Cascade Server Content Management System (CMS) is the web content management solution for the College of Architecture, together with Django. Using a CMS makes managing and updating content on the website more efficient.
Key System Features
Cascade Server has many features to make managing website content and related assets easier.
- Version Control: Keeps previous versions of files so they can be restored to a previous version if needed. Notes regarding files can also be attached to each version of a file.
- Recycle Bin: Provides a method to recover deleted files.
- Image Editor: Images can be cropped or resized from directly within the Cascade Server interface.
- Workflow: Content and Technical review processes.
- File Explorer: Easily view the documents, images, and web pages within your website for updates and internal linking.
Version Control, Recycle Bin, Cascade Server Image Editor, Workflow, and the File Explorer will be covered in more detail, along with the other features of the system.
Access the Cascade Server CMS in a web browser at https://cms.tamu.edu/.
Log in to the system using your NetID username and password. After logging in, you will be taken to the Dashboard in your default site.
Menus and Moving Through the System
- The Cascade Server logo (top left of the screen) or the Home Menu will bring you back to the Dashboard.
- Site Selection Menu: Switch between websites
- New Menu: Create a new page, upload an image or document, or add an external link.
- File Explorer: Files and folders within the currently selected website are displayed in a panel on the left side of the screen. The file explorer panel can be collapsed to provide more screen space when editing content.
- Dashboard: Provides quick access to various system elements. Messages, Workflows, Locked Assets (items checked-out by you), Drafts, and the Stale Content are accessed through here.
- You can customize the dashboard view in a variety of ways: widgets may be dragged and dropped to re-order them, or you can remove widgets you do not use.
- To remove a widget, click the gear icon and select Remove Widget.
- To add a widget or reset the dashboard, use the Add Widget and Reset Dashboard options respectively.
Files and Pages
Working with Existing Pages
Use the File Explorer to select the page you need to edit. The web page is first displayed in Layout View. Not all elements of the page will display while in layout view. Switch to Live View to see how the page will look when it is published.
File Action Menu
The File Action menu contains all of the options for working with the selected file. Many of the main File Action menu tab items have a sub-menu of items.
- Edit – Allows editing of page content.
- Publish – Publish the file to the selected destination.
- More – Displays the Delete, Reference, Copy, and Versions menu items.
- Delete – Method to delete the file. All (Actions vary between roles). Deleted files are sent to the Recycle Bin. Items in the Recycle Bin are kept for 30 days before they are purged completely.
- Reference – Used to create a link to a page which already exists on the website.
- Versions – View previous versions of the file.
- Copy – Copy the file to another location.
One of the new features maintainers can take advantage of with Cascade Server is Version Control. Every time a file or page is changed, a new version of the file is created and the previous versions of the files are stored in the system in case they need to be retrieved later.
On the File Action menu, click More > Versions.
The webpage will reload and the Version Control detail page will be displayed.
The Last Modified Date, Last Modified By, and Comments (if any) are listed on the Version Control detail page. Clock the file name for a previous version to view it.
The page will be displayed in Layout View. An additional Viewing menu will display.
The various Version Control options will display in the Viewing menu. From the Viewing menu, you can:
- View the Newer version of the file
- View the Older version of the file
- View the Current version of the file
- Activate the version - Activating the version will replace the current active version of the file with the selected version of the file when Activate is clicked. Activating an older version of a file will create another version of the file.
- Delete the version of the file.
- Compare the selected version of the file with the current active version of the file. When Compare with Current is active, the following colors are used:
- Red highlights with strikethrough - text that has been removed
- Green highlights - text that has been added
- Purple highlights - link that has been changed for highlighted text
Deleted files are held in the Recycle Bin for a period of 30 days.
When deleting files, be sure the Unpublish Content option is selected, or the file will remain on the live website even though it is not present in Cascade Server.
- Contributor: Deleting a file will initiate Workflow. Files will be unpublished and deleted only after content review approval.
