Access Control

The AMP functionality that manages access to StudioCentral assets. StudioCentral provides two types of access control: repository-level and asset-level. For example, Access Control gives end users permission to access assets created by an administrator. See also ACL.


ACL stands for Access Control List. Many of the StudioCentral command-line utilities and AMP commands involved with repository and asset access control have the letters “ACL” as part of their name. See access control.

Ams Server

The StudioCentral core server process that performs and manages all database and content store operations, communicates with the clients, and communicates with the other StudioCentral server processes (Transfer Manager, Plugin Server, Search Server, Purge Daemon, Consistency Checker). A StudioCentral server includes a single Ams Server, but may be configured to have one or multiple repositories, each of which can have one or multiple content servers.


The “root” StudioCentral user. The user amsmgr is the admin-level StudioCentral user who performs configurations, is the owner of database tables, and is a member of all StudioCentral groups. amsmgr must exist as a database user before StudioCentral can be configured. Other users may be given StudioCentral admin-level privileges, but certain tasks can only be performed by amsmgr.


Unit of storage in a digital asset management system. Each asset consists of descriptive information such as the title and duration; digital media data, if the asset has content; and an index, if required by the content format. For example, each movie, commercial, trailer, thumbnail, and so on, stored in an archive system is an asset. Assets may consist of only descriptive information if those assets are used to group other assets.

Asset Query Language (AQL)

Provides a way to search for assets using metadata attributes. The syntax for an AQL query resembles that of the database structured query language (SQL) select statement, except that AQL queries specify Datamodels and attributes instead of database tables and columns. See also attribute and Datamodel.

Asset Management Protocol (AMP)

A language-independent, lightweight, protocol that can be used to quickly develop thin client applications. AMP is a TCP-based interface for storing and retrieving the metadata and content of assets stored in StudioCentral repositories and covers the full range of StudioCentral core and asset services. To facilitate communication between StudioCentral and plugin applications, AMP command output is available in XML format.

asset typing

The process by which an asset's type is determined, its content file is read, and the following are automatically generated: metadata attributes based on the asset type and, if appropriate, a thumbnail. For example, for a video asset, the duration, bit rate, and size of its image are extracted from the content file and automatically stored in the asset's metadata when it is checked into StudioCentral. Asset typing is part of cataloging.


A single piece of an asset's metadata information. Metadata consists of system attributes, which are defined by StudioCentral and exist in all assets, and Datamodel attributes, which extend the attributes associated with an asset. For example, there is a system attribute that contains an asset's name. Attributes are stored in the database in default or explicit mapping tables. See also Datamodel, default mapping, explicit mapping.


The process by which the information for an asset is determined and stored with the asset as metadata attributes. Cataloging occurs when an asset is first checked in or an existing asset is updated. Asset typing is part of cataloging at initial checkin of an asset.

check in

To add a new asset to StudioCentral, you must check it in. At checkin time, StudioCentral automatically assigns the asset a unique identifier (OID) in order to locate it in the repository, and secure it in the database. Assets may be created in StudioCentral as versioned or non-versioned assets. For all assets, each time you check it back in, StudioCentral increments the version number. In the StudioCentral desktop clients, assets are reserved (locked) during asset cataloging and check in. See also check out, repository, retrieve, version, zeroth version.

check out

To modify an asset, you must either retrieve or check it out of the StudioCentral repository. Both retrieve and check out give you a “working copy” of the asset. Check out also locks the “real” file to prohibit changes by other users until you check in your modifications. Locking the real file is called “making a reservation.” Check out is available to StudioCentral developers (with AMP commands), but the StudioCentral desktop clients do not implement check out. Instead they implement asset locking during check in. See also retrieve.

composite asset

An asset that points to, or contains, other assets, some of which may also be composite assets. Composite assets are stored in StudioCentral using references to point to related assets.

Consistency Checker

A StudioCentral tool that checks the data integrity of a repository and its associated content servers.


The data portion of an asset (for example, the image, scene, sound sequence, or song). StudioCentral stores an asset's content separately from its metadata. See also asset, metadata.

content server key

The software component that enables a content store to be used with StudioCentral. For example, the key for the Filesystem Content Server enables content files to be stored in XFS filesystems.

database key

The software component that enables a database management system to be used with StudioCentral. For example, StudioCentral has a database key for the Informix Online Dynamic Server.


A data structure that defines metadata attributes; it is used for modeling data. An asset can have more than one Datamodel associated with it. If you want to extend the metadata attributes of an asset, you can create a new Datamodel for it.

Datamodel template

StudioCentral's “stylesheet” for a Datamodel. It contains the definitions of all attributes within that Datamodel.

default mapping

The standard method of database storage for StudioCentral attributes. Datamodel attributes are stored in (mapped to) database tables based on the attribute data type (string, float, char, etc.). The default mapping tables can get quite large and cannot provide optimized query performance. To optimize query performance, use explicit mapping tables instead. See also explicit mapping.


Software engineer who writes language-independent plugins or applications for StudioCentral using the AMP protocol. See also end user.

digital asset management system

A system for storing, managing, and distributing digital multimedia data.

direct mapping tables

See explicit mapping.

end user

End user of StudioCentral application programs.

explicit mapping

A method of database structuring to enhance StudioCentral query performance. Datamodel attributes that are frequently used in queries are stored in (mapped to) user-specified database columns and tables. By default, StudioCentral Datamodel attributes are not explicitly mapped, but are stored in default mapping tables based on the attribute data type (string, float, char, etc.). The use and management of database tables and columns to facilitate better StudioCentral performance for queries and other tasks is called database tuning. See default mapping.

file typing

See, asset typing.

