Action is an instruction to invoke an event in the user interface. You typically execute an action by clicking it in the action bar or in a dialog. For example, saving a dialog is an action. Most actions take place in the user interface only - they don't interact with external logic. However, an action can do more complex things such as execute a command.

Action bar

An action bar makes actions available to users. The action bar is typically displayed on the right-hand side of the browser subapp. The action bar definition organizes actions into sections (green label) and groups (between horizontal lines). Availability rules determine which section is displayed to the user. For example, when the user selects a content item in the browser subapp, availability rules display only actions that are relevant to working with that item. A group contains actions that have something in common, such as actions for adding things.

Action popup

Action popup is a context menu that is displayed when the user right-clicks an item. You should only display often used actions in the popup so that it remains usable. If your app only has a few actions, you may want to simply extend the action bar. This way the popup displays the same actions as the action bar. Extending also allows you to manage the items in one place (action bar definition) rather than two.


Activation is the process of publishing content from an author instance to public instances. Activation can be subject to an approval workflow.


AdminCentral is the back office interface for interacting with Magnolia and configuring all its functionality.


Alerts are modal messages that show up in the context the user is currently working in. You can use alerts to confirm that an action should be executed, inform the user of harmful consequences, or report the progress of a long-running action. Since alerts are modal they block the user interface. See: Message types


A Magnolia app is a focused tool that lets editors work on one task at a time. An app can perform a task such as editing a page or manage content such as products. Create your own apps to do tasks that are important on your site.

App controller

The AppController interface manages the context in which an application runs. Context is an abstraction layer that represents the environment of the current process. It provides access to important components such as the current user.

App descriptor

App descriptor configuration describes an app. The descriptor assigns the app a name, icon and implementation class. The name of the app content node must be unique as it is used to refer to the app across the system. This means you cannot name your own app pages since a Pages app already exists.

App group

An app group contains apps that have something in common, grouped together in the App launcher. For example, the Edit group contains the Pages, Assets and Contacts apps. Each app in the group covers specific duties in content management.

App launcher

The App launcher is the first page you see when you log into Magnolia. The launcher displays apps as boxes – also known as the app launcher tiles. A click on a tile will launch the associated app. Each tile has an icon and a label. The apps that have something in common belong to the same group.

App framework

The app framework is a collection of classes that makes it possible to develop apps. The framework also controls app life cycle events such as starting and stopping the app and bringing the app into focus. The app framework also maintains a history of app use and remembers which app was used last. 

Author instance

Author instance is where editors work. This instance typically resides in a secure location behind a corporate firewall, inaccessible from the Internet. The author instance publishes content to a public instance.


Banners are messages that inform the user about system and app events. Banners are displayed prominently at the top or bottom of the Magnolia shell. They capture the user's attention effectively but do not interrupt what the user is currently working on. Banners are the only persistent message type. The user can safely close the banner and read the full message in the Pulse later. See: Message types

Browser subapp

Browser subapp is a specialization of the basic subapp, provided by the content app framework. The browser subapp allows you to view and organize content items in a tree, list and thumbnail view. The browser subapp descriptor is similar to the basic subapp descriptor but the classes are different.


Classpath is a parameter that tells the Java Virtual Machine or the Java compiler where to look for user-defined classes and packages. The classpath of a Magnolia webapp includes any JAR files in /WEB-INF/lib and any classes and resources in /WEB-INF/classes.

Content app

Content app is a specialized app type that manages custom data sets. The content app provides a user interface that consists of a browser subapp and a detail subapp. Content apps make it easy to organize items such as contacts or products. Many native Magnolia 5 apps such as Pages and Contacts are content apps. Because this app style is used often, the framework provides convenience classes to make building a content app faster.


Commands are custom actions executed at pre-defined trigger points. Magnolia uses commands to activate content, send email, flush the cache, take backups, import and export data, and to do many other tasks. Commands can perform duties within the system or connect to external resources.


The dashboard is a component in the Pulse that displays messages such as workitems, problems and information. In the dashboard you get a summary of things you may need to act on.


Digital asset management (DAM) is a common term for Magnolia modules that allow you to store and work with images, videos and documents. Assets stored in the DAM can be used anywhere in the system.

Detail subapp

Part of a subapp that typically displays a form for editing items. The detail subapp is always a secondary tab to the browser subapp. You can use multiple detail subapps at the same time, editing different items.


