This chapter presents examples of StudioCentral client applications, which store, query, view, and manage assets, and the Admin Tool, which is a Web-based application to administer StudioCentral repositories, users, Datamodels, and assets:
The StudioCentral clients allow end users to store, retrieve, query, and manage StudioCentral assets using their native desktop environments. The clients can be used in a distributed environment in which assets are shared by workgroup members.
The StudioCentral clients are integrated with other native desktop applications, allowing assets to be dragged and dropped between StudioCentral and other applications such as Adobe Photoshop. Digital assets can also be stored in StudioCentral by having it monitor a specific directory so that new or modified files in that directory are automatically brought into StudioCentral. For example, a user working in Photoshop can save files into the directory that the StudioCentral Checkin Service monitors. Each time the user stores a new image in the Photoshop directory, the image is automatically stored in StudioCentral, enabling the user to check in assets without leaving the Photoshop application.
Once assets are stored in StudioCentral, the client can be used to search for assets that match specified criteria and then to view the assets on the desktop. For example, the user might want to search for and view all Photoshop assets created by a specific user on a given date.
The following sections present scenarios using Macintosh and Windows client applications to illustrate how end users would store and retrieve assets.The same scenario is used for each client:
The following scenario illustrates how a StudioCentral Windows NT client helps an artist manage the creation of a new image for an advertisement. The artist needs to select an image to start from and have an editor review it. The artist wants to be able to save several versions of the image and wants to guarantee the work against loss:
The artist obtains his specifications and logs in to his Windows NT desktop.
After creating his Photoshop file, the artist is ready to check it in to StudioCentral and have his editor review it. He starts StudioCentral by double-clicking the StudioCentral icon on his desktop, and t hen he logs in with his StudioCentral username and password. After he is logged in, the StudioCentral Explorer window is displayed, as shown in Figure 2-1.
The right frame provides a user-friendly interface for quickly performing basic asset management tasks. When the Explorer is first displayed, it shows only the top-level folders in the left frame. Folders and assets within these top-level folders are displayed when the folder is selected. The artist clicks the Assets folder to list all the folders.
From the artists's folder in his Windows Explorer, he drags the image he wants to use and drops it into his folder in the StudioCentral Explorer window. After he drops the file, StudioCentral displays the Properties window, which is shown in Figure 2-2. The Properties window is displayed when the checkin preference is set to manual mode, which is the default setting.
|Note: In addition to the information the artist enters during checkin, StudioCentral reads the file and generates metadata attributes that are appropriate for the type of content it contains.|
After the asset is checked in, the artist tells his editor that it is in StudioCentral. The editor can now review his work.
The editor uses her Windows NT workstation to find and review the artist's work:
The editor uses the Find panel in the Explorer window to look for the asset. Figure 2-3 shows the Find panel.
The editor enters the name of the asset in the text box. After the editor clicks the Execute Search button, the results of the search are displayed in the Explorer window, as shown in Figure 2-4.
The editor selects the asset and right clicks to invoke the popup menu for asset operations. She selects the Properties menu item to display information for the asset. Figure 2-5 shows the Properties window.
The editor clicks the Media Attributes tab to look at the image size and type. This information was generated by the StudioCentral content typing process during checkin of the asset.
The editor approves the asset, and enters her approval note in the Notes section of the Properties window. After making her changes, she checks the asset back in to StudioCentral. The asset now has two versions as shown in Figure 2-6.
Now the artist can read the editor's notes and proceed.
The StudioCentral Library User's Guide for Microsoft Windows Clients describes the StudioCentral Windows client in detail.
The following scenario illustrates how a StudioCentral Macintosh client helps an artist manage the creation of a new set design for a television show. The artist needs to create an image and have an editor review it. The artist wants to have several versions of the image and wants to guarantee the work against loss:
The artist obtains his specifications and creates a new folder on his Macintosh for his local files. He then uses Adobe Photoshop to create his first image, storing it in the new folder.
