Explore Cumulus

Explore Cumulus
In order to exploit the potential of Cumulus fully, it’s necessary to proceed from a strong foundation. It’s a good idea to know the meaning and capabilities of the features you’re using in Cumulus and how they’re related. This section contains an overview of the Cumulus interface and describes the basic components of Cumulus in more detail – catalogs, collections, records, and categories­.
Main Toolbar – provides icons for some of the most popular functions and for modifying the workspace. For details refer to the tooltips that appear when hovering with the mouse over an icon.
Category Pane – displays categories. Each Cumulus catalog provides three master categories by default (Categories, Keywords and Sources), each of which builds it’s own category tree. A drop-down list (A) allows to switch between the display of all categories or any of the master category trees. Categories may be searched for via the category quicksearch field (B).
Record Pane – displays the records of cataloged assets..
Status Bar – contains icons for toggling the display of additional panes and one icon to change the order of the left side panes:
A Cumulus catalog is a group of records that, together, represent the assets you want to manage. Each asset is represented by one record. There is no limit to the number of different media file formats that can be represented in one catalog. One of the greatest features of Cumulus is its ability to catalog any digital asset, in addition to the file formats directly supported.
A catalog has a database file at its core. The way you work with the information in this file can be extensively customized.
When you catalog assets, the catalog settings determine how and what sort of information Cumulus extracts, creates and stores on the assets as metadata in the record fields and category fields.
Each catalog can have its own distinct properties. Any changes made to the catalog settings affect the way information is stored on all of that catalog’s assets. For more informationen see “Catalog Settings". To set up a catalog to store information in addition to or differently from the default settings, fields can be added to the catalog either by activating them from the list of fields that Cumulus supports or by defining your own custom fields. (See “Adding Fields”, and “Creating a Custom Field”.)
With Workgroup or Enterprise, catalogs can only be created by the Cumulus Administrator. And the Cumulus Administrator can give each user different rights for each catalog. The range of functions a specific user is allowed to perform depends on the rights the Cumulus Administrator assigned to her/him.
Catalog Size and Performance
As catalogs increase in size, so do the requirements they place on computer hardware. It takes more processing power to work with 200,000 records than it does with 200. It also takes more RAM to hold the larger catalog in memory.
NOTE: The unique way Cumulus searches for records prevents large catalogs from slowing down the search speed.
There is virtually no limit to the size of a catalog file (up to 1 TB). Most users will find it best to split catalogs for organizational and performance reasons. The actual number of records that can be stored in a catalog and the catalog’s actual file size is determined by the size of each record. (See “Record Size”.)
Catalog Scope
Catalogs can include records for as many different asset types as you like. But you may find it best to have different asset formats cataloged independently. For example, it might not make sense to have your image assets in the same catalog as your audio clips, though it is possible.
On the other hand, don’t limit the scope of each catalog too much. For example, when you’re looking for an image to use on a Web page, do you care if it’s in GIF or JPEG format? Separating similar asset types by specific file format can be inconvenient when searching. Cumulus cannot search through catalogs that aren’t open. If each of your image file formats has its own catalog, they’ll all have to be open if you want to search through all of them. Remember, you can use Cumulus’ categories or built-in information fields to find files based on format, projects in which they were used, or status, for example.
Live Filtering (optional)
Maybe you have a “filtered view” on a certain catalog or some or all accessible catalogs. The Cumulus Administrator can limit the view of a user or a user group to preselected categories and/or records. For example the asset access for the sales staff can be limited to final, approved material, while the work in progress in the Marketing department should not be visible.
Things You Can Do with Catalogs
You can:
Search through one or multiple catalogs. (See “Searching”.)
If you are the Cumulus Administrator or have the appropriate permissions, you can:
Divide a catalog into smaller catalogs. (See “Dividing Catalogs”.)
Merge one catalog with another. (See “Merging Catalogs”.)
Publish catalogs on the Internet using Cumulus Sites, Cumulus Web Client, Cumulus Web Publisher Pro or Cumulus Internet Client Pro. (For more information, see the corresponding Administrator Guide.)
Repair a damaged catalog. (See “Repairing Catalogs”.)
Update catalogs from earlier Cumulus versions. (See “Migrating Catalogs”.)
Adding Assets to Catalogs
The term cataloging describes the process of importing and storing information about your digital assets. This information, called metadata, is the data associated with a digital asset beyond the actual file data itself. So, while the words you type in a Microsoft Word file constitute the file’s data, the file’s name, size, location, author, creation date etc. are examples of the file’s metadata.
Some metadata is added to assets automatically by the software used to create or edit the asset. This is the case with the most common file metadata, such as size and modification date. But, depending on the creating software (or hardware), additional metadata can be embedded, too. This is the case with digital cameras that embed photo shoot dates, camera type, lens aperture and shutter speed, and even the GPS coordinates of the shot location into the files.
Additional metadata can be added after the asset has been cataloged. An asset's metadata serves as the basis for how you find the asset, so it’s important that your DAM system enables you to create as much metadata as you need. For example, if you need to find photographs based on the photographer’s name, you want to make sure photographer names are included in the metadata stored for your photograph assets. If you need to find a Microsoft Word file that includes a certain text phrase, is associated with a given fiscal year's revenue, and edited within the last month, the proper metadata enables that too. A complete DAM solution like Cumulus can also enable you to automatically find all images used in that document, and even find the PDFs that were later generated from it.