Dialogs are used to edit content and properties. Dialogs typically contain a form. Authors type content into the form fields and the dialog stores the content in the repository.


In the Favorites app you can add shortcuts to apps, often used actions and other locations. The Favorites app runs under a 'what, with, where' mechanism: 

  1. "What" is an action to run.
  2. "With" is an item serving as template or input to the action.
  3. "Where" is the location where the action occurs.

An example of a favorites action is creating a page (what), uploading assets (with) into specific folders or editing specific pages (where). Say you have a website that frequently requires product pages; you can create a favorite that creates a page based on a product template. The principle behind the Favorites is "two clicks": the first click opens Favorites and the second opens the shortcut. 


Fragment is the part of the URL that starts with the hash character #. In AdminCentral URLs, the fragment keeps track of an app's internal state. It identifies the name of the app, the subapp that is open, and optionally a path to the content that is operated on. In public URLs the fragment identifies an anchor.

Fragments make it possible to bookmark favorite locations. For example, you can make a particular page in the site hierarchy a favorite.

Message bundle

A message bundle (resource bundle in Java) is a collection of .properties files. Each file contains key-value pairs of translated user interface text such as labels and messages. The keys in all files of the same bundle are identical but the values are language specific translations.

A message bundle must contain at least one .properties file. The files are named after the language (locale): <bundle-name>_<locale>.properties, for example Every Magnolia module should provide its own message bundle. If a module installs several apps, each app should have its own message bundle.

 See: Language configuration.


According to the JCR specification (JSR-170):

A content repository consists of one or more workspaces, each of which contains a tree of items. An item is either a node or a property. Each node may have zero or more child nodes and zero or more child properties. There is a single root node per workspace, which has no parent. All other nodes have one parent. Properties have one parent (a node) and cannot have children; they are the leaves of the tree. All of the actual content in the repository is stored within the values of the properties.

Magnolia provides its own custom node types which represent Web content management items such as pages and components. You can see nodes and properties in many apps. For example, the Configuration app renders nodes to users in the following way:

You can configure the icon for a node type in the workbench of your app. For example, the Pages app displays a page icon for an mgnl:page node. You can check which node type an app displays and the icon associated with in the workbench definition of that app.


Notifications are non-intrusive messages that inform the user whether an action was completed or aborted successfully. Typically they confirm something. Notifications look like Post-IT notes. They go away automatically and don't require user action. Use notifications to confirm what the user did and provide them with confidence and assurance. See: Message types


Persona is a hypothetical visitor who represents your target audience. A realistic persona typically belongs into more than one segment.

For example, a persona can be interested in both music and technology. To create a persona, pick one or more traits and assign specific values to them.

Example: Yuu Sato

  • Age = 18
  • Gender = female
  • Location of visit = Japan


Personalization refers to adapting content to a particular user according to his or her personal preferences, needs and capabilities. In order to do so, you first select a set of traits of a visitor or a visit, then compose rules using these traits to define what content is presented to which visitors and when.

Public instance

Public instance receives content from an author instance and serves it to visitors on the Web. No authoring occurs here. This instance resides in a publicly reachable location. You can have more than one public instance serving the same or different content. In a typical deployment you have at least two public instances.


Magnolia's REST Web service allows you to manipulate content through a Web API. You can create, read, update and delete nodes in the JCR. The nodes can be pages, components, contacts or anything else that is stored in a named workspace. You can also execute commands to activate, export and import content.

The REST service is similar to the Data module in Magnolia 4.5 which pulled data from other sources into Magnolia. However, REST works with the push principle where your application communicates with a Magnolia REST endpoint and exchanges a representation of a resource such as an XML of a page. REST is useful for connection tasks. Use REST to push product data from a third party system into Magnolia and let editors enrich it in a Magnolia app, for example.


When you define permitted values for one or more traits you get a personalization rule. For example, "Age >= 18". When a visitor is 20 years old, the rule is met and personalized content is delivered.

Examples of rules:

  • Birth date is 1956/08/24
  • Year of birth is between 1999 and 2010
  • Age is over 10 but less or equal to 20
  • Interests include sports or international politics
  • Interests includes photography and the user has a Flickr account
  • Gender is set. (This is an example where the trait does not require a specific value but simply that any value is set.)

