Stop Press: Publishing Stopped With NullPointerException

“Stop Press” or “Stop The Presses” is a term used in the print media industry, it is used when the need to change content arises during or just before or during printing to stop the printing press. This unfortunately places publishing of all content on hold until it is resolved. With the digital media age, this term has somewhat become obsolete as more and more content is consumed, published and delivered digitally typically through Content Management Systems such as Oracle’s WebCenter Sites.

Though the need to change content does not stop...

Back Door to Modify an Out-of-the-Box Element When You Only Have Access to the UI

Quite often you need to modify an out-of-the-box element in Oracle WebCenter Sites to either make a change or add some debug code.  Also just as often we don't actually have the access we need to modify said element because it is a simple Element Catalog element and we only have access to the UI.

Do not fret, there is a little trick you can use to gain access to the element for modification.  Simply wrap it with a CSElement.  

If you create a CSElement and give it the full name of the element you are trying to modify it will magically hook up to the actual code.


Reducing Click Counts for WebCenter Sites Users

Click-iddy Click Click Click

The usability of a system can and will effect the level of satisfcation that users feel when working with it. This will impact the initial adoption of a new system injected into a workplace as well as the overall satisfaction with it over time. In the case of WebCenter Sites, as an Adminstrator, it is to your advantage to reduce click counts during content authoring and system use thus keeping contributors working efficiently. This goes a long way towards staving off resentment and the feeling of being "stuck" with a system.

This is Soooooo...

WebCenter Sites 12c and a Custom Pick Asset Attribute Editor

The Sites 12c documentation has some instructions and examples of setting up a custom attribute editor, but they don't get very complicated. I wanted to add some functionality to the built in editor for picking an asset and realized there are a lot of steps so blogging about it might be usefull for others. Building UI enchancements can feel like putting together a puzzle for the first time. This won't show a full working example but I'll point out all the files and key things that had to be done to add a button next to each selected attribute whether or not the attribute is set to single...

UID UID, where art thou my UID

My Import for a UID! No, for ‘twas not so simple.  To understand this story we must begin a few versions ago when a tool now known as WebCenter Sites Developer Tools (WSDT) was introduced to finally allow I.T. teams to manage their WebCenter Sites Artifacts within a source code repository such as GIT, BitBucket or SVN.  These artifacts were not just code related, but also content related.  

In addition to enabling the creation of local environments for Developers to truly allow them to encapsulate their work, this tool also opened new avenues for content migration and allowed I.T....


CSDT can have a tendency to be "delicate", especially the 7.6 version. At Function1 we recently completed an upgrade from Fatwire 7.6 to WebCenter Sites 11g for a client, and we used quite a lot of CSDT to get the data migrated. Below are some of the lessons we learned along the way, which we bring to you in this blog as useful CSDT tips.

Tip #1: The "toSites" Catch

Say for example that you have exported Site1's assets to a datastore "Site1" using the "fromSites" parameter and supplying "Site1" as the value. That means of course that the datastore "Site1" contains...

Modifying the Approval Screen in the Contributor UI

In some cases, you may want to approve two or more assets at a time. For example, suppose every time you approve a widget asset, you want to automatically approve the Page asset containing it. Because the Page is not a dependency of the Widget, WCS doesn’t automatically ask you to approve it.
So, it would be helpful to have the Approval Screen automatically show both the Widget and Page assets. Making this customization is straightforward.
The elements controlling what’s displayed on the Approval screen are the following:
  1. UI/...

How to create a custom left navigation pane in WebCenter Sites Contributor UI (

In this blog, I would like to show how to create a custom left navigation pane in contributor UI for 11g. As the name suggests, navigation panes are used to show trees or navigation hierarchy for assets within a site.

To create a new navigation pane, we will, first need to extend the LeftNaviagtionConfig element. This element can be found here:


Copy content of this element into a new CSElement. For this example, create the following element.

CustomElements/<your site name>/...

Investigating Sites Tables in R

A very common theme is being asked to do some analysis on a WebCenter Sites installation but not having direct access to the system.

In this blog we will show you how you can take simple Sites Explorer or Catalog Mover exports and interrogate them in R.

If you are not familiar with R you can find more information at  Basically it is a statistical programing language which does many things like you would do in Excel except programatically.

First we load up the XML library to process the html files:...

WEM Assets: Understanding the Assets in WebCenter Sites

One of the great advantages of implementing a web experience management tool such as WebCenter Sites is the standardization and management of assets. In the words of many of my non-developer friends and even my own father, Long pause …“Ok that doesn’t mean anything to me, I thought you built websites. What is an asset?”   

Simply put in WCS everything is an asset. Let me explain. An asset is defined as:

“An object that stored in the WCS database that can be created, edited, inspected, deleted, duplicated, placed into workflow, tracked through revision tracking,...

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