With regard to file formats, Cumulus can catalog any type of digital asset and offers enhanced support for the most popular formats. The term “enhanced support” means different things, depending on the file format in question. For example, Cumulus offers enhanced support for Adobe® InDesign® and QuarkXPress® files by enabling you to preview individual layout pages right from within Cumulus. Enhanced support for Microsoft® PowerPoint files enables you to actually generate new PowerPoint presentations—right from within Cumulus—using assets and PowerPoint slides cataloged in Cumulus. Enhanced support for Microsoft® Word, Excel, Illustrator and PDF files includes extracting text that's included inside the files and making it searchable catalog metadata. So, not only can you find the files in Cumulus based on metadata—file name, modification date, production status, etc.—you can also find some files based on their actual contents.
When you catalog digital assets, Cumulus performs a number of behind-the-scenes tasks in order to generate an asset record that best represents the asset. It’s easiest to think of these tasks as a series of steps through which the asset flows during the cataloging process. They are:
Filters provide “knowledge” of a given asset type to Cumulus. They are, in fact, what enables the program to offer enhanced metadata support for so many file formats. For example, the JPEG filter knows to parse incoming JPEG assets for information common to that file type, such as horizontal and vertical dimensions (and much more). The MP3 filter extracts audio-related metadata, such as length and sample rate. Filters are like plug-ins—they can be added, activated and deactivated at any time. The Cumulus SDK (software development kit) enables others to create custom filters.
Metadata Extraction
As mentioned, all file formats include at least a basic set of metadata that Cumulus captures during the cataloging process. For many file formats, this core information is the only metadata captured during cataloging. Some formats, however, store extensive metadata right “inside” the file itself through the use of metadata standards called XMP, IPTC and EXIF. Popular formats that support one or more of these standards include JPEG, PDF and TIFF.
Many applications enable users to “stuff” metadata directly into files using these standards. During the cataloging process, Cumulus copies this data into the asset record, making it easily searchable. (Cumulus can also write data back into some “metadata fat” file formats.)
Metadata can also come from sources other than assets, such as databases or financial systems. Cumulus enables you to import metadata originating from sources like these into your catalogs through a menu command. This offers a great way to synchronize your Cumulus catalogs with other systems, such as product databases or financial systems.
For example, say you have a database that contains details about each of your products—UPC codes, color options, sizes, etc.—and you use Cumulus to keep track of product photographs used for packaging, online sales and advertising. By importing the product data into Cumulus, you can perform the same searches for product images as you can for product information.
This is a workflow example already in use successfully at Cumulus installations now. One customer produces weekly fliers that showcase sale items. UPC codes for products to be featured are sent to the graphics department who then use Cumulus to find acceptable product images. This ensures the correct image is used for each product in the advertisements. (If you’ve ever seen a weekly mailer that describes one product, but shows another, you can understand the value of this workflow.)
Category trees can also be constructed based on imported data. This makes it easy to create an organizational structure that’s familiar to your employees: just provide Cumulus with a text file that represents your current organization structure, and the category tree is created for you automatically. The import function can also make upgrading to Cumulus from other DAM systems much easier.
No matter what the origin, Cumulus stores all metadata in catalog fields. A default set of fields is provided with each newly created catalog, and you can also define any number or type of custom fields you need. Later, you’ll read about the various field types available in Cumulus.
Field Linking
Cumulus can map and copy the metadata found inside your assets to appropriate fields inside your Cumulus catalogs. So, for example, the contents of the “Notes” field in the asset can be copied to the “Notes” field in the catalog.
You can also define field links of your own, in case you want to override default mappings, or create new ones. This is especially helpful when you want certain fields in your catalog to serve the same purpose for different asset types.
For example, say you work with video in both QuickTime and Windows Media formats. QuickTime includes a standard metadata field for video that's called “Writer.” Windows Media, on the other hand, includes a field called “Author.” You could have fields in your catalogs for both, but then you'd have to include both when searching for that information. A more convenient way to go about this would be to choose one of those field names for your Cumulus catalog and use field linking to map the contents of the other field to that field. That way QuickTime “Writer” and Windows Media “Author” metadata are stored in the same catalog field, making searching a breeze.
Asset metadata fields can also be field-linked to generate Cumulus categories. This is handy if your assets contain metadata keywords that you want translated into Cumulus categories. Cumulus can even generate category trees that emulate the folder structure the asset was found in. If your current folder structures are based on hierarchies that enhance your workflow, this option offers a great way to get instant category trees that will be familiar to users.
A collection is Cumulus-speak for a set of records from any one catalog or even multiple catalogs. It is a way of looking at your catalog(s) – the way that you look at it at any given time. Whenever you work with assets in the record and category panes – which make up the Collection window – you’re creating or modifying collections. When you view the records in any category, you’re looking at a collection. When you view the results of a search, you’re also looking at a collection. The same is true for individual records you’ve dragged and dropped into the window – any ‘snapshot’ of your catalog can comprise a collection. A collection acts as your temporary workspace in Cumulus, and you can also save it as a file.
While a collection can contain all records in a single catalog or all in a single category, it is neither one nor the other. A collection can also contain – and here is where its advantages become obvious – the results of a search (either as a new collection or replacement of the current collection), or any records you drag and drop into the Collection window. Any individual set comprises a collection. The records in one collection may even belong to different catalogs.
Once saved, a collection file remembers the records it contains and the Record View Set used. A collection file also keeps track of column width of the Details View.
