Assets Console (DAM, Digital Assets)

Store images and business documents centrally for convenient use on your pages.

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Last reviewed: November 2, 2021

Overview

Unlike files that are uploaded individually and embedded directly into a page, digital assets are stored centrally in the Assets part of the UBCMS (sometimes called the 'DAM'). Each site has its own folder in Assets, where they can be easily shared onto multiple pages (or sites), and are much easier to curate.  

Unlike an asset that is uploaded and embedded directly into a page, Assets are just 'referenced' by the page, linked or displayed as needed, but these assets are actually managed centrally in Assets.

Once you have uploaded files into Assets, you can find them in the Side Panel's Assets browser, which appears on the left of the window as you edit a page. The Assets browser provides an easy drag and drop interface that allows authors to add these files to pages.

Accessibility
  • Documents must be accessible
  • Photo Galleries require Alt text.

> Read more.

Best Practices

Assets is a handy place to centrally manage your images and other files, including downloadable content such as audio files, Word documents, spreadsheets or PDFs. This means they are available for use by everyone on your team, and also can be used on multiple pages as needed o support your business needs. This also means they only need to be published once to be visible in every placement, whereas assets that are embedded into a specific page must be republished every time that page is modified.

  • Put large files into Assets instead of embedding them in your page to reduce load on our publishers.
    • Rule of thumb, 'large' is 20 MB for one file. Also keep the total volume for a whole page under 50 MB.
    • Also note, the UBCMS blocks images larger than 8,096 px (height or width) from being uploaded into a page but there is no size limit for images uploaded into Assets.
    • Referenced files are pulled from Assets when needed, instead of being loaded directly with your page. They also do not need to be published when your page is created or modified, which reduces the load on our servers.
  • If you must embed large assets, or several large assets, break your page into child pages to spread the load.
    • Consider building child pages (possibly in Shared Content) and then use a List Builder to show a teaser for each child page on your main page.
  • If you must have a very large volume on a page, please let us know in advance when you would like to publish it.
    • That way we know why the load is high and can coordinate the best publishing time with you.
    • We may likely ask you to publish it off peak hours (e.g. during the early morning or evening).

Accessibility Concerns

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the various activity zones described in this documentation.

Screenshot of the Assets console identifying the various activity zones described in this documentation.

Activity Areas

Other Topics

Training

Last reviewed: September 3, 2021

1. Adobe Experience Manager link

Located in the top left of the window.

screen capture of the AEM link.

Adobe Experience Manager link

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the Adobe Experience Manager link.

Location of the Adobe Experience Manager link.

The Adobe Experience Manager link links to the main Start page.

 

2. 'action icons' toolbar

Located in the top right of the window.

screenshot of the console identifying the location of the action icons toolbar.

Location of the action icons toolbar.

screen capture of the 'action icons' tool bar.

'action icons' tool bar

  • Search - This powerful tool queries UBCMS Assets, Pages and Users. The search is context sensitive. We recommend starting while in Sites or Assets, then filtering it by the path to your own content.
  • Help - Click to display the following:
    • About Adobe Experience Manager
    • Keyboard Shortcuts - Click to reveal available shortcuts and a setting to enable/disable their use.
  • Inbox (bell icon) - Click to display any notifications; e.g. for Workflow.
    • A number will overlay the bell icon to indicate any new messages.
  • User - Click to display the following details. (Only admins can use some of these tools.)
    • My Preferences - Click to display the following:
      • Use Classic Authoring Experience - When checked, pages will open for editing in the Classic version. (This setting can only be adjusted from Flex UI.)
        • That setting is also changed automatically when you use the 'Classic UI' button on the Start page and the 'Use Flex UI' link on the Classic Welcome page. The setting is saved on the server for your account across all browsers and devices (i.e. not just a cookie).
      • Window Management - Choose between Multiple Windows or Single Window to control whether the UBCMS opens a page for editing into a new tab or the current tab.
    • Profile (admins can make some changes here)
      • Regular users will see a callout: This user is managed by an external entity. Some of the profile values may be reset during the next synchronization.
      • View your system email (your buffalo.edu account from LDAP). Do not change--will be reset the next day you log in.
      • View your permissions groups. (User admins can add new groups to their own profile, but regular users cannot make changes.)
    • Impersonate as (admins only)

This toolbar is hidden by the Command Menu when a page is selected .

3. Content Tree dropdown

Located in the top left of the window.

screen capture of Content Tree dropdown.

Content Tree dropdown

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the Content Tree dropdown.

Location of the Content Tree dropdown.

This dropdown loads the Side Panel located on the left side of the window. Additional information about the selected assets is available in separate Drawers.

Located in the top middle of the window.

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the content tree dropdown.

Location of the content tree dropdown.

Use this dropdown to navigate back up through the file tree from your selected folder.

5. Select All tool

Located in the top right of the window.

screen capture of the Select All button.

Select All button

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the Select All tool.

Location of the Select All tool.