Kasenna MediaBase

Media serving software for delivering high-quality MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and H.263 video and audio streams to Web clients using IP or native ATM networks.


A series of attributes that describe an asset. Metadata is stored in a database and is used to search for (or query) assets that meet specified criteria. For example, if you have an asset that contains one scene in a movie and its metadata specifies that the scene uses special sound effects, you find this asset when you query the database for all movie scenes that use special sound effects. To speed queries, StudioCentral stores metadata separately from content. See also asset, attribute, content, query.


A type of asset that groups other assets, each of which has the same digital content but is encoded in a different digital format.


When you first check in an asset, you can check it in as a non-versioned, or unversioned, asset rather than a versioned asset. StudioCentral stores only the latest version of a non-versioned asset. At each checkin, it overwrites the previous version and increments the version number. You only have the choice between versioned and non-versioned when you first check in an asset. See also version, zeroth version.


The unique identifier that StudioCentral assigns to each version of an asset when you check it in. OIDs comprise three numbers: the repository ID, a number that uniquely identifies each version of an asset, and a number that uniquely identifies each version tree. For all assets in a given repository, the first portion of the OID is identical. OIDs define asset structures in which one asset points to, or contains, another asset. See also check in, version, version tree.


Protected from removal from the repository.

pinning assets

Preventing assets from being deleted. Pinning is used primarily in asset delivery applications. Pinning is performed on a particular version of an asset and does not prevent assets from being retrieved or new versions being checked in.Pinned assets must be unpinned before they can be deleted.

Plugin Server

An optional StudioCentral server process that allows the integration of, and manages traffic at known plugin stages between custom-written plugins and the Ams Server. A plugin stage is a fixed checkpoint (such as pre-write) at which a plugin can be invoked.

Policy Module

A StudioCentral feature used when a repository has more than one content server configured. The Policy Module uses the attribute values specified in the cmgrMap file to manage the location where content files are stored when assets are checked in. All of the content files for a particular asset are stored on the same content server.


A smaller version of an asset's content. For example, the preview may be a short segment or a lower-resolution version of the asset.


The process whereby users search a StudioCentral repository for assets that satisfy given criteria. For example, a user might search for all video assets that contain footage of tornadoes. Users perform queries by specifying values for metadata attributes. Content search capability can be integrated into StudioCentral by writing a search key for a third-party search engine. The search key would then communicate with StudioCentral through the StudioCentral Search server.


A property of an attribute that lets it be used as a condition when searching for, or querying, assets. For example, if owner_name is a queryable attribute, you can search for assets that have an owner_name attribute whose value is “Smith.” See also query.

query mapping tables

See explicit mapping.


A metadata attribute that points to another asset. Composite assets include references.


A storage unit for digital assets. Each repository consists of one database, for storing metadata, and one or more content servers, for storing the content. A StudioCentral server may include multiple repositories in either a single-server or multi-server configuration. The multiple repositories are managed by a single Ams Server process. See also asset.


To lock an asset, so that only the specified user can check in the next version, you make a reservation or reserve the next version of the asset. When you reserve an asset, StudioCentral puts a lock on the next version of the asset. Other users are locked out from checking in the asset. For the StudioCentral desktop clients, assets are not reserved when they are retrieved; assets are only reserved during the time a user is cataloging or checking in the asset. See also check out.


To modify an asset, you can retrieve it from or check it out of the StudioCentral repository. When you retrieve an asset, StudioCentral gives you a “working copy” of the asset. Other users are locked out from retrieving the asset only during the time you are cataloging or checking in the asset. See also check out, reserve.


The first version of a versioned asset.

Search Server

An optional StudioCentral server process that allows the integration of content search with the Ams Server by means of a third-party search engine and a custom-written StudioCentral content search key.

StudioCentral Server

A general term for the server-side software of a particular StudioCentral installation. A StudioCentral Server is comprised of a single Ams Server process, and one or more repositories containing assets. In a distributed environment, certain StudioCentral server processes may be run on distinct host machines (for example a remote content server). The database server may also run on a remote machine. From a hardware perspective, the term StudioCentral server is used to designate the SGI server where the Ams Server process runs.

StudioCentral system

A complete StudioCentral client-server configuration comprised of a single Ams server process and all of the associated repositories, processes and clients. A large StudioCentral system typically is installed using several servers (host machines) and many clients in a heterogeneous distributed environment. See also StudioCentral server.


A pictorial representation of the asset. For example, the thumbnail for a movie asset might be a still from the actual movie.

Transfer Manager

An optional StudioCentral server process that performs and manages the transfer of simple or complex assets from one StudioCentral system (or repository) to another.


All the versions that make up a versioned asset.


A particular stored instance of an asset. Most StudioCentral assets are created as versioned assets. This means that each time you modify the asset and check it in, a new version of the asset is given a unique OID and stored. See also check in, check out, versioned, non-versioned.

version tree

A schema for identifying all the versions of a particular versioned asset. As users continue to modify an asset (checking it in and out), StudioCentral “grows” its asset tree by creating a new version each time a changed version is checked in. Each version tree consists of a root and a trunk. See also root, trunk.


When you first check in an asset, by default you check it in as a versioned asset. This means that StudioCentral will track all subsequent revisions (versions) of the asset, storing each one as a separate asset with a unique OID. You only have the choice between versioned and non-versioned when you first check in an asset. See also version, zeroth version, non-versioned.

zeroth version

The latest version of an asset. See also version, version tree, trunk.