Assume, for example, that you have a catalog containing thousands of records organized neatly into categories. Your latest project, however, only requires assets from four of those categories, and from those it only requires the image files. You could first run a search to pull all image files from those four categories. Then you could select a Record View Set and emphasize the exact information you need for this project. Save the collection, and from now on you can simply open the collection containing the records you really need – while the entire catalog remains available to you in the background. You could then e-mail the collection to in-house members of the project team.
A collection, whether saved or unsaved, is always connected to its catalog(s). When a collection is open, the catalog(s) storing the records of the collection are also open. In order to open a particular collection, you must have access to its catalog(s). If a record is removed from a catalog, it is removed from any of the collections it was in. Similarly, if you delete a category, it is deleted not only from one collection, but also from the catalog.
You can, however, delete a record from the collection without deleting it from the catalog – as long as you press only the DEL key. But if you press both  Command /  Control and DEL, the record will be removed from both collection and catalog (see “Delete", for more information).
Working with Collections
Collections can be customized and then saved, so that your particular preferences for a special set of records can be recalled. A collection file remembers the records it contains, the Record View Set used and the column width of the Details View.
As collections are such flexible and malleable crea­tures, it might be a good idea to save your special collection once you have configured it. This is because an unsaved collection with its specific configuration is not automat­ically saved when you close it. And as soon as your collection changes – which can happen quite often – any unsaved changes are lost. Saving a collection is easily done via File > Save Collection As. A dialog appears for you to choose the name and location for the collection file. Once a collection is saved, it is easy to open via File > Open Collection
Cumulus provide several collection types:
Shared collections – collections that are available either to all or to selected Cumulus users. The sharing state of a collection can be changed anytime via its properties.
The usage of both download collections and upload collections can be tracked. Via the properties of the collection, information on the last access is provided for every recipient of a respective upload link or download link,
When you create a new collection via File > New Collection, it can either be empty or contain the currently selected records. However, concerning the view, the new collection will be a copy of the active collection. In other words, the colors, fonts, and fields of the new collection will be the same as the previous one. From here, you can proceed to make any changes you like while retaining the old collection in the background. You might want to save your new collection after you have assembled the desired records and carefully arranged them.
All collections are stored at the Cumulus Server and can be shared between users. When connecting to the Cumulus Server with the Cumulus Client application, you can open catalogs or collections.
Collections stored with previous Cumulus versions on the computer running the Client application can be imported (File > Import > Collections.) To store collections at any location other than the Cumulus Server, you can use the export function (File > Export > Collections.)
For sending a collection via email to another user, a special export function is provided (File > Export > Mail Collection To.) However, don’t forget: Since a collection is always connected to catalog(s), it is necessary for the recipient to have access to the catalog(s) ‘serving’ the collection.
To make use of a collection you received, you use the import function.
IMPORTANT! If the Remember Password option is activated in your Connect to Server window, any collection you export or mail contains your login information. Opening such an exported or mailed collection will connect to the Cumulus Server with your login and password. And this means that the user who opens the collection works as you and has your permissions. If this option is not activated, the Connect to Server dialog will appear when an exported or mailed collection is opened.
Instead of sending entire collections, you may email just a link to a collection. Recipients, who don’t even need to be Cumulus users, can open the link and view the collection in any web browser. Via the Send Collection Link dialog, you can specify a password and an expiration date. You can also specify which actions recipients may perform on the assets. Note that this function will only work if your Cumulus installation includes a Cumulus Internet solution (e.g. Cumulus Sites), and a Base Web URL was defined by your Cumulus Administrator.
Collections can be edited only by users who are allowed to do so (User Manager > User/Role Properties > Server Permissions > Collections Permissions.)
Things You Can Do with Collections
Create a new collection manually (see “New Collection"), or create a new upload collection by sending out an invitation to upload files (see “Send Upload Link")
Open an existing collection (see “Open Collection".)
View and Edit the Properties of collections (see “Open Collection")
Search through a collection (see “Searching”.)
Send a collection by e-mail. (see “Export".)
Send a link to a collection (see “Send Collection Link"
In Cumulus, each asset is represented by one record. Cumulus is able to catalog every sort of digital asset such as Photoshop® image files, video clips, sound clips, or QuarkXPress® page layouts. However, a digital asset can also be a spreadsheet file or even a data stream such as an entry in a data bank that Cumulus is keeping track of for you. Records can contain a thumbnail image of the asset. Records can (and should) be categorized for easy maintenance and searching. (See “Categories”, for more information.)
Records are not actual copies of the asset. They merely "point" to the original file. This saves disk space and avoids confusion caused by maintaining multiple copies of an asset. Records contain information on the assets, which is called metadata. Using metadata makes it possible for Cumulus to track your assets and find their records at lightning-speed. A record is the sum of metadata stored on an asset. The metadata is kept in Record Fields.
Canto is setting the pace in the asset management field with its TAG files, which hold all of the information that can be viewed in the Asset Information application – and more. TAG files have been developed by Canto to be the standard file format for the storage of metadata in the field of asset management. Cumulus can create TAG files when cataloging assets from a location where the user is allowed to save files. For how to activate this option, see “Browse for Assets".
All records contain at least some searchable information in their record fields on the asset file they represent. Generally, the range of information each record includes depends on the kind of asset represented.
However, Cumulus makes it possible to determine precisely what sort of information should be kept on assets. Remember, this can be defined differently for each catalog as each catalog has its own properties. It is the catalog settings that determine what information is stored on the assets in the record fields.
As it comes ‘out of the box,’ Cumulus has many record fields ready to be filled while cataloging, depending on the nature of the asset. Not all of the record fields that Cumulus supports are activated with Cumulus’ default settings.
