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Oracle® WebCenter Content Administrator's Guide for Imaging
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E12782-06
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4 Managing Applications

Applications are the core of Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging. In Imaging, an application is not a separate software package, but a type of management container for uploaded documents.

This section describes how to create and configure applications in Imaging. It contains the following topics:

4.1 Application Overview

In effect, an application is a category into which documents get sorted. When you define an application, you name it, determine what repository is used to store the documents, what metadata fields are used to track metadata values for each document, who has rights to affect the application definition and to the documents stored in the application, and if the documents are connected to a workflow process.

For example, the Accounts Payable department of XYZ Company needs an application to store invoices. A typical invoice application would contain metadata fields to capture the vendor name and address, vendor ID, the invoice number, the original purchase order number or numbers the invoice covers, any payment terms, and the invoice total. An IT administrator for XYZ Company ensures that only the Accounts Payable manager has the rights to create the application. The manager creates the application and defines the metadata fields, then ensures that the Accounts Payable clerks have the rights to access the application and use it to add but not delete documents to the application. The manager also connects the application to a workflow process so that when the invoices are uploaded, they are sent through a workflow. Additionally, the manager grants rights to the clerks to view and annotate the documents in the application so that the invoices can be stamped Approved, On Hold, Received or Rejected as necessary.

Most likely applications are defined and tested on a development system prior to being implemented in a production environment. To facilitate this, you can reuse an existing application definition within Imaging by exporting the desired definition to a transportable format via XML. You can then import that definition file into other systems, such as a production system. Or you can import an application definition similar to one that you want to create, then modify the imported definition appropriately. For more information about exporting and importing, see Section 3.5, "Exporting and Importing Definitions."

4.1.1 Document Overview

Applications are used to store and control access to documents, either in the original electronic file format or as images of physical documents. To fully understand applications, it helps to have an understanding of an Imaging document and how it is uploaded.

A document in Imaging consists of a file and the following information that describes the file:

  • ID: Unique identifier

  • Name: Original file name when added to the system

  • Properties: File size, MIME type, file name, creator, lock, version, application ID and application name

  • Application ID: The unique system identifier for the application storing a document

  • Application Name: The name of the application storing a document

  • Field Values: Application metadata

  • Security Rights: Access to documents

  • Supporting Documents: Associated files such as text or images. For example, XYZ Company may want to keep track of what scanning station scanned in the document, but doesn't want to expose that information in an application metadata field. Instead, they could output the information to an XML or text file and upload it to Imaging as a supporting document.

  • Annotations: Online notes within the document such as an approval stamp or text.

4.1.1.1 Uploading Documents

Uploading, sometimes called ingesting, is the process for getting documents into the Imaging system, populating the application metadata fields with values specific to each document, and indexing the values to enable retrieving the document using a search. Document metadata and possibly the full-text of a document is indexed at the time of uploading. The indexing process varies depending on the repository settings and the format of the document.

Once a document is uploaded, it can be searched for and retrieved by all people with security rights to the search and to the documents within the application or applications being searched. Once retrieved, documents can be printed, viewed, downloaded, or annotated, provided you have the rights to do so. Viewing is done using the Imaging Viewer, which uses Oracle Outside In Technology that supports more than 500 file formats. To learn more about Oracle Outside In Technology, see the Oracle Outside In Technology web site at http://www.oracle.com/technologies/embedded/outside-in.html.

Upload a document in one of the following ways:

For more information about uploading documents, see Oracle® WebCenter Content User's Guide for Imaging.

4.2 Creating An Application

Note:

The Imaging user interface displays different panels in the navigator pane based on your permissions. Unless you have application system permissions, or administration permissions to at least one individual application, the Manage Applications panel is not displayed in the navigator pane. You must have either Create or Administrator permission to create an application. The user creating an application must also have at least View permission to the connection (repository) being used.

Open the Manage Applications panel in the navigator pane of the Imaging user interface to start the process of defining an application.

You will complete the following tasks in the following order:

  1. Specifying General Properties: Name and describe the application

  2. Defining Application Fields: Define fields used and indexed in the application

  3. Assigning Application Security: Assign application security permissions.

  4. Assigning Document Security: Assign document security permissions.

  5. Assigning a Storage Policy: Define a storage policy for content.

  6. Configuring Workflow Integration: Configure any workflow processes for content within the application.

  7. Reviewing Application Settings: Review application settings and submit.

Note:

Changes to the repository DOCMETA table caused by creating, deleting, or modifying an application can potentially cause a problem on an active repository server if any other operation is also affecting the table. While this is unlikely, it can cause a problem uploading documents and so it is helpful to coordinate changes to an application with idle time on the Content Server repository server.

