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Glossary - Cascade Server

Click on any of the following terms to view more information about each topic.  A PDF version of the Cascade Server Glossary is also available here.

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Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker ensures the pages compliance with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Guidelines.


One workflow step is connected to another by an Action, which is a direct path from a source step to a destination step. 


roleAdministrator is a role in the system that permits full, uninhibited access to any asset and/or area of the system. A user assigned the administrator role has access to both the standard "Home" area where web page assets are managed and the "Administration" area where advanced system entities and publishing can be configured. Folder access rights do not apply to the administrator role; therefore, a user with administrator rights can view, edit, copy, delete, or move an asset without restriction. Additionally, administrators have the ability to break asset locks anywhere in the "Home" area.

Advanced Search

searchAdvanced Search offers a more fine-tuned search capability than the basic search, and is based on the asset name, asset path, asset contents, asset metadata fields, and/or asset types.  In addition to the standard search term field, Advanced Search includes check boxes to select types of content to search for, and can be used to filter asset types and search for metadata fields.

Advanced Tab

The Advanced tab is a feature that consolidates less frequently used tabs and several features available only to administrators and managers.  It is located at the top of the dashboard and was implemented to provide a more simplified user interface and streamlined user experience.  The features now located under the Advanced tab are Access, Audits, Reference, and Versions.


role Approver is a role in the system and can be assigned to a User or a Group. The Approver role allows the same actions as the Contributor, as well as allowing the user to take part in the workflow process and review and approve (or reject) content that belongs to an active workflow.

Approvers may be given read or write access to areas in the system. These access permissions are set by an Administrator at the folder level and are set for an individual User, Group or for All Users. Actions taken by an Approver-level user within Cascade Server will go through a pre-determined workflow process similar to that of a Contributor-level user in order for the action to be completed, which may include approvals by other Approver-level users.

Asset Archive

When an asset with metadata (page, file, folder, block or Symlink) passes its expiration date as specified in its metadata, it will be archived. The archival process involves three steps:


  1. The asset will be moved in the CMS to the Expiration Folder (as defined in the asset's metadata).
  2. The asset will no longer be indexed by index blocks.
  3. Publishing of publishable assets (page, file or folder) that occurs after the designated expiration date will no longer include the asset.  It is important to note that the asset will not be unpublished from the remote server.
  4. As of 7.0, Assets which have an Expiration Folder can be automatically unpublished from all applicable Destinations if the Site has the "Un-publish Assets" preference checked in the Site preferences.  For global assets, the General System Preference "Un-publish on Expiration" governs this behavior.

If no Expiration Folder is specified, the asset will not be moved when the expiration date is passed but it will stop being indexed by all index blocks and will no longer be included in the publishing after the expiration date (see #2 and #3 above) .

Asset Factory

asset factory Asset Factories provide a framework which allows end-users to rubber stamp new assets with the necessary configurations already in place. Asset Factories can be created from scratch or can be used to create new assets based on the configurations of an asset that already exists in Cascade Server. For example, if new content of page type 'blog post' is frequently created, it is recommended that an Asset Factory is used to routinize this creation process. End-user access to an Asset Factory is determined by the applicable groups associated with that Asset Factory. Access to edit an Asset Factory is determined by user access rights.


An asset is any entity within the system that can be used to generate content. For ease of classification, assets are divided into several different groups:

  1. page Page - This is a mutable asset built by the CMS from other assets to create the finished product of published documents such as web pages or XML documents.

  2. file File - may be a jpeg image, CSS file, or any other static content.

  3. block Block - a "pluggable " piece of content that can be easily substituted, with or without styling, into any page region. As the name suggests, these are the building blocks from which other blocks and pages are built.

  4. stylesheet Format- used to transform and style data, such as an XML block

  5. external link External Link - a symbolic link to a specific URL

  6. folder Folder - a container within Cascade that acts a parent asset to other assets.

  7. template Template - the basic building block for a page's layout.

  8. referenceReference - a special asset that is created to represent an existing asset in another location, allowing it to be indexed in multiple folders.

Audit Trail

The Audit Trail is a tool for Administrators to see a summary of activities performed in the system by a particular user, group, or role. Selecting the Audit Trail for a group or roles will display the actions performed by all users belonging to that group or role. A date/time filter is provided as part of the Audit Trail view and is useful for filtering the results into a more specific timeframe.


Cascade is equipped to handle three types of user authentication: 

  1. Normal authentication (default) - default mode where authentication is handled natively by Cascade
  2. LDAP authentication - Cascade delegates authentication to an external LDAP server (e.g. Active Directory, OpenLDAP)
  3. Custom (3rd-party) authentication - Cascade provides an authentication API to allow developers to hook into third-party authentication/single sign-on systems (e.g. Kerberos, Shibboleth, CAS)

Available System Tags

Cascade Server recognizes specific xml elements called system tags that are used for dynamic content insertion. System tags are XML elements whose names begin with "system-".

  1. <system-region> tags are used to demarcate content regions in templates.
  2. <system-page-*> tags act as placeholders for page metadata.

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Base Folder

folder The base folder is the top-level folder for assets located in the Home area.

Within the Asset Tree to the left of the Dashboard, all assets are ordered hierarchically and have a parent folder, including folders themselves. The top-level folder is called the base folder because it is the only folder that does not have a parent. Therefore, the base folder is the root folder for all other assets managed within a particular website (see note below) or instance of Cascade Server.