Asset Information
The information stored on an asset can be viewed and edited in the Information view or in the Information window.
What you see depends on:
The View Set you select should match with the catalog(s) you use it with. For example, if you have a special catalog for images that includes all fields that are important for images and you use a View Set that was designed for audio files, you may not see much information. If the catalog does not contain the fields that are selected for display in the View Set, no information can be displayed.
If you have the appropriate permissions, you can easily access the preferences of Record View Sets by selecting the Customize entry in the drop-down list for selecting Record View Sets. This entry opens the preferences for the current Record View Set.
To change to the Information View, click on the toolbar.
To open the Asset Information window for an asset:
Select Metadata > Information or click on the toolbar. The Asset information window opens.
Once the Asset Information window is open you can use the arrow buttons to load other records into the window. For more details on the Information window, see “Information Window".
Field Types
Information on assets can be viewed and accessed via record fields and information on categories can be viewed and accessed via category fields. Cumulus can store different kinds of information. Consequently, Cumulus features many different field types for storing information. The different field types are (the examples are drawn from the default record fields):
String – Can be used to store textual information (e.g. Notes). String fields can be set to support multiple languages. In this case, the content of the field can be hold in different languages.
Boolean – Great for on/off, yes/no options. Displays as a check box (e.g., Don’t Delete Record).
Integer – Any non-fractional number up to 32 bits (e.g., non-decimal numbers as a price of $2).
Real – Any number up to 64 bits (e.g., a decimal number such as a price of $2.99).
Long – Can store 64-bit integer numbers.
Data Size – size in bytes (can store 32-bit values up to 4 GB)
Data Size (Long) – size in bytes (can store more than 4 GB values up to 64-bit values)
Date – Any valid date (day and time) later than 1970 entered in the format of your computer’s system settings (e.g., Record Modification Date).
Date only – any valid date for any day entered in the format of your computer’s system settings.
Time only – Any valid time of day entered in the format hh:mm:ss. Optionally you can also enter milliseconds by employing a dot as separator: hh:mm:ss.123
Length – in inches – displayed in the measurement you have chosen in your User Settings for the Cumulus application.
Resolution – in dots per inch.
Binary – Not user-editable; administered by custom asset information applications, which can manipulate and store binary data for further automation.
Asset Reference – Special binary field used for asset references only. Not user-editable.
Picture – Pictures can be pasted into these fields (e.g., Thumbnail).
String List – This field type supports lists, such as menus, which can make data entry easier. The items in the list can be defined by the user (e.g., Status). The items can only be defined by users with the appropriate rights.
Audio – Can store voice annotations that can be recorded directly into the computer or come from the assets themselves.
Label Enables users to label records by assigning colors.
Rating Enables users to rate assets or records.
Table – Special field type that can include other metadata fields. This field type was designed for special usage purposes, e.g. the user comments added to a preview are managed by such a field. The fields included in a Table field can be configured to be searchable and sortable.
For more information on Cumulus custom fields see “Catalog Settings".
Asset Types Supported
Cumulus can catalog any kind of digital asset you throw at it. Moreover, it directly supports file formats with specially developed filters. (See “Asset Format Support”, for details on supported formats.) Visit Canto’s website (www.canto.com) for news, updates and downloads, including new file filters as they are developed (for registered users only).
Editing Asset Information
In general, you can edit the information stored on an asset. But you can only edit information which is stored in record fields you are allowed to edit.
To edit the information stored on an asset:
If you want to edit further records in the collection, you can use the arrow icons to load a new record.
Editing a String Field in Multiple Records
If you are about to edit the content of a string field for multiple records at once and one or more records already contain text in the field you want to edit, Cumulus will ask you how to handle the new text.
Editing Fields with Validators
If a catalog contains fields with validators and one or more of these fields contain invalid values, or if mandatory fields have no value at all, a validator pane is displayed at the bottom of the Information Window or Information View, and the respective fields are marked with a special icon.
The message(s) displayed in the validator pane can be different for each field, depending on the settings defined by the administrator. Clicking on a message immediately activates the field with the erroneous value, even if it is not visible in the first place. As soon as you enter a correct value, both the special icon and the message disappear.
As long as a record contains invalid field values, it can not be saved. Either you fill in appropriate values in all of these fields, or any changes made to the record will be discarded.
Using a Metadata Template
To add information to the metadata information that is stored on an asset, you can employ a Metadata Template. Metadata Templates can be set up by any user. For a description on how to set up Metadata Templates, see “Metadata Templates".
To make use of such a template, you can either use it while cataloging (along with the Prefiller Utility, see here) or apply the metadata information to the records of already cataloged assets.
There are different methods through which you can apply information from Metadata Templates to records of cataloged assets:
Select one or more records and then select Metadata > Assign Metadata From Template. A list containing all your Metadata Templates is displayed. Select the desired one.
NOTE: When using this method all fields that are included in the catalog of the record and that are set in the Metadata Template will be filled with the values of the selected Metadata Template. The changes are immediately saved with the record.
NOTE: When using this method all fields that are included in the Asset Information window (and that you are allowed to edit), and that are set in the Metadata Template will be filled with the values of the selected Metadata Template. Note that these changes will not be saved until you do so.
If you have the appropriate permissions, you can easily access the preferences of Metadata Templates by selecting the Customize entry in the drop down list for selecting Metadata Template. This entry opens the preferences for the current Metadata Template.
