1 Introduction to Oracle WebCenter Content

This chapter provides a general introduction to Oracle WebCenter Content and describes some of the many benefits to your organization WebCenter Content provides. It covers the following topics:

1.1 About This Guide

This guide details how to use Oracle WebCenter Content. It is divided into the following parts:

Part I provides overview information about Oracle WebCenter Content and content management and includes concepts common to all ways of working with WebCenter Content. Part II includes information on using the features available in the WebCenter Content user interface, while Part III details how to use the features available in the native user interface. Lastly, Part IV provides information about accessing Oracle WebCenter Content through desktop applications or through a mobile device.

The information contained in this document is subject to change as the product technology evolves and as hardware, operating systems, and third-party software are created and modified. Due to the technical nature of browsers, databases, web servers, and operating systems, Oracle cannot warrant compatibility with all versions and features of third-party products.

1.2 What is Oracle WebCenter Content

Oracle WebCenter Content manages information you use every day. Information found in e-mails, reports, memos, slide presentations, and more. Oracle WebCenter Content stores it, organizes it, and secures it so that only the people needing the information have access to it. And most importantly, it helps you find it quickly when you need it and view it through a standard web browser, even if you do not have the software that created the document.

1.3 Benefits of Using WebCenter Content

Communication fuels organizations and helps them effectively coordinate and execute everything from global business plans to personal task lists. Necessary information in today's organizations is captured in office documents, personal e-mail, memos, video conferences, and a variety of other types of unstructured content. Left unmanaged, critical information is lost, business processes become strained, the right people don't have the right access to documents, and you make poor decisions based on inaccurate and outdated information. Oracle WebCenter Content lets you find critical information in a comfortable environment, with applications you already use every day.

Designed for You

You can contribute documents using a standard web browser, but also through Windows Explorer and familiar desktop applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. You can route a critical contract through a workflow, allow others to see the latest design specifications, or upload a training video for your team. Oracle WebCenter Content brings you drag-and-drop convenience for uploading documents, and you have the choice to find and view content in a variety of ways using Windows Explorer, your favorite web browser, or even your Apple iPad, iPhone or Android device.

Saves You Time

How many hours have you spent trying to find one critical bit of information about a project, customer, or legal challenge? Was it in an e-mail? Did you see it in a slide presentation? Oracle WebCenter Content brings a powerful way of searching to help you filter and retrieve the information you need quickly.

Reduces Your Risk

With the increase of documentation-intense compliance mandates, the need to store and retrieve compliance evidence has also increased. Using Oracle WebCenter Content records management capabilities enables you to manage records and retention policies and easily retrieve the information, saving you time and reducing your risk.

Meets Your Needs

If your content management needs extend into rich media industries such as advertising, distance learning, web development, or other lines of business requiring use of images and video, Oracle WebCenter Content allows you to manage such digital assets simply and effectively. Store high-resolution source videos on one server while resized conversions are served out of a separate streaming server. Or group advertising collateral for a catalog in a folio, route it through a workflow, then zip it into a compressed file for distribution to a vendor. All these options are possible with Oracle WebCenter Content using the native user interface.

1.4 Basic WebCenter Content Concepts

Oracle WebCenter Content provides an automated system for sharing, managing, and distributing business information. This information can be in documents or some other type of content, and in this guide the terms document, content, and file are often used interchangeably. In some cases, for example if image conversion is enabled, multiple files may be managed together as one document. Whatever term is used, the information is being stored electronically and is managed as a single item. Oracle WebCenter Content manages the item by providing a means for you to find the information you are looking for while controlling access to the document so that only authorized people can use it.

You can access current information quickly and securely from any standard web browser. You can manage letters, reports, engineering drawings, spreadsheets, manuals, sales literature, and more, in one powerful content management system.

For typical business document management, Oracle WebCenter Content offers an easy and intuitive user interface with drag-and-drop convenience and sophisticated searching capabilities through the WebCenter Content user interface. If your needs require a more specific feature, such as managing videos, images, or records, then the native user interface provides a fully featured and familiar user experience. In addition to accessing your content through a web browser, Oracle WebCenter Content provides several alternatives for those who want an experience more integrated with their office applications, or for those on the go. Desktop and WebDAV interfaces allow you to perform primary content management actions from your desktop using folders and files to represent documents, and applications are available for accessing your documents from your Apple iPad, iPhone, or Android device.

1.4.1 Useful vocabulary

The following terms are used throughout this guide and it is useful to understand their definitions.

Term Definition

WebCenter Content user interface

An easy and intuitive user interface offering drag-and-drop convenience and sophisticated searching capabilities. This user interface was introduced in Oracle WebCenter Content 11gR1 ( For more information, see Part II.

native user interface

A feature-rich user interface offering a familiar user experience for those who need to manage rich media beyond traditional office documents, including images, records, and videos. For more information, see Part III.

content server

Oracle WebCenter Content uses a content server as a repository for storing and managing your documents. Multiple content servers can be used to help your company manage performance or to separate content to provide additional security or features.

document, content item, file

Any file uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content is referred to as a document or content item interchangeably. They are discreet items tracked by the content server even though they consist of metadata and one or more files, revisions, or renditions.


