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Publish Content to a website using Documentum Web Publisher

September 30, 2011

Today’s global companies produce an enormous amount of content.  Web sites and portals are the first avenue to distribute this business information to all major stakeholders. Web content management has become a primary strategy to help organizations communicate more effectively with their key audiences. Ineffective web content management can significantly undermine company messaging, decrease sales, increase staffing requirements, and raise operational costs and risks.

This post briefly discusses the need for web content management and the solution provided by documentum. It also describes how to publish content to a website using Documentum Web Publisher.

Documentum Web content management solution

Documentum provides an enterprise content management approach for managing all unstructured data including documents, web pages, XML, and rich media throughout the organization. Documentum web content management system is built on this underlying architecture to support management and publishing of all unstructured content types.  It can drive down costs, simplify the management of multiple sites, and increase productivity for the creation, approval, and publishing of content, ultimately delivering a superior user experience to raise customer satisfaction and revenues.

  Key components:

  • Web Publisher

Web Publisher is a browser-based application that simplifies and automates the creation, review, and publication of web content. It works within Documentum 5, using Documentum Content Server to store and process content. It uses Documentum Site Caching Services (SCS) to publish content to web.  Web Publisher manages web content through its entire life: creation, review, approval, publishing and archiving. Web Publisher also includes a full complement of capabilities for global site management, faster web development using templates and presentation files, administration. Web Publisher can be integrated with authoring tools to develop web sites. 

  • Documentum Content Server

Content Server stores content and meta data in a repository called docbase. It provides full set of content management services, including library services (check in and check out), version control, archiving options and process management features such as workflows and lifecycles. It also provides secure access to the content stored in the repository.

  • Site Caching Services

Documentum Site Caching Services  (SCS) publish documents directly from a docbase to a web site. It extends the capabilities of content server. It has two components, source software and target software. The source software has to be installed on content server host and target software on web server. SCS chooses which content to publish and to what location according to the parameters in a publishing configuration. User can create publishing configurations in Documentum Administrator.

  • Site Deployment Services

Site Deployment Services, retrieves the web site from the Site Caching Services repository and deploys the site to multiple servers or Internet Service Providers.

Related Solutions:

The Documentum web content management solution is strengthened by complementary products that address more sophisticated web challenges such as rich media authoring environments, better searching and navigation, better collaboration, portals, and records management for compliance.

  • Content Intelligent Services

            Content Intelligent Services provides better searching, navigation and personalization for the large amount of web content.

  • Content Rendition Services

Content Rendition Services automates the conversion of standard desktop document formats into Web-ready formats such as PDF and HTML and stores the renditions in a Documentum repository alongside the original.

  • Content Media Services

Content Media Services performs all analysis and transformations activities for any media file format.

  • Web Publisher Portlets

This is the portal solution offered by documentum.  Web Publisher portlets allow users to participate in fundamental, content-based business processes without leaving their familiar portal environments or learning a new application and include three out-of-the-box portlets that are also fully customizable: My Web Publisher, Submit Content, and Published Content.

  • My Web Publisher – provides a personalized view, allowing users to easily see vital information such as the number of unread tasks and notifications
  • Submit Content – displays all Web Publisher templates that an end user is allowed to access and summarizes files that have been created, published, and checked out
  • Published Content – provides users with a list of documents in an active published state and grouped by category such as announcements, corporate news, or human resources (HR)
  • Record Management Solution – Record management solution helps companies to comply with regulations governing electronic information.
  • eRoom –  eRoom is a web based collaboration tool that allows people to work together on content, projects, and processes both within the enterprise and beyond. This may include external entities such as partners, suppliers, customers, and clients.
  • Inter enterprise workflow services – With Inter enterprise workflow services, documentum workflows can be extended across a company’s firewall to include business partners. It also enables integration of documentum workflows with workflow engines, including EAI and BPM systems as well as with workflows from other enterprise applications. 

