Definition of metadata:
(noun) data that provides information about other data
First Known Use: 1983.
For every asset in the system's database, the Cascade Content Management System (CMS) keeps specific "sets" of metadata-type information, known as Metadata Sets. This metadata-type information is used to support many CMS internal dynamic functions, such as the automatic building and management of navigation items (menus, breadcrumbs, and link text, etc.), and can also be used for general asset management. In some cases, it can provide on-page content (e.g. a page's main headline; or a linked listing of news articles). It can also be used to support Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The Metadata Set which the CMS tracks for each asset is very much like the set of associated information which might be kept for an individual in an employer's database.
For example: an employee may be listed in a company database by way of an identification number or code, with his or her relevant employment information then associated with that ID within the database. Thus, his or her "set of metadata" may include such types of information as: Name, Title, Reporting Line, Office Location, Office Phone Number, specific Extension, etc.
Additionally, even though an individual may not actually have one or more of the specific types of tracked information (e.g. a specific extension number), an 'empty' space in the database may still be retained for those pieces in case they might be added later on.
Similarly, several categories of associated information, or potentially associated information, are tracked for each eligible asset in the CMS.
Folders, Pages, Files, Blocks, and Dynamic External Link assets are all allowed to carry along each and every one of those pieces of potential information which comprise the Cascade CMS's basic Metadata Set. Additionally, once any metadata content is part of an asset's associated information, it is retained until altered or deleted, and is retained regardless of whether or not it is actually being used by the system.
It is important for Cascade editors to understand that they have control over the Metadata content (text and settings) for all assets to which they have editing permissions within their site[s]. It is also important for editors to understand how each type of asset uses the metadata associated with it, to ensure correct content.
| The Cascade CMS's basic Metadata Set | The System Name | Using an Asset's Essential Metadata and its System Name | Metadata vs System Data
The Cascade CMS's basic Metadata Set
The basic Metadata Set includes specific categories of information which can be critical for every asset within the CMS:
- the asset's Display Name
- the asset's Title
- the asset's Description
and also some important, but typically optional, information which may be used in a variety of ways, including search engine optimization (SEO), asset management, and news article documentation:
(e.g. a news article's writer, rather than a page asset's content editor; this is not equivalent to the 'creator' of the asset)
- Start Date
(date an asset will publish, if enabled)
- End Date
(date an asset will be un-published, if enabled)
- Expiration Folder
(location an asset may be moved to if an End Date is set)
- Review Date
(includes an asset in a Report)
- Custom Field[s]
To see what Metadata content an asset already holds: select the asset, then click on the Details button, then select Info. See a sample illustration of the Details Button Info pane, below.
The System Name
An asset's 'Name', also known as its System Name, is wholly distinct from its Display Name metadata content. And while (like the Title, Display Name, and Description metadata) it is also a critical piece of information within Cascade, the System Name would actually be considered to be a part of an array of data known as the System Information which Cascade tracks for every asset and component within the Cascade CMS.
The asset Name is usually indicated in the CMS interface as being modified by the type of asset carrying it. For example: Folder Name, Page Name, File Name.
Any assets which Publish out to the server (i.e. Folders, Pages, and Files) need to have System Names which follow UH server filenaming conventions.
In brief: system names should be all-lowercase, have no spaces, and use dashes to separate words.
Editors should also avoid capital letters and underscores in system names: the use of capital letters can trigger some case-sensitivity issues; and the underscore characters can become obscured by the added underscore 'decoration' which distinguishes many hyperlink styles.
Editors should also scrupulously avoid the use of special or 'punctuation' characters (including periods, question marks, etc. [!, @, #, $, %, &, *, ...] ) as they have the potential to trigger many unwanted issues with a variety of bases. Some characters and character combinations may be benign and ignored in an editor's typically used system and then end up being unexpectedly interpreted by other systems and platforms.
Using an Asset's Essential Metadata and its System Name
The tracked Metadata Set information is especially important in how Folder assets, Page assets, and File assets are handled in Cascade. However, the Metadata information for each asset is used differently within the Cascade CMS depending on the type of asset for which the information has been stored.
The table below compares the use of key metadata items amongst Folders, Pages, and Files, and also contrasts the use of those assets' System Names as well:
Table of Metadata and System Name Use for Folders, Pages, and Files
|METADATA:||Display Name||Title||Description||SYSTEM NAME|
|Table of Metadata and System Name Use for Folders, Pages, and Files|
- How to Edit Various Parts of a Webpage
- Changing your User Setting for viewing assets either by Title metadata or System name, and how it affects the visual order of the folders and files in the Asset Tree.
Metadata vs System information - Which is Which?