- Approver: Able to delete files without Workflow approval. (A Workflow task will automatically be created, but submitting the task will immediately send the item to the Recycle Bin).
In the File Explorer, hover over the filename and click the down arrow to display the Action drop-down and choose Delete. You can also select Delete from the File Action menu when you'd like to delete the page you're currently viewing.
Content Contributors will receive a prompt to begin workflow.
Content Approvers will see a different message when deleting pages.
Ensure Unpublish Content is selected. If Unpublish Content is unselected, the file will remain on the live website even though it has been deleted from Cascade Server. This also means that the file will continue to be accessible and display in relevant web search results for end users.
Clicking Submit will begin a Workflow process. However, as soon as the process is submitted the file will be deleted and removed from the web server.
Restoring Files from the Recycle Bin
Access the Recycle Bin using the Recycle Bin tab on the Dashboard or the link on the Quick Links panel.
Locate the item to restore and click the Restore icon in the Actions column.
Click Submit, when prompted, to restore the item.
Content editing with Cascade Server is as easy as filling out a form. Select the page you need to edit from the File Explorer. Then, choose Edit from the File Action menu.
The page will reload and the editor fields will be displayed.
Use the editor field to add and modify content on the page. If the page contains modules, they will appear below the main editor field and can be expanded to modify the module content.
The page Title is required. Enter the page title in the field labeled Title. If you want the page to display in the website’s menu, check Include when indexing in the Configure tab. The page title is used when a visitor to the website adds the page to browser bookmarks. It is also used as the page's main heading (h1), the menu link text for this page, and the breadcrumbs. Google and other search engines will also use the title as the linked text if the page comes up in search results.
Some of the editor fields are plain text fields and some are WYSIWYG fields. You can enter text directly into the editor fields or you may copy and paste the text from another application (even Microsoft Word).
The WYSIWYG editor fields allow formatting of text, including options like bold, italics, application of heading levels, and application of alternating row styles for tables.
Note, some formatting elements may appear in the editor as expected, but will not display on the webpage as expected. Certain elements are overridden by the global template style set for the website, in order to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the USD website.
WYSIWYG Editor Reference – http://www.hannonhill.com/kb/WYSIWYG/
Some elements listed in the WYSIWYG editor reference may not appear in the toolbar you see when editing. The WYSIWYG editor reference includes elements from previous versions of Cascade Server.
Headings are used to structuring content on a web page, like levels in an outline. Headings should be used for hierarchy and not for formatting style. To apply a heading style, select the text you need to apply the heading level to and use the Format menu and select the heading level. Please always use headings in sequential order. For example, you should not skip from your main page title (which is an h1) to a heading 3.
Bulleted or numbered lists can be created using the WYSIWYG editor. To start a list, click on the Insert/Remove Bulleted List or Insert/Remove Numbered List icon.
You can create nested lists with the Tab key within a list. To end a nested list use Shift + Tab until there is no longer a bullet or number before the cursor. To end a list that does not contain nesting, hit Enter twice to escape the list.
Cascade Server automatically hyperlinks URLs (website addresses) when they are entered into the editor. To hyperlink specific text, select the text and click the Insert/Edit Link button.
The Insert/Edit Link dialog box will display. The first link highlighted in the screenshot is used when you want to insert a new link. The second icon is used when you want to remove a link that already exists in the content.
- Internal (link to any page within any site in Cascade Server) or External (link to a page or site not in Cascade Server). Typically, links to another page within the USD website will be Internal links. Whenever possible, use the Internal Link function to help prevent broken links if a page within the Cascade Server is moved to another location.
- For an Internal link, click Search to search for a file or click the Browse icon to move throughout the file system to select the page for the hyperlink.
- When browsing the Cascade Server system, the starting point is the current location.
You can switch to another site using the Site Selector Menu. Navigate to the file you want to hyperlink and click on it in the File Explorer to select it. Click Confirm to make the file selection and return to the Insert/Edit Link dialog.
