In simplest terms, assets are those entities within the CMS that represent and/or are used to generate content. For example, a page (which itself is an asset) might derive some of its content from other assets: images displayed on the page, an XML index block transformed by a stylesheet to create a navigation bar, a CSS file that gives the styles for the XHTML elements in the page's markup, etc. Each of the asset types available in Cascade Server work together to create a very complex, yet easy to manage, web site.
- Page - This is a asset built by the CMS from other assets to create the finished product of published documents such as web pages.
- File - may be a jpeg image, a PDF file, or any other static content. Files normally cannot be edited inside the CMS. These files must contain their proper extension (ex: file-name.pdf, photo.jpg)
- Block - a "pluggable " piece of content that can be easily substituted into any page region. Normally it is used as a block of text.
- External Link - a symbolic link to a specific URL
- Folder - a container within Cascade that acts as a parent asset to other assets.
- Reference - a special asset that is created to represent an existing asset in another location, allowing it to be indexed in multiple folders
Assets used by administrators
- Template - the basic building block for a page's layout.
- Format- used to transform and style data, such as an XML block
- Configurations - Each department site has a specific configuration applied to the template to make their site unique.
Viewing Assets in Cascade
On the left side of Cascade's Dashboard (and nearly every page in the system) is the Asset Tree. The Asset Tree displays the folder navigation and hierarchical view of your assets. However, assets displayed in this navigation window are permission sensitive. This ensures that users are only displayed content appropriate to their level of access.
Depending on General and User Preferences, the Asset Tree may not automatically appear when a user logs in. In this case, a small right arrow icon would appear instead:
Clicking this icon will display the Asset Tree and store this preference in the browser's cookies. To permanently set the Asset Tree to appear upon log-in, navigate to System Menu -> Preferences -> User Preferences and check the 'Simple Interface' box. To set this option as a default choice for all users who haven't previously changed their own User Preferences, navigate to System Menu -> Preferences -> General and check the 'Simple Interface' box.
Creating New Assets in Cascade
The easiest way to create new assets (content) is by using Cascade Server's Asset Factory functionality.
Cascade provides a Default Asset Factory, which allows a default version of all asset types: blocks, external links, files, folders, pages, stylesheets, templates, and references, to be created with a few clicks of the mouse.
Each department site also has their own customized page types to choose from - regular web page, FAQ, notice, event, personnel file.
Can assets be copied?
All types of content – pages, content blocks, files, etc., can be copied. The copy can be left as an exact clone, or it can be edited as desired. In addition, pointers can be made that syndicate the content of other pages.
Reordering Assets in Cascade
Asset reordering is a feature that enables you to manually change the order of assets within a folder. This is useful in creating dynamic navigation menus because you can customize the order in which indexed assets appear in the menu.
To reorder assets within a folder:
- Open the folder in which the assets to be reordered reside.
- Under the Actions column, next to each asset, are a series of icons including double up and single up arrows, as well as down and double down arrows.
- Clicking on one of the single up or down arrows will move the associated asset up or down one place.
- Clicking on one of the double up or down arrows will move the associated asset up to the top of the list or down to the bottom.
- There is no Submit button for this action; assets are moved instantly and can be reordered as desired.
- NOTE: You may also drag and drop the order of the assets.
**Additional Notes - The left Asset Tree orders all assets alphabetically for ease of use, and therefore will not necessarily reflect the actual manually managed asset order inside a given folder.
Editing and Locking Assets in Cascade
There may be times when users will need to edit an asset while preventing other users from making changes to the same asset for an extended period of time. In such cases, it is possible to manually lock the asset. Unlike the automatic locks that are created during editing, the manual locks do not automatically expire. The asset must be unlocked by the same user or by an administrator. Generally DO NOT LOCK ASSETS.
Using Assets in Cascade
There are many ways in which assets can be used in Cascade. Just a few examples include, inserting an image (file) into a page, or creating a new page within a folder.
Three types of assets are "publishable" (meaning they are included in publishing): files, folders and pages. All publishable children of folders are also included when a folder is published. Any publishable assets referenced by a published asset will automatically be published as well.
Publishable assets include an option, "Include When Publishing" which is set to true by default. When this option is set to false then publishable assets which would normally be published (either because they are children of a published folder or are referenced by a published asset) will not be published.
Creating a Default Asset
To create an asset:
1. Select New from the top navigation menu.
2. Select the type of asset you wish to create.
3.A new page (or block, file, etc) will open. Here may enter content & metadata as desired.
4.Select a Name for your new page by clicking on the System tab and typing in the desired name. This will determine the final URL for your new page.
5.A new page will be saved in the current folder by default. If you would like to save the page in a different folder, you may choose a new folder in the System area as well. Click on the folder chooser icon and browse to the desired folder.
6. When you have finished entering in content, click Submit at the bottom of the page. This will trigger the Spell Check, Link Check, and Accessibility Check (if turned on). It will also trigger the appropriate workflow process for your page or prompt you to select one if there are options.
Creating a Page
The easiest way to create a new page in Cascade Server is by using the Asset Factory set up by your Administrator.
1. Select New from the top navigational menu.
2. Select the type of page you wish to create. These options will be different depending on the needs of each website(AND the asset factories created by your administrator) but may include a Default page, Press Release, Newsletter, etc.
3. A new page will open that will allow you to enter your content via the WYSIWYG editor and add any Metadata Values as desired. (as was the case w/ the default example above)
4. Select a Name for your new page by clicking on the System tab and typing in the desired name. This will determine the final URL for your new page.
5. A new page will be saved in the current folder by default. If you would like for it to be saved in a different folder, you may choose a new folder in the System area as well. Click on the file chooser icon and browse to the desired folder.
6. When you have finished entering in content, click Submit at the bottom of the page. This will trigger the Spell Check, Link Check, and Accessibility Check if they are turned on. It will also trigger the appropriate workflow process for your page or prompt you to select one if there are options.
Uploading (Creating) Files in Cascade
Images, PDF documents, and text files are some common examples of files used in Cascade Server. Only text files are editable inside the system.
To upload a new file:
1. In the Home area, select New-> Default-> File.
2. On the Content pane:Under Upload, click Browse and select your file in the popup window.
3. Click Submit to upload and save your file.
Creating External Links in Cascade
Sometimes a site will require that links, which point to external pages, to be added to a navigation menu. This can be accomplished by creating an external link asset. An external link asset is treated like any other asset; therefore, it is indexable and can have the appropriate metadata values attached.
To create an external link:
- In the Home area, select New -> Default -> External Link.
- On the Content tab:
Enter the full URL of the external page you wish to index.
- On the Metadata tab:
Enter the desired metadata values.
- On the System tab:
Name - Enter a name for the link.
Parent Folder - This is where your external link will be stored. It should be stored within the folder you plan to index and can later be reordered with the other assets in the folder.
- Click Submit to save your new external link.
External links may be edited or deleted by selecting the asset and choosing the appropriate tab.
Creating Folders in Cascade
A folder within the CMS is a way to group related assets.
To create a folder:
1. On the top navigation menu, select New -> Default -> Folder.
2. On the System pane:Name - Select a name for the folder; if it is a folder to be published, no spaces are allowed.
Parent Folder - By default, the new folder will be placed into the current folder. This can be overridden by selecting a new parent folder from the chooser.
Publish - This determines whether the folder will be published.
Indexing - This determines whether the folder will be indexed for dynamic navigation.
3. On the Metadata pane:Input the desired metadata values.
4. Click Submit to save your new folder.