This tool selects all files in the lowest level displayed. Click the "X" or Escape key to deselect.

6. Create button (dropdown)

Located in the top right of the window.

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the Create tool.

Location of the Create tool.

screen capture of the Create button.

Create button

The 'Create' button reveals a dropdown with choices to create the following:

  • Import UGC (not used)
  • Folder
  • Files
  • Content Fragment (not used)
  • Live Copy (in pilot)
  • Metadata (not used)

7. 'views' dropdown

Located in the top right of the window.

screen capture of the views dropdown.

views dropdown

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the views dropdown.

Location of the views dropdown.

This unlabeled dropdown toggles different displays of the site pages. Typically a dropdown at the top provides navigation back up the tree. The List View allows many sorting options, which only affect the individual user's view, while the other views provide an 'Order' dropdown at the top of the window.

  • List View (the default) - Loads the folders as an expandable file tree for the selected level, including additional details for each asset such as Title, Name, Modified, Published and Template, which all allow the user to sort their own view of the folder's contents. We recommend List View because it allows reordering of pages.
  • Card View - Loads the pages as an exploded grid for the selected level.
  • Column View - Displays a series of side by side page lists, with a new list loading to the right of the last, each time a page with children is selected. For a page with no children, the final pane shows page information.
  • Insights View - (unknown)
  • View Settings - (unknown)

Natural order is by creation date (newest assets are last) but this can be manually reordered in List View if the folder is set as 'Orderable', preferably when it is created, or later in Properties. To see the natural order, go to the list view, and make sure none of the column headings has any up or down arrows next to them. Click the arrows if present one or two times until they go away. This is the natural order.

8. Side Panel

Located along the left side of the window.

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the Side Panel.

Location of the Side Panel.

On demand, a left sidebar called the Side Panel can be revealed to provide more information about a site and its pages. The Side Panel is revealed (or concealed) using the unlabeled Content Tree dropdown in the top left of the window.

The following options are provided:

  • Content Only (the default) - Side Panel is closed.
  • Content Tree - Loads a file tree of all displayed assets. (Note, this displays the same order that is shown in the current file View.)
  • Navigation (unknown)
  • Timeline - Shows recent activity to a selected asset, including the latest publication or modification timestamps, Versions and Annotations. (This is not the asset's complete history.)
  • References - Shows additional information about a selected asset such as incoming links or calls for display from UBCMS pages.
  • Filter - allows you to search within the selected folder, by name and format

Note: up to ten versions total of an asset will be saved for 90 days and the most recent five versions are stored forever.

9. site assets area

Located in the center of the window.

screenshot of the Assets console identifying the location of the site assets area.

Location of the site assets area.

This is the heart of the console, displaying the actual pages that make up each website.

Depending on the View chosen, you can navigate through the parents to reveal their children and some information about each page. We recommend the List View. It is the only view that lists all details and allows reordering.

  • Click on a folder to reveal information about that folder.
  • To expand the view of a folder, click the folder name or > icon.
    • The next level of content appears in an adjacent scrollable sidebar.
    • To expand an additional level deeper, click the folder title or > icon next to a folder in the adjacent sidebar.
  • Click a asset's thumbnail to select the asset and display general details about that asset:
    • Name
    • Title
    • Locale (not used)
    • Status (not used)
    • Type (e.g. Folder)
    • Dimensions (for images, in pixels)
    • Size (e.g. 200 KB)
    • Rating
    • Created (timestamp)
    • Modifed (timestamp and user)
    • Published (timestamp and user)
    • Workflow

Command Menu

Located across the top of the window (when displayed).

screenshot of the page tools in the Sites console.

The Command Menu.

This tool bar appears when an asset is selected (click the thumbnail). Multiple assets can sometimes be selected and acted upon together.

* Up to ten versions total of an asset will be saved for 90 days and the most recent five versions are stored forever.

  • Start Workflow
  • Download (if several assets are selected, will be collected into one zip file)
  • Checkout - locks the asset(s) until unlocked by that user
  • Properties - displays settings for the selected asset
  • Edit (opens the page in the Edit Console)
  • Annotate (similar to annotations for regular pages)
  • Manage Tags (not used)
  • To Collection - add the asset(s) to a Collection (like a gallery)
  • Copy - copy the selected asset, which then turns on the Paste option
  • Move - relocate the selected asset elsewhere in your site, or give it a new name
  • Quick Publish - selected asset will be published instantly
  • Manage Publication - allows Publish/Unpublish, and Scheduling at a future date and time
  • Relate (not used)
  • Unrelate (not used)
  • Delete - delete the selected asset
  • Export Metadata (maybe just for folders)
  • X - deselect the selected asset(s)

Find Your Site's Assets

Every UBCMS site has three sections: Sites, Shared Content and Assets.

To enter the Assets area (or 'Assets console'), click the link on the Start page as you first log into the UBCMS. Or, from any other console, click Adobe Experience Manager in the top left of the window to return to the Start page. Then click Assets + Files. Once there, the screen is labeled "Assets" in the top center.

