1 Introduction

This chapter provides overview information about Oracle WebCenter Content Server including to manage and revise content, how to use security and content metadata, how to search for content, how to organize content into folders and folios, how to use workflows, and how to use images and videos.

The next section provides links to these and other topics.

1.1 Overview

This chapter describes content management concepts and provides an overview of system functionality. It contains the following topics:


This user guide describes the standard Web pages and procedures that come with the "out-of-the-box" Content Server. Your system administrator can customize Content Server, so your Content Server Web pages may look different from those in this guide.

1.2 Content Server

Oracle WebCenter Content Server is an automated system for sharing, managing, and distributing business information using a Web site as a common access point. You can access current information quickly and securely from any standard Web browser. You can manage virtually any type of content, including letters, reports, engineering drawings, spreadsheets, manuals, sales literature, and more, in one powerful content management system.

In addition to the Web page interface, Content Server provides alternative desktop and WebDAV interfaces that allow users to perform primary content management actions from their desktop using folders and files to represent content items. For more information, see Section 1.15, "Managing Content with Folders and WebDAV."

1.3 Content Repository

When you check in a file, Content Server stores the original, or native, file in a central repository for native files. If your system has conversion features installed and enabled, a Web-viewable version of the file (such as PDF) is created and stored in a special repository for Web-viewable files. If you are not using conversion, or if a particular file type cannot be converted, a copy of the native file is placed in the repository for Web-viewable files.)

A file that you check in to Content Server is called a content item. Any user with the correct security permissions can view the Web-viewable version of a content item or get a copy of the original file from the repository of native files. Security permissions determine who can view, revise, and delete a particular content item. For more information, see Section 1.7, "Security Groups and Accounts."

The native file and any Web-viewable files associated with a content item are called renditions. For example, the PDF version of a content item is a rendition of that content item, as are the HTML and XML versions.

1.4 Revision Control

To change a file that is checked in to Content Server, you must check the content item out of the file repository. Only one person can have a content item checked out at any given time, but others can view the released version of the file.

When you check the modified file back into Content Server, Content Server automatically stores the file as a new revision of the content item. You can view or copy previous revisions, but the latest revision is displayed by default by Content Server.

Every content item in the repository for Web-viewable files has a persistent URL that does not change from one revision to the next. The most current version is always displayed when you point your browser to the URL of a content item.

1.5 Metadata

Metadata is information about a content item, such as the title, author, release date, and so on. You can use metadata to find content items in Content Server, much as you would search for books in a library by author or subject. When you check in a content item, you assign some metadata values, while Content Server assigns some metadata values automatically. The metadata is stored in a database that works with Content Server.

To simplify metadata entry and selection, your system administrator can create Profiles that specify which metadata values are displayed when you check in, search for, or view content information. You can select the profile to use from either the Search or New Check-in menus on the Toolbar. For more information, see Chapter 3, "Searching for Content Items."


It is important that you understand your organization's metadata fields and always assign metadata carefully. Proper metadata makes content items easier to find, and ensures that only users who have the proper permissions can access a content item.

1.6 Users

Content Server defines two types of users:

  • Consumers: These are users who find, view, and print files from the content repository. They do not have permission to create, modify, or delete files.

  • Contributors: These are users who create and revise files in the content repository. They also have permission to find, view, and print files.

In many Oracle WebCenter Content Server systems, the majority of users are consumers. To safeguard the integrity of files in the system, contributors must have a user name and password to check content items in to or out of the content repository.


As of 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), user logins are managed with the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console. Although an administer can manage user logins in Content Server for special purposes, the logins are not valid for authentication to Content Server until they are created with the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console.

Users who have full administrative permissions are referred to as system administrators. Your organization may also assign limited administrative permission, such as the ability to set up user logins and create workflow templates, to certain users. These users are referred to as subadministrators.

1.7 Security Groups and Accounts

Content Server provides security to control which users can view, edit, and delete particular content items. Guest users typically have permission to view unsecured (public) content. Contributors typically must log in to Content Server to check in and check out files. Consumers who have access to secured files typically must also log on to Content Server to view the secured content.