Metadata information typically contributes directly or indirectly to the content and functionality of pages and files which will be published to the server.
System information generally defines which resources make up an asset, or identify the asset, and/or relates to how the asset acts or has been affected by actions within Cascade.
Both metadata and system information for an asset can change depending on actions taken by a CMS user, and both are tracked within the Cascade CMS database.
You can distinguish between and amongst the types of information in a number of different ways.
A) How you change or add the information can help you tell the difference:The Edit dialog vs the Rename dialog vs the Add Content process
- If you are in an EDIT button's Content or Metadata panels, you are most likely changing/adding Metadata or editing content. Some System Information settings can be changed in the Configure panel for a Page or File, or the Properties panel for a Folder – i.e. indexability and publish-/unpublish-ability – however: a System Name is never changed through any of the Edit-button panels. Nothing under the Edit button can change an asset's web address.
The most essential Metadata items usually appear at the top of the Edit: Content panel. The remaining, secondary or optional, Metadata items will show on the Edit: Metadata panel. Just keep in mind: the whole array of Metadata Set categories is the same for every asset whether that Metadata editing field appears on the Content editing panel or on the Metadata editing panel;
- If you are in the RENAME dialog, you are changing a System Name.
NOTE: Changing a System Name will change a publishable asset's working web address.
Further, you can only change an existing asset's System Name by selecting the asset and then opening the Rename dialog.
Discussion: All assets have System Names. The asset’s type will determine whether or not it publishes out as a file on the server (e.g. Folders, Pages, Files) and therefore whether or not it needs to follow UH filenaming conventions in its System Name (e.g. not: most Block assets, or Dynamic External Link assets). Assets which do not publish out as distinct files to the server do not actually need to follow UH filenaming conventions, and can be named with capitals and spaces in their system names.
Please also note: Blocks and Dynamic External Link assets in the CMS can be viewed as 'information holders' or 'content sources' within the CMS. These 'holders' dynamically channel their information to the page-type assets which Choose them (call them through a Chooser linking tool). The page asset then publishes, along with the integrated information. The 'holders' themselves do not publish.
- If you are creating a Folder, Page, or File type asset from the Add Content menu:
- the Asset Name you are asked to provide here is a System Name.
- If the asset is a Folder, Page, or File its System Name must follow UH server file-naming conventions.*
- The System Name can only be changed after creation by using the Rename dialog (found under the "More..." button).
- Everything else related to an Asset Factory dialog[s] is either Metadata (this includes any "Display Name" field) and/or relates directly to content.
- If you are creating a Block or Dynamic External Link type asset, the System Name for these non-publishing assets can have capitals and spaces.
- *TIP: as a shortcut to coordinating the system name with the Title metadata, you can first enter the Title phrase with natural capitalization and spaces as desired, and then copy that and paste it into the system name field. Once you paste it in and click off the field, the CMS should flag the entry as unacceptable and offer an acceptable alternate suggestion. Accept the 'filtered' suggestion by clicking on the linked part of that alert under the system name field, then click Submit to finalize creation.
B) All the DETAILS: Info tab vs Properties tab
The Details button can show users important information about the asset they are working with, including a number of pieces of both Metadata information and System Information, without the user having to fish through every dialog to find the various settings and fields.
The Details button will typically show 2 or 3 sub-tabs (see also, Details button illustrations below):
- The Info tab, which shows user-assigned metadata content for the asset's Display Name, Title, and Description, and can be expanded to also show other Metadata Set items; If no metadata content has been assigned, the item will show as "empty".
- The Properties tab, which displays current system information, such as the following for a typical page:
- Created (date and time and editor)
- Last Modified (date and time and editor)
- Content Owner (by asset; new with v.8; can be assigned/reassigned)
- Settings/Configuration for the asset:
(or not; i.e. whether the asset is sharing metadata with the system or not)
- Publish-able (or not)
(This setting refers to whether or not the CMS Publisher function is available or active for this specific asset. The Publisher encompasses both Publishing and Un-Publishing [e.g. Files de-selected for Publishability also cannot be Un-Published].)
- Last Published (date and time and editor)
- Metadata Set (system component)
(This item represents a Metadata Set system component, which is basically an instruction set outlining how the set of Metadata information for this asset is going to be presented to the user. These system instructions can determine on which Edit panel the specific pieces of metadata appear (the Edit: Content panel or the Edit: Metadata panel), and can even determine whether a particular piece of metadata is entirely hidden and therefore non-editable (rare). The Metadata Set component can also define custom metadata types for the CMS system to use in addition to the standard set.
- Depending on the type of asset, there might be a third tab under the Details button. A Details tab provides size and type information for file-type assets. A Design tab provides information about the underlying system component resources for page-type assets.