Note - When multiple websites are managed within the same instance using the global content model, the base folder may also be used to refer to the top folder for a specific Site.

Basic Search

basic search Basic Search provides an easy way to perform powerful searches within the CMS content repository. The single search field automatically searches all Home Area and Admin Area assets across the following fields:

  • Name
  • Path
  • Username of the last editor and original creator
  • Site Name
  • Asset Type
  • Content for Home Area Assets (typically the XML or XHTML field associated with that Asset).

To search content within the system, use the Basic Search tool.


block A Block is a 'pluggable'  piece of content that can be easily substituted (with or without styling) into any page region. Therefore, whenever there is content that is common to many pages or regions, i.e. an “About the Company” section that appears after every press release and newsletter, that content should be put into a block. Doing so allows the appropriate content to appear in many pages while always being updated from one place, making it easy to maintain consistency in that text/markup across many pages. Cascade users can reuse a single block on an unlimited amount of page regions.

The text or markup contained by a block can be plugged into a page region at three different levels:  the template level, the page configuration level, or the page level. When a block is plugged into a page region at the template level, the block content will appear in any pages using that template. Any blocks assigned at the page configuration level will appear in any pages using that configuration.

There are five types of Blocks in Cascade Server:

1.       Index Block - used to dynamically generate system assets as XML

2.       Text Block - static text content

3.       XML Block- static XML content

4.       XHTML Block - static XHTML content

5.       XML Feed Block - dynamic XML from a third-party server (e.g. RSS feed)

               (For more information on each type of block, please see each block’s individual page)


Breadcrumbs are a type of Dynamic Navigation typically used for every page except the home page. By showing a navigation trail from the home page to the current page, breadcrumbs ensure that users know where they are and how they got there.


Bulk Change

The Bulk Change Wizard is a tool in Cascade Server that can be used to change Configuration Sets, Metadata Sets and Content Types across a large group of assets, in a single operation.  The Bulk Change Wizard also allows administrators to "flatten" a folder structure by moving descendant items into a single folder.  This is done by changing the parent folder of all items with the Bulk Change Wizard.  The Bulk Change Wizard is also a perfect companion tool when using the New Site Wizard.

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Check In and Out

Users can exlusively "check-out" assets to work on them and prevent others from submitting changes. An asset must be "checked-in" before other users can edit it again.

Code Editor

The code editor is the syntax-highlighting editor that appears when updating text in Cascade. Assets that are editable with the code editor include Files, Template, Formats, and Text/XML Blocks.

The editor provides syntax-highlighting for a variety of languages, auto-identation and auto-formating, code folding and code snippets.

code editor

Code Sections

Cascade Server currently supports the use of two types of code sections in the system-- Passthrough Code Sections, and Root Code Sections.

Compare with Current

With Cascade 6.4, "compare with current" functionality has been added to let users visually compare changes between versions of an asset. When viewing a previous version or working copy of a page, users can now click the "Compare with Current" link to view differences between it and the current version.


A component is any entity managed within the administration area of the system. Components include all elements found in the Administration area that are used to create and render assets for a site.

Components serve many purposes, from facilitating creation of content, managing and publishing content, and management of system users.   For ease of classification, components are divided into several different groups:

  • user User - One who uses the content management system.
  • group Group - One or more users with common permissions.
  • group Role - Determines the abilities and permissions of a User or Group.
  • asset factory Asset Factory - A way to create a specific type of asset or specially configured page.
  • configuration set Configuration Set - A grouping of Configurations, making them more manageable.
  • content types Content Types - Formally aggregates Configuration Sets, Metadata Sets, and Data Definitions into a single Administrative component that can be applied to pages.
  • data definition Data Definition- A form-based input field for the creation and editing of page content, as well as generation of XML data from user-provided input in said input fields.
  • metadata set Metadata Set - Provides the interface for customizing the kinds of metadata fields that can be visible and/or associated with an asset.
  • publish set Publish Set - Directs groups of publishable assets to be published on-demand or on a schedule.
  • target Target - Represents a site or subsite and specifies the format in which content should be published (XHTML, XML, etc).
  • destination Destination - Links a target to a transport, specifies encoding (UTF-8 or ASCII), and allows for publishing content on a schedule.
  • transport Transport - Stores data concerning how published content is pushed out to the final publish location.

Configuration Set

configuration set A Configuration Set is a collection of one or more Outputs that can be used to help create one or more Pages.  In order to be used to create a Page, an Output must be a part of a Configuration Set. Typical Outputs are HTML, Mobile, XML, and printer friendly. To make large numbers of Outputs manageable, Cascade uses Configuration Sets to group a number of Outputs, along with their respective Templates, and Block and Format assignments.


With the release of Cascade 6.4, the broadcast messaging system makes it possible for administrators (and those with permissions) to create messages to display at the top of every users window/interface automatically.

Content Type

content type The addition of Content Types with the release of Cascade 5.5 provides users with a way of formally aggregating Configuration Sets, Metadata Sets, and Data Definitions into a single Administrative component that can be applied to pages. Cascade Server 6.8 changes also incorporate Destinations into Content Types which allows flexibility to specify which Output should publish to which Destination(s).