Record Size
In general, a record’s size can depend on several factors:
The customizability of Cumulus means that you can determine what information is stored on the assets in a particular catalog. If catalog size is a concern, there are a few catalog settings to keep in mind. These settings can affect the size of the records cataloged.
Renaming Records
Records are named as the assets they represent by default. Sometimes asset names are not what you would like them to be. For renaming assets (and their records) Cumulus provides a special function. (See “Rename”, for details.) However, you can also rename the record only. Though there is no menu item specifically for this use, renaming records is easy:
Select Metadata > Information. The Asset Information window opens, which shows information on the asset.
If you want to edit more records in the collection, you can use the arrow icons in the Information window toolbar to load a new record.
Editing a Record’s Category Assignments
Also found within the default Asset Information window is a list of the categories currently assigned to the record. From this list you can remove category assignments or add new ones.
To remove a record’s category assignment:
Select Metadata > Information. The Asset Information window opens, which shows information on the asset.
If you want to edit more records in the collection, you can use the arrow icons in the Information window’s toolbar to load a new record. After deleting a category in the category pane, all assignments to this category are automatically deleted as well.
There are different ways to add a category assignment to a record, or to assign a record to a category, depending on your perspective. The perhaps most intuitive way is by dragging and dropping the category to the record, or the record to the category. (See “Editing a Record’s Category Assignments”.) It is also possible to add a category assignment to a record via the Asset Information window, which displays a list of the categories the record is associated with.
To add a category assignment to this list:
Select Metadata > Information. The Asset Information window opens, which shows information on the asset. If necessary, drag this window aside so that you can also see the Category pane of the Collection window.
If you want to edit more records in the collection, you can use the arrow icons to load a new record.
Things You Can Do with Records
Change a record’s category assignments. (See “Editing a Record’s Category Assignments”.)
Copy/Cut and Paste records between catalogs and/or collections. (Record categories are copied along with records.)
Create a new record (same as cataloging assets). (See “Browse for Assets”.)
Delete a record and (optionally) its asset. (See “Delete”.)
Drag and drop a record into another drag and drop-supporting application. Dragging a record copies the asset into the target document. You may prefer, instead, to place the asset manually and access it by reference.
Rotate a record’s preview icon. (See “Rotate Thumbnail”.)
Search for specific records. (See “Searching”.)
Update a record to reflect an edited asset. (See “Update Record”.)
Update a record to reflect a relocated asset. (See “Update Record”.)
NOTE: It’s very important to keep records in sync with their associated asset files. If you move an asset after cataloging it, be sure to update its record by using the menu item. (See “Update Asset Reference(s)”.)
View and optionally edit a record’s asset information. (See “Asset Information”, for details.)
Things You Can Do with Assets
Cumulus is also able to help you manage your original assets. Cataloged assets can be copied, deleted, moved, printed – all from the Cumulus interface using the Asset menu commands. And when you copy, delete or move an asset, Cumulus takes care of its TAG file at the same time, treating it accordingly. For further information on TAG files, see “Options While Cataloging".
Convert the asset to another file format. (See “Convert To”)
Copy the asset into another application by dragging the record into the application.
Create copies of the assets in another location. (See “Copy To”.)
Customize the display of the information on an asset. (See “Record View Sets”.)
Open assets using the application they were created with or another application. (See “Edit With”.)
Preview a record’s asset. (See “Preview”.)
Print assets using the application they were created with or another application. (See “Print With”.)
Send your assets by e-mail. (See “Mail To”.)
Show information on an asset. (See “Asset Information”.)
Show the location of the asset. (See “Show Location”.)
Show a preview image of the asset. (See “Preview”.)
Cumulus categories are used to organize records, much like folders are used to organize files in a traditional filing cabinet. But the asset can appear in any number of Cumulus categories at the same time. They are similar in purpose to keywords used in other programs.
Simply double-clicking on a category is the most direct method of searching in Cumulus. All records assigned to that category are displayed. You can also use the category list to find contents of two or more categories at a time. Other options for category list searching include the ability to see the contents of categories in the tree either above or below the one you double click. (See “Search & Sort Tab – Records”, for more detailed information.)
To make organizing easier, Cumulus by default provides multiple master categories each of which constitutes its own category tree. Categories can be created in each tree independently. Which categories are displayed in the category pane, either all, or just the categories belonging to a specific master category, can be specified any time via a drop-down list.
The Keyword tree contains those categories that are created with the intention of organizing the assets via keywords. These categories may be created manually by the user or automatically by Cumulus Filters and AssetStores.
The Sources tree contains automatically created categories that reflect the folder or directory hierarchy in which the assets reside.
Use the Categories tree to build a hierarchical order of your own that suits your specific needs.
All displays all master categories and their respective subcategories contained in the current collection. In this case, the master categories are denoted with names that begin with a $ sign.
NOTE: Do not rename or move these special categories.
If you don’t get all default category trees displayed, your administrator has restricted your access to categories.
Categories can be nested within one another. The highest hierarchical category level – the one that is not nested in any other category – is the category representing a catalog. A category that nests other categories is also denoted by a small triangle. A square denotes a category that does not nest any other category. To expand a category in order to see its subcategories, click on the triangle. Use drag and drop to move categories to where you want them inside the master category they belong to, or even between master categories.
The Category pane displays all available categories. To see the categories a record is assigned to, open the Asset Information window and check the entries in the Categories field. (For information on how to edit, see “Editing a Record’s Category Assignments".)
