Did your organization recently purchase Oracle WebCenter Content? Are you the new admin? Consider these 4 tools to successfully manage and administer the system

AdminSuiteCongratulations! Your organization has made an investment in a leading enterprise content management and portal system, and even better, you get to manage and administer the system. Lucky you, right? As long as users can access the system, find what they need, and receive important, system generated notifications that are relevant to them they will generally be happy and leave you alone, right?

Unfortunately, a complete state of end-user bliss doesn’t exist – if it did, there might not be a need for system administrators. The reason for this is there will be many different personas that will access and use the system, and each will have their own set of likes, dislikes and complaints. For example, some users won’t like the interface (most popular complaint). Others will complain about the (perceived) lack of features and functionality. Regardless, as the system administrator you will not be able to satisfy all user requests, but with Fishbowl’s Administration Suite  you will be able to ensure WebCenter users get the most out of inherent features and system functionality.

Administration (Admin) Suite brings together Fishbowl’s most popular components for WebCenter automation. The reason for their popularity is they truly help administrators be more efficient when performing the most common and repetitive tasks within Oracle WebCenter Content, as well as they provide additional functionality that provides organizations with more business value. These include rule-based security mappings to provide users with the right level of access (read, read/write, read/write/delete, etc.), enabling custom email notifications to be sent for content subscriptions, scheduling and off-loading the process of bulk loading content in WebCenter, and the addition of several workflow features to aid in workflow creation, review and auditing. Let’s take a closer look of each of these components.

Advanced User Security Mapping (AUSM)

  • Overview:
    • AUSM provides rule-based configuration to integrate external user sources (LDAP or Active Directory) with Oracle WebCenter. Rules can be created to assign aliases to users based on their directory information, and this information can be directly imported into WebCenter. AUSM also provides reporting capabilities to quickly audit user access and troubleshoot permission issues.
  • Business Problems it solves:
    • Decreases the time it takes for administrators to integrate an enterprise security model with Oracle WebCenter. No more having to create multiple (sometimes hundreds…) of mappings between LDAP groups and roles in WebCenter
    • Enables administrators to quickly troubleshoot user access issues
    • Accelerates new user access to content in the system by not having to wait until users log in

Subscription Notifier

  • Overview:
    • Subscription Notifier provides an intuitive interface for administrators to create subscriptions for tracking and managing business content. This is done through queries that can be scheduled to run at various intervals. For example, you can create queries to notify a contract manager at 90, 60 and 30 days before a vendor contract expires. You can also create queries that notify content owners that content is X days old and should be reviewed.
  • Business problem it solves:
    • Ensures internal and external stakeholders have visibility, and have enough time to respond, to when high-value content is set to expire (contracts, etc.)
    • Helps avoid duplication of effort by alerting teams when new content is available – sales teams get notified when new marketing content is checked in, for example
    • Provides owners of web content with triggers to update, create new or delete – this can help keep content on the site fresh and new which is important for SEO

Enterprise Batch Loader

  • Overview:
    • Enterprise Batch Loader provides a robust, standalone component for WebCenter administrators to quickly and efficiently load content into the system. This content can come from ERP, CRM, CAD and other business systems as Enterprise Batch Loader can be configured to “watch” folders where such data is output and then create a batch load file for loading into WebCenter. Metadata from these systems can also be mapped to fields existing in WebCenter.
  • Business problems it solves:
    • Helps organizations reduce content repositories and file shares by automating the process of checking content into Oracle WebCenter
    • Ensures high-value data from ERP, CRM, CAD and other business systems gets loaded into WebCenter, providing a single location for users to access and find information

Workflow Solution Set

  • Overview:
    • Packed with 9 powerful features, Workflow Solution Set complements the out-of-the-box Oracle WebCenter workflows through detailed auditing, the ability to search for content in workflow, and the ability to customize email notifications and the workflow review pane. Workflow Solution Set makes it easier for users to interact with and fully leverage WebCenter Content workflows.
  • Business problem it solves:
    • Helps remove confusion from the workflow process by enabling explicit instructions to be included in the workflow review pane or email notifications
    • Ensures the history of a workflow is fully retained – including rejection comments
    • Provides visibility into content that is in a workflow, which natively in WebCenter items in a workflow are not included as part of search results
    • Improves performance of review process by separating out workflow items into pages instead of one long list

I will be covering more of the capabilities of these components that make up Fishbowl’s Administration Suite during a one-hour webinar on Thursday, June 11th. Come hear more about why, together, the components of Fishbowl’s Admin Suite provide the perfect tools for WebCenter admins.

