1 Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Content Features

Oracle WebCenter Content includes a wide variety of application management functionality including configuration tasks and the enabling of optional components for use by a variety of users. This chapter provides an overview of those features with links to more details.

This chapter discusses the following Oracle WebCenter Content features:

1.1 Content Management

The content repository is the heart of Oracle WebCenter Content. All content checked in to the system is stored in the repository and from there it can be managed by users with the appropriate permissions to that content.

By using Oracle WebCenter Content, an organization can utilize a unified repository to house unstructured content, and deliver it to business users in the proper format, and within context of familiar applications to fit the way they work.

Oracle WebCenter Content features manage not only content but digital assets as well. This section provides an overview of content management functionality and contains the following sections:

1.1.1 Content Server

Oracle WebCenter Content Server is the foundation for a variety of Oracle content management features. It provides a flexible, secure, centralized, web-based repository that manages all phases of the content life cycle from creation and approval to publishing, searching, expiration, and archiving or disposition.

Every contributor throughout the organization can easily contribute content from native desktop applications, efficiently manage business content via rich library services, and securely access that content anywhere using a web browser.

A number of components providing advanced functionality are included with Content Server. These components may be rolled into the core or available to enable after installation.

All content, regardless of content type, is stored in the web repository or database for management, reuse and access. While stored in the repository, all types of content ranging from e-mail, discussions, documents, reports, spreadsheets and records to images, multimedia or other digital formats-receive the same set of fundamental core services.

1.1.2 Folios

When enabled, Content Folios, provides a quick and effective way to assemble, track, and access logical groupings of multiple content items from within the secure environment of Content Server. For example, all items relevant to an upcoming brochure, such as images, logos, legal disclosures, and ad copy, can be assembled and sent through a workflow process. Once approved, all associated content can be downloaded and sent for print.

Or perhaps a new project requires a virtual place to assemble all relevant content items in a particular hierarchy, whenever they are checked in, with restricted access to particular areas of the hierarchy. Or a video may need to be associated and tracked with release waivers and narration text. All this can be done with Content Folios.

Technically, a content folio is an XML file checked into the repository that uses elements to define a hierarchical structure of nodes, slots, and specified content items in Content Server. In practice, a content folio is a logical grouping, or a framework in which content stored in the repository can be structured. Simple folios are a flat container, while advanced folios can nest content in a hierarchy within folders. In an advanced folio, the hierarchy may be established prior to assembling content items, or it may be created during or subsequent to assembling the items.

Existing folios can have content added to them, or can be locked so that no changes can be made. Content items can be added to a simple folio by searching Content Server, and to an advanced folio by checking new items into the repository or by searching for content that has previously been checked in, all through the folio interface. An advanced folio can even contain hyperlinks to outside resources such as web sites or shared network drives.

1.1.3 Folders

FrameworkFolders provides a hierarchical folder interface similar to a conventional file system, for organizing and locating some or all of the content in the repository. Folders is a scalable, enterprise solution and is intended to replace the earlier Contribution Folder (or Folders_g) interface.

Query folders can be used to return content based on a query associated with the folder. These types of folders can also have retention dispositions associated with the folder.

In addition, a migration utility is available to move folders and folder content from the earlier Folders_g component.

1.2 Imaging Management

Imaging Management combines multiple Oracle technologies, providing a streamlined document imaging platform on which numerous business solutions can be built by leveraging image enablement, application extension, and long term archiving. Imaging adds a metadata-focused document management model, a powerful viewer tool, image annotation capabilities, high volume ingestion and storage of data, and advanced searching tools to these solutions.

Document Capture and Oracle Distributed Document Capture can be added to automate image collection and categorization. Imaging leverages the Content Server as the document repository which allows the use of the Records software to manage the life cycles and dispositions of Imaging content.

An easily configured integration with tools such as Oracle BPM or BPEL injects Imaging document content directly into automated core business processes to reduce manual steps and increase efficiency.

Organizations can quickly extend these solutions by integrating with Oracle enterprise applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft Enterprise. Customers thus benefit by having a single source for all transaction-based content.

Applications are defined by the Imaging administrator based on a specific business need. For example, an Invoicing application may track invoice number, date sent, date due, status, and any other metadata required by an accounting department.

1.3 Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Manager (DAM) is used to define and provide images and videos in specified formats and sizes for download by the people in your organization who need them. This helps your organization maintain consistent standards for branding and digital content use.

DAM creates multiple formats of digital assets automatically when an image or video is checked into Content Server and lists the formats under one content ID. This ensures that the asset, such as a corporate logo or promotional video, maintains a standard size and quality in the multiple formats required by your organization, while providing the content management and workflow features of Content Server. For example, one person can download images of the logo for use on a web-site, and another can download and bundle images of the same logo for use in office presentations or print collateral, all from a single digital asset checked into the repository.

Digital assets are valuable electronic images and videos to be made available within your organization in multiple output formats, called a rendition. The quantity and type of renditions are defined by the system administrator in rendition sets. A user selects a rendition set used to create renditions of a digital asset at the time the asset is checked into the repository.

1.4 Records Management

Using the Records functionality, content items can be managed on a retention schedule, which determines the life cycle of that content item. The focus of records management tends to be the preservation of content for historical, legal, or archival purposes while also performing retention management functions. The focus of retention management tends to be the scheduled elimination of content in which the costs of retaining content outweighs the value of keeping it. The Records functionality combines both record and retention management into one software system. You can use this functionality to track and to preserve content as needed, or to dispose of content when it is no longer required.