Category Types
Cumulus offers different types of categories: Normal Categories, Related Categories and Folder Categories. These category types have the following characteristics:
Normal Categories can be created by the user at any position in the category hierarchy. We recommend creating individual categories either in the Categories or the Keyword tree.
Related Categories are aliases of existing categories which can be created by the user. They can be placed in any position in the category hierarchy. Complete alternate catalog hierarchies can be built using related categories.
Folder Categories are automatically created by Cumulus during the cataloging process. These automatically created categories reflect the folder or directory hierarchy in which the assets reside. The Source tree displays them all. They are created by default but this option can be disabled (with Workgroup or Enterprise, by users with the specified rights only).
NOTE: Live Filtering (optional)
If you can see categories but can’t select them, your administrator has activated pre-selections for you and those categories do not belong to the range of pre-selections.
Creating Categories
If you’ve been snooping around the Cumulus menu bar, you can probably guess how to create a new category.
To create a category:
Select Metadata > New Category or New Related Category. This creates a category nested in the selected category.
You can easily change the category hierarchies by dragging a category on top of another category. This places the category inside the other category. To move a category to the top level of a catalog, drop it on the category representing the catalog.
Master categories can’t be dragged to a different place.
Renaming categories is easy:
Custom Ordering of Categories
By default, the categories displayed in the category pane are sorted alphabetically. As this may not always be the most convenient solution, the order of the categories can be changed manually by dragging a category to a different place in the category tree, e.g. to have frequently used categories shown on top of the category tree.
Custom ordering of categories only works if
the Enable/Show Language Specific Category Sorting and Custom Ordering option is activated in the used Category View Set,
A custom-ordered category tree is displayed in that order only for users that employ a Category View Set with the Enable/Show Language Specific Category Sorting and Custom Ordering option activated. Elsewise the category tree is displayed in the default order.
NOTE: It is advised to be extremely cautious with custom ordering of categories, as this may effect the view of potentially all other users.
To manually change the order of categories:
To override custom ordering and re-establish the alphabetic sorting of categories:
NOTE: Sorting categories by name only affects the current level. If subcategories have a custom order, they will retain it. Thus you can sort any level in your category tree either by name or manually as you need it, independent of any other level.
Category Fields
Category fields are used for information that relates to all records assigned to that category, or they can be used to store additional information on the category itself.
Category fields can be activated and set up in the Catalog Settings. This can only be done by the Cumulus Administrator.
Category Information Window
Information on categories can be viewed in the Category Information window. What you see depends on:
TIP: Access Preferences
If you have the appropriate permissions, you can easily access the preferences of Category View Sets by selecting the Customize entry in the drop-down list for selecting Category View Sets. This entry opens the preferences for the current Category View Set.
To open the Category Information window:
Select Metadata > Information. The information window for the selected category appears.
The information on categories can be viewed and accessed via category fields. What category fields are displayed and also how the category fields are displayed depends on the selected View Set.
Once the Category Information window is opened, you can use the arrow buttons to load other categories into the window. For more details on the Information window, see “Information Window".
Editing Category Information
In general you can edit the information stored on a category. But you can only edit information which is stored in category fields you are allowed to edit.
To edit the information stored on a category:
If you want to edit more categories, you can use the arrow icons of the Information window’s toolbar to load another category.
Categories and Auto-cataloging
Cumulus can auto-catalog the contents of folders that are represented by folder categories in Cumulus. Any new assets saved to this folder will be cataloged periodically, depending on how often you would like this done. This feature can be customized to be performed anything from hourly to daily to weekly. It is performed on the machine you are working at.
To make use of this feature:
Select the Sources master category.
tSelect the category representing the folder you want to have auto-cataloged.
Select File > Add Assets to Catalog >Setup Auto Cataloging.
Open the context menu by clicking the right mouse button / Control key + mouse button and select Setup Auto Cataloging.
Activate the Use AutoSync on Category option.
NOTE: You should select an Asset Handling Set with the Skip Duplicates option activated for cataloging. Otherwise all assets in the folder will be cataloged again and again with each run.
Under Next Start, enter date and time when the function should be performed.
Under Period, enter the regularity time interval you want the function to be performed. For example: to start it once a day enter 24:00
Under User, enter your Cumulus Login name.
NOTE: With this version of Cumulus the Auto Cataloging feature works only for folders that were created when cataloging was performed on the same operating system you are working with. You can check this with the information in the Category Type field. A category of the type Directory Category can only be auto-cataloged when you are working under Windows. And a category of the type Directory Category Mac can only be auto-cataloged when you are working under Mac OS X.
If you want to use this feature with catalogs created with former versions of Cumulus you have to add the following category fields to the catalog:
TIP: More Autocataloging Features
Optional features provide additional auto-cataloging options; e.g. a Cumulus Scheduler Action that enables Cumulus to check a standard POP3 email account and retrieve and automatically catalog any email it finds. For more information,see “Provided Scheduler Actions".
Individual Master Categories
Instead of having all categories appear in one category tree, Cumulus provides multiple master categories, each with its own category tree: Cumulus lets you create your own master categories with their own individual category trees.
To create a new master category:
Select Metadata > New Master Category. A new master category called Category is created. The new category’s name is highlighted, ready to be renamed.
You can rename or delete such a category just as any other category.
Things You Can Do with Categories
Create a related category. (See “New Related Category”.)
Export categories. (See “Export”.)
Import categories. (See “Import”.)
Move a category inside or outside another category. (See “Creating Categories”.)
Remove a category assignment from a record. (See “Editing a Record’s Category Assignments”.)
