What is MDS and how is it used in WebCenter

In order for Oracle WebCenter to find a way of making a generic, flexible and configurable application Oracle needed to find a way of configuring the application to behave and look different based on the needs of the customer. The changes to the system whether they are Design changes (also known as seeded customisations) or Runtime changes all use the MDS to store the customisations.

To do this Oracle created the Metadata Service. Metadata is essentially data about data, if you think of file properties in any OS, that is metadata on the file itself.

So, WebCenter uses this metadata store to keep track of all of the system changes and also any tweaks that the user can make to their pages as well. It provides a very flexible mechanism to have a single product that can behave and look different user to user and company to company.

The data can either be stored on the file system or in a database. Oracle recommend that you use a relational database rather than the file system.

Accessing the data
To be able to gain access to the metadata or to upload changes you can use the WLST shell. You’ll need to connect to your server and then from there you can run the commands importMetadata and exportMetadata.

Here are a few example commands to get you going.

– Connect to wlst using the command
– $MIDDLEWARE_HOME/Oracle_WC1/common/bin/wlst.sh
– connect(“weblogic”, “welcome1”, “”)

To export the data from the meta data store execute the following command in the wlst shell.
– exportMetadata(application=’webcenter’,server=’WC_Spaces1′,toLocation=’/home/oracle/mdssys.zip’,docs=’/mdssys/**’);
– To delete meta data from the store execute the following command in the wlst shell.
– deleteMetadata(application=’webcenter’,server=’WC_Spaces1′,docs=’/mdssys/**’);

To import meta data into the store call the following function:
– importMetadata(application=’webcenter’,server=’WC_Spaces1′,fromLocation=’/home/oracle/file.zip’);

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