1 Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Sites

With Oracle WebCenter Sites, you can create scalable and robust websites that are easy to manage and administer.

This section describes how to get started with Oracle WebCenter Sites for general, site, and workflow administrators.

1.1 About Oracle WebCenter Sites

Oracle WebCenter Sites is a Web Experience Management (WEM) system that enables its users to build and manage desktop and mobile websites. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, you can create scalable and robust websites that are easy to manage and administer.

As an administrator, you are responsible for creating content management sites, assigning users to the sites, enabling the Oracle WebCenter Sites: Contributor interface on the sites, and managing user access to content management functions within the interface. You are also responsible for managing workflow, revision tracking, publishing, and marketing.

For administrators, Oracle WebCenter Sites provides the Admin interface and the WEM Admin interface, which together provide the tools needed to manage all aspects of a content management site. In addition, you can enable features such as Oracle WebCenter Sites: A/B Testing, and Conversions, which help your content contributors and marketers measure website successfulness so they can enhance it accordingly.

1.2 About WebCenter Sites Component Connections

WebCenter Sites requires an external component that is up and running when trying to establish connections. If an external component isn't up and running or the connection has timed out, WebCenter Sites doesn't reestablish the connection.

WebCenter Sites verifies that database connections are active and reestablishes connections only when they are active.

1.3 Who Are the WebCenter Sites Administrators?

There are three different types of administrators for WebCenter Sites: general, site, and workflow. A general administrator has full access while site and workflow administrators access are restricted to their specific functions.

  • General administrator, anyone who manages all systems in the WebCenter Sites environment and therefore has unrestricted access to each system's interfaces. The jobs of the general administrator at each system are outlined in Exploring Content Management Concepts.

  • Site administrator, anyone who manages only certain sites on the management system.

  • Workflow administrator, anyone who creates workflow processes on the management system.

Each administrator is given permissions to relevant parts of the WebCenter Sites Admin and WEM Admin interfaces.

While some concepts of this guide are specific to a certain type of administrators, the general administrator should know all of the concepts.

Finally, this guide is not restricted to any particular system in the WebCenter Sites environment. The concepts and procedures it contains are valid for all systems in the WebCenter Sites environment.

1.4 Prerequisites for Administrators

As a WebCenter Sites administrator, you must know about the various interfaces, system defaults, content management, your collaborators, online sites specifications, and sites environments.

The following list summarizes the information you must know or be familiar with:

  • Oracle WebCenter Sites Admin interface and system defaults

    The WebCenter Sites Admin interface provides you with site configuration tools and access to system defaults such as ACLs, roles, and asset types. See Working with the Admin Interface, System Defaults, and WebCenter Sites Database Tables.

  • Oracle WebCenter Sites WEM Admin interface

    The WebCenter Sites WEM Admin interface provides you with site configuration tools which enable you to create and manage sites, users, roles, and applications. See Using the Web Experience Management Framework.

  • Technical aspects of content management

    Although you are not required to have a specific technical knowledge of programming and system architecture, a basic knowledge of the following is desirable:

    • Java

    • JSPs

    • Publishing

    • Databases and database management

    • Browsers

  • Your collaborators

    See Collaborating with Your Content Management Team and Migrating Your Work to Your Content Management System in Developing with Oracle WebCenter Sites.

  • Online site specifications

    Online site specifications are typically prepared by site designers or the corporate communications department to define the site's audience, the site's size, its message and goals, the nature of the content, and the presentation style. Having an understanding of the online site will help you model the online site, plan sites, and collaborate efficiently with developers.

  • The Oracle WebCenter Sites environment

    As the Oracle WebCenter Sites administrator, you can work with up to four different systems: development, management, delivery, and testing. Make sure you have a good understanding of the systems and your function at each of them. See Oracle WebCenter Sites Environment, Roadmap for Administering WebCenter Sites, and The WebCenter Sites Development Process in Developing with Oracle WebCenter Sites.