Show or hide categories. (See “Collection Basket Pane”.)
Information Window
The information stored on an asset or category can be viewed and edited in the Information window. What you see depends on:
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Information Window vs. Properties Window
Whereas the Information window provides access to the metadata stored on an asset or a category, the Properties window provides access to the triggers and permissions set for an asset’s record or a category.
TIP: If you have the appropriate permissions, you can easily access the preferences of Metadata Templates by selecting the Customize entry in the list for selecting Metadata Template. This entry opens the preferences for the current Metadata Template.
Content of the field for the selected record/category (editable or not depending on the field type and whether Allow User to Edit is checked in the record field properties). If the field background is dark gray it cannot be edited.
Date: Can be user-editable; click in field and type new value (or in Windows use arrow up/down keys).
Integer: User-editable; numbers only (without decimal places), up to 32 bits.
Boolean: Check box to be selected or deselected. Can be user-editable.
Picture: Not user-editable; maintained by Cumulus or an Asset Storage Module.String: User-editable; characters and numbers.
String List: Can only be filled with predefined values. (For details on inserting a value to a String List, see “Editing a String List Field".)
The values are either displayed as a list or as radio buttons (defined in the View Set.) Click the arrow button to select a value from a list.
String List – Multi-Select: The values are displayed with check boxes. You can select multiple values by activating them in the check boxes
NOTE: None of the default fields is an Audio field. An Audio field always has to be set up as a custom field.
If you have selected multiple records before opening the Asset Information window and the option Display values identical for all selected records (User Settings> Display > Asset Info Window) is activated, you can change the field values for multiple records at once.
If the asset information of multiple records is shown in one window, only those field contents are displayed which have the same value. So the Asset reference and Thumbnail fields will always be empty. Check boxes (Boolean fields) with different values display the string Multiple values. The field Categories only displays those categories the selected records have in common. All other field types are displayed with no value if there are different values for fields.
Sets and Templates
To ease your work Cumulus provides several sets and templates. Access to them is controlled via user permissions. Users who are allowed to create them can share them so that they are accessible to all users with the permissions to use them.
View Sets
What Cumulus calls view sets are the screen layouts that enable users to interact with the metadata stored for the managed assets. Each View Set contains several different types of views, including thumbnail views, list views, asset previews and more. A single View Set represents the way each of these individual views appear to users.
View sets make it easy for you to switch between different views that are set up for certain formats or tasks. Once view sets have been appropriately defined to meet differing demands, you can switch between them with just a mouse click.
Each view in a View Set can contain a different array of metadata fields from a catalog. This is helpful because you don't likely want to see all data fields when looking at thumbnails, but you might want to see them when looking at an Information View. Some metadata fields, such as thumbnail or record name, might be useful in both views.
The ability to create different view sets enables you to configure screen layouts that are task or user specific. For example, when browsing catalogs for images, a layout artist might want to see a Thumbnail View that includes no other fields. To address this, you'd create a “Browsing” View Set. The omission of others fields in the Thumbnail View enables Cumulus to display as many thumbnails on a single screen as possible, which is great for browsing. The Info View of your “Browsing” View Set might include the remaining fields that a layout artist should see before making a selection, such as “License Restrictions,” “Copyright Notice” and “Approval Status” fields.
If that same layout artist was cataloging new assets, he/she would want to see more than just those few fields useful for browsing. She might need access to a “Notes” field, a “Production Status” field or even the “Categories” field, which enables her to easily see and edit the category assignments made for the asset.
These are examples of task-specific view sets. But user- or group-specific view sets are just as important. Your catalog might include financial or licenser contact fields that are of no interest to designers, but paramount to accountants. On the other hand, your accounts probably don't care about “Color space,” “File Resolution” or “Workflow Status” fields. You'd create view sets for them that include only the fields they need to see.
Access to view sets is permissions based, so you can easily determine which users can access which view sets. This is particularly important if any of your metadata fields contain sensitive or private information. For example, you might use “Notes” fields to enable managers to communicate thoughts to one another that designers shouldn’t see. Using view sets in this manner offers an additional layer of security to your metadata, but it also helps “clean up” everyone's workspace by displaying to them only what they need to see.
Cumulus categories have view sets of their own. We call these Category View Sets to differentiate them from the Record View Sets just covered.
Category View Sets are required because Cumulus categories also have metadata fields. This enables you to use categories as a type of “asset container” for project management—each category can have a manager, budget, due date, etc. Asset records added to the category are assumed to be a part of the project. Double-click on the category and you see all the assets used in it. In practice, Category View Sets are created, edited and chosen by users, just like Record View Sets.
Newly created Cumulus catalogs include default view sets for records and categories. These view sets include many of the default metadata fields created for each new catalog, which enables you to start managing assets immediately.
If you add any metadata fields of your own, however, you’ll also need to add those fields to view sets before users will be able to see the fields and edit their contents. You can add your custom fields to existing view sets, or you can create new view sets from scratch. There is no limit on the number of view sets that you can create.
View sets are not “connected” to any one catalog—they are Server specific. This means that each view set you create will potentially be available from all catalogs hosted on that Server. This enables you to create view sets that include fields from multiple catalogs. (Cumulus enables users to open several catalogs at once.)
You can limit view set access on a catalog-by-catalog basis, so if a given view set includes fields not found in other catalogs, you can create custom view sets for that catalog and configure user permissions to ensure that those view sets are not accessible in other catalogs.
The same view sets available to users connecting via the Cumulus Native Client software, are also available to those connecting via the Cumulus Web Clients.