Content Types provide an intuitive and logical way for end-users to identify the proper type to associate with a page by grouping together the necessary outputs for predefined page types with familiar names, such as Blog Posts, Press Releases, Announcements, etc. Much in the way Cascade Server utilizes Asset Factories to create predefined recognizable assets such as pages, templates, etc., Content Types are given simple names that clearly identify their purpose to end users. The addition of Content Types simplifies the page edit interface by consolidating previous options into one Content Type chooser. This provides a single point of control for Administrators to modify a page's Configuration Set, Metadata Set, and/or Data Definition for selected pages without requiring a Bulk Change operation.


Contributor is a role in the system and can be assigned to a User or a Group. The Contributor role is the most basic role and allows only the simplest actions within the CMS. Contributors may be given read or write access to areas in the system. These access permissions are set by an Administrator at the folder level and are set for an individual User, Group or for All Users.


The term CSS refers to a Cascading Style Sheet, which is the standard method for styling the appearance of a website. Cascading Style Sheets effectively separate the code needed to create the look and feel of a website from the actual XHTML tags that define the structure of its pages. When designing a website, it is important to separate the concepts of presentation and structure, because a site can quickly become very hard to maintain when a designer mistakenly combines them together. Because CSS properties reside inside an independent file, multiple pages within a single website can simply link to it to receive the style definitions that dictate the appearance and positions of elements on a page. When a website designer uses this modular approach to site development, it is easy to change the properties of all pages within a site by making a simple edit to the single CSS file to which all of the pages link.

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The Dashboard Overview is the first tab of the Dashboard that a user sees upon logging in to the system.

full dashboard 

It provides a high-level overview of all activities happening inside the current Site that are relevant to the current user.  The dashboard overview can be reached at any time by clicking the Home link on the top menu bar.

The dashboard overview is composed of customizable widgets that can be configured and rearranged. Each dashboard is unique for a user and site.

Database Publishing

Database Transport Icon Database publishing allows publishable Home-area assets (Pages, Files, and Folders) to be published to an external MySQL database. This gives developers of third-party applications a way to access the content in Cascade in a structured, tabular format. Database publishing requires a Database Transport and a Destination that uses the Transport. Content published to this Destination will end up as records in the remote database. MySQL 5+ is the only supported external database.

Data Definitions

data definition A Data Definition is a collection of XML data that has been authored manually or by use of the data definition builder (/common/data definition builder), and it describes how a certain set of data is structured.  Data definitions are used by Cascade Server to generate form-based input fields for the creation and editing of page content, as well as to generate XML data from the input provided by users in input fields.


destination With the release of Cascade Server 6.0, there a two potential use cases for Destinations, at the system-level (in the Global Area), and on a per-site basis. When using Destinations in the Global Area, they will be linked to a system-wide target, whereas when used on a per-site basis, each Destination represents the link between a Site and the location to which site content is published.

At the Site-level:

A Destination defines the link between Site content and the location to which site content can be published. Destinations allow for publishing content on a schedule, and specifies encoding (UTF-8 or ASCII) for the published content. A Destination is associated with a single transport that defines the protocol and location of a remote server to use when publishing content out of the system. In other words, whereas a Destination defines the link between a Site and transport, a transport represents the physical location of a server which can be used for any number of Sites.

At the global-level:
A Destination represents a location to which a Target can be published, allows for publishing content on a schedule, and specifies encoding (UTF-8 or ASCII) for the published content.

Drag and Drop Folder Reordering

Drag and Drop Folder Reordering allows users with Contributor-level write access rights and above to reorder Assets within Folders by dragging and dropping.

Drag-n-Drop Data Definition Builder

The Drag-n-Drop Data Definition Builder is a feature debuted with the release of Cascade Server 6.4 and is a graphical tool to build Data Definitions.

Dynamic Navigation

Navigation menus on websites are typically a graphical view of a site's hierarchy. When pages are added, deleted, moved, or renamed, all corresponding links need to be updated on the navigation menus throughout the site. Dynamic navigation allows a navigation menu to update automatically, based on the state of a website's content. There are six main types of dynamic navigation in Cascade: Menu(s), Breadcrumbs, Previous/Next, Recent Pages, Site Map, and Site Index.

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External Link

external link An External Link is an asset that points to a webpage outside the system.  As it is an indexable asset, an external link is useful when there is a need to include external pages in a dynamic navigation menu.

The external link records the desired URL, and the index block, when rendering the external link, will write out the URL path in the rendered document.

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file Files in Cascade Server are used to manage and publish the content and metadata of a wide variety of file types including but not limited to images, PDFs, JavaScript, CSS. Unlike Pages, Files are static in that their contents don't change based on the other assets in the system.

JPEG and PNG images are directly editable from within the system using the image editor. Plaintext files such as CSS, JavaScript, PHP are are also directly editable using the advanced editor. Only the metadata of other binary file types such as PDFs is editable. The contents of binary file types can be updated using the file upload field.

File Override

The File Override option may be used after creating an Asset.  If selected, the contents of that asset are overwritten with the contents of a selected file.

file override 

File Upload

File Upload is an option available when creating or editing Files, Templates, Formats, XML and Text blocks, Workflow Definitions and Data Definitions. File Upload allows a user to select a file to upload from his/her hard drive, which will then be used to fill in the content of that assetWhen creating an asset, the System Name field gets automatically populated once a file is uploaded. For Files, the entire name is being used while for all other asset types, the extension is stripped. User can modify the value of the System Name field if needed.


folderA folder within Cascade contains a group of related assets. From the Dashboard, the Asset Tree to the left is where your folders and all the assets in the system appear.