When you check in a file, you may have to specify a value for the following security-related metadata fields:

  • Security group: All users belong to one or more security groups. They also have a specific level of access within each security group. The security group is a required metadata field for all content items and may be assigned by default. Only the users who have permission to that security group can work with the content item.

  • Account: Accounts are an optional feature that your system administrator can use to define a more flexible security model. As with security groups, only users who have permission to a particular account can work with content items that belong to that account.

1.8 Roles

A role is a set of permissions (Read, Write, Delete, Admin). For example, as a team member, you can view a schedule (Read access), but as the team leader, you may also have to update the schedule (Read and Write access).

The system administrator assigns roles to users to define their level of access within a security group. The following roles are predefined on Content Server. Your system administrator can define additional roles.

Roles Description


The contributor role has Read and Write permission to the Public security group. Users can search for, view, check in, and check out content.


The guest role has Read permission to the Public security group. Users can search for and view content in the Public security group.


The sysmanager role has privileges to access the Admin Server on Content Server.

1.9 Permissions

Each role can have the following permissions for each security group: Read (R), Write (W), Delete (D), or Admin (A). The permissions for a security group are the highest permission defined by any of the roles for that group. For example, if you are assigned Guest and Contributor roles, where guest is given Read permission and Contributor is given Write permission to the Public security group, you have Write permission to content in the Public security group.

Each role can have the following permissions for each security group:

Permissions Description


The user can view files in that security group.


The user can view, check in, check out, and get a copy of documents in that security group. Non-authors can change the security group setting of a document if the non-author has admin permission in the new security group.


The user can view, check in, check out, get a copy, and delete files in that security group.


The user can view, check in, check out, get a copy, and delete files in that security group. If this user has Workflow rights, they can start or edit a workflow in that security group.

The user can also check in documents in that security group with another user specified as the Author.

1.10 Access Control List (ACL) Security

In addition to the standard Content Server roles, security groups, and accounts, Content Server can be configured to support access control lists (ACL). An access control list is a list of users, groups, or enterprise roles with permission to access or interact with a particular content item.

Depending on how access control list security is configured, three new fields are available for use when adding, modifying, or searching for content items:

  • User Access List

  • Group Access List

  • Role Access List

To use access control lists with content items, you assign one or more predefined users, groups, or roles to the item. In addition, you assign the permissions (Read (R), Write (W), Delete (D), or Admin (A)) to each of the access list entries you specify.

For example, suppose you add a content item and you want guests to have read access and you want all logged-in users to have read and write access. First, add the guest role to the content item and click the R (Read) permission icon. Then, add the authenticated user role to the content item and click the W (Write) permission icon to grant both the read and write permissions.

If either role is valid for the user, they have the access specified for the valid role. If both roles are valid for the user, they have the greater of the two permission sets.

Between access control list entries (user, group, and role), there is an implicit OR relationship. Between access control list entries and other security methods (security groups and accounts), there is an implicit AND relationship, where the user has access equal to the intersection of the valid permission sets.


The Access Control List metadata associated with a content item can include multiple entries and permissions. When searching for content using Access Control List metadata, use the "Contains" or the "Substring" option (depending on your search engine) to help ensure that you find all instances of the specified metadata.

1.11 Conversion Features

The Web-viewable formats of a file depend on the original file format of the content item and the installed conversion features. For example, your system could be set up to convert Microsoft Word documents to the PDF format using the PDF Converter, and to the HTML format using the Dynamic Converter. Most conversions take place automatically as soon as you check in a file.

Some file formats cannot be converted, or your system administrator may configure the system to pass through certain types of documents without conversion. For example, a compressed ZIP file cannot be converted to a Web-viewable format. In these cases, the repository contains a copy of the native file for Web-viewable files.

1.12 Indexing

If your system is configured for full-text search, the indexing engine makes a list of all the words in every file in HTML, PDF, TXT, XML, and other supported formats, and stores the list in a database. After the indexing process completes, the file is released to Content Server.

When you do a full-text search for content, Content Server looks up your search terms in this index.

1.13 Finding Content

You can search for a content item by its metadata, by full-text, or by a combination of the two. Only the content items you have permission to view are displayed in the search results.