To help mitigate any potential problems, multiple Content Server repository instances can be used to isolate business units so that any one application change has less impact on the enterprise organization.

4.2.1 Specifying General Properties

You must provide each application with a name. The application name is displayed in the Applications panel in the navigation pane once the application is created. You must also specify the repository for the application. Once the application is created, you cannot change the repository selection. An optional brief description of the application can be entered that displays on the application summary page when an application is selected. To view this page, see Section A.25, "Application General Properties Page."

To specify the application general properties, do the following:

  1. Expand the Manage Applications panel in the Navigator Pane and click the Create Application icon. The Application General Properties Page is displayed.

  2. Enter a name for the application in the Name field. For example, if creating an invoicing application for XYZ Company to store invoices from the United States division, name the application Invoices_US. The application name is displayed to users on the Upload Document page and to system administrators when creating inputs and searches. This field is required.

  3. Optionally enter a description of the application in the Description field. For example, All Invoices for the United States Division. This description is displayed beneath the title on the application Summary page, when using the Document Upload Tool, and when you hover your cursor over the application name in the Manage Applications panel in the Navigator Pane.

  4. Select a repository for the application from the field. Because it is likely that you will have many repositories, this field specifies which Content Server repository to use for this application. Multiple Content Server repositories can be used for different applications to balance the load or to offer a way to isolate content to specific business units. In the XYZ Company example, one repository can be used to hold all invoices from the European division, another repository can be used to hold all invoices from the United States division, and another can be used to hold all Human Resource documents, etc. Once defined and the application is created, the repository cannot be changed. This field is required.

    Note:

    The user creating an application must also have View security rights to the repository connection being used.

  5. Specify if you want to be able to search the full text of a document or do a fast check-in.

    Fast Check In

    This option is useful in scenarios where large numbers of documents are required to be checked in at once. This option supports a high ingestion rate when transferring Imaging documents into the Content Server storage. In Fast Check-In mode, documents ingested by Imaging bypass Oracle Inbound Refinery (IBR), workflow and indexing thereby increasing the speed of content check-in. As a result, a large number of check-ins can be performed at a time.

    If the Fast Check-In option is enabled for all check-ins in the Content Server repository, then fast check-in is forced in Imaging and the full-text option is not available while creating an application. Fast Check In can be enabled for all check-ins into Content Server by setting either useFastCheckin=1 or DirectReleaseNewCheckinDoc=1 in the config.cfg configuration file. See Oracle Fusion Middleware Services Reference for Oracle WebCenter Content for more information.

    Full-Text Search

    When this option is selected, the repository server must be set to index full text and the document must be in a format that has text information. Many imaging solutions do not require full-text indexing or need to search text information. For example, the XYZ Company Invoices_US application does not require full-text indexing because the invoices are scanned in and uploaded as TIFF images. TIFF images of documents do not contain text information, and so cannot be full-text indexed, and invoices are searched for using the metadata values. However, the Human Resources department may upload resumes and employment contracts as electronic files and have a need to search for the text of the files. In such a case, an Employment Contract application may need to be full-text indexed.

  6. Click Next to go to the Application Field Definitions Page.

4.2.2 Defining Application Fields

Fields defined for an application track metadata associated with content in an application. You can specify one of four types of field definitions, whether they are required, and if they are indexed to improve searching speeds. You must define at least one field. The four available field types are:

  • Text: Field accepts a text string. Possible string length is specified in the Length element with a maximum of 200 characters supported.

  • Number: Field accepts integers from -2.14 billion to 2.14 billion.

  • Decimal: Field accepts 1 to 15 digits total, including digits before and after the decimal. For example, if the scale factor is 5, then the range would be -9999999999.99999 to 9999999999.99999. The decimal scale is set in the Scale element.

  • Date: Field accepts date in the regional format.

All field types can be indexed. Enabling indexing of a metadata field applies only to that field. The information specified will appear under the Field Definitions category on the application Summary page. Indexes are applied to the underlying repository database tables. The application of either too many or too few indexes will be detrimental to the system's performance. Generally, indexes should be applied to those fields that will be the core of the document searching that will be performed. Defining this list of fields should be done as part of the business process analysis with the additional help of a database administrator.

