This article focuses on practical aspects of Oracle's new WebCenter Content User Interface, frequently referred as Content UI (aka ADF UI and Web UI).
Content UI is Oracle's ADF-based user interface that is aimed to replace the Native UI of the WebCenter Content. Content UI has officially been out for over a year now and the most recent release supports all major browsers including, but not limited to Internet Explorer 8 through 11. While the Content UI is still considered to be a relatively new user interface for WebCenter Content, it has already been enhanced and improved within the last year due to the proactive feedback provided by organizations that are using it.
So, why should you jump on the Content UI bandwagon? The answer is pretty simple - Content UI is the future of WebCenter Content. While the Native UI is not going anywhere, mainly because its implementation is at the core of the underlying content server engine, the web technologies with which it was originally developed are outdated. In contrast, Content UI is a modern solution that provides users with the most effective way of interacting with WebCenter Content either through a desktop or mobile device. Furthermore, the new interface is designed with the primary focus on the day-to-day experience, and that's what makes it clutter-free, streamlined and intuitive.
For any average internet user searching in the new Content UI will present no challenge. For example, there is basically no guessing around how to immediately begin searching for content once you logged into the system for the first time.
The top search bar provides for the most familiar and intuitive searching experience with extra ability to refine search results with the minimum amount of clicks.
Clicking on any search result opens up its information (metadata) page in a new browser tab. This page contains a preview of the document as well as links to its various renditions and different descriptions.
The fact that the document information pages open up in new tabs allows users to easily get back to their search results by simply switching or closing tabs.
Any typical Enterprise Content Management implementation usually has a way to logically partition information that it stores. Such information partitioning could be represented as a virtual folder structure that allows for easy navigation and contribution. Once such virtual folder structure is in place, it becomes a breeze to browse for information with the Content UI. Just like using any kind of OS-native file explorer tool, it is a matter of few clicks to get to the location of where documents are stored:
In WebCenter Content, this virtual folder structure is handled via the FrameworkFolders component.
The Favorites section provides a personalized entry point to almost any corner of the Content UI. Just like creating a bookmark in a web browser, users can mark various folders and documents as their favorites by simply clicking a star icon next to them.
Everything that has been marked as a favorite could be found later under the Favorites section.
Oracle provides a dedicated WebCenter Content mobile application for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. This mobile application has a very similar experience as the Content UI. This similarity between the mobile and the desktop user interfaces allows for a much shorter learning curve for unexperienced end-users.
Searching in the mobile application is very similar to the Content UI: type in a keyword and select a result to preview.
Not surprisingly, browsing for content in the mobile app follows the same process as navigating the folder structure in Content UI.
And of course, the Favorites section resembles Content UI very closely.
Oracle WebCenter Content is the backbone of the WebCenter stack and its new Content UI is designed to allow users to effortlessly find existing documents, as well as correctly contribute new ones. The Oracle WebCenter mobile application closely resembles Content UI, and as such makes it easier for the end users.
Anton Bondar - Mythics Consulting