Clicking on a folder will expand the folder view in the asset tree, revealing the assets and/or subfolder(s) inside. Additionally, clicking on a folder from the asset tree will open it in the main viewing area as well.


In earlier versions of Cascade Server, users were required to learn and employ XSL to transform block, structured data, or XHTML content in a page.  With the release of Cascade Server 5.7, it is possible to create a Format, which is a new type of transformation asset that can be applied at the region-level, specifically at the page region-level, page Configuration Set region level, and at the Template region-level the same way that a stylesheet can be applied.

There are two types of formats; Script Formats and XSLT Formats.  The ways in which data is transformed is dependent upon the type of format being used.  Please see the specific format pages for more info.

Some of the most common uses for Format Transformations are:

  • turn generic XML data into XHTML in order to display it in a web browser
  • add additional formatting and presentation logic
  • re-organize or filter XML data
  • convert from one XML standard to another (XHTML to RSS)

Form Builder

Cascade Server makes it easy to manage forms from within the business user interface. Cascade Server provides the ability to customize the Form Builder to aid users in easily creating and inserting forms to pages. Forms can include a variety of required and/or optional information such as client names, comment boxes, and email addresses that visitors will see on any page with a form. An example form builder data definition is provided, that can be used to create forms, surveys, and polls, along with the necessary scripting language code to process the form on your server.

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Global Area

The Global Area refers to the main Cascade Server interface, Dashboard, asset tree, etc. present by default when logging into the system, that is NOT particular to the context of a specific Site.

Graphic User Interface

A Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a design method that allows the user to view and interact with information via different graphical elements, such as windows, buttons, screens, wizards, etc. Generally, graphical interfaces require the use of a mouse to navigate through the different elements.

Currently, Graphical User Interfaces are omnipresent and users rarely encounter a situation where they cannot use one. Both the Microsoft Windows operating system and Mac OS X present information via graphical user interfaces.

An example of a non graphical user interface is the command-line interface (CLI) which is found in Windows by using a command prompt, where the user primarily interacts by typing commands with the keyboard. In addtion, shells under Mac OS X or Linux operating systems are considered non-GUI or CLI interfaces.

Cascade Server is inherently a Graphical User Interface due to the fact that it is a web application. All things viewed through a web browser are necessarily graphical.


groupA Group is made up of one or more users with common permissions. Each user in the system must be given membership in one Group, and can be given membership to multiple Groups. Group role membership is passed on to the user, meaning that the user automatically belongs to any roles that are assigned to the group(s) that the user belongs to. This is a convenient and often preferred way to easily change role memberships across groups of users.

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From any page in the system, users can click on the ‘Full History’ link on the History drop down to see a longer list of their most recently viewed assets and the site they belong to.  Users may also jump to an asset listed in the history by selecting its system name.


The History drop down is available on any page in the system by clicking on the History menu item in the top menu bar.  This drop down lists the 10 most recently view items.  By clicking on an item in the drop down menu, you can navigate to that item's default tab; hovering over an asset will bring up the context menu as a sub-menu, so you can navigate directly to a given tab for the asset.

History Drop Down

As of Cascade 7.8, user's history is maintained between logins. When a user logs in, the user's previously visited assets will be displayed in the History Dropdown, the Quick Links menu, the Full History Menu, and also as chooser suggestions in the Asset Chooser dropdown menu.

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Index Block

blockAn Index Block is a special type of block asset that returns a listing of assets from the CMS directory structure in the form of XML data. Assets such as pages, files, folders, external links, and even other blocks can be returned as XML content that describe them. Index blocks are the cornerstone of dynamic content reuse within the system.

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Keywords are part of the metadata content for pages, files, folders, blocks and external links, and are used by search engines to determine the relevancy of individual pages or sites.  Typically, keywords are a comma-delimited list of words used on pages and generated in such a way that the page can receive higher points in a search engine query.

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Link Checker

The link checker ensures that all HTML links between assets in the system and links to external resources are valid.  It is invoked after an edit is committed by clicking the 'Submit' button. If the checker detects any broken links, it forwards the user to a page detailing these errors and providing several options for dealing with them.


Cascade Server provides users with a number of different ways to manage links in content. The different options depend on the type of asset containing the link, the type of link, the type of asset being linked to (if the linked-to asset is inside the system), and the location of both assets.

End users will use the Insert Link and Insert Image buttons in the WYSIWYG to create content links in pages. Developers will typically use Cascade's specified link formats to create links in Formats, templates, blocks, files, and pages.

Load Balancing

Load-Balancing is the process by which activity in the system is evenly distributed across a network (multiple application servers) so that no single device/server is overwhelmed. 

With the re-architecture of Cascade Server, users are provided the ability to load balance multiple application servers to reduce downtime and improve performance. This involves running multiple Cascade Server machines behind a proxy, or load balancer; typically this will be Apache.  To the end user, the CMS address stays the same; behind the scenes, one of many different application servers will handle each user’s requests.

Log In Out

Logging in is mandatory for any user wishing to use Cascade Server. Once logged in, a user can access and edit assets inside the system. Upon logout, a user's session will be terminated. If a user wishes to view and/or edit assets inside the system, he or she will have to log in again using their login credentials (username/password).

