Glossary of Terms

Following is a selection of terms from Hannon Hill’s Knowledge Database. A full set of terms can be viewed at


An Asset is any entity within the system that can be used to generate content. Many different types of entities can be assets: images, CSS stylesheets, XML blocks, pages, and more. For ease of classification, assets are divided into several different groups:
  • 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.
  • File - may be a jpeg image, CSS file, or any other indivisible and immutable asset.

  • 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.

  • Format- used to transform and style data, such as an XML block

  • External Link - a symbolic link to a specific URL

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

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

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


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)


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


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.


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.


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.


WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get.” Cascade’s word processing functionality is referred to as the WYSIWYG editor because as its name implies, it allows you to see formatting while editing in your content in the word processor (much like Microsoft Word®).
The word processor, which is integrated in the CMS system, has the same functionality and features you are most likely accustomed to using in a standard editor (such as Microsoft Word).