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Oracle® Universal Content Management
10g Release 4 (10.1.4)
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Elements and Element Definitions

Elements are the smallest chunks of reusable information in a Site Studio Web site (for example, a title, a product image, or the body text of a press release). Since element data can be reused within (or even between) Web sites, you, as the site designer, should carefully consider how the site content should be broken up into segments. This may take some work up front, but maximizes reusability of site content and also makes managing the site content more efficient in the long run.

Each defined element is of a particular type: WYSIWYG, text only, image only, static list, dynamic list, or custom. These types characterize what the element content consists of, and, through element definitions, what editing options are available to contributors. For example, the title of a press release could be set up as a text-only element (which typically provides only limited editing options to contributors), whereas the actual press release text could be a WYSIWYG element (which typically gives contributors much more editing control, such as the capability to add images or tables).

Elements are controlled by element definitions. An element is basically an instantiation of its associated element definition, which specifies the editing experience available to contributors for the element on the web page (specifically, what editing features are available in the Contributor editor). Element definitions are individually managed site assets, which means that they can be reused within a Web site, or even across Web sites (providing all sites are managed on the same content server). As shown in Figure, elements of the same type (Title and Subtitle) may have different element definitions associated with them to provide different editing environments for contributors depending on the context in which the element is used. Similarly, multiple elements (Intro_Text and Body_Text) may share the same element definition, providing the same editing experience to contributors for each of the elements.

Elements and Element Definitions

Description of Figure follows
Description of Elements and Element Definitions

Individual elements are not separately managed site assets; that is, there are no "element files" on the content server. (Please note that there are element definition files.) Groups of elements are arranged in region definitions, which specify site content types. As shown in Figure, there could be a region definition called "Press_Release," which consists of the elements Title, Subtitle, Intro_Text, Body_Text, and Image. A region definition could thus be thought of as a 'content class'.

Element data is stored in contributor data files associated with region definitions. Each contributor data file contains an instance of each element from its associated region definition. In the example of Figure, the contributor data files would have five elements called Title, Subtitle, Intro_Text, Body_Text, and Image. Contributors can edit the element data in the contributor data files using the editing features available to them for each element, as set in the associated element definitions.