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role The Manager role is the second highest role. It has many of the permissions of the highest role, administrator, but those powers are more limited in scope. Generally, the manager role is used to assign administrator-level privileges to a site or sub-site. Since roles are cumulative, managers have all of the powers of the roles beneath them (publisher, approver, contributor) as well as the power to bypass workflow.


A menu is typically the main navigational feature of a website. A menu can show a list of just the main links on a site or several levels of sub pages. A menu can be the same for all pages throughout the site, or it can expand to show more levels the deeper into the site you go.


Messages are sent to users by other users, as well as from the CMS, and take a number of forms, including informative reports and requests that the user perform a specific task. They are viewable from the "Messages" tab on the dashboard.


Metadata is data within the CMS that describes an Asset. Common fields such as title, summary, or keywords provide quick information about the content contained inside of a particular Asset. Because the system manages all assets as XML, the Metadata that a user enters for Assets can be used for display purposes on site pages. When used in conjunction with Index Blocks, an XSLT format can be applied to the Metadata to create common HTML content listings such as a listing of recent press releases including the title and a quick summary of the press release content. Cascade Server uses two types of Metadata – wired and dynamic.

Metadata Sets

metadata set A Metadata Set is a system component that provides the interface for customizing and managing the two types of metadata fields, wired and dynamic, that can be visible and/or associated with an asset.  Metadata Sets are managed in the Administration area of the system.

Migrate Existing XML As Structured Content

Cascade Server's Web Services interface exposes to SOAP clients and interface for adding and editing assets. This allows repetitive or difficult tasks to be accomplished easily with any SOAP-compatible programming language. As a demonstration of these features, this guide will walk users through the task of importing many database entries from an old CMS (in the form of an XML dump) into Cascade server with PHP and SOAP calls. Web Services makes this process much quicker than a manual import.

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New Menu

The 'New' menu is located in the top global navigation bar.  It is used to easily create new assets.

If the height of the menu exceeds the browser height, the menu will scroll, and the menu loads with the page to prevent any delay when loading the menu for the first time after a page load.  Both of these features work in all supported browsers.

New Site Wizard

The new site scaffold is a time-saving convenience tool used to setup site-specific folders and related system components that otherwise must be created manually. The new site scaffold can can be used in one of two ways. If building a site completely from scratch, the new site scaffold can be used to simply create a site folder structure (based on established best practices), and required site-specific system components. Secondly, if you're importing an existing site into Cascade, the new site scaffold can be used to do all of that plus create a template and configuration set, then import all your pages from a zip file and base them on this new template.

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An Output is a special component that is typically accessed from the context of a Page asset. For example, a Page might have HTML, Text Only, and XML Outputs. This allows common content defined in the Page itself to be rendered using different Templates and output types. Each Page in Cascade must have at least one Output, and can include as many as you need for your Site. 


Cascade Server supports the creation of multiple outputs for content. By setting up additional targets, templates, and configurations for the multiple outputs, Cascade Server can automatically generate and publish multiple versions of the same content. Content need only be updated once, and changes are replicated throughout the additional outputs.


When viewing a page in the Layout setting of the View tab, overlibs are the block icons or page icons that appear in the top left corner of each region on a page.  They contain links to edit or view different assets.  When clicked, they display options that may allow the user to perform the follwing tasks, depending on what the page or region contains:

  • edit page
  • edit page inline
  • edit format
  • edit block
       - or -
  • view page
  • view block
  • view format


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page The Page is one of the core asset types in Cascade. It represents the grouping of several items together including content, template, blocks, and more. Pages are the grouping of these items that a user publishes out to display new web content. Essentially, your ‘page’ becomes a new web page.

Pages can represent many different types of content on a website. Pages can be frequently asked questions (FAQs), newsletters, press releases, employee profiles, news articles, simple content, and anything else you might find on online.

The system uses pages to dynamically create navigation link menus, site maps, alphabetical indexes, RSS feeds, and many other automated items.

Plug Ins

asset factory The asset factory plugin framework allows administrators to tie Java plugin classes with certain asset factories. These plugins, configurable through a file named "asset-factory-plugin-config.xml", allow administrators to accomplish certain tasks as users create new assets from asset factories.


Preview is a view in Cascade Server that enables the user to view a page as it will appear once it has been published. This is very useful in cases when a publish job is about to be performed, or a page edit was recently completed, and the user wishes to verify the absence of possible rendering issues. Once the preview is activated (this is done by clicking on 'Preview' in the action bar), the final version of the page will appear.

Previous Next

Previous/next navigation buttons are a type of Dynamic Navigation and an easy way to allow visitors to browse through sibling pages without having to keep clicking back to a directory. Clicking through previous/next navigation is much like leafing through pages of a book.

Production Server

A Production Server is a web server that delivers what is often called the "live site." It is typically available to the entire web and houses the most recent version of its respective site.


role Publisher is a role in the system and can be assigned to a user or a group. The Publisher role allows the same actions as the Contributor and Approver, as well as allows the user to push content out to a live site; either by completing workflow that contains a publish trigger upon completion, or by selecting assets he/she has access to and selecting to publish them.


Cascade Server features a robust publishing engine designed to bake files out in the development environment, and synchronize those environments with one or more production servers.  Assembled content is transformed into native XML files, standard HTML, and/or .NET files (.aspx). Upon the publishing of content, the information is completely decoupled from the CMS, allowing it to operate independently in any standard environment.

Publish Queue Reordering

Publish Queue Reordering allows publish jobs that have not yet started to be dynamically re-ordered by Managers and Administrators using drag and drop reordering.

