1 Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Sites

Get an overview of Oracle WebCenter Sites: what you can do with WebCenter Sites, the WebCenter Sites users, the content management functions that you can perform with WebCenter Sites and also, know about the sample sites that are used to demonstrate the features of WebCenter Sites.

1.1 What is Oracle WebCenter Sites?

Oracle WebCenter Sites is a Web Experience Management system. It helps you build desktop and mobile websites, personalize them with targeted content, gather feedback on their success, analyze visitor interactions with the website, and test changes to your website based on your visitors' preferences.

The Oracle WebCenter Sites: Contributor interface offers a set of features for building and managing the components of your website. In addition, features such as Oracle WebCenter Sites: A/B Testing are available to help users measure their website's success so they can enhance it accordingly.

1.2 Who are the WebCenter Sites users?

The interfaces and features users can work with are determined by the roles assigned to them by the WebCenter Sites administrator.

Based on these roles, WebCenter Sites users can be categorized into one or more of the following types:

  • Content contributor – anyone who is responsible for website content.

  • Marketer – anyone who personalizes web pages with promotions and recommendations, analyzes visitor traffic, and measures website effectiveness.

1.3 What can you do with Oracle WebCenter Sites?

What you can do with WebCenter Sites depends on the roles you have been assigned.

1.3.1 Contribute content to desktop and mobile websites

WebCenter Sites enables content contributors to create, manage, and approve content for publishing to mobile and desktop websites with the Contributor interface.

The Contributor interface features drag and drop page construction, tools that enable content contributors to provide content for both desktop and mobile websites, and a preview function for previewing desktop websites and mobile websites in the context of mobile devices or on actual mobile devices (such as an IPhone). If the workflow feature is enabled, content contributors can collaborate in workflows to move content from its creation point to the website. From the Contributor interface, content contributors can also create the website's navigation. Your ultimate goal in working with this interface is to approve your content and website navigation, or have them approved by other content contributors. Once content is approved, it can then be published to the website.

Administrators can integrate the Content application with the Contributor interface to enable content contributors to work with content from Content Server directly in the Contributor interface.

The Contributor interface can also be customized by developers to provide features specific to your company's business needs.

1.3.2 Personalize the website

In addition to providing basic website building tools, the Contributor interface provides, it also offers Oracle WebCenter Sites: Engage.

Engage is a demographic feature that marketers use to gather and evaluate information about website visitors, define segments, and create personalized recommendations and promotions. This is particularly useful when marketers want to use site visitor information to create and display personalized content placements and promotional offerings for each visitor.

1.3.3 Create corporate blogs

If the Community Blogs module is installed, content contributors can create corporate blog pages for the website directly from the Contributor interface.

1.4 Which content management functions can you perform?

That depends on how your Oracle WebCenter Sites system is configured and on your job requirements. For example, writers for a sports newspaper would have access to the Contributor interface to create articles, but after saving and closing them, may not be able to re-open and edit them. An editor for this newspaper may have permissions to edit articles and approve them for publishing from the Contributor interface, but not to create them. A marketing specialist would be responsible for working with the Engage and A/B Testing features in the Contributor interface, but they might not have permissions to create, edit, or approve articles.

Your WebCenter Sites system is configured by your developers and administrators. In WebCenter Sites, your developers use CM sites to design the website. They create and enable the data models (source of content-entry and editorial forms that contributors and marketers use to provide website content) for each site, and establish security by creating roles. Your administrators configure names for the sites on your system, and then use roles to assign interfaces and users to those sites. Your assigned roles in a site manage your access to the interfaces assigned to that site and the functions you can perform in those interfaces.

1.5 How is content defined in WebCenter Sites?

In the Contributor interface, a piece of content is referred to as an asset. For example, articles, images, and videos are all considered assets in the Contributor interface. Assets are instances of asset types. An asset type is an object that is used to create a type of asset. Your administrator determines the asset types that are available in the site to which you are assigned. Your job is to create assets from these types. The types of assets you can create is determined by the roles assigned to you by your administrator and by the type of site you are creating. For more information about assets and asset types, see Content: Asset types and Assets.

1.6 What is a Content Management (CM) site?

A content management (CM) site is the backend for the website or one of its sections, and is stored in the WebCenter Sites database.

A CM site is the structural and logical framework that references several types of information:

  • A CM site references all of the assets, asset types, and asset relationships that constitute the actual website (or a section of it). For more information, see Site Design.

  • A CM site also references the users, roles, and workflow processes used to manage and organize the site's content. The WebCenter Sites administrator is responsible for managing these objects. Which CM sites you can work with is determined by the permissions granted to you by the WebCenter Sites administrator. For information about accessing the sites to which you are assigned, see Which sites do you have access to?

A CM site is not synonymous with the website that visitors see in their browsers. For example, a small website might have all of its assets contained in one CM site. A very large website, on the other hand, might be divided into several sections, each contained in and managed through a separate CM site. A WebCenter Sites CM site is thus the supporting structure behind the actual website (or a section of it), but they are not one and the same.


Throughout this guide, the phrase current site refers to the CM site you are logged in to at the time, and not the website that the visitors access.

1.7 What sample sites are used in this guide?

Procedures in this guide use the avisports and FirstSiteII sample sites to illustrate how to use content management functions in the Contributor interface.

You have access to these sample sites only if they were installed with your WebCenter Sites system or you are working with a JSK. If no sample sites are installed, contact your 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 Contributor interface such as creating and editing assets, previewing assets, linking assets, approving and publishing assets, finding and organizing assets, tracking assets with revision tracking, and creating a site's navigation.

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

FirstSiteII and avisports both utilize the best practices in CM site development. Additionally, the code for both sample sites can be reused and modified to suit your organization's business needs.