Working with authoring templates

When working with authoring templates you define settings for the authoring template itself, as well as defining default settings for the items created using the authoring template.

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 migrated from previous releases. You 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 WebSphere® Integrated Solutions Console.
Content templates
Content authoring templates are used to define the default settings for content items. You create render content in two different ways:
Content rendering
If you configure a content authoring template to render as content, then the content items you create will be standard content items. These are designed to store elements that can be rendered within presentation templates.
Resource rendering
If you configure a content authoring template to render as a resource, then the content items you create will be 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 you 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.

Defining authoring template properties

Element selection
When creating an authoring template you add elements to the template to determine what types of content will be stored within the item. When constructing the authoring template, you can select more than one element field of the same element type. For example, you might add three text element fields, two rich text element fields, and four image element fields to the same authoring template.
Default values
You 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
You can control the general layout of the fields on the authoring form by specifying an authoring form layout option. Depending on the layout option you select, this can reduce the vertical space 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, you can further simplify the form presented to the item author through the use of hidden fields. With the exception of those fields that are required for an authoring form, you 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 will be processed with the form. This is particularly useful when used in conjunction with a default value for a field because it enables you to specify a setting for a field and then hide the field on the authoring form to ensure that the field's value cannot be changed by the item author. For example, you might want to set access control levels for item 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 will be derived from the default values in the template.
Custom help text
To further help tailor the content form for a item author, Web Content Manager provides the capability of adding customized help text to the authoring template.
  • You 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. You should include whatever specific information you feel would be of use to the authors using the form.
  • In addition to the HTML text you can add to describe the entire authoring form, you 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 will be using the same presentation template. The element types however, do not have to be consistent.

Table 1. Example: An element reference called Heading from Current Site Area
Site area Element label Element type
Business Heading Image
Personal Heading Rich Text
Features Heading Text
News Heading Text