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

To simplify metadata entry and selection, libraries and folders have metadata predefined. When you upload a document to a particular library or folder, the document is assigned the predefined metadata, as well as any metadata you specify. In some cases, your system administrator can create Profiles that specify which metadata values are displayed when you upload, search for, or view documents and document properties.

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

document properties, content information

Document properties and content information are used interchangeably in this guide. They refer to the metadata associated with a file uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content as well as other associated information. Associated information can include additional renditions, revision history, security and sharing options and any file attachments, among others. The terms are specific to the information in Oracle WebCenter Content and do not refer to document properties associated with a file outside of WebCenter Content, such as those assigned by Microsoft Word, Excel, and other applications.


Search for documents using metadata. If full-text indexing has been configured by your system administrator, it also allows you to search for text within documents. In the WebCenter Content user interface, you can apply filters when searching to refine your results. For example, you can enter search terms then limit the search to libraries only, documents you are following, just images or a variety of other filter options.


Browse through libraries and folders to find documents. As with searching, in the WebCenter Content user interface various filter options are available to you when browsing.

content repository

When you upload a document, the electronic file is stored in a content repository. The original, or native, file is stored 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.

Any user with the correct security permissions can view the web-viewable version of a document 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 document.

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

revision control

To change a document that is uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content, you must check in a new revision to the repository. It is good practice to check out a document prior to making changes. Checking out the document locks it from being checked out by anyone else, alerting them that you are making changes. Only one person can have a document checked out at any given time, but others can view the released version of the file.

When you upload the modified file back into Oracle WebCenter Content, it is automatically stored as a new revision of the document. You can view or copy previous revisions, but the latest revision is displayed by default.


In some cases you may need someone to review or approve a document before it is released for others to see. A workflow specifies how to route content for review and approval before it is released to the system. Each workflow can include multiple review and notification steps, and multiple reviewers to approve or reject the file at each step.

persistent URL

Every document in the repository for web-viewable files keeps a permanent web address that does not change from one revision to the next. The most current version is always displayed when you point your browser to the persistent URL of a document.


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 documents in to or out of the content repository.

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.

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.

security groups and accounts

You can set Oracle WebCenter Content security to control which users can view, edit, and delete particular documents. In some cases when you upload 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 determined by their role and the permissions the role grants. The security group is a required metadata field for all documents and may be assigned by default. Only the users who have permission to that security group can work with the document.

  • 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 documents that belong to that account.


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. Available roles depend on your company needs and are created by your system administrator. Examples of typical roles are:

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

  • contributor: The contributor role has Read and Write permission to the Public security group. Users can search for, view, upload, and download content.

  • sysmanager: The sysmanager role has privileges to access the Admin Server links under the Administration menu in the native user interface.


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

  • read (R): The person can view and copy files in that security group.

  • write (W): The person can view, upload, download, and get a copy of documents in that security group. Authors can change the security settings of a document if the author has admin permission in the new security group.

  • delete (D): The person can view, upload, download, get a copy, and delete files in that security group.

  • admin (A): The person can view, upload, download, get a copy, and delete files in that security group. If this person has Workflow rights, they can start or edit a workflow in that security group. The person can also upload documents in that security group with another person specified as the Author. Non-authors of a document with document admin permission can change the security settings of a document if the non-author has admin permission in the new security group and optionally, account.

  • Annotation Privileges: Based on the annotation privileges granted here, the person can view, modify, and add annotations on all the documents in that security group. The usual options available are Standard (S), Restricted (T), and Hidden (H).

    For more information on annotation security, see About annotation security.

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.

access control list (ACL) security

An access control list is an explicit list of individuals or groups with permission to access or interact with a specific document.

Depending on how access control list security is configured, up to three additional fields are available for use when adding, modifying, or searching for documents:

  • User Access List

  • Group Access List

  • Role Access List

Important: To use an access control list on a document, the document must be uploaded to a security group that supports access control lists, or the added security does not work. If you are uncertain if the security group you are using supports access control lists, check with your system administrator.

To use access control lists with documents, you assign one or more predefined users, groups, or roles to the document. 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 document 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 document and click the R (Read) permission icon. Then, add the authenticated user role to the document 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. If a user has admin level access to a security group, then an ACL does not apply.

Important: If no access control list is enabled for a document, then the document is available to any user whose security group and account permissions allow them access. However, once a user or group has been added to the access control list of a document, then users not explicitly added lose access to the document.

Oracle Documents Cloud Service (ODCS)

The cloud-based content management product from Oracle.

1.4.2 What are document libraries?

When using the Oracle WebCenter Content user interface, documents in the content server are organized into libraries that can also contain folders and subfolders. There are the following types of libraries:

  • System Libraries, created and managed by Oracle WebCenter Content to organize documents that are in a system process, such as checked-out or expired documents. Documents cannot be uploaded to a system library.

