1 Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Content Features

Oracle WebCenter Content provides a number of features for configuring and managing content in the repository, including functionality such as organizing content into folders and folios, using workflows, managing different types of content, converting content from and to different formats, and using retention schedules to manage the life cycle of content.

This chapter discusses the following WebCenter Content features and provides a roadmap of basic tasks for managing the functionality.

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 for 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 the context of familiar applications to fit the way they work.

Content Server

Content Server is the foundation for a variety of Oracle content management applications. 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 or mobile app. Contributors have several ways to interact with content:

  • Web browser

  • Mobile apps

  • Desktop client

For information about working with content using a web browser or mobile apps, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Content. For information about using the desktop client, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Content: Desktop.

Content Repository

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 email, discussions, documents, reports, spreadsheets and records to images, multimedia or other digital formats – receive the same set of fundamental core services.

Components

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

For more information on managing content, see Managing Content.

Folders

Folders, a scalable and enterprise solution, implemented with the FrameworkFolders component, provides a hierarchical folder interface similar to a conventional file system for organizing and locating some or all of the content in the repository.

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.

For more information on folders, see Organizing Content.

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 links to outside resources such as websites or shared network drives.

For more information on folios, see Organizing Content.

Workflows

Workflows are used to specify how content is routed for review, approval, and release to the system. This chapter provides an overview, tasks, and reference information for using the workflow functionality available with Oracle WebCenter Content Server.

Setting up workflows for a business process can provide several advantages:

  • Workflows provide good reporting metrics. They can produce an audit trail of who signed off on content at various points of the life cycle of the content.

  • Workflows help get the right information to the right person.

  • Designing a workflow requires you to examine and understand your business processes, helping you find areas for improvement.

For more information, see Managing Workflows.

Digital Asset Manager

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 applications 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 renditions. The quantity and type of renditions are defined by the system administrator in rendition sets. A user selects a rendition set to create renditions of a digital asset at the time the asset is checked into the repository.

For more information, see Working With Image and Video Conversions.

Records

Using the Oracle WebCenter Content: Records functionality, content items can be managed on a retention schedule, which determines the life cycle of each 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 want to provide a uniform infrastructure for retrieving and sharing content. 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 application 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 application 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 ensure 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.

For more information, see Managing Records.

Content Conversion

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

For more information, see Managing Content Conversion.

Inbound Refinery

Basic thumbnail creation is automatically supplied for supported content file types in Content Server. However, you can use Inbound Refinery to manage all file conversions at the input side of Content Server. Inbound Refinery also provides the ability to convert native content items to web-viewable PDF (Portable Document Format) files. 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 Inbound Refinery.

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

Inbound Refinery includes the PDFExportConverter component (installed but disabled by default on WebCenter Content). PDFExportConverter uses Outside/In libraries for cross-platform conversion of files to PDF.

In addition to the conversions that Inbound Refinery can perform using Outside In Image Export, several conversion components are available for use with Inbound Refinery. The additional types of files that Inbound Refinery can convert, and the result of each conversion, depend on the conversion components that are enabled on the Inbound Refinery instance.

The WinNativeConverter component enables Inbound Refinery to automatically publish 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. Over 35 file formats can be converted to PDF, such as Adobe Framemaker, Illustrator, InDesign, PageMaker, and Photoshop as well as Hangul, JustSystems Ichitaro, Lotus Smartsuite, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Visio. For more information about supported formats, see Supported File Formats.

Inbound Refinery also can optimize non-optimized PDF files and process links such as Microsoft Word links, 'mailto' links, and table-of-content links.

Other Conversion Formats

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 verbose and captures extensive 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.

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.

Dynamic Converter

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 is 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, and so on) are not required.

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

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

For more information, see Managing Dynamic Conversion.

Desktop

The Desktop application 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 email 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.

For more information, see Managing Desktop.

Basic Tasks for Configuring and Managing Oracle WebCenter Content Applications

The roadmap in Table 1-1 outlines tasks that the WebCenter Content administrator can perform to manage WebCenter Content applications after WebCenter Content has been installed and the system configured. These tasks are in addition to system management tasks, which are documented in Administering Oracle WebCenter Content. The WebCenter Content administrator can perform both system-level and application-level tasks, or one or more additional WebCenter Content administrators can be created to perform just the applications tasks.

Table 1-1 Roadmap for Basic Management Tasks

Task Description and Documentation Links

Get started using WebCenter Content

Access WebCenter Content, start and stop the servers, and monitor server status:

Configure content

Configure content display, content metadata, email, electronic signatures, content types, and profiles:

Manage content

Organize content into hierarchies and groupings, and monitor access to content:

Manage workflows

Create workflows, which are used to specify how content is routed for review, approval, and release to the system:

Convert content into different formats

Set conversion configuration options and file formats:

Configure refinery user authentication, monitor performance, publish layout files:

Convert native files to other formats:

Work with converted content:

Define images, videos, and audio files in specified formats and sizes for download:

Apply a watermark at check-in or during viewing of PDF:

Perform on-demand document conversion

Configure the Dynamic Converter default template, conversion formats, slideshow template files, and remove wireless templates:

Configure sets of instructions that drive the conversion process:

Choose and implement templates that drive the conversion process and provide control over the visual and navigational properties of the converted web page:

Use HTML Conversion templates, script templates, and snippits:

View information on converted content, view converted content, and preview HTML renditions:

Manage content items on a retention schedule (optional)

Plan how to use Oracle WebCenter Content: Records with a content retention schedule, how to manage physical content, and how to set up workflows to manage reservation and off-site processing:

Set up a retention schedule and objects in the schedule, manage a series, manage a retention category, and manage a retention folder:

Manage records security including retention management roles, permissions, custom security fields, Access Control Lists, and supplemental markings which are required for compliance with the DoD 5015.2 specification:

Manage dispositions (actions) on content, using triggers and freezes:

Manage the Content Server adapter which provides a bridge between the record system and the Content Server repository:

Manage physical records and content that are not stored in the repository in electronic form:

Schedule tasks for completion, create reports, create custom scripts, and monitor activity:

Manage federated searches and freezes:

For details about installing WebCenter Content, see Installing and Configuring Oracle WebCenter Content.