How to Update a Basic Asset Type in WebCenter Sites

In this blog we will discuss a workaround to adding a new attribute to an existing basic asset type definition.

Introduction – Oracle WebCenter Sites (OWCS) provides us a variety of Asset Type models to implement in our projects, like Basic, Flex and Proxy asset types. As WebCenter Sites was originally FatWire, and the product has changed hands multiple times over its life cycle, being re-architected over the years, new asset type structures were added to solve the need of present-day content modelling problems.

Scenario – We have seen some old Fatwire implementations where the asset modelling is built using Basic asset models (due to absence of flex family models at that point in time), which is quite rigid and has severe scalability issues. However, as content needs grow, there will be demands from marketers and content creators to add extra attributes to existing basic asset definitions, which OWCS unfortunately does not allow out of the box.

In this blog, we are going to discuss a workaround to solve this problem statement.


Note: We recommend you take a back-up of WCS/FatWire before making these changes. Our workaround is not documented by Oracle or any other affiliate of WCS over its lifecycle.

  1. Login to WCS and go to Admin tree from Admin view and expand Asset Types.
  2. Double click on the desired asset type that we would like to alter. For e.g., ‘PocTest’ in our case.
  3. Click on ‘View Descriptor File’ to have a view of the existing Asset Descriptor File (ADF) XML.
  4. Note the exact location of this XML file in the server will be mentioned against the ‘DefDir’ attribute.

5. Go to the server location where the XML is stored and edit the Asset descriptor file to add new attribute (“propertyextra” field is added, in our case)

6. Connect to the database schema and Alter AssetType table to add the extra column. An example SQL statement looks like this –

ALTER TABLE table_name ADD column_name datatype;

7. Restart Dev instance for the XML edits to take effect.

8. Flush the asset type table and result set cache.

Does your organization use legacy or new software to drive the forefront of your business? Inspired ECM and its consultants have worked with FatWire/WebCenter Sites throughout the entire lifecycle of the product. Along with FatWire and WCS, we also offer support for popular alternatives such as Adobe Experience Manager, as customers migrate away from the end-of-life WCS. Feel free to contact us today with any of your organizations needs.