Publishing Content to a Website

Traditionally web teams or IT departments manage web sites manually. Web teams are overwhelmed with demands to constantly publish new content and ensure higher quality standards while managing hundreds of thousands of web pages across external websites and portals. To overcome these challenges, organizations need to empower business content owners to author and publish content. Providing content templates can help in maintaining brand integrity across all sites. Companies should also ensure that content is reviewed and approved before it is published.  Organizations can achieve consistency and quality with out burdening web teams with costly and time intensive manual updates by having a web content management solution.  We will see how this can be achieved using documentum as a web content management tool.

Web teams can create web sites using Web Publisher. Web sites created are stored in web cabinets. Web administrator can create groups, which define specific job functions like content authoring, reviewing and add users to these groups. Web developers can design content templates, assign a life cycle and workflow to the template and make it available for use via web using Web Publisher. Life cycle identifies the state of a document.  Web Publisher default life cycle has following states: Start, WIP, Staging, Approved and Active.                       

  • Start

When content is newly created or newly versioned, Web Publisher places it in the Start state, for initialization purposes, and then immediately promotes it to the WIP state.

  • WIP (Work In Progress)

Content in draft or review.

  • Staging

Content that is complete and ready for testing on a staging Web site. By default, Web Publisher does not allow users to modify a file’s content, location or properties if the file has advanced to the Staging state or beyond.

  • Approved

Content that is approved for the active Web site but has not yet reached its publication date (i.e., effective date).

  • Active

Content that is on the active Web site.

A workflow defines activities to be performed on content. It defines the users who will perform the set of activities. Workflow can also include automatic tasks, which are performed by the system. For example, an automatic task might promote a file to a new lifecycle state. Using Web Publisher, web teams can create workflow templates, which can be later be reused for any content type.

Content authors can create content based on content templates to which a life cycle or workflow is assigned. The content templates help companies to maintain brand integrity. Review and approval of content can be automated using workflow. Thus enterprises can control what content is created, by whom, and in what manner.

Once the content is approved it has to be published. Content owners can publish content using Web Publisher. For this, a publishing configuration has to be created for the web site. This is done using documentum administrator. User can have separate publishing configurations for different life cycle stages (WIP, Staging and Active stages) for each web cabinet. Each publishing configuration publishes to a separate target location: the WIP and Staging sites are for internal testing; the Active site is the live web site. Users would access the WIP and Staging sites through the Web Publisher preview command or a URL.

If a web site is created in multiple file formats or languages, use the publishing configuration to determine what format or language is published to a given web server. For example, suppose product.htm has three renditions: product.htm, product.xml, and product.wml. User can create two publishing configurations for the site: one that publishes HTML, GIF, and CSS files, and another that publishes WML files (Product.xml is used for development and is not published).

When a publishing configuration is created, SCS automatically creates a publishing job.

         SCS publish operation can be initiated when any of the following occur:

  • When the publishing job’s regular interval occurs.
  • When a user manually publishes content through the Publish command.
  • When content is manually or automatically promoted to Staging or Active state. Promotion initiates the publishing operation only if the web site is configured to use synchronous publishing. Manual promotion occurs when a user either promotes content to the next lifecycle state or power promotes content to the Approved lifecycle state. Automatic promotion occurs when Web Publisher promotes content through an automatic workflow task or through the arrival of the content’s effective date. If a web page reaches the approved state after the effective date is met, the page is published the next time the site is updated.
  • When a user previews content in the WIP or Staging states to see how it will appear on the web. Web Publisher initiates the publishing operation if the content has been modified since the last publishing job ran.

Web Publisher removes web pages from web sites when the pages meet their expiration dates. Steps to create and publish content to a website   are given below.

Steps to Create and Publish Content to Website

  1.       Log in to Web Publisher as administrator.
  2.       Go to Administration->User Management-> Users
  3.       Add users to docbase. Refer Web Publisher help for more details.
  4.       Add users to content author, content manager, administrator groups
  5.       Assign the Client Capability of content author user to contributor.
  6.       Assign the Client Capability of content manager user to coordinator.
  7.       Assign the Client Capability of administrator to system administrator.
  8.      Create a workflow template using workflow manager.  User can either use the desktop version of workflow              manager or web version that can be accessed from Web Publisher.

