Public Content Distribution allows you to integrate Vault content with your branded sites, using an embeddable external viewer. This feature uses the same external viewer as Approved Email and some of the same supporting functionality. If your organization publishes content through branded sites as well as email, you can easily use Public Content Distribution alongside Approved Email Integration.

Note that much of the setup for Public Content Distribution happens through the Vault API.

How Integration Works

Public Content Distribution provides standalone and embeddable viewers that can display viewable renditions of documents in your Vault. Organizations can embed the viewer into an iFrame within their website. Veeva provides a snippet of JavaScript code that a web developer can insert into the iFrame. This code automatically contacts your Vault to get an anonymous viewing token, using credentials for a specific Vault user. We refer to this user in Vault Help as the “integration user.”

How to Set Up Public Content Distribution

To use Public Content Distribution with an embedded viewer, you must complete these steps:

  1. Once the add-on is purchased, the Veeva Account Executive will coordinate with Veeva Support to enable Public Content Distribution in the designated Vault.
  2. Create a new user as the integration user. This user should have the license type and security profile labeled View-Based User.
  3. For each website where you embed content, create a record in the Website object. If no Website record is specified, Vault will assume the request is for Approved Email
  4. Set up document access to ensure that the integration user is added in the Viewer role and has at least View Document permission on any document that you will embed. How you do this depends on your organization’s security model. Some Vaults use DAC, while others rely on a user manually assigning the integration user to a role on each document.
  5. Embed the document viewer into your website by adding the JavaScript snippet.
  6. Generate an anonymous viewing token through the API. For this, you should authenticate with the integration user’s credentials. Find details for this step in API Help.
  7. Use the viewing token and your Vault’s DNS to construct the public page’s URL.

How to Create the URL

When sharing your documents in an embedded viewer, users must navigate to a URL that includes both the anonymous viewing token and your Vault’s DNS:


For example, a URL for information on VeePharm’s CholeCap product might be:

How to Generate Instant External Access URLs

Most access to documents through Public Content Distribution will occur directly through your external websites, but you may occasionally need to give someone instant access to a document through the external viewer. For those instances, Vault provides the External Access URL action. This action is only available if the Public Content field is set to Yes. The document won’t be visible unless it meets the publishing criteria.

To generate an instant external access URL:

  1. Navigate to the document and choose External Access URL from the actions menu.
  2. Select a Website. You may only select object records for which the Distribution Channel Type field is set to Public Content Distribution.
  3. Choose an expiration period from the Link expires after picklist. Once a link expires, viewers who attempt to use it will see a notification that the document is no longer available.
  4. Click Generate.
  5. Copy the URL and share it as needed.

Note that external access URLs provide the same functionality as an embedded viewer. The viewer respects the allowed downloads and document fit selection.

Valid Documents to Publish

Although your own integration setup will control which documents appear in which external sites, Vault applies several controls to prevent the wrong documents from displaying. In order to appear in an external viewer, the document must meet the following criteria:

  • Rendition: The document must have a viewable rendition (for most file types) or video rendition (for video files). Note that the maximum concurrent views setting for videos does not apply to videos viewed through the external viewer.
  • Steady State: There must be a steady state (Approved, etc.) version of the document. If the document has been versioned since the last steady state version, only the latest steady state version will appear in the viewer. For example, the document is currently Draft state with version 2.3, but the external viewer displays version 2.0, the latest Approved state version.

Audit Log Tracking

When individuals view Public Content Distribution documents through an external site or an instant access URL, we track each document view and (if applicable) download. Because those viewers are not Vault users, the audit log attributes the actions to the user who generated the anonymous viewing token or instant access URL.

External Viewer Tracking

When configured, you can track and report on the number of views per document viewed through an external viewer.

About the Website Object

All Vaults with Public Content Distribution include a Website object. Individual Website records represent channels through which you publish Vault content. Admins need to create a record for each of the organization’s channels.

Document Fields

When Public Content Distribution is enabled, you’ll notice new standard fields applied to all documents. These fields appear in the External Viewer panel.

  • Public Content: This Yes/No field lets you indicate whether a document is valid content to display in an external viewer through Public Content Distribution.
  • Document Fit: This field dictates the default zoom level of the document within the external viewer: Fit to Width or Fit to Height.
  • Allow PDF Download: This is an object reference field where you can select Website object records. To use the field, select any websites where viewers should be able to download the document’s PDF viewable rendition.
  • Allow Source Download: This is an object reference field where you can select Website object records. To use the field, select any websites where viewers should be able to download the document’s source file.

Note that to allow downloads, the Vault user editing the document must have a security profile that grants the appropriate permissions: Download Document for Allow Source Download and Download Rendition for Allow PDF Download. Your Vault may also use custom sharing rules on the Website object to control which records each user can select.