4 Understanding Documents and Document Properties

This chapter describes the basic tasks of working with documents regardless of how they are accessed.

This chapter has the following topics:

4.1 About Documents

Documents are uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content. As documents in Oracle WebCenter Content are updated, document revisions are tracked so that you always have access to the current version while still being able to review document history.

4.2 Finding Documents

Oracle WebCenter Content provides an innovative way of finding documents through a combination of browsing and searching. You can browse through folders using the side bar, or search using the Quick Search box or the expanded search form access through the banner.

4.3 Viewing Documents

When a document is uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content, the document is converted to a web-viewable version. This allows the document to be shared and viewed by anyone with a standard web browser, regardless of whether or not they have the software application used to create the document. A large variety of file formats are supported for conversion, and the source files can include business documents, CAD drawings, multiple page TIFFs and PDFs, photographs, and video, among others. Documents are viewed in different ways depending on whether you access Oracle WebCenter Content through the desktop or one of the web interfaces.

4.4 Understanding Document Properties

Document properties, also called metadata, or content information, is information about a document, such as the title, author, release date, who can access the document and its metadata, and so on. When you upload a document, you assign some metadata values, while Oracle WebCenter Content assigns some metadata values automatically. The metadata is stored in a database that works with Oracle WebCenter Content.

In some cases an organization may have many different types of metadata to track, not all of which are useful to you. For example, you may be uploading resumes to an HR folder where the document properties must track the applicant name and department to which they are applying. Another person may be uploading photos to an Advertising folder and tracking the subject of the photo and the name of the photographer. Neither of you needs the metadata being used by the other, so profiles are created which display only a small part of the available metadata fields. When you upload the resumes, you select the HR profile and see only the metadata fields you need. When the other person uploads the photos, she selects the Advertising profile and only sees the metadata fields she uses.

You can use metadata to find documents in Oracle WebCenter Content, much as you would search for books in a library by author or subject.

4.4.1 Defining Document Metadata Values

The values of document properties are initially set when you first upload a document in a variety of ways.

  • You enter metadata values manually. For example, when you upload a document, the default title of the document is the file name, such as document1.txt. You can change that to a more meaningful title, such as November Expense Report. Any metadata values you enter can be changed at a later time.

  • Oracle WebCenter Content defines values for some metadata. These values are considered system metadata. System metadata cannot be modified by you.

4.4.2 Using Document Profiles to Control Metadata Fields

The available metadata fields for documents managed by Oracle WebCenter Content are determined by a combination of required system fields and fields defined by your system administrator for your organization. Not all available fields are useful to all business situations. For example, a customer call center may need a field to track customer call tickets, but have no use for a vendor ID field needed by an accounting department. Document profiles can be defined by a system administrator and selected by you when uploading a document to filter what fields are available when uploading. For detailed information about document profiles, see Section 10.6.2.

4.5 Understanding Document Security

Document security determines who can view a document, who can edit it, and who can modify the document properties. Access is controlled by a combination of roles and security groups created by a system administrator, and access control lists you define when uploading a document. Optionally, an account can be set up to refine security.

  • Roles are permissions assigned to users and determine what rights you have within a security group. Available permissions are Read, Write, Administer, or Delete (R, W, A, D).

  • Security groups are assigned to a document when it is uploaded and determine who has access to the document. If you are in the assigned security group, you have access to the document with the permissions set by your role, unless filtered out by an account or an access control list.

  • Accounts are optional and are assigned to a document when it is upload like security groups. Accounts give an additional level of security. If a document is assigned a specific account that you do not have access to, you cannot access the document even though you may be part of the security group.

  • Access control lists are a way for you to override the other security options when you upload a document, within limits. For example, even though hundreds of people may have Read rights to the documents in the security group, you can confine access to a certain few people, give them Write access to your specific document, and collaborate on it. When you are ready, you can remove the access control list so all people in the security group an see the document.

    The limitations of an access control list are these:

    • When permissions differ between what is set in a security group or account and what is set in an access control list, the permissions will be the lesser of the two. For example, if you have Read permission in the HR security group but are set to have Write permission on an access control list in the HR security group, you will have Read permission.

    • When permissions differ between what is set in a role and what is set in an access control list, the permissions will be the greater of the two. For example, if you are a contributor and the contributor role is set to have Write access but an access control list is set to have Administrate access, then you will have Administrate permission.


    In some situations, using an access control list without including yourself as a user can cause you to lose access to the document. It is a good idea to always add yourself when setting access control.

4.6 Understanding Document Renditions

Documents are rendered so that you can view them in a standard web browser without having to have the native application that created them.

Web-Viewable Rendition

The web-viewable rendition is converted when you upload a document based on rules created by your system administrator. It is displayed on the Document page when you view the document or document properties. The Document page provides navigation for multi-page renditions and options for zooming, printing, and e-mailing documents.

Dynamic Conversion

A dynamic conversion option is also available from the document properties that converts the document when you click the link. The dynamic conversion displays in a new web page, outside of Oracle WebCenter Content interface.

Special Renditions

There may be other rendition options available to you. A system administrator may have set options to convert documents into many different renditions that may include different formats, document sizes, applied watermarks, or even video renditions for video files.