11gR1 Oracle Content Server with Desktop 11gR1 components and Folders_g 10gR3 Oracle Content Server with Desktop 11gR1 components 10gR3 Oracle Content Servers with Desktop 10gR3 components Oracle Content DB Server WebDAV Server

Standard Windows operations such as copy-and-paste, drag-and-drop, and create Windows shortcuts

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Checking files out of the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Checking files in to the server (copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop)

yes (1)

yes (1)

yes (2)

yes (2)

yes

yes

Checking files in to the server (check-in form)

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Browsing to files on the server (navigation tree)

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Searching for files on the server (search form)

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Working with offline files on the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Copying links to files on the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Creating content server shortcuts to files and folders on the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Propagating content server metadata to subfolders and files.

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Choosing which metadata fields and values to propagate

yes

no

no

no

no

no

Working with query folders.

yes

no

no

no

no

no

Working with personal folders.

yes

no

no

no

no

no

Hiding unpublished files

yes

no

no

no

no

no

Changing folder association of items by dragging and dropping them to a different folder

yes

yes

no

no

no

no

Associate items not assigned to any content folder with a folder by dragging and dropping them to the target folder

yes

no

no

no

no

no

Inserting content files, file links, or images on the server into Microsoft Office documents

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Choosing content profiles on search and check-in pages

yes

yes

no

no

n/a

n/a

Checking in files by dragging and dropping into profile node

yes

yes

no

no

no

no

Comparing a Word document with another file on the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Comparing a Word document with an earlier file revision on the server

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

Seeing productivity nodes (My Checked-Out Content, My Workflow Assignments, My Saved Queries, etc.) in the integration hierarchy.

yes

yes

yes

no

no

no

Approving or rejecting workflow items directly in Windows Explorer (through context menu)

yes

yes

no

no

n/a

n/a


Notes

  1. If any required metadata is missing, you may be prompted to provide it depending on the configuration settings for the folder.

  2. If any required metadata is missing, the check-in operation will fail if no default folder metadata has been defined.

7.4 Content Server URLs

When creating a content server connection, you must provide the WebDAV URL for that server, and possibly its CGI URL (for Oracle WebCenter Content Server instances). Please note that each defined content server connection must have its own, unique WebDAV URL. You cannot have two server connections on your computer that use the exact same WebDAV URL.

Oracle WebCenter Content Server

Oracle WebCenter Content Server instances require both a WebDAV URL and CGI URL. The WebDAV URL typically has the following form:

http[s]://host-name:[port]/web-root/idcplg/webdav

For example:

http://server:7044/idc/idcplg/webdav
http://server.example.com:16200/cs/idcplg/webdav
https://server/cs/idcplg/webdav

The CGI URL is typically the same as the WebDAV URL, without '/webdav', for example:

http://server:7044/idc/idcplg
http://server.example.com:16200/cs/idcplg
https://server/cs/idcplg

See Section 7.15, "Identifying the URLs for Oracle WebCenter Content Server" for a way to find out what the URL of an Oracle WebCenter Content Server instance is. You can also ask your system administrator what URLs to use.

If clients should connect to an Oracle WebCenter Content Server 11gR1 instance using basic authentication rather than form-based authentication (that is, using a login dialog), then you can force basic authentication by adding '_dav' to the server's WebDAV and CGI URLs. In addition, HTTPS should be used. For example:

https://server.example.com:16200/_dav/cs/idcplg/webdav
https://server.example.com:16200/_dav/cs/idcplg

WebDAV and CGI URLs with '_dav' are not supported in Oracle Content Server 10gR3.

Oracle Content DB Servers and WebDAV Servers

Oracle Content DB servers and other WebDAV servers require only a WebDAV URL. What this URL looks like is entirely dependent on the server location and configuration. You may want to ask your system administrator what URLs to use.

Note:

You may not need to set up server connections for Desktop on your own computer, as this is often handled by system administrators.

7.5 Online vs. Offline Servers

A content server can be in online or offline state. If a content server is online, there is a live connection to that server (after providing your login user name and password) and you can view and interact with the folders and files on the content server, based on your server permissions.

If a content server is offline, there is no live connection to the server, but you can still access the files from that server that are in your local cache (see Section 9.5, "Local Caching of Content Files"). You can specifically designate content files and entire folders to be available offline (see Section 14.2, "Making Folders and Files Available Offline"). Copies of the latest file revisions are then retrieved from the content server and put in the local cache on your computer. Working with a content server in offline mode may be useful if you want to access some files on that server when no connection to the server is available (for example, outside of the workplace). If a server is in offline mode, then the integration hierarchy for that server includes an Offline Files node, which provides easy access to all files on the server that you made available offline.