A System Preference (found under the General tab, set by an Administrator) is used to set a minimum role as to who may reorder publish jobs – Manager, Administrator, or none (‘none’ disables drag and drop altogether).  Administrators and Managers may reorder any job in the queue.  Administrators continue to be the only users who can cancel publish jobs.

Publish Set

publish set A publish set is a group of publishable assets that is to be published on-demand or on a schedule.  They may contain files, folders, and/or pages.

Publish Triggers

Publish Triggers are plug-ins that can be utilized during the Cascade Server publishing process.  They allow developers to execute custom logic each time an asset (page, file, or other content item) is published.

For example, a publish trigger may be set up so that each time a particular page is edited and published, an e-mail is sent to notify users (or even non-Cascade users) that may be interested in that page's publication.

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Quick Links

Quick Links is a drop-down panel that can be accessed from any page in the system, and can be found in the top right corner of your screen.  It provides users with one-click access to frequently used options. This feature serves both as a "site-map" of Cascade Server for users, and also as a means by which to reduce the time it takes to get from Point A to Point B by minimizing page loading and refresh times.  Administrative users will have access to more options in the drop-down menu than non-administrative users. 

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Recent Pages

The Recent Pages list is a type of Dynamic Navigation that makes it simple to present new and important content in a chronological and easily viewable order. There is often a need for a listing and summary of recently added pages. Time sensitive content such as press releases, newsletters, or announcements lend themselves well to this particular type of dynamic indexing.


A Reference is a special asset in Cascade that represents an existing asset in another location; thus, a single asset can appear to exist in multiple locations.  While a single asset appears in navigation as if it were in multiple locations, in actuality, it directs back to the original asset. 

Relative Link

Relative links allow path references to other pages or files to be written in a way so that the file can be located by navigating from the current page, as opposed to starting at the root directory and following a long path (an "Absolute Link").


role A Role is a set of a abilities that govern a User's access to a number of different areas in Cascade.  They can be assigned to a User explicitly, to any of the User's Groups, or to a Site to which the User requires access.  Roles are not to be confused with Access Rights which control read and write access to specific assets.

There are two types of Roles in the system: Global and Site.  These two Role types have many abilities in common, but they apply within different contexts.  Global Roles are applicable when in the Global Area and cannot be assigned to Sites.  Site Roles, as you may have guessed, are applicable to Sites.  Site Roles, however, do not control access to tools and areas of the system that are not specific to a particular Site.  For example, access to the publish queue is governed by a User's Global Roles because the publish queue can be accessed from anywhere in the system and is not specific to any particular Site.  

There are five pre-defined Global Roles in Cascade.  They are Contributor, Approver, Publisher, Manager, and Administrator.  More information about these Roles can be found in the Concept section below.

There are no pre-defined Site Roles, but Site Roles (as well as new Global Roles) can be created based on the five pre-defined Global Roles.

Roles are managed in the Security Area (Users, Groups & Roles) which is located in the Global Administration Area.

RSS Feed

rss RSS, an acronym for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, is a useful way to make a list of updated or new information online available in a concise format for other sites and RSS readers. RSS is essentially an XML document with links and metadata conforming to a specific standard.

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Save as Draft

The Save as Draft feature allows users to save drafts of assets that they are editing in order to return later to finalize changes. Saving as draft has a number benefits:

  • It allows saving a partially updated version of an asset to be completed later without anyone else in the system being able to see the changes and without the partially updated asset being published accidentally.

  • It allows viewing changes on a rendered page (View or Preview tab) as they are made without having to submit a new version of the asset. This is especially useful for assets that require workflow because the asset can be edited and previewed multiple times before going to workflow.

  • Automatically or manually saving assets as drafts prevents loss of data in case of a browser or computer crash.

Save as Draft is enabled for all users and for all content types and will happen automatically whenever a user makes changes to an asset without submitting.

Scripting Languages

Content from the system can be published as files with any desired file extension. For example, from a single content repository, multiple sites can be managed, each with a different scripting language, such as ASP, ASPX, PHP, CFM, SSI, and JSP. The system supports managing content that is published to multiple servers in a non-heterogeneous environment.



Search and Replace

Search and Replace allows users to quickly changes multiple assets at once. While searching within the CMS, Administrators may choose to replace certain content (words, phrases, etc.) with other content.

Site Index

A Site Index is a form of Dynamic Navigation represented by an alphabetical listing of all pages on a site. Site indices may also be created for individual sections of a site.

Site Map

A Site Map is a type of Dynamic Navigation that is a comprehensive outline of all pages on the site. Site maps are typically ordered according to folder structure.


Sites are containers for organizing all Home and Administration area assets for a website. Site administrators can grant access to Site content for specific Users and Groups in Cascade Server.  Users and Groups can also be assigned Site-specific Roles to grant or restrict their abilities on a particular Site.  

Users can switch Sites by using the dropdown menu at the top of the screen.

Sites Dropdown Menu

Sites dropdown menu

Spell Checker

The spell checker, much like the accessibility checker and the link checker, is invoked after a page edit is committed by clicking the 'Submit' button. If there are any words that the CMS deems suspect, the user is forwarded to a 'Spell Checker' page listing the errors sorted by the field on the page in which they occur. The Spell Checker checks and reports all words (content + metadata) that are not found in the system's dictionary.

