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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developing with Oracle WebCenter Content
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

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24 Getting Started with Integrating WebCenter Content into Your Environment

This chapter describes how to integrate Oracle WebCenter Content with enterprise applications.

This chapter includes the following sections:

24.1 About Integration Methods

Several methods are available for integrating Oracle WebCenter Content with enterprise applications, such as application servers, catalog solutions, personalization applications, enterprise portals, and client-side software. In general, these integration methods serve to translate or pass methods and associated parameters with the goal of executing Oracle WebCenter Content Server services.

A Content Server service is a window for accessing the content and content management functions within Oracle WebCenter Content. For example, one simple integration option is to reference content that is managed within WebCenter Content by a persistent URL. Some other integration options enable you to use the Java API, the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) interface, or the ActiveX control.

The focus of this chapter is to present the available integration options, suggest an approach, (like IdcCommand X, or persistent URL, or SOAP), and provide information about where to get the detailed documentation on that approach. Specifically, this chapter provides basic conceptual information about the integration of Oracle WebCenter Content within network system environments using various protocols, interfaces, and mapping services.

For information about using the IdcCommand utility to access Content Server services from other applications, see Chapter 27, "Using the IdcCommand Utility to Access Content Server."

For information about the COM interface, see Chapter 28, "Using the COM API for Integration."

For information about Remote Intradoc Client (RIDC) integration, see Chapter 29, "Using RIDC to Access Content Server."

24.2 Overview of Web Services

Web services reside as a layer on top of existing software systems, such as application servers, .NET servers, and Content Server. Adapted to the Internet as the model for communication, web services rely on the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as the default network protocol. You can use web services as a bridge between dissimilar operating systems or programming languages to build applications with a combination of components.

Note:

The web services information in this document applies to Oracle WebLogic Server. For information about IBM WebSphere web services, see the Oracle Fusion Middleware Third-Party Application Server Guide.

WebCenter Content supports two ways of using web services to build applications that are integrated with Content Server:

With either way of using web services, you can use Oracle Web Services Manager (Oracle WSM) for security. For more information about Oracle WSM, see Chapter 25, "Configuring WebCenter Content Web Services for Integration," and the Oracle Fusion Middleware Security and Administrator's Guide for Web Services.

24.3 Virtual Folders and WebDAV Integration

Oracle WebCenter Content Server provides a hierarchical folder interface, the Folders feature, for organizing and managing content in the repository. Content Server also provides the legacy hierarchical folder interface, Contribution Folders. Oracle recommends Folders (the FrameworkFolders component) as the folder interface for WebCenter Content because it resolves performance issues that occur with Contribution Folders (the Folders_g component) and includes other enhancements.

To use a folder interface, you need to enable either the FrameworkFolders component or the Folders_g component. You cannot have both enabled on a Content Server instance. Having both the Folders and Contribution Folders features enabled is not a supported configuration because some other features, such as the CoreWebdav system component, would not work correctly with both enabled. If you have both features enabled after an upgrade, you need to disable one of them.

The CoreWebdav component is installed with Oracle WebCenter Content Server and enabled by default. You can use the CoreWebdav component to author and manage your content remotely, using clients that support the WebDAV (Web-Based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) protocol.

24.3.1 Virtual Folders

The Folders component sets up an interface to Oracle WebCenter Content Server in the form of virtual folders (also called hierarchical folders). Virtual folders enable you to create a multilevel folder structure.

Virtual folders provide two main benefits:

  • Users can find content by drilling down through a familiar folder-type interface.

  • Users can apply default metadata to content items by checking them in through a particular folder.

The following structure is used for the Folders component:

  • Each Oracle WebCenter Content Server instance has a common set of virtual folders. Any change to the folders is applied systemwide.

  • There is one default system-level folder, called Contribution Folders. If you are using a custom folders interface, folders for these products may also appear at the system level of the Folders hierarchy.

  • The system administrator can change the name of a system-level folder, but cannot delete it or add a custom system-level folder except through changes to the database. (Deleting a system-level folder disables it, but does not remove it from the system.)

  • Each folder in the hierarchy contains content items that have the same numeric Folder value, which is assigned automatically upon creation of the folder. Changing the value of the Folder field for a content item places it in a different folder.

  • The number of folders and number of files in each folder can be limited by the system administrator so that virtual folder functions do not affect system performance.

For detailed information about configuring Content Server for WebDAV integration, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Managing Oracle WebCenter Content.

24.3.2 WebDAV Integration

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 a web browser interface.

WebDAV is an extension to the HTTP/1.1 protocol that allows clients to perform remote web content authoring operations. The WebDAV protocol is specified by RFC 2518.0.

For more information, see the WebDAV Resources website at

http://www.webdav.org

WebDAV provides support for the following authoring and versioning functions:

  • Version management

  • Locking for overwrite protection

  • Web page properties

  • Collections of web resources

  • Name space management (copy or move pages on a web server)

  • Access control

When WebDAV is used with a content management system such as Content Server, the WebDAV client serves as an alternate user interface to the native files in the content repository. The same versioning and security controls apply, whether an author uses the Content Server web browser interface or a WebDAV client.

In Content Server, the WebDAV interface is based on the hierarchical Folders interface. For more information, see Section 24.3.1, "Virtual Folders."

24.3.2.1 WebDAV Clients

A WebDAV client is an application that can send requests and receive responses using a WebDAV protocol (for example, Microsoft Windows Explorer, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Check the current WebDAV client documentation for supported versions. The WebCenter Content WebDAV Client is a different product that enhances the WebDAV interface to Oracle WebCenter Content Server.

You can use WebDAV virtual folders in Windows Explorer to manage files that were created in a non-WebDAV client, but you cannot use the native application to check content in to and out of the Oracle WebCenter Content Server repository.

The Desktop software package also includes a WebDAV Client component and a Check Out and Open component.

24.3.2.2 WebDAV Servers

A WebDAV server is a server that can receive requests and send responses using WebDAV protocol and can provide authoring and versioning capabilities. Because WebDAV requests are sent over HTTP protocol, a WebDAV server typically is built as an add-on component to a standard web server. In Content Server, the WebDAV server is used only as an interpreter between clients and Content Server.

24.3.2.3 WebDAV Architecture

WebDAV is implemented in Oracle WebCenter Content Server by the WebDAV component. The architecture of a WebDAV request follows these steps:

  1. The WebDAV client makes a request to Oracle WebCenter Content Server.

  2. The message is processed by the web server (through a DLL in IIS).

  3. On Oracle WebCenter Content Server, the WebDAV component performs these functions:

    • Recognizes the client request as WebDAV.

    • Maps the client request to the appropriate WebDAV service call on Oracle WebCenter Content Server.

    • Converts the client request from a WebDAV request to the appropriate Oracle WebCenter Content Server request.

    • Connects to the core Oracle WebCenter Content Server and executes the Oracle WebCenter Content Server request.

  4. The WebDAV component converts the Oracle WebCenter Content Server response into a WebDAV response and returns it to the WebDAV client.