All visitors who meet a given rule belong to a segment.


A segment is all the visitors who meet a given rule. Create a segment when you know your audience and you want to routinely target content to them.

Examples of segments and their rules:

  • Chinese moviegoers
    • Age >= 18
    • Interests include movies
    • Location of visit = China
  • Returning marketing managers
    • Job title is "Marketing Manager" or "CMO"
    • Type of visitor = returning
  • Shutterbugs
    • Interests include photography
    • Flickr account = true


A segmentation is your entire audience described in segments.

Examples of segmentations:

  • Biz/Tech
    • Visitors with business interests (segment)
    • Visitors with technology interests (segment)
    • Others (fallback segment)
  • Geographic (addresses, location, climate, region etc.)
  • Demographic/socioeconomic (gender, age, income, occupation, education, household size, and stage in the family life cycle)
  • Psychographic (similar attitudes, values, and lifestyles)
  • Behavioral (occasions, degree of loyalty)
  • Product-related (relationship to a product)

Visitors who are not in your intended target audience belong to a fallback segment, typically named "Others". Segments in a single segmentation should not overlap.


The Magnolia Shell is the visual layer of Magnolia and encompasses all of the user interface that you see when you log into the system: the green background, the Magnolia logo and the app icons. The Shell is the UI administration interface. All apps reside in and are launched from the Shell. An app will continue to run in the Shell even when you have exited the app. From a functional viewpoint the Shell is a container that provides basic services for apps. It allows you to launch apps and display dialogs. 

In addition, the Shell is what enables the smooth transition from using one app to another and is responsible for visual effects when you switch between apps. For example, when you go back to the Apps screen to launch another app, the app were just running fades into the background. This transparency is called the app stack and provides a visual indicator that the app is still running. 

The Shell is responsible for sending messages to the Pulse. A developer does not need to know which exact Shell method to invoke in order to send such a message; in the app code is is sufficient to create a reference to an AppContext object instead. This object provides shortcuts for sending messages, displaying confirmation dialogs and many other everyday things. It is more straightforward to interact with the AppContext object than with the Shell itself.


Apps are divided into subapps. Each subapp specializes to do one task. For example, in the Pages app a browser subapp displays the hierarchy and a detail subapp allows you to edit a single page.


Public instances that receive activated content are known as subscribers. The Community Edition supports a single public subscriber. In the Enterprise Edition any number of subscribers can subscribe to a single author instance.


Marketing tags are snippets of code that you insert on Web pages. Tags typically collect analytics information such as how many visitors view the page and how long they stay. Tags can also integrate third-party content such as social media on your site or insert ad campaigns. You can use tags to learn more about visitors or provide content.

A tag is typically a piece of JavaScript code. When a page loads, the JavaScript code runs and collects usage information about the page and the visitor. The tag then reports this information to the service that provided the tag. The service stores and analyses the information. If the service provides an analytics dashboard you can display it in the Marketing Tags app.


The Tools group contains ad number of core Magnolia 5 apps: JCR,View dependencies, Logging, Backup, Mail and Cache. The Tools group is where any apps developed by the community should reside. The tools groups has been developed especially to accommodate a wide range of apps. For information on developing apps for Magnolia 5, please see the User Interface Guidelines.


A trait is an attribute or property of a visitor or visit, such as age or gender, that you can use to personalize content.

Examples of traits:

  • Date of visit
  • Location of visit
  • Language set in browser
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Gender

A trait has implicit allowed values. For example, locations are typically countries, regions or cities.


A variant is an alternative content element that replaces the original element in personalized content delivery. Magnolia serves the variant instead of the original element when personalization rules match. A variant is a copy of the original element, edited to best suit the intended audience.


Workbench an area in the ContentApp user interface that allows the user to work with content. The workbench is displayed on a tab and contains a data grid of content items. It also contains three buttons that allow you to view the data as a tree, list or grid and search box. The Action Bar also belongs to the Workbench. In the Pages app the Workbench displays a list of Web pages, in the Contacts app a list of contact persons and so on. The user can select items from the workbench and perform actions on them, such as open a page for editing.

#trackbackRdf ($trackbackUtils.getContentIdentifier($page) $page.title $trackbackUtils.getPingUrl($page))
  • No labels