Custom Tool Groups

Last Updated: Aug 9, 2021
documentation for the dotCMS Content Management System

In addition to the default Tool Groups provided with the dotCMS starter site, you can create your own Tool Groups. This allows you to create Tool Groups with the exact combination of tools needed to give each of your Roles access to just the tools they need, which both simplifies the back-end interface for your users and improves security.

Creating a Custom Tool Group

To create a custom Tool Group:

  1. Select System -> Roles & Tools from the navigation side bar.
  2. Select a Role that will receive access to the new custom Tool Group.
  3. Click the Tools tab.
  4. In the Role detail area, click the Create Custom Tool Group button.

Configure Custom Tool Group

The Edit Tool Group popup contains the following properties:

Tool GroupThe name of the Tool Group, which will display as a heading on the navigation side bar.
IconThe class name of a Font Awesome icon.
  • You may find a list of icons and their class names on the Font Awesome web site.
  • If you do not supply an icon name, or if the name does not match a valid Font Awesome icon, a default icon will be displayed.
  • dotCMS uses Font Awesome v4.7.0, so only icons existing in this version of Font Awesome are recognized.
OrderAn integer specifying the order the Tool Group will display in the navigation side bar.
  • Tool Groups will display in ascending order based on this number.
ToolsDisplays a list of the tools in the Tool Group, and allows you to add, remove, and re-order the tools within the Tool Group.

Available Tools

The following tools are included by default with dotCMS, and can be assigned to any Tool Group. Note that some of these tools are deprecated legacy tools that are only provided for backward-compatibility for existing dotCMS customers, and it it is strongly recommended that you do not use any deprecated tools when creating new Tool Groups.

ToolFeature(s)Default Location
BrowserSite BrowserSite -> Browser
CalendarEvents CalendarContent -> Calendar
CategoriesCategoriesTypes & Tags -> Categories
ConfigurationConfiguration for your dotCMS instance, including
Branding & Basic Information,
License Management,
Cluster Status, and
Push Publishing server configuration
System -> Configuration
ContainersContainersSite -> Containers
Content TypesContent TypesTypes & Tags -> Content Types
Custom ContentCustomized Content SearchNone
DashboardSite DashboardHome -> Dashboard
ES SearchES SearchDev Tools -> ES Search
FormsForm BuilderMarketing -> Forms
Job SchedulerJob SchedulerNone
LanguagesLanguagesTypes & Tags -> Languages
Link CheckerLink CheckerContent -> Link Checker
LinksMenu LinksSite -> Links
MaintenanceSeveral Administration and maintenance tasksSystem -> Maintenance
PluginsDynamic PluginsDev Tools -> Plugins
Publishing QueuePush PublishingContent -> Publishing Queue
Query ToolQuery ToolDev Tools -> Query Tool
Reports(Legacy) ReportsNone
Roles & ToolsRole permissions and Tool GroupsSystem -> Roles & Tools
RulesRulesMarketing -> Rules
SearchContent SearchContent -> Search
Site SearchSite SearchDev Tools -> Site Search
SitesSitesSystem -> Sites
TagsTag ManagerTypes & Tags -> Tags
TasksUser's assigned Workflow tasksHome -> Tasks
TemplatesTemplatesSite -> Templates
Time MachineTime MachineSite -> Time Machine
UsersUser ManagementSystem -> Users
Vanity URLsVanity URLsMarketing -> Vanity URLs
WorkflowContent Type WorkflowsTypes & Tags -> Workflow

Custom Content Tool

The Custom Content Tool enables you to create a screen which allows users to interact with content in the same way as the default Content Search Tool, but limits the Content Types displayed and managed in the Tool. In addition when admins are creating a custom content tool they can choose if they want the default view to be cards or list form.

  • For example, rather than having a single Content Search screen for users to access Blog, News, and Product content types, you could create a separate Tools for “Blogs”, “News”, and “Products”.

Each Custom Content Tool can then be added and removed from different Tool Groups, allowing you to make different Content Types easily accessible to different users and Roles. Having different Content Types in different Tools can help you to simplify and organize your content in a way that makes it easier for your content contributors to work with the content.

  • For example, the “Vanity URL” tool is essentially a Custom Content Tool which only displays the Vanity URL Content Type. Placing it in under the “Marketing” Tool Group (instead of the “Content” Tool Group) makes it easier for content contributors who work on marketing activities to find and work with it.

It's important to understand that the Custom Content Tool does not affect user permissions on the content. This means that if a user does not have appropriate permissions to view and edit content of a given Content Type, giving the user access to a Custom Content Tool that displays that Content Type will not give the user the ability to view or edit the content.

Specifying Content Types

When configuring a Custom Content Tool, you may choose to include one specific Content Types (using the Velocity variable name of the Content Type), or all Content Types of one or more Base Content Types.

Custom Tools

You may also use plugins to create your own custom tools, which you can then add to any Tool Group. For more information on creating and using plugins, please see the Developing documentation section.

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