  • Enterprise Libraries, created by individuals to provide flexible security and comprehensive document management used by an entire organization.

Documents are uploaded to WebCenter Content in the context of a library or folder. To upload documents to a specific library or folder, you must navigate to the library or folder first, and then upload the document. Doing so applies the correct metadata to a document and organizes it in Oracle WebCenter Content so that you and others can find it. For detailed information on libraries and folders, see Understanding Libraries and Understanding Folders.

1.4.3 What are folders?

Folders in Oracle WebCenter Content are used to organize documents so that you can find them quickly by browsing the folder structure. There are three main types of folders in Oracle WebCenter Content:

  • Traditional folders, which are similar to folders you use to organize your files in your computer file system.

  • Cloud folders, which are a special kind of folders, allow you to copy content to and from Oracle Documents Cloud Server.

  • Saved searches, which are collections of documents based on search criteria you have saved.

Traditional folders in Oracle WebCenter Content are like folders on your computer with one important distinction: they have metadata associated with them. They can automatically assign default folder metadata to the documents organized in them, and you can easily change metadata for multiple documents by propagating metadata assigned at the folder level to documents in them. Having default metadata or being able to change metadata to a group of documents through propagation saves you time. You can upload documents to a folder and know that they are secure and easily found without having to manually assign security and other metadata, and you can change the metadata of multiple documents easily when information changes.

Cloud folders are a special kind of folders created to allow copying of content to and from the cloud server. They act as a link to a folder in Oracle Documents Cloud Service (ODCS). If your company has integrated with ODCS, you can copy or upload files to the cloud using a cloud folder, and you can access content on the go through the cloud user interface.

Saved searches aren’t actually folders in the traditional sense, but rather they are search criteria you have saved that are executed when you click a saved search. They give you the experience of browsing through a file system while in reality searching for content using metadata. For example, a saved search can be created titled Documents Released Since October 2015 that when clicked displays all documents released since the first day of October 2015 till the current date. The contents change every day without people having to upload documents to a specific folder, because clicking the folder tells Oracle WebCenter Content to find all documents released since October 2015 and display them in a list.

1.4.4 What are shortcuts?

You can create shortcuts to any item (library, folder, or document) to which you have access in Oracle WebCenter Content. A shortcut points to an item, allowing you a way to quickly organize how you access items pertinent to you. For example, you may work on several projects, each requiring a specification document, and each specification document is stored in the associated project folder. You can create a folder containing shortcuts to each specification document. So instead of having to search through multiple project folders to find the documents you want, you can click your folder and have shortcuts to all specification documents listed there for quick, convenient access.

1.4.5 What are favorites?

Each person's Favorites listing is private and always available in the side bar. You can easily add to your Favorites folder by clicking the star on a document list or from a document properties page. Favorites provide a quick and easy way to navigate to those items you use frequently or those items you want to quickly find later.

1.4.6 How do I find content?

There are two ways of finding documents in Oracle WebCenter Content:

  • Browsing

  • Searching

In the WebCenter Content user interface, find content using the Search, Browse, and Favorites links in the side bar. The first time you log in to Oracle WebCenter Content, the Search link is active in the side bar and the latest revision of all documents in Oracle WebCenter Content to which you have access are displayed in the content area. In this view, all documents are displayed in a single flat list regardless of what library or folder they may be in. You can review the documents in the content area or filter the results using the search box above the content area. You can personalize this page to display all documents, all libraries, or your favorites the next time you log in.

In the native interface, browse for content using the Browse Content or Content Management trays in the side bar, or search for content using the Search tray, Quick Search field, or other search form.

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

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 documents.

1.4.7 Can I manage images and videos?

If Oracle WebCenter Content is configured to manage digital assets such as images or videos, you can use the native user interface to quickly find, group, convert, and download images and videos of various sizes, formats, and resolutions to meet your business needs. This helps maintain 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.

1.4.8 Can I manage content through office applications?

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 Accessing Managed Content Directly from Within Your Desktop Applications.

1.4.9 What are folios and how are they used to group content?

A folio is a logical grouping or framework to organize content stored in Oracle WebCenter Content. Folios are available through the native user interface and 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 documents. These elements are displayed by default in a hierarchical structure, similar to a standard file system.

1.4.10 What are workflows and how are they used to route content?

In Oracle WebCenter Content, the workflow process routes a file for review and approval before it is released to the content 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 Oracle WebCenter Content:

  • 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 documents 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 documents that go through a workflow or individual documents with unique workflow requirements.

1.5 Basic WebCenter Content Tasks

Regardless of whether you access Oracle WebCenter Content from your desktop, mobile device, or web browser using either the WebCenter Content interface or the native user interface, managing your documents has several common factors:

  • Logging in to gain access to your documents

  • Finding the documents you need

  • Viewing documents and their properties

  • Uploading documents you want managed

  • Downloading documents you need

  • Organizing documents in useful ways

  • Sharing documents with others through workflows