Understanding Template Inheritance

The templates configured in this tutorial were saved to the local /_resources/ou/templates  folder. That folder is specific to the site on which it exists, which means that if there are multiple sites within an account, they cannot share these page templates.

OU Campus has a hidden, system-level folder called OMNI-INF, which can also house templates. This OMNI-INF folder then allows the templates to be shared across many sites. These files can only be accessed via FTP and WebDAV for editing purposes, however.

OU Campus also has a structure that uses skins, accounts, and sites.

  • Skin: Top of the OU Campus environment. It houses accounts within it. It can contain multiple accounts. Accounts do not “talk” to each other, meaning that they do not share files, settings, or other configuration elements.
  • Account: Within a skin, it is the beginning of the OU Campus interface. It contains the sites for the account. The users, groups, toolbars, and font size sets created in the account and shared across sites.
  • Site: The individual site contains the pages and settings.

Each of these levels includes an OMNI-INF folder. Most commonly, files are shared across sites within the same account, which means that templates are added to the OMNI-INF/templates folder at the account level.

When files are housed in the OMNI-INF folder, they will still appear in Setup > Templates and Setup > Template Groups allowing for access configuration to still take place. The files can also be overridden. If the OMNI-INF folder at the account level contains new-page.tcf, new-page.tmpl, and new-page.gif, and new-page.tcf, new-page.tmpl, and new-page.gif are added at the site level, the site templates will take precedence. Since the same names were used, any Templates settings or template groups will still be honored. Just as with editing, the closer the file is to the content, the higher its precedence.

It is important to remember when creating templates and using the OMNI-INF folder that all files needed must be at the same level as each other. This means that whichever folder is used to house the templates must contain the TCF, its corresponding image, any include files it is using, and the TMPLs it is calling. If a file is to be overwritten closer to the content, all files must be included in that level. Additionally, if the files are within the site’s Content > Pages view, the image must be published to production.