Mass Metadata Updates with Folders
By Kyle Hatlestad on Sep 14, 2012
With the release of WebCenter Content PS5, a new folder architecture called 'Framework Folders' was introduced. This is meant to replace the folder architecture of 'Folders_g'. While the concepts of a folder structure and access to those folders through Desktop Integration Suite remain the same, the underlying architecture of the component has been completely rewritten. One of the main goals of the new folders is to scale better at large volumes and remove the limitations of 1000 content items or sub-folders within a folder. Along with the new architecture, it has a new look and a few additional features have been added. One of those features are Query Folders. These are folders that are populated simply by a query rather then literally putting items within the folders. This is something that the Library has provided, but it always took an administrator to define them through the Web Layout Editor. Now users can quickly define query folders anywhere within the standard folder hierarchy.
Within these new Query Folders is the very handy ability to do metadata updates. It's similar to the Propagate feature in Folders_g, but there are some key differences that make this very flexible and much more powerful.
- It's used within regular folders and Query Folders. So the content you're updating doesn't all have to be in the same folder...or a folder at all.
- The user decides what metadata to propagate. In Folders_g, the system administrator controls which fields will be propagated using a single administration page. In Framework Folders, the user decides at that time which fields they want to update.
- You set the value you want on the propagation screen. In Folders_g, it used the metadata defined on the parent folder to propagate. With Framework Folders, you supply the new metadata value when you select the fields you want to update. It does not have to be defined on the parent folder.
Because of these differences, I think the new propagate method is much more useful. Instead of always having to rely on Archiver or a custom spreadsheet, you can quickly do mass metadata updates right within folders.
Here are the basic steps to perform propagation.
- First create a folder for the propagation. You can use a regular folder, but a Query Folder will work as well.
- Go into the folder to get the results.
- In the Edit menu, select 'Propagate'.
- Select the check-box next to the field to update and enter the new value Click the Propagate button.
- Once complete, a dialog will appear showing it is complete
What's also nice is that the process happens asynchronously in the background which means you can browse to other pages and do other things while it is still working. You aren't stuck on the page waiting for it to complete. In addition, you can add a configuration flag to the server to turn on a status indicator icon. Set 'FldEnableInProcessIndicator=1' and it will show a working icon as its doing the propagation.
There is a caveat when using the propagation on a Query Folder. While a propagation on a regular folder will update all of the items within that folder, a Query Folder propagation will only update the first 50 items. So you may need to run it multiple times depending on the size...and have the query exclude the items as they get updated.
One extra note...Framework Folders is offered as the default folder architecture in the PS5 release of WebCenter Content. But if you are using WebCenter Content integrated with another product that makes use of folders (WebCenter Portal/Spaces, Fusion Applications, Primavera, etc), you'll need to continue using Folders_g until they are updated to use the new folders.