Staging Server

A Staging Server is a web server used to test the various components of, or changes to a web site before propagating them to a production server.


Syndication refers to repackaging web content in a way that makes it available for others to display dynamically. The best example of syndication is news sites that rely on Atom, RSS, or simple XML formats to repackage their news headlines.

System CDATA Tags

System CDATA tags are a specific type of system pseudo tag denoted by [ cascade:cdata]content[/ cascade:cdata]. They allow an XML CDATA section to be output in page's content when rendered in Cascade or published.

System Preferences

System Preferences are accessible by Users who have the ability to edit system preferences, and are found under the System Menu. There are 3 types of system preferences:

  1. General – preferences to the look-and-feel of the application
  2. Email – email settings to determine how emails are sent from Cascade
  3. Content – preferences related to how content is handled by the system

The last tab contains User Preferences which are specific to the current user.

Screenshot of the System Menu

System Pseudo Tags

Unlike System Tags, System Pseudo Tags are special system tags denoted by square brackets (i.e. [tag-name]content[/tag-name]) instead of XML's standard angle brackets. In general, their purpose is to instruct Cascade to act on the content contained within them.

System View Tags

Cascade Server recognizes pseudo tags called system view tags that control when/where the wrapped content is displayed. System view tags are not XML elements but instead use a square bracket notation.

  1. [system-view:internal] tags wrap content that will only be displayed when viewed from within Cascade
  2. [system-view:external] tags wrap content that will only be displayed when viewed in the published content outside of Cascade.

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target A Target is a system-asset available in the Global Area used to represent a site or subsite, and it is how a web site is defined.   When used system-wide in the Global Area, Targets brings together a combination of output types (HTML, XML, PDF, etc.), templates (used to define the ‘look and feel’ with blocks and styleshseets), a Base Folder (the core asset repository), and publishing locations (webs servers, etc.).  In order to begin creating a new website, a target must first be created.

In versions of Cascade 5.x and previous, the system used Targets as the organizing principle around which sites were based. With the release of Cascade Server 6.0, targets have been deprecated in favor of the system's new Sites feature. If you are using a version of Cascade previous to 6.0 and would like more information about Targets please visit our past versions Target page.

*Please Note - In order to ensure backwards compatibility, Targets will still be available in the Global Area of the system (i.e. - the way you view Cascade now). However, because it is now recommended to organize content using Site objects, whenever in a particular site in Cascade, Targets will not be available and users will instead only have access to "Site"-related objects, assets, and configurations.


template A Template is a fundamental system entity that defines the HTML/XML structure of page asset in the CMS.  Templates are essentially XHTML documents that contain standard HTML tags and CSS that create what is commonly referred to as the "look and feel" of a web page.

Text Block

block Text blocks are basic blocks of content that can be reused throughout a site much like an XHTML block. Text blocks are not as widely used as their XHTML counterpart, because text blocks lack the standard WYSIWYG editor contained inside of XHTML blocks that allow for the creation of rich content with images, links, and standard text formatting options.

The text contained by a text block can be plugged into a page region at three different levels:  the template level, the Output level, or the page level. When a block is plugged into a page region at the template level, the block content will appear in any pages using that template. Any blocks assigned at the Output level will appear in any pages using that Output.


transport A Transport represents a server to which content can be published. Transports can be used by one or more Destinations.  Destinations provide an extra layer of abstraction on top of Transports that allow users to publish content to different locations on the same Transport. Basically, a Transport is "how" the content gets there and Destination is "where" it goes.

Transports can transfer content to an FTP/SFTP server, a file system location, or a MySQL database.

Twitter Connector

The Cascade Server Twitter Connector is a Connector that ties your Cascade instance to a single Twitter account. The content of Pages having specific Content Types (for example, "announcement") will be automatically tweeted to the Twitter account configured. Tweets posted by this Connector will contain a link to the published version of a Page and will include a Connector-specific prefix and hashtags.

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user A user in Cascade Server is any individual who uses the content management system. Users of Cascade are defined by their User IDs, Role designations, and the Group(s) they belong to. Users can be viewed, edited, or deleted by clicking on the username in the Administration area, and selecting the appropriate choices.

User ID

User ID is short for User Identification and is also referred to as username. A User ID is a unique, sequence of characters used to identify a user of Cascade Server. User IDs are used to authenticate the user upon login and for identifying the user for the purposes of logging, access, and resource management. Usernames are chosen upon user creation, and may consist of numbers, letters, and the underscore ( _ ).

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Cascade Server maintains a full version history on each asset in the system.  As changes are made to any asset in the system, Cascade Server keeps track of the changes in separate copies of the asset called Versions. These are accessible through the More tab, or Advanced tab for Cascade versions prior to 6.7, of any asset in the Home area by simply clicking "More" (or “Advanced”) and selecting “Versions” from the drop-down.

The versions list for each asset shows a list of each version, the author for each change, including the original creator of the asset, as well as the time and date of the change and any notes available. Users may navigate through the various versions, compare them with the current version, and activate any version desired.

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Web Services

Web services provide Cascade Server users with a powerful way to work with the system by providing a very raw interface with which to interact. This interface provides methods to create, edit, read, and delete all assets and components in the software. Additionally, users can also perform publish requests for files, folders, and pages. Finally, any of these operations are able to be wrapped together in a "batch" request for submitting more than one operation in a single request.

