The Cumulus® Digital Asset Management System provides powerful­ tools for archiving, managing and marketing your digital files. Cumulus can store any type of digital media assets, including all types of documents, images, audio, video, layouts from publishing programs, presentations, and PDF files. Once assets are stored, Cumulus becomes a central media repository from which you and your co-workers can view, locate, search, organize, copy, move, categorize, and otherwise manipulate the cataloged assets. Once you've settled on a process for storing and retrieving your digital assets that works for you, the process can be automated, further enhancing the efficiency of your workflows.
Canto offers different editions of Cumulus and various add-on products.
This User Documentation
This user documentation covers the functionality of Cumulus Workgroup and Enterprise. Functions and feature that are available with certain editions or add-product only are denoted.
How to install Cumulus editions is described in the corresponding Installation Guides. The Installation Guides also contains descriptions on how to register and activate add-on products.
Manuals and Read Mes
Most current versions of all Cumulus manuals in PDF format are available via the Canto Customer Community. (FAQ: Where do I find Cumulus 9.0 manuals for download?)
Cross-Platform Issues
Cumulus is a cross-platform application, meaning that it runs on Windows® and Mac® OS X (Macintosh®) systems. Though the program’s features are identical in each version, portions of the user interface differ due to operating system or keyboard conventions. These differences are denoted or explained when necessary and assumed otherwise (e.g., the difference between “maximizing” a window in Windows, and “zooming” a window in the Mac OS X is not explained).
This icon denotes what pertains to Mac OS X only.
This icon denotes what pertains to Windows only.
User Interface Item Conventions
To differentiate user interface items – buttons, menus, text fields, etc. – from surrounding text, those items are displayed in bold. For example:
“Click the Open button.”
To differentiate menu hierarchies, the > character is used. For example:
“Select File > Open to open a file.”
This example means to select the Open item from the File menu.
Understanding Cumulus
To get started with Cumulus, you need to understand only a few basic concepts. Cumulus creates special files called catalogs, which Cumulus uses to keep track of your valuable assets. As you catalog your assets, Cumulus creates special catalog entries called records that represent the assets to be managed. Each record contains vital searchable information about the asset it represents. To make searching and retrieving records easier, Cumulus lets you organize and classify records into logical groups called categories. Any individual set of records comprises a collection. A collection is a way of looking at catalog(s).
An asset in Cumulus is simply any one cataloged file or data stream. A video clip, an audio clip, an image, or a page layout document are examples of files that are commonly cataloged in Cumulus. But the word file suggests an asset that is stored on a digital medium like a hard-disk or CD-ROM. What if the asset is a record in a database? This is not a file per se, but as far as Cumulus is concerned, it is a data stream that can be cataloged, kept track of and accessed.
Like a filing cabinet, Cumulus catalogs serve as storage locations for asset collections. You can have as many catalogs as you like. Catalogs are cross-platform compatible, so it doesn’t matter what type of computer is used to create a catalog. For more information, see “Catalogs”.
Collections are like snapshots from your open catalog(s). When you work with your assets in Cumulus, you’re viewing a constantly changing group of records. Without collections, each view of this group would be lost as soon as it is was changed. Collections, however, enable you to capture any particular set of records and save it as you see it - all without disrupting your workflow. Once you see something you like or could use again, save it as a collection and recall it whenever you need it. You can even send your collection as an attachment to an e-mail message in one easy step.
A collection also acts as your temporary workspace in Cumulus, meaning that changes made to your collections do not affect the content of your catalogs. Even deleting a record from a collection does not remove it from the catalog (unless you really want it to, which you can do, too). For more information, see “Collections”.
Like folders in a filing cabinet, Cumulus categories serve to organize assets (files). But here the similarities end. Assets can appear in any number of Cumulus categories at the sametime. For more information, see “Categories”.
Records represent assets. Each record represents one asset. Records hold information on the asset, such as file size, type, location, creation date, and much more. Cumulus allows the creation of customizable record fields, which can contain almost any sort of information you desire. Since these user-defined record fields are also fully searchable, you can tailor Cumulus to fit your requirements.
It’s very important to draw the distinction between records and assets. Records are part of Cumulus catalogs; assets are not. Records represent assets. For more information, see “Assets/Records”.