Different reasons may exist for why organizations need to retain content. Many organizations are subject to regulations that require the retention of information for a specified period, such as compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, government regulations such as DoD 5015.2. An organization may have a litigation-related need for effective and efficient retention management. Or an organization may wish to provide a uniform infrastructure for retrieving and sharing content across an The Records options can be configured and customized to fit any of these business needs.

In addition to internal content (electronic items stored within Content Server), the Records system can manage external content. An external retained content item can be in a variety of formats, both physical or electronic. If the source file is not specifically stored in Content Server, then it is considered external. The software can manage the disposition schedule, search metadata associated with the external file, and manage an electronic rendition of an external file. An electronic rendition can either be checked in as a primary file of an external item, or be filed as a separate file, and then linked to the external file metadata.

The Records system can be used to manage classified content which requires protection against unauthorized disclosure (for example, because it contains information sensitive to the national security of the United States or because it is essential for a corporation's operation). Options can be chosen during configuration to insure that the system complies with the DoD 5015.2 standard (including Chapter 4). The software has been certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) to comply with that standard.

1.5 Conversion Servers

Several different conversion products are available to publish native content items in different formats as needed at your site. The following conversion products are discussed in this section:

1.5.1 Inbound Refinery

Basic thumbnail creation is supplied for supported file types or you can use Inbound Refinery to manage all file conversions at the input side of Content Server. It also provides the ability to generate thumbnails. Files are converted on check-in of the content into Content Server.

Inbound Refinery includes Outside/In Image Export, which can be used for the following:

  • To create thumbnails of files checked into the repository. Thumbnails are small preview images of content. Outside In Image Export can also be used to create thumbnails of PDF files generated by PDF Converter.

  • To convert files checked into the repository to multi-page TIFF files as the primary web-viewable rendition.

In addition to the conversions that Inbound Refinery can perform using Outside In Image Export, several conversion add-ons are available for purchase and use with Inbound Refinery. The additional types of files that Inbound Refinery can convert, and the result of each conversion, depend on the conversion add-ons that are installed on the Inbound Refinery computer.

1.5.2 Other Conversion Formats

PDF Converter enables the automatic publishing of native content items to web-viewable PDF (Portable Document Format) files. A PDF rendition of the native format is immediately generated upon check-in of new content into the repository. This PDF rendition allows web viewing of that content item without requiring users to install native applications. PDF Converter converts over 35 file formats to PDF, such as Adobe Framemaker, Illustrator, InDesign, PageMaker, and Photoshop as well as Hangul, JustSystems Ichitaro, Lotus Smartsuite, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visio, and Oracle OpenOffice.

PDF Converter optimizes non-optimized PDF files and also processes links such as Microsoft Word hyperlinks, 'mailto' links, and table-of-content links.

XML Converter gives XML-based access to information in unstructured business content. With XML Converter, content contributed to Content Server is converted to XML at the time of check-in. XML Converter converts over 225 document types and supports the leading word processing formats, such as Microsoft Word, Lotus WordPro, and Corel WordPerfect. It also includes support for popular spreadsheet, presentation, and graphic formats.

When a new content item is checked into the repository, XML Converter converts the content to either a SearchML or FlexionDoc format. FlexionDoc is very verbose and captures all information, including attributes such as styles in a Microsoft Word document. From there, administrators have the ability to check in different XSL files that would then convert the SearchML or FlexionDoc document to any XML format.

Tiff Converter enables organizations to check TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) files into Content Server and then publish these as multiple-page PDF files. Tiff Converter uses either CVISION CVista PdfCompressor or Adobe Acrobat Capture to convert single-page TIFF files, multiple-page TIFF files, or zip files containing multiple TIFF files (TIFZ, TIZ or ZIP file extensions) to a single PDF file. Additionally, during the TIFF to PDF conversion, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is performed, enabling users to perform full-text searches of managed TIFF files in Content Server.

1.5.3 PDF Watermark

PDF Watermark allows watermarks to be applied to PDF files generated by PDF Converter (static watermarking) and returned to the repository. Existing PDF files in the repository can also be watermarked (dynamic watermarking). Dynamic watermarks are generated as needed and can contain variable information (for example, user name, date and time of download, or file name). System administrators can define variables and set up specific conditions for generating dynamic watermarks.

PDF Watermark can also add security features to PDF files as they are downloaded for viewing. Access settings can be enabled or disabled, such as printing or modifying the file.

1.6 Dynamic Conversion Management

Dynamic Converter is a transformation technology and on-demand publishing solution for critical business documents. With Dynamic Converter, you can easily convert any business document into a Web page for a specified audience without use of the application used to create that document. The benefits are immediate. Information can be exchanged freely without the bottleneck of proprietary applications.

When a Web browser first requests a document, a set of rules are applied to determine how that document should appear as a Web page. These rules can be defined in a template, a core component of Dynamic Converter.

Dynamic Converter offers a number of benefits to the user:

  • Business documents can be easily viewed in a Web browser.

  • Native applications (such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, etc.) are not required.

  • Multiple renditions of a document are available for different devices (Web browsers, wireless devices, etc.)

  • Numerous business document types, including legacy formats, are supported.

1.7 Desktop Management

The Desktop feature provides a set of embedded applications that help you seamlessly integrate your desktop experience with Content Server. More specifically, it provides convenient access to the repository from Microsoft Windows Explorer, desktop applications like Microsoft Word and Excel, and e-mail clients like Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.

As a result, you can easily manage files in the repository and share files with users directly from your desktop instead of logging into Content Server and using a web browser.