After creating his Photoshop file, the artist is ready to check it in to StudioCentral and have his editor review it. He starts StudioCentral by double-clicking the StudioCentral icon on his desktop, and t hen he logs in with his StudioCentral username and password. After he is logged in, the StudioCentral Asset Browser window is displayed, as shown in Figure 2-7.
From his Macintosh folder, the artist drags the file he created and drops it into the StudioCentral Asset Browser w indow. After he drops the file, StudioCentral displays the Check In dialog, which is shown in Figure 2-8.
|Note: In addition to the information the artist enters during checkin, StudioCentral reads the file and generates metadata attributes that are appropriate for the type of content in the asset.|
After the file is checked in, the artist tells his editor that the asset is in StudioCentral. The editor can now review his work.
The editor uses her Macintosh to look for and review the artist's work.
The editor uses the Find window to look for the asset. Figure 2-9 shows the Find window.
The editor enters the keyword for the project in the Keywords text box and clicks the Find button. The results of the search are displayed in a results window, as shown in Figure 2-10.
The editor selects the asset and chooses File > Get Info to look at the information for the asset. Figure 2-11 shows the Information window, which includes the information that was entered manually and that was generated by StudioCentral during the checkin process.
The editor wishes to make a change to the asset, so she retrieves it by dragging Version 1 from the Version area of the Info window to her Macintosh desktop. Then she clicks the Cancel button to close the Info window.
The editor uses her Photoshop application to adjust the colors. After making her changes, she checks the asset back in to StudioCentral, adding comments in the notes field about the changes she made and how she wants the artist to proceed. Checking in the asset again creates a new version of the asset. The asset now has two versions as shown in Figure 2-12.
Now the artist can read the editor's notes, retrieve the new version by dragging and dropping Version 2 from the Info window to his computer, and make his changes in Photoshop.
The StudioCentral Library User's Guide for Macintosh Clients describes the StudioCentral Macintosh client in detail.
The Admin Tool, which runs in a Web browser, performs repository and asset administration tasks. For example, the tool is used by administrators to give users access to StudioCentral assets, transfer assets, and check the repository for consistency.
Figure 2-13 shows how the tool is used to add a user to a group. (A “group” is useful when several users have the same privileges in StudioCentral because it lets the administrator assign the privileges to the group instead of to each user individually.) In this case, the user “hsmith” is being added to the “production” group.
The tool can also be used to define new users and groups, give users and groups permission to access certain assets, and remove users and groups. For example, Figure 2-14 shows how the user “hsmith” receives permission to read the second version of an asset whose name is “brandNew2.” (“@@2” indicates the version number.) In this case, because the permission is given only to the individual user and not to the group, other users in the group cannot read the asset unless permission to do so is given to those users individually or to the group as a whole.
The Admin Tool can search StudioCentral for assets that match criteria that are either predefined or entered by the user. For example, Figure 2-15 shows how to search for assets whose content is at least 10 gigabytes (that is, 10,000,000,000 bytes). If this search is performed frequently, the user can easily add it to the Admin Tool as a predefined search. This lets the user perform the search again, without having to enter the criteria.
When the search in Figure 2-15 is performed, a table that identifies the assets that satisfy the search criteria is displayed. The table displays the name of each asset as a hyperlink, and the size of each asset's content (content_length). Clicking the hyperlink displays the metadata for the asset.
The Admin Tool can also start, stop, and determine the status of services that run as part of StudioCentral. For example, Figure 2-16 shows the page that displays the status of services. For each service, a colored bullet to the left of the service name indicates its status. The color of the bullet indicates whether the associated service is up and running, running but problems have been detected, running on a remote server, or not running.
The Admin Tool is based on industry-standard practice for Web browsers and Web servers, and is easily modified and customized. It is described in detail in the StudioCentral Library Administrator's Guide .