Asset Handling Sets
An Asset Handling Set is also not specific to any one catalog. It affects how Cumulus deals with your assets – during the cataloging process and when accessing assets.
Asset Handling Sets define:
Additional configuration options include:
You can define as many Asset Handling Sets as you need, which is great because they serve so many useful purposes.
One set, for example, might extract all text from a Word document and add that as metadata to the asset record. Another set might extract a maximum number of characters or none at all. (Similar options exist for the PDF, PowerPoint, Excel and even the Adobe Illustrator filters.)
Or, you might have a set for laptop-based remote users that copies all assets they catalog into a secure, remote location, turning Cumulus into a convenient on-the-road back-up solution. A “hotspot” Internet cafe is never far away; now users can back up new orders and expense reports while they’re there.
Asset Handling Sets can also determine special ways in which assets are accessed after cataloging, such as whether QuarkXPress files should be previewed inside Cumulus, or opened from within QuarkXPress itself.
Asset Storage Modules
At the heart of Asset Handling Sets are a series of “engines” called Asset Storage Modules. Asset Storage Modules enable Cumulus to communicate with different types of storage systems and provide additional functionality for certain file types. Examples of different systems Cumulus supports “out of the box” include the filing systems of the Mac OS, Windows and Unix. Without Asset Storage Modules for these operating systems, Cumulus would not be able to read and write data to storage devices hosted on those systems as it does. Keep in mind that Cumulus Servers are available on many different operating systems, and the Client software is available for Mac OS X and Windows. Because it’s transparent to the user, you might not wonder what enables Cumulus to “speak” all those different filing system languages so fluently, but the credit goes to the Asset Storage Modules.
Asset Storage Modules that offer additional file-handling capabilities include those for Zip, QuarkXPress and PDF files. Using the Zip module, for example, you can drag a Zip archive onto your catalog and Cumulus will extract and catalog its contents on the fly—each file within the archive becomes its own searchable asset record. On the flip side, this same module enables Cumulus to deliver one or more assets to a user already Zipped up and ready to go. This is especially handy when assets are downloaded over the Web.
Similarly, Asset Storage Modules for PDF, InDesign, PowerPoint and QuarkXPress give users the option of splitting the various pages (slides) found in those files into individual asset records, each with its own set of metadata. These modules have output benefits too: For example, users can assemble brand new PowerPoint presentations using cataloged slides or even stand-alone assets in the catalog.
In a nutshell, Asset Storage Modules enable Cumulus to read from and write to storage locations. Those locations include the physical storage locations we naturally think of, such as hard discs and servers, but they can also be less conventional “locations,” such as Zip archives and PowerPoint presentations.
Default Asset Handling Sets
The Asset Handling Sets that come standard with Cumulus are not configured with any custom purposes in mind. While this makes them useful for all cataloging processes, it also makes them less efficient. To ensure optimum performance from Cumulus, set up custom Asset Handling Sets to specifically deal with the asset types your company uses. (Cumulus “offers” each file being cataloged through each of the activated file filters. So if you know what type of asset you’re cataloging, it makes sense to disable unnecessary filters.)
Asset Handling Sets and Workflow
Access to Asset Handling Sets is based on user permissions, so administrators can define, in advance, exactly how assets should be cataloged for each user or group. If a user is permitted access to only one Asset Handling Set, that set will be used automatically during all cataloging performed by that user. If more than one set is available to the user, a dialog appears that prompts the users to select an Asset Handling Set for the cataloging operation.
Cumulus can also “watch” certain folders and automatically catalog assets dropped into them. Asset Handling Sets and Metadata Templates can be determined in advanced for these operations, making the process entirely automatic.
If your workflow were to use a system like this, and you needed an easy way to see which assets were newly cataloged, you could have a Metadata Template automatically load a field called “New” with the value “yes.” Users could then easily find new asset records based on that value, make any metadata edits needed, and then change the “New” field value to “no,” indicating the asset record was ready for use.
Metadata Templates
In order to fill asset records with predefined metadata values, Cumulus provides Metadata Templates. You can think of Metadata Templates as a “rubber stamp” that’s applied to a selection of asset records. Metadata Templates can be used to update existing asset records or “prefill” new asset records during cataloging.
For example, say you’re about to catalog a group of photographs taken by the same photographer on the same date, using the same camera. Each photograph has unique attributes, which you’ll enter into its asset record later, but you can save yourself some time by using a Metadata Template to “stuff” the asset records at cataloging time with the information common to all. In this case you'd be using the photographer's name. But you could also “pre-choose” category assignments, set a status field to “new,” or any other combination of field edits.
You can define as many Metadata Templates as you need. At cataloging time, you can choose an existing template, or manually enter data to be “prefilled” into the new asset records.
Access to Metadata Templates is controlled via user permissions. They can be shared so that they are accessible to all users with the permissions to use them.
Print Templates
Different combination of print options can be combined and saved as Print Templates. A Print Template defines how records will be printed. Print Templates include definitions for the document layout (page size and orientation, as well as margins) and the layout of the records to be printed. Either a Record View Set or defined advanced print settings can serve as print layout for the records.
Permissions Templates
Permissions templates enable you to assign, remove or explicitly set individual asset or category permissions for users or entire groups at once. Note that permissions templates are an optional feature which may not be available with your Cumulus configuration.
A Permissions template includes permissions for records and categories. Depending on the context in which a template is used, either the record or the category permissions will be used. With selected records, the defined record permissions will be used; with categories, the defined category permissions will be used.