To work with a content server in offline mode, right-click that server in the integration hierarchy or the content pane, and choose Work Offline in the context menu. The server icon then changes to include an offline indicator (Figure 7-1). In addition, the Work Offline option in the server's context menu is preceded by a check mark. To cancel the offline status, simply select the Work Offline option in the context menu again.

Figure 7-1 Offline WebCenter Content Server

Offline icon

7.6 Server Context Menus

The Desktop context menus may include the following server-related options:

7.7 Adding a Content Server Connection

When you add a server connection to your integration hierarchy, you can connect to that server and work with the content on it.

To add a new content server connection:

  1. Windows Explorer:

    1. Select the top-level integration folder ("WebCenter Content Servers") in your navigation pane. You may need to enable its display in your e-mail application (see Section 5.5, "Showing or Hiding the WebCenter Content Servers Hierarchy").

    2. Move the mouse cursor onto the WebCenter Content Servers node or to an unused area in the content pane (that is, away from any of the items listed in it), and right-click.

    3. Choose Add Server... in the context menu.

      The Add Server dialog opens (see Section A.1, "Add Server Dialog").

    Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, and then choose Edit Server List.

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    2. Choose New....

      The Add Server dialog opens (see Section A.1, "Add Server Dialog").

    Microsoft Outlook:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon and choose Email Integration Settings...., then Edit Server List, and then New....

      or

      Select the WebCenter Content Servers node in the folders pane, then move the mouse cursor to an unused area in the content pane (that is, away from any of the items listed in it), then right-click, and choose Add Server... in the context menu.

      The Add Server dialog opens (see Section A.1, "Add Server Dialog").

    Lotus Notes:

    1. Open the Actions menu and choose Email Integration Settings...., then Edit Server List, and then New....

      or

      Select the WebCenter Content Servers node in the folders pane, then move the mouse cursor to an unused area in the content pane (that is, away from any of the items listed in it), then right-click, and choose Add Server... in the context menu.

      The Add Server dialog opens (see Section A.1, "Add Server Dialog").

  2. In the Server Name text box, enter the name for the new server connection. This is the name that is displayed in the integration hierarchy. You can use any name as long as it is not already used for another server.

  3. Select the type of content server in the Server Type list:

    • WebCenter Content Server

    • Content DB Server

    • WebDAV Server

    For more information, see Section 7.2, "Content Server Types." Contact your system administrator if you are not sure which server type to use.

  4. In the text box under Server WebDAV URL, enter the URL for your WebDAV server. This information is needed to access the resources provided by your WebDAV server.

    A URL is automatically inserted using the name you specified as the server name. You may need to modify this information to suit your particular server. Contact your system administrator if you do not know exactly what WebDAV URL to use. See also Section 7.4, "Content Server URLs" and Section 7.15, "Identifying the URLs for Oracle WebCenter Content Server."

    Note:

    Each defined content server connection must have its own, unique WebDAV URL. You cannot have two server connections on your computer that use the exact same WebDAV URL.

  5. In the text box under CGI URL, enter the CGI URL for your content server.

    A URL is automatically inserted using the name you specified as the server name. You may need to modify this information to suit your particular server. Contact your system administrator if you do not know exactly what CGI URL to use. See also Section 7.4, "Content Server URLs" and Section 7.15, "Identifying the URLs for Oracle WebCenter Content Server."

    Please note that the CGI URL section is not available for content servers of type "Content DB Server" and "WebDAV Server," since they do not use a CGI URL.

  6. If you want the server connection to use single sign-on (SSO), select the Use Single Sign-On check box and provide the URL of the single sign-on (SSO) server that is used to control access to the content server. Contact your system administrator if you are not sure whether you should select this option.

    Please note that the SSO section is not available for Oracle WebCenter Content Server instances.

  7. Click Options to open the Server Options dialog (see Section A.2, "Server Options Dialog") for Oracle WebCenter Content Server instances, where you can set the authentication method for the server as well as the metadata fields whose values should be remembered for new check-ins. Click OK when you are done.

  8. Click OK in the Add Server dialog.

    The new server connection is now added to the integration hierarchy (under "WebCenter Content Servers"), and is available to all other integrated applications.

Considerations

Please note the following with regard to content server connections:

7.8 Viewing or Editing Content Server Connection Properties

To view or edit the properties of an existing content server connection:

  1. Windows Explorer:

    1. Select a content server in the WebCenter Content Servers integration hierarchy.

    2. Right-click and choose Properties in the context menu.

      The Server Properties dialog opens (see Section A.3, "Server Properties Dialog").

    Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, and then choose Edit Server List....

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    2. Select the server connection whose properties you want to view, and choose View....

      The Edit Server dialog opens (see Section A.5, "Edit Server Dialog").

    Microsoft Outlook:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon and choose Email Integration Settings.....

      The Email Checkin Settings dialog opens (see Section A.22, "Email Checkin Settings Dialog").

    2. Choose Edit Server List.

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    3. Select the server connection whose properties you want to view, and choose View....

      The Edit Server dialog opens (see Section A.5, "Edit Server Dialog").

    Lotus Notes:

    1. Open the Actions menu and choose Email Integration Settings.....

      The Email Checkin Settings dialog opens (see Section A.22, "Email Checkin Settings Dialog").

    2. Choose Edit Server List.

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    3. Select the server connection whose properties you want to view, and choose View....

      The Edit Server dialog opens (see Section A.5, "Edit Server Dialog").

  2. You cannot change the server name, type, and URLs in Microsoft Office applications and e-mail applications. In Windows Explorer, you may change the server name if no content items on the server are currently in your local cache (see Chapter 9, "Local Caching of Content Files"). If you modify the server name, it is updated automatically in the WebCenter Content Servers integration hierarchy.

    For servers of type 'WebCenter Content Server', you can modify the server options. Click Options... in the Edit Server dialog to open the Server Options dialog, where you can set the authentication method for the server as well as the metadata that will be remembered for each check-in. For more information, see Section A.2, "Server Options Dialog."

    Note:

    You cannot edit any of the URLs of a server connection. If you need to modify a server URL, you should remove the server connection and re-create it using the URL you want.

  3. Click OK when you are done.

7.9 Removing a Content Server Connection

When you remove a server connection from the integration hierarchy, you can no longer work with the content on that server from your desktop applications.

To remove a server connection:

  1. Windows Explorer:

    1. Select a content server in the WebCenter Content Servers integration hierarchy in your folders pane.

    2. Right-click and choose Remove in the context menu. Alternatively, you can also press Delete on your keyboard.

    Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, and then choose Edit Server List....

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    2. Select the server connection that you want to remove, and choose Delete.

    Microsoft Outlook:

    1. Open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon and choose Email Integration Settings.....

      The Email Checkin Settings dialog opens (see Section A.22, "Email Checkin Settings Dialog").

    2. Choose Edit Server List.

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    3. Select the server connection that you want to remove, and choose Delete.

    Lotus Notes:

    1. Open the Actions menu and choose Email Integration Settings.....

      The Email Checkin Settings dialog opens (see Section A.22, "Email Checkin Settings Dialog").

    2. Choose Edit Server List.

      The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

    3. Select the server connection that you want to remove, and choose Delete.

  2. Click Yes to confirm.

    The server is automatically removed from the WebCenter Content Servers integration hierarchy and is no longer available in all integrated applications on your computer. Please note that only the server connection is removed; no content files are deleted from the actual server.

7.10 Connecting to a Content Server

In order to access a content server from one of the supported desktop applications, you need to establish a connection to that server. To do so, select the content server in the integration hierarchy. You are then typically prompted to provide your login credentials (that is, your user name and password). Once you enter this information, you are able to view and interact with the files on the content server.

You will typically see a login web form or a login dialog, depending on the authentication scheme used for the content server. In either case, provide your assigned user name and password to gain access to the files on the server.

Note:

You may be logged off a content server automatically if there is no activity for a certain period of time.

7.11 Logging Off a Content Server

When you are finished interacting with a content server, you may wish to break the server connection (log off). To log off a content server, right-click that server in the WebCenter Content Servers integration hierarchy and choose Log Off in the context menu. You can then no longer access the content on the server until you log back on.

To log on to a server after you logged off, click the server in the WebCenter Content Servers hierarchy. When prompted, enter your user name and password. (Depending on the authentication scheme and the content server configuration, you may not be prompted for your logon information.)

Note:

You may be logged off a content server automatically if there is no activity for a certain period of time.

7.12 Working with a Content Server Offline

You can work with a content server in offline mode. This means that you cannot directly access any files on the server, but you can work with files from the server that are currently in your local cache. For more information, see Section 7.5, "Online vs. Offline Servers" and Chapter 9, "Local Caching of Content Files."

To work with a content server in offline mode, right-click that server in the integration hierarchy or the content pane, and choose Work Offline in the context menu. The server icon then changes to include an offline indicator (Figure 7-2). In addition, the Work Offline option in the server's context menu is preceded by a check mark. To cancel the offline status, simply select the Work Offline option in the context menu again.

