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OpenCms documentation

ADE configuration

This chapter explains how to configure

  • the content types shown in the "Add Content" dialog,
  • the available formatters,
  • the available dynamic functions,
  • the "Basic Properties" dialog,
  • the availability of detail pages,
  • the template pages available
  • attributes in a sitemap.

In case a module adds a new resource type (as defined in the module's manifest) to OpenCms and you want to make this automatically available to the ADE after the module is installed, you can place a .config file of the type module_config inside the root folder of your module.

The module configuration file offers three tabs:

Defines a content type‘s name and name pattern, default folder, formatter and more.

Defines which properties get displayed under the "Basic Properties" tab for the property dialog in the ADE.

Define named functions that are shipped with the module. For named functions, function detail pages can be added in the sitemap editor.

The central place where the content types available through ADE's Add Content dialog and other global settings are configured is the /.content/.config file. Settings for sub-sitemaps follow the same mechanism with the .content/.config file based in the sub-sitemap.

The sitemap configuration offers 6 tabs:

Defines a content type‘s name and name pattern, default folder, formatter (optional) and more.

Configure which formatters should be available.

Configure which dynamic functions should be available.

Defines which properties get displayed under the "Basic Properties" tab for the property dialog in the ADE.

Defines template models to be used by the sitemap editor for generating new container pages. Most of the configuration is added when a new template model is added via the sitemap editor. Read more on template models here.

Defines detail pages used for the specified content type in the sitemap. Most of the configuration is done automatically when a detail page is added via the sitemap editor.

Set attributes (key-value pairs) to be used in formatters or for configurations. Via attributes you can influence for example the element settings editors can see, the configuration of editor widgets and your formatter's output. It's in particular useful when building templates with various variants.

The sitemap configuration contains various information, some automatically filled in, like paths to detail pages, most manually entered. Editing the sitemap configuration requires for multiple settings technical knowledge of OpenCms and the template. Without additional configuration, editors can access the sitemap configuration and hence may "ruin" your page by changing settings the don't understand correctly.

To remedy this situation, the opencms-workplace.xml has the optional configuration element <sitemap-config-edit-role>. Via that option, you can restrict the access to the sitemap configuration to users with a specific role. By default the role DEVELOPER is preconfigured.

Still, some options in the sitemap configuration, in particular attributes, might need to be changed by editors. To enable those changes, but not expose the whole configuration file, you can configure these attributes to be changable via a special dialog in the sitemap editor


The correct ADE configuration for each site can be cumbersome. Especially, when you have a multi-site installation with various templates present. Typically, the types, formatters and functions that make sense depend (only) on the template that is used. To ease the configuration, sitemap master configurations are introduced.

The idea is to add a sitemap master configuration to the module that contains your template (JSP). We recommend to use a configurations subfolder of your module's main folder. Choose type "Sitemap master configuration" in the "Configurations"-tab to add a configuration in the explorer. Then reference the master configuration for sites that use the template. The options are nearly (but not completely) identical to the ones in the sitemap configuration.

Read more about master configurations in the special topic about them.

The sitemap master configuration is a great feature to configure sites already when developing the template. At least for installations with multiple templates, we strongly recommend to use them.
Configuration inheritance
See the topic on sitemap master configurations to understand how they come in to the picture.