You can specify search terms for one or more metadata fields. Depending on how your system is configured, you can use search operators that specify if the search term is a whole word or part of a word, or if it appears at the start or the end of the field. You can also use wildcard characters to match one more characters in a search term.

To simplify or customize the search form, an administrator can create one or more metadata Profiles that specify the metadata fields that are included on the form.

With the Quick Search function, you can search at any time from the home page. You can specify a search term for a selected field or for all supported fields. If your system is configured for full-text search, Quick Search also searches for the search term in the text of content items.

For more information, see Chapter 3, "Searching for Content Items."

1.14 Managing Images and Videos

You can use Digital Asset Manager functionality to quickly find, group, convert, and download images and videos of various sizes, formats, and resolutions to meet your business needs, all while maintaining a consistency of use across your organization. For example, an organization's logo can be available in a variety of sizes for advertisements, Web pages, and presentation, or a company training video can be available in a variety of formats for streaming on an intranet, presenting to an audience, or copying to tape.

For more information, see Chapter 10, "Using Images and Videos."

1.15 Managing Content with Folders and WebDAV

Content Server includes components that provide a hierarchical folder interface, similar to a conventional file system, for organizing and managing some or all of the content in the repository.

  • Folders: This component (FrameworkFolders component) provides a hierarchical folder interface within the browser, similar to a conventional file system, for organizing, locating, and managing repository content and content item metadata. The Folders functionality is installed but disabled by default. Folders is a scalable, enterprise solution and is intended to replace the earlier Contribution Folder interface.

  • Contribution Folders: This optional component (Folders_g component) provides a hierarchical folder interface within the browser, similar to a conventional file system, for organizing repository content. The component is installed but disabled by default. The newer, Folders component is meant to be a replacement for Contribution Folders.

  • WebDAV (Web-Based Distributed Authoring and Versioning): Both folder components work with Content Server's built-in WebDAV functionality to allow users to remotely manage and author content using clients that support the WebDAV protocol. The WebDAV interface provides a subset of the options available through the browser interface. In general, you can create, delete, move, and copy both folders and content items, and you can modify and check in content items. To check out content items through the WebDAV interface, you must use a WebDAV client that can open the file. To perform other management tasks, such as specifying or propagating metadata values, you must use the standard browser interface.

For more information, see Chapter 8, "Managing Content with Folders and WebDAV."

Oracle also offers Oracle WebCenter Content: Desktop, which can enhance the WebDAV client environment by more closely integrating with Windows Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and other applications. For more information see the Oracle WebCenter User's Guide for Desktop.

1.16 Grouping Content into Folios

A folio is a logical grouping or framework to organize content stored in Content Server. Folios are useful when you want to organize groups of documents, such as contracts or sales information, that include some common components and some unique components, and assemble them in a standardized sequence and hierarchy. Folios are also useful when you want to create and review a group of documents as part of one or more workflow processes.

With a simple folio, you collect one or more items in a single level. With an advanced folio, you can organize content in a hierarchy of folders.

An advanced folio can contain folders, called nodes, placeholders for content, called slots, and content items These elements are displayed by default in a hierarchical structure, similar to a standard file system.

For more information, see Chapter 9, "Grouping Content with Folios."

1.17 Routing Content Through Workflows

The workflow process routes a file for review and approval before it is released to the Content Server repository. Users are notified by e-mail when they have a file to review.

You can optionally sign and approve a file with an electronic signature which uniquely identifies the contents of the file at a particular revision and associates the signature with a particular reviewer.

You can create two types of workflows in Content Server:

  • In a criteria workflow, files automatically go into a workflow if the values entered in the metadata fields upon check-in meet certain criteria. Criteria workflows are useful for individual content items that are approved by the same reviewers on a regular basis (newsletter articles, for example).

  • In a basic workflow, files are specifically identified in the workflow, along with the contributors, reviewers, and steps. This type of workflow requires an administrator to initiate the process, and is best suited for groups of content items that go through a workflow or individual content items with unique workflow requirements.

For more information, see Chapter 7, "Working with Workflows."