Track asset relationships so that files that are used in a particular publication can easily be found. Ever need to quickly find all files used in a layout or campaign? Cumulus makes it easy, because it can track asset relationships. This means you can instantly see all files in a presentation, see all presentations that contain a given file, and more.
The asset relations tracking technology was first introduced with Cumulus 7 and enables users to find assets based on their relationships with other assets: contains/is contained in, references/is referenced by, and more. Starting with Cumulus 10.0.1 custom relations can also be defined.
Asset Relation Types
Relations can be quite different, as there are hierarchical and flat relations. In a hierarchical relation one is special, it might be the master or the preferred one, it might be the source…
By default, the following types of hierarchical relations between assets are supported by Cumulus:
- Container/Contained – An asset contains other assets: e.g. a Zip archive, a PowerPoint presentation that contains slides, an InDesign or PDF document that contains pages.
- References – An asset includes references to other assets: e.g. a PowerPoint presentation or an InDesign document that includes references to the images on the slides/pages.
- Variants – Assets derive from the same source asset: e.g. the PDF of a Word document, an image stored in different file formats or renditions of an image (for example cropped or with a filter employed.)
- Alternates – Assets that are related by any attribute you define. Lets you group assets about a certain topic and for which you have a preferred one that you want to represent the others. (For example, you have a series of images on the same topic and the preferred one is the one you decided to use for your current project.)
In addition to these relations, a Cumulus Catalog Administrator can add other hierarchical relations to a catalog – so called custom relations.
And in addition to hierarchical relations, you might want to determine groups of ’equal’ assets. Assets that you want to group about a certain topic, theme or task but to which you don’t want to designate a preferred member. Cumulus offers support for this as well by assigning the assets to the same category. However, this well-known way of defining groups is not part of Cumulus’ Managing Related Assets concept that focuses on hierarchical relations.
Versions can be regarded as another type of relation between assets: These relations are managed by a Version Control System (e.g. Cumulus Vault). Support for this type of relation is not included in the Managing Related Assets concept of Cumulus. Use the Version History window to have the versions displayed.
Displaying Assset Relations in Cumulus
The information on an asset’s relations is stored in the asset’s record. So the Cumulus Web Client offers a special Relations tab within its Information view to display hierarchical relations.
The Web Client can even display custom relations with custom icons (set via the Web Client Configurator). The image above shows two custom relations with icons (Episode and Demo Custom Relation).
For displaying relations the Admin Client offers a split view. This is an additional pane that can be opened up below the Record pane. The additional pane displays the records that are related to the record selected in the main Record pane. How the assets of the additional pane are related to the selected record is determined by the display option that is set for the additional pane.
So, having related assets displayed is as easy as: select a record, open up a sub-pane and select what you want to see in it.
You can select multiple assets in the upper pane and you can open up multiple sub-panes. Each sub-pane will display those assets that are related to the selection in its upper pane. How they are related is determined by the selected display option. If the selection in the upper pane changes, the content of the sub-pane is synchronized. It changes simultaneously.
For each pane you can choose the view, the sorting direction and an option for the content to be displayed. How the displayed assets are related to the asset selected in the upper pane is chosen from a menu that offers the following options by default.
Assigning Asset Relations
The Cumulus Asset Storage modules detects if an asset contains other assets when the asset is cataloged. So this relation type is assigned automatically as well as references. The Cumulus AXR (Asset Cross References) function detects if an asset includes references to other assets when the asset is cataloged. (For more information see the blog post on AXR.)
Variants can be determined by a user or Cumulus can ascertain that automatically if the deriving asset was created using a Cumulus function.
So you can manually assign variants to an asset or group alternates of assets. In addition to that you may have additional custom relations you can assign. These have been created for a catalog by the Catalog Administrator. (See how easily a custom relation type is created in What’s New in 10.0.1.)
Creating relations is easy: Select files and select relation type.