If you are using an Oracle database to store Imaging content, then metadata searching in Imaging is case-sensitive. This can, however, be changed to the case-insensitive mechanism. For more information on how to configure case-insensitive metadata search, see Section 6.4, "Making Search Case-Insensitive".

You can add and remove fields in applications when creating and modifying applications. There is a restriction that when adding or modifying an application you cannot delete an existing field and add a new field with the same name during the process. If this happens, click Cancel and start defining the application fields again to add the field with the correct name.

For more information on available field types and options, see Section A.26, "Application Field Definitions Page."

To define fields for the XYZ Company Invoices_US application example, do the following:

  1. On the Application Field Definitions Page, click Add and for this example, select Date as the type of field and enable Required and Indexed.

  2. Change the name of the field to a descriptive name. For this example, change the name of the first field to Date Received.

  3. Click the Edit Default Value icon to enter a default value, for example, to 12/31/2009. The default value is only a suggestion to users. The field is not automatically set to this value when left blank.

  4. Click Add and for this example, select Date as the type of field and Indexed.

  5. Change the name of the field to a descriptive name. For this example, change the name of the first field to Date Paid.

  6. Click Add, select Number as the field type, and enable Indexed.

  7. Change the field name to a descriptive name. For this example, change the name of the field to Invoice Number.

  8. Click Add, select Text as the field type, and enable Indexed.

  9. For this example, change the field name to the descriptive name Vendor ID.

  10. Click the Add Picklist icon in the Picklist column. The Picklist dialog is displayed. Use the dialog to add a list of selectable options for the metadata field. For this example, anything can be entered that conforms to the limits of the text field. For instance, XYZ Company may have a unique code for each vendor. Adding a picklist allows a user to select from the list and ensures that the Vendor ID metadata is entered accurately. Leading and trailing spaces on picklist items are not retained. Click the pencil icon in the Picklist column to edit an existing list, or click the Remove Picklist icon to delete an existing picklist.

    Note:

    If a field is defined with a picklist, the user must select from the picklist to populate the field and cannot enter data directly into the field. Likewise, if documents are input using an input agent and definition file, the definition file must specify valid picklist values.

  11. To continue with the XYZ Company example, repeat step 8 and 9 to add text fields with the following names:

    • Vendor Name

    • PO Number

    • Payment Terms

  12. Click Add, select Decimal as the field type, and enable Indexed.

  13. Change the field name to Invoice Total.

  14. Click Next to go to the Application Security Page.

4.2.3 Assigning Application Security

Security rights to view, modify, delete and grant access to an application are assigned at the user or group level when defining an application on the Application Security Page. To assign application security permissions, do the following:

  1. On the Application Security Page, click Add. The Add Security Member Page displays. Type a user or group name or click Search to display a list of users or groups from which to select. Leave the field blank to return all users or groups, or use wildcards to filter results.

  2. Select the user or group you want to add. For example, for the XYZ Company Invoices_US application, you might add a group of Accounting directors called Acct_Directors. There may also be a specific user, such as the manager of the US Accounts Payable department that also needs access to the application. And an IT administration group may need at least View and Grant Access rights to the application. The groups or users you select must be defined in whatever credential store you use to authenticate users. The user name is added to the Display Name column on the Application Security Page.

  3. Enable the permissions you want to assign to this user by selecting the field in the appropriate column. Options are:

    • View: Enabled by default. Grants the user or group the right to see this application as an option when creating searches. For the XYZ Company Invoices_US example, you may want to grant View rights to an Information Technology employee so they could create a search for invoices without having access to the invoices themselves. The right to modify a document in the application would be determined by the Document Security rights assigned.

    • Modify: Enable to grant the user or group the right to modify all aspects of this application except for granting security rights. For the XYZ Company Invoices_US example, you would want to grant Modify rights to the manager of the US Accounts Payable department, but not to all of the employees of the department or to managers of other divisions.

    • Delete: Enable to grant the user or group the right to delete this application. For the XYZ Company Invoices_US example, you would want to grant Delete rights to the Acct_Directors group.

    • Grant Access: Enable to grant a user or group the right to grant security rights to others for this application. For the XYZ Company Invoices_US example, you would want to grant this right to the Acct_Directors group. However, if this is the only security level granted, the user can modify only the security information for this application. This is so that you can also grant this right to IT Administrators or others that may need to grant access to the application but not modify the application or be allowed to search within it.