1.5 What Tasks Do Administrators Perform to Manage Websites?

As an administrator, you’re responsible for creating the foundation of the website by defining the users and basic elements (assets and asset types). As the website is maintained, you continue to maintain users and roles, as well as set up and maintain workflow, blogs, and the regular publishing of website updates.

You maintain users and roles, set up and maintain workflow, blogs, and the regular publishing of website updates.

In WebCenter Sites, an administrator's duties vary from installation to installation. In general, the administrator is responsible for performing the following tasks:

1.5.1 Collaborating with Your Content Management Team

Before development begins, you typically collaborate with a team comprised of many different specialists, for example:

  • Site designers

  • XML and JSP developers

  • Java application developers

  • Database administrators

  • System network administrators

  • Marketers

  • Business managers

  • Product managers, if you are developing a commerce site

  • Content providers

The job of the team is to establish functional requirements and design specifications for the management and delivery systems, such as Page design, Caching strategies, Security strategies, data models, Page layout and content, and content management models.

1.5.2 Managing Users

WebCenter Sites administrators are responsible for creating users and enabling user access to the appropriate content management sites and interface functions. For each user, the administrator must define a user account, user profile, user attributes, roles, and access control lists (ACLs).

The user account gives the user access to the WebCenter Sites system and its database tables. The user profile is required for users who are working with WebCenter Sites applications, language packs, and workflow processes. The user attributes are used in those cases where actions and events are necessary beyond workflow. Roles are used to associate the user with a site and allow the user to log in to the site. If a user's assigned roles match the roles assigned to an application, the user gains access to the interface function associated with that role. ACLs are used to regulate access to WebCenter Sites database tables.

When you create a user, you must associate that user with a content management site and its associated applications (user interfaces) by means of roles. This enables the user to log in to the site and access the appropriate interfaces and interface functions associated with that site.

See Configuring Users, Profiles, and Attributes.

1.5.3 Managing Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Roles

The WebCenter Sites administrator assigns Access Control Lists (ACLs) and roles to users to enable access to content management sites and to perform content management functions within the WebCenter Sites interfaces (Admin, Community, and Contributor). WebCenter Sites uses both ACLs and roles to support a variety of users with clearly defined job descriptions who each contribute for building your company's website.

ACLs control user access to the database tables that represent interface functions and are defined in the user definition (user's account). ACLs serve as the foundation of the security and user management model in your Sites system by providing authorization functionality. Each WebCenter Sites user has one user definition (account) no matter how many sites have been created. However, the user's roles can vary by site. Roles control user access to the interface functions represented by database tables. They represent a job description or the title of individuals granted access to similar functions (for example, content contributor, editor, designer, and so on). As an administrator, you must verify that the user attempting the interface function is assigned the same ACL as the database table associated with it.

See Working with ACLs and Roles.

1.5.4 Managing Asset Types and Assets

Once you assign users to the site, you must then enable the asset types (content types) those users will be working with. Your developers create the asset types available on your system. It's your job to enable the asset types on the appropriate sites. Once you enable an asset type on a site, the asset type is made available to site users through interface functions (such as the menu bar in the Contributor interface), granted by the user's assigned roles.

In addition to enabling asset types and using roles to grant users permissions to interface functions, WebCenter Sites provides an additional level of security, called Access Permissions, which allows you to set permissions on a per-asset basis. Access Permissions enable you to define which roles have permissions to perform which functions on an asset. For example, you can specify which roles can perform the Copy function on an asset and which roles are denied the ability to copy an asset.

See Enabling and Managing Asset Types and Managing Access to Content Management Site Components.

1.5.5 Managing User Access to Applications

After creating sites and users, and enabling asset types for users to work with on those sites, you must enable the interfaces (for example, Contributor) and other applications WebCenter Sites users can access on the sites you assigned them to. For this task, you use the WEM Admin interface. The WEM Admin interface extends the use of sites and roles to control access to applications. Roles are used within applications to protect interface functions and regulate access to application content. From the WEM Admin interface, you assign applications and users to sites using roles. When a user and an application are assigned the same role, the user is granted access to the application on that site.