- For External link, enter the full URL (address) of the page you want to use for the hyperlink. Be sure to include http:// or https:// before the website address or the link will be broken. For accuracy, a preferred approach is to first visit the link in a separate browser window and then copy and paste it into the link field.
- You can set the hyperlink to open in a new window by choosing New Window from the Target menu. In most cases, you should leave the Target set to Same Window.
Leave the Title field blank and the selection on the Class menu and click Insert to create the hyperlink. The text will turn blue, indicating it is hyperlinked.
Anchors can be used to link to specific locations within the body of the page and can be especially helpful when there is a great deal of content on one page. Use Anchors when you have a lot of content on a page and would like the visitors to be able to skip to certain sections of content without having to scroll down and search for it.
Adding an Anchor to a Page
To add an anchor to a page, first, place your cursor at the location on the page where you would like to place the anchor and then click the Anchor icon.
The Insert/Edit Anchor dialog will appear.
Enter the Anchor Name in the text box and click Insert to add the anchor. Remember to use good naming conventions for anchors, too. No spaces or special characters should be used.
Documents must be loaded into Cascade Server prior to being added to a page. Documents must be less than 1MB in size in order to be loaded into Cascade Server. Follow the PDF optimization guide if your file is larger than 1MB. Files that cannot be optimized to less than 1MB may be placed on the Large File (Catcher) Server instead.
Use a Reference to create a link in the navigation menu to a document.
Loading Documents into Cascade Server
Click on New > Default > Page to upload a document into Cascade Server.
When the New File screen loads, you can drag and drop the file into the window or click Choose File to select the file from your computer.
- System Name – File name. The system will automatically use the name of the file from your computer. You may update the file name if needed. Remember, do not use any spaces, special characters, or uppercase letters. if you update the system name be sure to include the correct file extension (filename.pdf, anotherfile.doc, etc.).
- Parent Folder – Automatically set by your department's web template and should not be modified.
- File Upload – Click Choose File to select the document from your computer. Files must be smaller than 1MB.
- Title/Display in Navigation/Navigation Title – Use these fields if you plan on including your document in your website menu. This text is what will be used as the actual text in the menu as opposed to the system file name. It allows you to provide more meaningful text since the file name may not always provide the correct context for your website users.
Cascade Server makes working with images for your website easier with an internal image editor. Images must be loaded into Cascade Server prior to being added to a page.
Loading Images into Cascade Server
Click on New > Default > File to upload an image into Cascade Server.
When the New File screen loads, you will give the file a name and select the file from your computer to upload into Cascade Server.
- System Name – File name. You may update the file name if needed. Remember, do not use any spaces, special characters, or uppercase letters. If you update the system name be sure to include the correct file extension (filename.pdf, anotherfile.doc, etc.).
- Parent Folder – Defined at the system level and should not be modified.
- File Upload – Click Choose File to select the image from your computer. Files must be smaller than 1MB.
After the selected image finishes uploading, the image will be displayed in the New File window. Basic edits such as rotation, cropping, and resizing can be made with the Cascade Server Image Editor.
If no edits are needed, click Submit to complete the upload.
Using the Cascade Server Image Editor
Use the menu items listed in the Edit Image panel to manipulate the image as desired. Changes will appear in real-time as they are made.
Image Editor Reference – http://www.hannonhill.com/kb/Image-Editor/
Adding Images to a Page
Always be sure to add your image to Cascade Server (see previous section) before adding it to a web page. To add an image to your web page, place the cursor where you want the image to appear and click the Insert/Edit Image button on the WYSIWYG editor menu.
- The Insert/Edit Image dialog will display. Make sure to leave the selection on Internal.
- Choose the image from the Cascade Server file system in the Image field. You can choose by file name by typing in the search box or click the Browse icon to browse through the system to locate the image.