    A user with Grant Access permission can grant themselves all other rights. At least one user must be given Grant Access rights.

  4. Click Next to go to Application Document Security Page.

4.2.3.1 Copying Permissions From One User to Another User

You can copy the permissions from one user to another by completing the following steps:

  1. Select and highlight the user whose permissions you want to copy from the Display name column and click Copy. The Add Security Member Page displays.

  2. Select the new user to whom you are copying the permissions. The new user's name is displayed in the Display Name column with the copied permissions enabled.

  3. Click Next to go to the Application Document Security Page.

4.2.4 Assigning Document Security

Assigning access and modification security rights to documents are managed separately from assigning access and security rights to applications. This protects an application from being inadvertently modified by users who need greater access to content. Likewise, sensitive documents are protected from those with rights to access and modify applications.

Security rights to view, write, delete, grant access, lock, and annotate documents is assigned at the group level on the Application Document Security Page.

To assign document security permissions, do the following:

  1. On the Application Document Security Page, click Add. The Add Security Member Page is displayed.

  2. Type a group name or select the group you want to add from the list. This group name is added to the Display Name column of the Application Document Security Page. For example, for the XYZ Company Invoices_US application, people likely needing access to invoice documents would be the US Accounts payable clerks, the manager of the US Accounts Payable department, and the Shipping and Receiving department. Leave the field blank to return all groups, or use wildcards to filter results.

  3. Enable the security rights you want to assign to the group. Note that anyone in a group with Grant Access permission can grant the group all other rights. Document security adds security rights for modifying either metadata or document content, and the ability to lock documents to prevent changes.

    For example, for the XYZ Company Invoices_US application, you would grant Modify rights to all US Accounts payable clerks so that they can sign off that all items on the invoice have been received. To keep invoices secure, you would likely limit delete rights to the manager of the US Accounts Payable department in case an invoice was scanned in incorrectly or needed to be removed from the system for some other reason. You would also grant Grant Access rights to the ACCT_Directors group so that they could assign access as necessary to new employees or remove access if someone leaves the department.

    Depending on your business process, you would also assign ether View or Modify rights to the Shipping and Receiving department to verify invoices against shipping receipts. For example, if your business process requires only a person in Accounting to review the invoice and compare it against the shipping receipts in order to verify that all items on the invoice have been received, then Shipping and Receiving would only need View rights to the invoices. However, if your business process requires both a person in Accounts Payable and a person in Shipping and Receiving to stamp an invoice as approved, then they both would need Modify rights to the documents, and the appropriate annotation rights assigned. For details on the different annotation rights, see Section A.28, "Application Document Security Page."

  4. Click Next.

4.2.5 Assigning a Storage Policy

Content Server does not support time-based storage of content, so currently there is a single storage stage with an indefinite duration. The user can only choose the volume to apply. Once chosen, the content stays on that volume indefinitely. Note that the status of the volume chosen is not indicated on the user interface for creating an application.

To create an application storage policy, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the name of the storage volume used to store documents from the Document Storage Volume field. This may be a file store, database, or storage device.

  2. Select the name of the storage volume used to store annotation from the Supporting Content Storage Volume field. This may be a file store, database, or storage device.

  3. Click Next to go to the Application Workflow Configuration Page.

4.2.6 Configuring Workflow Integration

Workflow processes export and import information by using Web Service interfaces. A workflow server defines services that can be used by other applications. If a connection has been defined to a workflow server, the Workflow Configuration option is enabled in the Application definition navigation train and a component from the workflow server can be selected to integrate the application with a workflow meeting the business need.

For example, when an invoice at XYZ Company is uploaded to the Invoices_US application, it needs to enter a workflow that routes it to the appropriate people for approval. First it goes to Shipping and Receiving for comparison to the shipping receipts to verify that everything listed on the invoice has been received. Then it moves to the appropriate department head to verify that the purchase order was valid. Then it goes to the appropriate person in Accounts Payable for approval to pay the invoice amount. The appropriate person may be different depending on the amount of the invoice. Once approved, an Accounts Payable clerk is cleared to cut a check and pay the invoice.