Figure 7-2 Offline Oracle WebCenter Content Server

Offline icon

Once a server is offline, it has an Offline Files node, which provides easy access to all files on the server that you made available offline.

See also Chapter 14, "Working with Offline Content."

7.13 Setting Metadata To Be Remembered for Form-Based Check-Ins

For each server connection, you can set the metadata that will be "remembered" each time you check in a content item using a content check-in form. As a result, at each check-in, the metadata values you used at the last check-in will pre-populate the metadata fields configured to be remembered (assuming these values are available). If you enter new values in the metadata fields, the new ones will be used for the file (and also remembered for the next form-based check-in).

You can set the metadata fields to be remembered for a server when you initially create a connection to that server (see Section 7.7, "Adding a Content Server Connection"), or you can modify this setting later.

To set the metadata fields to be remembered for a server:

  1. In Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, and choose Edit Server List....

    In Microsoft Outlook, open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, then choose Email Integration Settings..., and then Edit Server List.

    In Lotus Notes, open the Actions menu, then choose Email Integration Settings..., and then Edit Server List.

    Note:

    You cannot modify this setting in Windows Explorer once you have created a server connection. If you want to modify the metadata to be remembered for a server, you must change the setting in Microsoft Office or your e-mail application.

    The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

  2. Select the server for which you want to set the metadata to be remembered, and click View....

    The Edit Server dialog opens (see Section A.5, "Edit Server Dialog").

  3. Click Options....

    The Server Options dialog opens (see Section A.2, "Server Options Dialog").

  4. Open the Remember Metadata Fields tab (see Section A.2.1, "Server Options: Remember Metadata Fields"), and move the metadata fields whose values should be remembered between check-ins from the left column ("Available Metadata Fields") to the right column ("Selected Metadata Fields").

  5. Close all dialogs.

This setting takes effect immediately.

7.14 Setting the Authentication Method

For each server connection, you can set the authentication method that is used when you log on to the server. The authentication method is set up by the content server administrator and there is generally no need to change the default on your client computer unless specifically asked to do so.

You can set the authentication method for a server when you initially create a connection to that server (see Section 7.7, "Adding a Content Server Connection"), or you can modify it later.

To set the authentication method for a server:

  1. In Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, and choose Edit Server List....

    In Microsoft Outlook, open the WebCenter Content menu or ribbon, then choose Email Integration Settings..., and then choose Edit Server List.

    In Lotus Notes, open the Actions menu, then choose Email Integration Settings..., and then choose Edit Server List.

    Note:

    You cannot modify this setting in Windows Explorer once you have created a server connection. Should you need to change the authentication method of a server, you must change the setting in Microsoft Office or your e-mail application.

    The Edit Server List dialog opens (see Section A.4, "Edit Server List Dialog").

  2. Select the server for which you want to set the authentication method, and click View....

    The Edit Server dialog opens (see Section A.5, "Edit Server Dialog").

  3. Click Options....

    The Server Options dialog opens (see Section A.2, "Server Options Dialog").

  4. Open the Authentication tab (see Section A.2.2, "Server Options: Authentication"), and select the authentication method to be used. Contact your content server administrator if you are not sure which authentication method to use.

  5. Click OK to close the Server Options dialog, and OK to close the Edit Server dialog.

This setting takes effect immediately.

7.15 Identifying the URLs for Oracle WebCenter Content Server

When creating a content server connection, you must provide the WebDAV URL for that server, and possibly its CGI URL (depending on the server type). For Oracle WebCenter Content Server instances, the WebDAV URL typically has the following form:

http[s]://host-name:[port]/web-root/idcplg/webdav

For example:

http://server:7044/idc/idcplg/webdav
http://server.example.com:16200/cs/idcplg/webdav
https://server/cs/idcplg/webdav

The CGI URL typically is the same as the WebDAV URL, without '/webdav'. To find out what the CGI URL of an Oracle WebCenter Content Server instance is, log in to that server using your web browser and look at the URL in the browser address bar. The CGI URL is the address from the beginning up to, but not including, the question mark (?), as shown in Figure 7-3.

Figure 7-3 CGI URL of Oracle WebCenter Content Server

Address bar in web browser, with CGI URL highlighted.

You can copy and paste this URL to the URL fields in the Add Server dialog (see Section A.1, "Add Server Dialog"). Please note that each defined content server connection must have its own, unique WebDAV URL. You cannot have two server connections on your computer that use the exact same WebDAV URL.

Note:

Contact your content server administrator if you have any problems determining the server URLs.