Web Services Database Migration

Cascade Server's Web Services interface exposes to SOAP clients an interface for adding and editing assets. This allows repetitive or difficult tasks to be accomplished easily with any SOAP-compatible programming language. As a demonstration of these features, this entry will further explain the task of importing many database entries (from an old CMS) into Cascade Server with PHP and SOAP calls. Web Services makes this process much quicker than a manual import.

WordPress Connector

The WordPress Connector available in Cascade 6.4 and beyond makes it possible to synchronize Cascade content with a WordPress instance.  WordPress is a 3rd party blogging application that supports comments, tags and a host of other Web 2.0 features.

The Cascade WordPress Connector is compatible with WordPress version 2.8.x.


workflow  When creating web content (a page, file, image, etc.), a
workflow is a series of ordered steps that the content must go through to be quality-checked, and either approved, modified, or disapproved by the appropriate user (an approver) before being publish-ready.  Workflows can be customized or created from scratch.  Workflows provide Cascade Server users with a customizable, assignable method of ensuring that content (any asset) is checked multiple times by multiple users before being published.  The resulting diversity of input ensures that content is accurate and presented in a professional manner.

All users may initiate a workflow when creating or editing content.  Users assume different roles in the workflow process according to their system role.  A higher-level user, such as an Approver, reviews the content, and either approves it to be sent to the next step in the workflow, or returns it to the user associated with the previous step for changes.  After the content has been approved by all users in the process, a Publisher may then publish the content to a live site.  Managers and Administrators have the capability to bypass any of these steps anywhere in the workflow process.

Workflow Action

A workflow action is a directed path from a source step to a destination step in a workflow; it decides what the system should do next.  Multiple actions may lead  from one step to other steps, and actions may be enhanced by triggers, which execute other non-workflow related functions.

Workflow Trigger

A workflow trigger is a plug-in that enhances an action in the workflow process by executing code as the transition from a source step to a destination step occurs.  It encapsulates some system logic to accomplish a non-workflow related function.



WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get.” Cascade Server's word processing functionality allows users to format and edit content like a word processor (such as Microsoft Word®).

This editor includes several features and functions commonly found in standard editors located in the WYSIWYG toolbar. These tools are:

Symbol Function Additional Information
Custom Character Insert a Custom Character For more information, please see Inserting a Custom Character
subscript Subscript
superscript Superscript
bold Bold Hotkey: Ctrl + B
italics Italics Hotkey: Ctrl + I
underline Underline Hotkey: Ctrl + U
strikethrough Strikethrough
align left Align left
align center Align center
right align Align right
align full Align full (Justify)
styles Styles This is an important aspect of the HTML source code. All content must be styled properly.
format Heading, paragraph formats This is an important aspect of the HTML source code. All content must be formatted correctly.
paste from word Paste from Microsoft Word® For more information, please see Paste from Word
find/replace Find/Replace For more information, please see Find and Replace
spell check Toggle spellchecker/Language selector spell check
unordered list Unordered lists/Bullets
ordered list Ordered/numbered lists
outdent Outdent (reduce the indent)
indent Indent
undo Undo
redo Redo
insert link Insert/Edit link
unlink Unlink
anchor Insert/Edit anchor
Insert/Edit Image Insert/Edit image
Horizontal Rule Horizontal rule Adds a horizontal line into the content. Takes in height, width, and size dimensions. 
Insert a new table Inserts a new table
Cleanup Messy Code Cleanup messy code
Remove formatting Remove formatting
HTML Edit HTML source
Toggle guidelines/Invisible elements Toggle guidelines/Invisible elemtns
Full screen Toggle fullscreen mode Expands the WYSIWYG to the full pane. 

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block An XHTML/Data Definition Block is a reusable Block of content that provides a rich word processing (WYSIWYG) interface or Data Definition form fields for editing content. 

Regions which share static content across multiple pages, such as a header or footer, generally use XHTML/Data Definition Blocks. A single change to one of these blocks will propagate to all pages of the site that make use of the block.

XML Block

block An XML Block is a reusable piece (block) of content stored as well-formed, static XML.  These blocks are particularly useful when there is a large amount of XML that must be styled and included on one or more pages of a website.

XML Feed Block

An XML Feed Block is a block whose XML content is pulled from a web location. This can be useful when aggregating outside RSS links, or receiving output from dynamic scripts or web applications that produce XML. This is the main method by which Cascade allows external content to come into the system and be used dynamically within system pages.

XSLT Format

An XSLT Format is an XML document written using the eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). XSLT Formats are used to transform XML documents into other XML documents. Transformations are commonly used to:

  • Turn generic XML data into XHTML in order to display it in a web browser
  • Add additional formatting and presentation logic
  • Re-organize or filter XML data
  • Convert from one XML standard to another (XHTML to RSS)

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Zip Archive

Cascade allows for multiple images to be uploaded at a single time via the Zip archive importer as well as using SOAP-based web services

An archive is a file that contains other files packaged together. There are many formats that are used to package files in such a manner, the most widely known are probably the ZIP file format (cross-platform) and the Stuffit file format (Mac only). There are many other archive file formats as well. An archive allows a computer user to organize and transfer files easily. For example, Cascade Server allows the user to upload a ZIP archive into the system and then unzip it. This is very useful when uploading multiple files at once, or content for integration: instead of uploading each HTML file and image individually using the File Override option, they can be packaged into one file, uploaded once, and then the system will unpack it as if each file were transferred individually.

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