Remember that the workflow is not defined in Imaging, but Imaging connects to a workflow server with a workflow component defined outside of Imaging. The complexity of the workflow is not addressed in Imaging. Integrating an application with a workflow requires connecting to a workflow server, specifying the defined workflow component to integrate with, selecting the component properties and mapping a value between the Imaging application and the workflow composite payload.

To add a workflow configuration to an application, do the following:

  1. On the Application Workflow Configuration Page, click Add. The Workflow Server Properties Page is displayed.

  2. Select the connection from the Connection field and click Next. The Workflow Component Properties Page is displayed.

    Note:

    The user creating an application must also have View security rights to the workflow connection being used.

  3. Select the component properties of the business process being configured. Composite, Service, and Operation are required values. Click Next. The Workflow Payload Properties Page is displayed.

  4. Select a Mapped Value for each Payload Element. Note that if selecting Format Value, you can construct a value from parts of text and application fields using the Edit Format Value Page. For example, you would use this page to construct custom URLs or to concatenate multiple values together into a single value.

  5. Click Finish to exit workflow configuration and return to the main application definition navigation train. The Application Workflow Configuration Page is displayed.

  6. Click Next to move to the Application Review Settings Page.

You can also modify or delete an existing workflow configuration in an existing application by doing the following:

  1. Click on an existing application name in the Manage Application panel of the navigator pane. The Application Review Settings Page is displayed.

  2. Click Modify. The Application General Properties Page is displayed.

  3. Click Workflow Configuration in the Application navigation train. Note that the Workflow Configuration option in the navigation train is only available if a connection to a Workflow server has been defined. The Application Workflow Configuration Page is displayed.

  4. Click Modify. The Workflow Server Properties Page is displayed. Follow the procedure in the section Section 4.2.6, "Configuring Workflow Integration."

4.2.7 Reviewing Application Settings

To review application settings, do the following:

  1. From the Application Review Settings Page, review the application settings and ensure they are correct.

  2. Make any necessary changes by clicking Back to return to the necessary section, or click the specific section in the navigation train to return the section directly.

  3. Once you are satisfied that the application is correct, return to the Application Review Settings Page and click Submit. The Application Summary Page is displayed.

  4. Review the details of the application. Click the magnifying glass icon in the Picklist column to review the values of any defined picklists. Click Modify to go back to the Application General Properties Page to make any changes, if necessary. When satisfied with the application, return to the Application Review Settings Page and click Submit.

4.3 Modifying an Existing Application

Once an application is created, all aspects of the application can be modified with the exceptions of which repository is used and what scale is used for decimal field definitions. Note that in order to modify an application you must have Modify rights to the application as well as at least View rights to the repository connection used by the application.

WARNING:

Changes to the repository DOCMETA table caused by creating, deleting, or modifying an application can potentially cause a problem on an active repository server if any other operation is also affecting the table. While this is unlikely, it is helpful to coordinate changes to an application with idle time on the Content Server repository server.

To help mitigate any potential problems, multiple Content Server repository instances can be used to isolate business units so that any one application change has less impact on the enterprise organization.

Note:

Unlike documents, definitions cannot be locked while being modified. Consequently, if the same definition is being modified at the same time by different people, only the last changes submitted are saved.

To modify an existing application, do the following:

  1. From the navigator pane, click the application name to change. The application summary page displays.

  2. Click Modify. The Application General Properties Page is displayed.

  3. In the navigation train, select the page on which to make changes. For information on the page options, see the pertinent subsection of the section Section 4.2, "Creating An Application," or the appropriate page in the User Interface section.

  4. When you have changed all the appropriate settings, select Review Settings. The Application Review Settings Page is displayed.

  5. Review the application settings and ensure they are correct.

  6. Make any necessary changes by clicking Back to return to the necessary section, or click the specific section in the navigation train to return the section directly.

  7. Once you are satisfied that the application is correct, return to the Application Review Settings Page and click Submit. The Application Summary Page is displayed.

  8. Review the details of the application. Click the magnifying glass icon in the Picklist column to review the values of any defined picklists. Click Modify to go back to the Application General Properties Page to make any changes, if necessary. When satisfied with the application, return to the Application Review Settings Page and click Submit.

Note:

Content Server cannot store null values in a numeric field. When an application containing documents is modified to have a number field, search results will display -1 for that new field on documents that were in Content Server prior to when the new field was added. When a new document is uploaded after the field is added and the number field is left blank, search results will display 0 for the number field value.