You can register for the event here. I hope you will be able to join us.

ControlCenter for WebCenter Content: Controlled Document Management for any Device

Fishbowl Solutions recently held a webinar about our newest product, ControlCenter for Oracle WebCenter Content. Product manager Kim Negaard discussed ControlCenter’s unique features and advantages for controlled document management. If you missed the webinar, you can now view it on YouTube:

Below is a summary of questions Kim answered during the webinar. If you have any unanswered questions, or would just like to learn more, feel free to contact Fishbowl by emailing cmsales@fishbowlsolutions.com.

Is this a custom component that I can apply to current documents and workflow processes, or are there additional customization that needs to be done?

ControlCenter is installed as a custom component and will work with current documents. You can identify which document types and workflows you want to be able to access through ControlCenter and additional customizations are not necessary.

Does the metadata sync with the header information in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF documents?

The metadata synchronization works with PDF and Word documents.

Do you need to have a specific template in order to synchronize?

Not really. There’s two ways you can insert metadata into a document:

  1. You can use the header or footer area and replace anything existing in the current header with a standard header.
  2. You can use properties fields: for example, anytime the Microsoft Office properties field “document ID” occurs in a document, the dDoc name value could be inserted into that field.

In either of these cases, the formatting standards wouldn’t be rigid, but you would ideally want to know before rolling this out which approach you’d like to take.

What version of WebCenter do you need for this?

This is supported on WebCenter Content version 11.1.8 or above.

Is it completely built on component architecture as a custom component?

Yes.

Does ControlCenter require the Site Studio component to be enabled in order to work?

No, Site Studio doesn’t have to be enabled.

Does ControlCenter require Records Management to be installed on top of WCC?

No.

Does the custom component require additional metadata specific to ControlCenter?

Not exactly. We’ve made it pretty flexible; for example, with the scheduled reviews, we don’t force you to create a field called “review date”. We allow you to pick any date field you want to use for the scheduled reviews, so that if you already have something in place you could use it.

Where do you put ControlCenter if you don’t already have an existing server?

You do need to have an Oracle WebCenter Content server to run ControlCenter. If you don’t have a server, you’ll need to purchase a license for WebCenter Content. However, you don’t need any additional servers besides your WebCenter Content server.

Does the notification have to go to a specific author, or could you send it to a group or list in case that author is no longer with the organization?

The notification system is very flexible in terms of who you can send documents to. You can send it to a group, like an entire department or group of team leads, or it can be configured to send to just one person, like the document author or owner.

How does this work with profiles?

ControlCenter fully supports profiles. When you view content information for a document, it will display the metadata using the profile. If you check in a document using a check-in profile, then all of the metadata and values from that profile will be respected and enforced within ControlCenter. I should also mention that ControlCenter does support DCLs, so if you’re using DCLs those will be respected, both from a check in perspective but also in the metadata on the left. So as you are creating a browse navigation in ControlCenter, it will recognize your DCLs and allow you to filter with the proper relationships.

Does it integrate with or support OID (Oracle Internet Directory)/OAM (Oracle Access Manager)?

ControlCenter will use whatever authentication configuration you already have set up. So if you’re using OAM with WebCenter Content, then that’s what ControlCenter will use as well.

Does it support any custom metadata that has already been created?

Yes, if you have custom metadata fields that are already created, any of those can be exposed in ControlCenter.

Does it support any other customizations that have already been defined in the WebCenter Content instance?

It will depend on the nature of the customization. In general, if you have customized the WebCenter UI, those customizations would not show up in ControlCenter because ControlCenter has a separate UI; however, customizations on the back end, like workflow or security, would likely carry over into ControlCenter.

Does ControlCenter integrate with URM?

The ControlCenter interface isn’t specifically integrated with URM.

In case of a cluster environment, does ControlCenter need to be installed on both WebCenter Content servers?

Yes, if you have a clustered WebCenter Content environment, you would need to install ControlCenter on both/all nodes of the clustered environment.

Does it change anything within core WebCenter?

Not really. The only change to the core UI is an additional button in the Browse Content menu that will take you to the ControlCenter interface. But other than that, ControlCenter doesn’t change or prevent you from using the regular Content Server interface.

Can you customize the look and feel (icons, colors, etc.)?