Just like with hyperlinking to internal files, you can switch between sites in the Cascade Server to locate the image, if necessary. A preview of the selected image will be displayed. Click Confirm to complete the selection.
- Enter a short description of the image (only a few words) in the Alternate Text field. The Alternate Text is required for accessibility and is displayed in case the image cannot be displayed on the page. This text is required in order to add the image to the page. Accessibility refers to making sure individuals with disabilities, such as vision impairment, can access all elements on a web page.
- The Width/Height information will automatically populate once an image has been selected. Do not alter these values; otherwise, your image may not render properly.
- Click Insert to place the image on the page.
Make sure you have Show/Hide Guidelines/Invisible Elements selected so the table cell guidelines will display in the editor. These cell guidelines will not show on the submitted page.
Insert a table onto your page by clicking the Insert/Edit Table icon on the WYSIWYG editor.
The Insert/Edit Table dialog will display.
Select the number of columns and rows for the table and leave the defaults for all other items. You can add or remove columns and rows if needed later.
Switch to the Advanced tab and enter a Summary (a short description of the contents of the table) and click Insert.
The gridlines for the table will show in the WYSIWYG editor and the cursor will appear in the top left cell. Do not drag the corners of the gridlines to adjust the table/cell size. The table and its cells will automatically expand as content is entered.
Note: The Tab Key cannot be used to move between table cells. Arrow Keys or the mouse cursor must be used to move between table cells.
Identifying a Header Row
The first row of a table typically contains header labels for the data contained in the table. You will want to take an additional step to identify the top row in the table as aHeader Row to meet accessibility requirements.
To convert a row into a header row, place the cursor into one of the cells in the top row and right-click. Choose Row > Table Row Properties from the context menu.
The Table Row Properties dialog will display.
Select Header from the Row Type menu, and click Update.
The header row will display the same as the other rows in the WYSIWYG editor. Styles are applied to the header row when the page is published.
Identifying a Header Cell
After you have identified the header row for the table, you will also need to identify which cells are the header cells for the table.
Right-click in the cell you would like to identify as a table header cell and choose Cell > Table Cell Properties from the context menu.
The Table Cell Properties dialog will display.
Select Header from the Cell Type menu and click Update.
Repeat the action for each cell in the table you would like to identify as a header cell.
Adding or Removing a Row or Column
You can add and remove rows and columns as needed to populate your tables with data. Use the right-click context menu to access the functions to add or remove rows and columns.
- Deleting a row – Right-click in a cell anywhere in the row being deleted to access the context menu. Choose Row > Delete Row to delete the row.
- Deleting a column – Right-click in a cell anywhere in the column being deleted to access the context menu. Choose Column > Delete Column to delete the column.
When inserting rows and columns, new items can be inserted to the left or right of the cursor position. Consider the placement of your initial right-click.
- Inserting a row – Right-click and choose Row > Insert Row (Before/After).
- Inserting a column – Right-click and choose Column > Insert Column (Before/After).
Media, such as YouTube videos, can be embedded into pages using the WYSIWYG editor. Cascade Server makes it easy to embed YouTube videos. The only information you need for a YouTube video is the URL (web address) of the video; Cascade Server will do the rest.
Before you begin, make sure you have the URL for the YouTube video or embed code for other media you want to place on the page.
Click on the Insert/Edit Embedded Media button on the WYSIWYG editor.
The Insert/Edit Embedded Media dialog will display.
- YouTube Video –
- Enter the URL for the Video in the File/URL field and click anywhere outside of the field.
- The Dimensions fields will automatically populate and a preview of the video will display in the Preview pane.
- If you need to alter the size of the embedded video, make sure Constrain Proportions remains checked and change the value in one of the Dimensions fields. The other dimension will update according to the new value.
- Click Insert to add the video to the page.
- Other Embedded Media –
- Click on the Embed Code tab, select any text in the Embed Code field, and paste the embed code into the text box and click Insert.