See Using the Web Experience Management Framework.

1.5.6 Managing Workflow

When you create a workflow process, you determine the tasks involved to move the asset from its creation point on the content management site to its publishing destination on the delivery system. Each task you include in the workflow process must be assigned a role, or group of roles, necessary for a user to complete it. When an individual asset is going through a workflow process, only the users who have the appropriate role are allowed to complete the task. These tasks are called workflow states. A state is a point in the workflow process that represents the status of the asset at that point, for example, writing article, reviewing image, legal review, and so on. The movement of an asset between states is called a step.

See Creating and Managing Workflow Processes.

1.5.7 Managing the Publishing System

One of your main goals as a WebCenter Sites administrator is to make site content (created on the management system) accessible to website visitors (on the delivery system). To accomplish this, WebCenter Sites provides a variety of publishing features in the Admin interface that enable you to configure and monitor the publishing system.


If you assign a content contributor the Publisher role, that user can publish individual assets directly from the Contributor interface. See Approving and Publishing Content in Using Oracle WebCenter Sites.

As the administrator, you configure the publishing destinations for your system, and schedule publishing events. In addition, WebCenter Sites provides the Approval system which is used to approve content for publishing to the website. When a user approves content for publishing, that content is made available for the next publishing event. When a publishing event runs, all the approved content on your management system is made available on the website.

By default, WebCenter Sites supports the RealTime publishing method, which is a dynamic method of publishing content to the website. Dynamic publishing is the process of copying assets and their underlying schema from one WebCenter Sites system to another. See Using RealTime Publishing.

1.5.8 Administering the Performance of WebCenter Sites and Its Components

WebCenter Sites Administrators configure log files for WebCenter Sites in Enterprise Manager and enable logging of these types of messages: configuration, debug, and trace. Administrators are responsible for starting and stopping Visitor Services in Enterprise Manager, checking the status of these components, and monitoring their performance metrics.

For information about configuring and viewing log files, starting and stopping Visitor Services, and monitoring the performance of these components, see Administering WebCenter Sites and Its Components in Enterprise Manager.

1.5.9 Integrating WebCenter Content with WebCenter Sites

If you want to enable content integration between WebCenter Content and WebCenter Sites, you must first enable the SitesIntegration component and the ConnectorAdmin tree node. Once completed, you can then set up content synchronization between WebCenter Content and WebCenter Sites. This allows for you to synchronize content items from WebCenter Content in WebCenter Sites, where they are then managed by your content contributors as native assets in WebCenter Sites. These assets can be edited, deleted, previewed, revision tracked, published, and otherwise treated like any other asset that is created directly in WebCenter Sites.

See Integrating with Oracle WebCenter Content.

1.6 Sample Sites Used In This Guide

As part of your installation, we provide two sample sites (Avisports and FirstSiteII) to illustrate and help you understand how to use content management functions in the WebCenter Sites Contributor, Admin, and WEM Admin interfaces.

A user can access these sample sites only if they were installed with your WebCenter Sites system or if he is working with a JSK. Otherwise, the user can contact the WebCenter Sites Administrator.

The sample sites used in this guide are:

  • avisports: A sports-centric sample site containing sports articles illustrated with images. In this guide, avisports illustrates the features in the interface such as creating and editing assets, linking assets, approving assets for publishing, finding and organizing assets, tracking assets with revision tracking, and creating a site's navigation.

  • FirstSite II: An online electronics retail site that includes articles, images, a product catalog with several entries, documents, and sample user accounts. In this guide, FirstSite II illustrates workflow, multilingual, and preview features in the interface. FirstSite II is also used to describe and the process of creating and working with segments, recommendations, and promotions in the interface.