Web Publisher provides default workflow templates. For e.g. Submit to Web site, which is a simple workflow, is used to publish content to a web site. When starting this workflow, the content manager specifies an author to work on the content. The task appears in content author’s inbox. Content author modifies the content and forwards it to the manager for review. Web Publisher promotes the content from WIP to Staging prior to review. If the reviewer rejects the task, Web Publisher demotes it to WIP and routes it back to its originator. If a reviewer approves the task, Web Publisher routes the content to an approver and the content is promoted to Approved Stage. Once content is approved it is automatically promoted to Active stage and is published to the website.

To start creation of a workflow template using desktop version of workflow manager

a) Open Workflow Manager.

b) Log in to Workflow Manager as Web Publisher administrator. A Web Publisher administrator should have superuser permissions.

c) Choose File->Open. Browse to System->Applications->Web Publisher folder and select a Web Publisher default workflow.

    For example, Submit to Web site. This opens a default Web Publisher workflow on which to base custom workflow.

d) Choose File->Save As and save the workflow with a name that represents the workflow.

                All workflows must be saved in System->Applications->WebPublisher-><user_defined_workflow_folder>.

               Create a new folder or save workflows to the Web Publisher root folder.

e) Validate the template.

f) Install the new workflow template

g) Make it available through Web Publisher.

For more information on creating workflows, refer to Workflow Manager User Guide.

To access workflow manager from Web Publisher, log in to Web Publisher as a Web Publisher administrator.

Select Web Publisher Admin->Workflow templates and repeat the steps from c to g

9.     Create a new category under Templates in Web Publisher

          10.   Import a template to the new category that is created. Template provides layout for content.

          11.    Assign default life cycle and the newly created workflow to the template.

          12.    Make the template available for use.

          13.   Create a web cabinet in Web Publisher

          14.   Create a folder in web cabinet

          15.   Create content using the newly created template in Web Publisher

            16.  Create a site publishing configuration in documentum administrator

                          i) Start Documentum Administrator and connect to the docbase as a superuser.

                          ii) Click Site Publishing.

                          iii) Create a new site-publishing configuration.

                          iv) Set values in the site-publishing configuration:

                             a) Click Active.

                             b) In the Version field, type Active.

                             c) Click Publishing Folder and browse the Docbase to the website folder (web cabinet).

                             d) Type the target host name. This is the host where the SCS target software is installed.

                             e) Type the target port for making connections to the target host. The port entered must match the port          

                                 specified at the time of installation of SCS (DefaultPort, 2789)

                             f) Type the target root directory to which user wants to publish the content. To publish web pages to

                                  Apache Tomcat, give this as target directory:

                                         C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Tomcat 4.1\webapps\ROOT

                            g)  Choose the connection type.

                            h)  Click the Advanced tab.

                            i)  Select a new export directory or leave the default unchanged.

                            j)  Type the transfer user name, password, and domain. Enter the transfer authentication domain name that

                                 was provided during SCS target installation. Enter a valid username and password.

                           k) Click Ok.

17.  Log in to Web Publisher as content manager

18.  Start the new workflow using Web Publisher

a.      Navigate to the content created.

b.        Select the checkbox.

c.         Go to Tools

d.        Select Workflow -> Start  

e.      Assign a content author and web admin

19.  Workflow tasks will appear in user’s inbox

20.  User can accept and forward the task to next user or reject it

21.  Content is automatically published to web site once it is approved.

I would conclude in writing  Documentum provides an enterprise approach to transform online presence and drive ROI. It provides an easy-to-use, browser-based interface that empowers non-technical users to easily create, manage, and publish content for multilingual web sites and portals. This solution is suitable for medium to large size companies.

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  1. October 3, 2011 at 1:31 AM
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