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The Launchpad and the Explorer

So far we have been working directly on the web page. Many content managers never need to go any further. But OpenCms also has a fully featured "back office" with lots of advanced options.

Click on the Quick launch icon on the right side of the toolbar again. We have used the Page editor as well as the Sitemap. There are two more options for the Demo user, that is the Launchpad and the Explorer.

Click on Launchpad first. You see a number of icons. Each icon represents an app installed in OpenCms. The Demo user has restricted permissions, so only a subset of the possible apps is shown to him. You can also use the Admin user (Password is "admin") to get the full list of currently available apps in OpenCms.

Many Apps are quite special and can not be covered in this beginners tutorial. However, the most important app for power users in OpenCms is the Explorer. Go ahead and click on the Explorer icon, either on the Quick lauch menu or the Launchpad.

Explorer context menu

The Explorer allows you a behind the scenes look about the file and folder structure that is created when you use the Page editor and the Sitemap.

All resources in OpenCms are managed in a tree structure familiar to many users with general IT knowledge. Since this tree is completely stored in a database we call this file structure the Virtual File System, or VFS.

Using the Explorer, you can browse the VFS and check the structure of files and folders. When you click either on the icon of an entry, or do a right-click anywhere over an entry, the Context menu opens. Many options available here are also available somehow in the Page editor or Sitemap. However, some advanced options such as setting the resource permissions are available in the Explorer only.

Go ahead and try out the Explorer. Once you are finished, come back to the tutorial and continue with the next step.