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WebCenter Sites 11g R1 (11.1.1.8.0) – New Features

Just in case you missed the release of the latest version of Oracle’s WebCenter Sites – 11g Release 1 – here’s our overview of the newest features and how they might be useful to you and your business.

webcenter-sites-11g-r1-new-features

3rd party integration framework

The proxy asset framework, new in WebCenter Sites 11.1.1.8.0, provides an (almost) out of the box way to integrate with external content sources. The only requirement for those sources is that they have a publicly available API.

How it works

Once integrated, the proxy asset framework relies on your users searching for data from within the Contributor UI. When the search results are rendered to the screen, proxy assets are created for each result under the covers.

These proxy assets contain a reference supplied by the external API to identify the item they represent. Users can either bookmark these proxy assets or relate them directly to a pre-existing asset

Key features

  • Provides good integration with the Contributor UI
  • Provides a productised way of integrating with 3rd party APIs

How is this useful?

  • It provides a product supported way of integrating with external repositories

Things to be aware of

  • Relies on access to a 3rd party API from both the Editorial and Delivery system
  • Doesn’t provide any visibility of when the underlying data is updated / deleted (so it’s important to be careful with caching)
  • You do have to write some code to plumb the external API into the Contributor UI

Mobile website support

Supporting tools for the development, preview and delivery of mobile websites.

How it works

For editorial users mobile website support provides a series of device specific previews. This gives users an indication of what the site will look like rendered in a range of devices.

There’s also product support for providing device specific templates and site plans to allow editorial users to create device specific versions of a site.

Key features

  • Device detection using a simple XML format or even better WURFL
  • The ability to create separate Site Plans for devices/device groups
  • The ability to create device specific templates for rendering assets
  • Preview content as your users will see it using the multi-device preview in the Contributor UI

How is this useful?

  • The addition of mobility supplied functionality into the WCS stack makes it much easier to develop and implement mobile sites – particularly if they require device specific templates or navigation

Vanity URL support

Finally some out of the box support for producing custom URLs. Vanity in this case is a bit of a misnomer – reasonable would be a better way of describing this functionality.

How it works

Developers enable URL generation by specifying patterns and functions to automatically generate friendly and stable URLs. This is possible for both normal and binary assets. Editorial users can also supply custom crafted URLs to support SEO and other marketing activities.

Key features

  • Generate custom URLs for regular and binary assets
  • Provides the ability to use auto generated and custom URLs
  • Developers can configure URL patterns using variables and functions
  • Provides the ability to choose between generating relative or absolute URLs

How is this useful?

  • It provides editorial users with much greater control over the URLs for assets (useful for SEO)
  • It provides stable URLs for things like downloadable documents (meaning the URL to your annual report won’t change every time you publish)

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