Yes. We will work with you to customize the look and feel, widgets, etc. The architecture that we used when we created this supports customization.

Upcoming Webinar: Innovation in Managing the Chaos of Everyday Project Management

On Thursday, December 4th from 1 PM-2 PM CST, Fishbowl Solutions will hold a webinar in conjunction with Oracle about our new solution for enterprise project management. This solution transforms how project-based tools, like Oracle Primavera, and project assets, such as documents and diagrams, are accessed and shared.

With this solution:

  • Project teams will have access to the most accurate and up to date project assets based on their role within a specific project
  • Through a single dashboard, project managers will gain new real-time insight to the overall status of even the most complex projects
  • The new mobile workforce will now have direct access to the same insight and project assets through an intuitive mobile application

With real-time insight and enhanced information sharing and access, this solution can help project teams increase the ability to deliver on time and on budget. To learn more about our Enterprise Information Portal for Project Management, visit Fishbowl’s website.

Fishbowl’s Cole Orndorff, who has 10+ years in the engineering and construction industry, will keynote and share how a mobile-ready portal can integrate project information from Oracle Primavera and other sources to serve information up to users in a personalized, intuitive user experience.

Register here

Upcoming Webinar Series: Using Google Search with your Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal

GSA Portal Search LogoFishbowl will host a series of webinars this month about integrating the Google Search Appliance with an Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal. Our new product, the GSA Portal Search Suite, fully exposes Google features within portals while also maintaining the existing look and feel.

The first webinar, “The Benefits of Google Search for your Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal”, will be held on Wednesday, October 15 from 12:00-1:00 PM CST. This webinar will focus on the benefits of using the Google Search Appliance, which has the best-in-class relevancy and impressive search features, such as spell check and document preview, that Google users are used to.

Register now

The second webinar, “Integrating the Google Search Appliance and Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal”, further explains how Fishbowl’s GSA Portal Search Suite helps improve the process of setting up a GSA with a WebCenter or Liferay Portal. This product uses configurable portlets so users can choose which Google features to enable and provides single sign-on between the portal and the GSA. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 22 from 12:00-1:00 PM CST.

Register now

For more information on the GSA Portal Search Suite, read our previous blog post on the topic.

Fishbowl’s GSA Portal Search Suite introduces JSR-286 portlet integration that brings Google search to Oracle WebCenter and Liferay Portal

Integrated Google search has arrived for Oracle WebCenter and Liferay Portal. Last week, Fishbowl Solutions announced the GSA (Google Search Appliance) Portal Search Suite. This is Fishbowl’s fourth product for the Google Search Appliance, and introduces a productized integration that exposes Google search features like spelling suggestions, dynamic navigation, and document previews directly within the portal.

Previous integrations between the GSA and WebCenter or Liferay Portal had to be heavily customized to expose similar search features and functionality. In most cases, extensive customization was needed even when adding only one new search feature, such as autocomplete query suggestions, to portal search pages. Additionally, such customization had to be done by someone with specialized technical expertise including portal development, familiarity with the GSA response format, and XML transformation. Alternately some organizations have used the GSA’s built-in stylesheet typically directing users to search functions outside of the portal either as an iframe or a completely separate search page. This disconnect devalues the portal as being the single, universal location to access enterprise information, and detracts from the overall portal user experience.

Fishbowl’s GSA Portal Search Suite seamlessly integrates the GSA with WebCenter and Liferay portals. The integration is made possible by a collection of JSR-286 portlets that provide a search box and search results layout directly within the portal. These configurable portlets let customers choose which Google search features to expose, and lets them mix and match portlets for specific pages. The GSA Portal Search Suite also includes an authentication mechanism to provide single-sign-on between the portal and the GSA when performing secure searches. All these features help ensure that searches conducted from the portal return results with higher relevancy, and that search pages match the look and feel of the portal, leading to an enhanced user experience.

Customers with WebCenter or Liferay Portal that are looking to improve relevancy and provide search features that users have come to expect can do so with the GSA. And now with Fishbowl’s GSA Portal Search Suite, a seamless and flexible integration is available decreasing time to value and helping to maximize your WebCenter, Liferay and GSA investment.

Fishbowl will be demonstrating GSA Portal Search Suite, as well as our other GSA value-add products, at Oracle OpenWorld from September 29th through October 1st. You can see us in booth #2036 Moscone South. To read the brochure, click here.

GSA Portal Search Screen