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Authoring templates

Authoring templates are like forms that content authors can use to create new content. It defines default settings for the items created using the authoring template. There are two types in authoring templates, site area and content.

Create authoring templates for the content authors to use as they develop new content for the website. The authoring template is mapped to a presentation template. Use one presentation template for multiple authoring templates. This removes presentation considerations and treatment from the content. Separating the presentation enables us to update the website by modifying the presentation template instead of modifying multiple pieces of content.

Authoring template types

    Site area templates

    Site area authoring templates are used to define the default settings of site areas.

    Default site area template:

    A default site area is installed with IBM Web Content Manager. This can be used to maintain the behavior of site areas that are migrated from previous releases. We can disable the creation of new site areas using the default site area template by changing the following configuration parameter to "false" in the WCM WCMConfigService service using the WAS admin console. If the setting does not exist, it can be added.


    Content templates

    Content authoring templates are used to define the default settings for content items. We create render content in two different ways:

      Content rendering

      If we configure a content authoring template to render as content, then the content items created are standard content items. These are designed to store elements that can be rendered within presentation templates.

      Resource rendering

      If we configure a content authoring template to render as a resource, then the content items created are based on a file stored in a file resource element. When a resource content item is rendered, the file stored in the selected file resource element is rendered on the web page. No presentation template is used when the file is rendered, only the content of the file itself. This is useful when we want to store a file, such as a PDF file, and render it directly on a page but would also like to have the PDF file listed in navigational components such as menus and navigators.

Authoring template properties

    Element selection

    When creating an authoring template, we can add elements to the template to determine what types of content is stored within the item. When we construct the authoring template, we can select more than one element field of the same element type. For example, we might add three text element fields, two rich text element fields, and four image element fields to the same authoring template.

    Default values

    We can specify default values for each field and element in the authoring template. Well selected default values can make it easier and more efficient for an author to create new items and can streamline the item creation process.

    Simplified form layout

    The authoring template provides features that help you simplify the presentation of the authoring form.

      Authoring form layout options

      We can control the general layout of the fields on the authoring form by specifying an authoring form layout option. Depending on the layout option we select, this can reduce the vertical space that is required to display the elements on the authoring form.

      Hidden fields

      In addition to organizing an authoring form with a layout option for the fields, we can further simplify the form presented to the item author using hidden fields. Except for those fields required for an authoring form, we can designate any other field in the authoring template to be hidden. A field marked to be hidden in the authoring template is not displayed on the authoring form, thereby streamlining the form's visual appearance. Note, however, that although a hidden field is not displayed on the authoring form, the information defined in the field is still associated with the authoring form and is processed with the form. This is useful when used with a default value for a field because it enables us to specify a setting for a field and then hide the field on the authoring form to ensure the field's value cannot be changed by the item author. For example, we might want to set access control levels for item that is generated from the authoring template in the Access Control section of the template and then hide that section on the resulting authoring form. When an item is generated from the template, the access control levels for the item is derived from the default values in the template.

    Custom help text

    To further help tailor the content form for an item author, Web Content Manager provides the capability of adding customized help text to the authoring template.

    • We can define help text for the entire authoring form that is generated from the authoring template. For example, this help text can be used to describe the purpose of the form. include whatever specific information you feel would be of use to the authors using the form.

    • In addition to the HTML text we can add to describe the entire authoring form, we can also specify in-line help text that is displayed with each element on the form. This help text can provide targeted information for a particular field on the form, explaining possible values or noting special conditions related to the field.

Labeling elements

The names of element labels in different items must be the same if an element reference in a presentation template is to change depending on the current context. This is an important consideration if two authoring templates are using the same presentation template. The element types however, do not have to be consistent.

Site area Element label Element type
Business Heading Image
Personal Heading Rich Text
Features Heading Text
News Heading Text

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