Navigation is like the Sites Console. There is a Content Tree dropdown in the top left and a View dropdown in the top right.

The Content Tree will display a file tree of the entire Assets area. Navigate to the area of interest, select a folder, and the content will display in the tree and also in the center of the window.  

Example: sites + www + president (Office of the President's assets) would be /content/dam/www/president and the URL will be https://ubcms-author.buffalo.edu/assets.html/content/dam/president.

Create a Folder

Create a folder to house your assets in a more systematic way. Folder names form part of visible links to your assets, but are not otherwise visible to the public.

When creating a new folder (or uploading a new file), it is important to use human and machine readable language in your names. Separate words with hyphens and do not use spaces, underscores or special characters. For example, if you are creating a folder titled "Our Images," type "our-images" as the name.

Assets added to a folder are normally listed in the order they were added. If you wish to maintain the assets in a particular order that you set, or change the order later, select 'orderable' when you create the folder. You can also change that setting later in the folder's Properties, but if you do so, and any of the assets are published, you must unpublish the folder and its entire contents, then republish the folder and its contents to replicate that information for your live site.

Best Practice

We strongly recommend when you create a folder that you choose the 'orderable' option. And then immediately publish it to lock that in. If you later decide to change a folder to 'orderable', you must unpublish it and its contents, then republish it and its contents to replicate that information for your live site.

Add New Assets

  1. In the Content Tree, navigate to the folder that will house your new asset(s). If needed, create a new folder first.
  2. Click the Create tool in the top right of the window.
  3. In the dropdown menu, click Files.
  4. A dialog box will open, showing your local computer.
  5. Find and select your local file(s) and click "Open."
  6. You will then have the option to rename the file (be careful to keep the same file extension).
  7. The new asset(s) will then be imported into the UBCMS and appear in the chosen folder.
  8. If the 'orderable' option is set for the folder, you can then adjust their order by dragging them by the 'domino' icon at the far right of each asset.
  9. Remember to Publish new assets so they are visible on your live site.
If you choose the same name as an existing asset in this folder, you will have the chance to Cancel, Keep Both, Replace, or Create Version. If you 'Keep Both', a number will be appended to the new asset's name (e.g. test.doc will become test1.doc). If you 'Replace,' the new asset will overwrite the existing asset.  

As a general rule, assets should not be greater than 50MB (in Assets or embedded on a page).

Note: up to ten versions total of an asset will be saved for 90 days and the most recent five versions are stored forever.

Image dimensions and format

Images uploaded directly into components should be less than 6000 pixels in both height and width or they will not load and be flagged with a red 'X' in author. This restriction does not apply to images uploaded into Assets.

Allowable image formats include JPG, GIF, PNG and PSD (PhotoShop) and others. Most images are recompressed in JPEG format for optimal page performance. GIF and PNG images are kept in those formats to retain their unique features (lossless compression, selective color palettes, transparency).

In addition, when you add photos to the DAM, the text you enter in the Description field is the text that will appear in the caption section if the photos are being used in the Photo Gallery component.

Alt Text and Captions

Captions and Alt Text are required by state accessibility policies for images displayed in components, carousels or galleries. For individual images, these can be set in the component on the host page, but Photo Galleries draw this information from Assets and Photo Components also support this option.

To add or modify this information manually, select an asset then click Properties in the toolbar at the top of the window. You can now modify the meta-data for that file.   (See webaim.org for tips on writing alt text.)

'Multi-Page' Assets

When you add a new asset that contains multiple segments (such as a PDF with several pages, or a powerpoint presentation with several slides), the UBCMS will break the document into sections, within a parent folder. This may look confusing, but to reference or link to the asset as a whole, select that parent folder.

Secure documents cannot be in Assets

If you wish to publish any documents that will be part of a secure area that you do not wish ANYONE else to see (i.e. not even other authors), attach them directly to one of your secure pages and do not host them in Assets. All authors can view ANY documents that are in Assets. Instead, you may wish to embed them individually within your actual Web pages. > read more on secure areas

Sort Displayed Assets

List View provides the opportunity to sort the display of pages in each of the various columns. This is just for your personal view of Author, and has no impact on site navigation or lists, or your published site, but will perpetuate throughout Author until you change or undo this specification. The other views have a single 'Sort by' dropdown at the top of the page with several options.

Click the ^v button at the top of any of the columns (Title, Name, Modified, Published, Template, Workflow). The sequence is Ascending > Descending > Off (default), and in each case, the pages will be ordered in alphanumeric or chronological order as appropriate.  Clicking the next column overrides the first choice. If you click through to Off, we recommend you reload the page to correctly see the default order.

Having trouble reordering the assets?

The folder must be set as 'orderable' in Properties or you will not be allowed to change their order.

Filter Assets (Search)

A more powerful way to sort your displayed assets is provided by the Filter (search) tool.

Open Side Panel and select Filters, or use alt+5 keyboard shortcut. This will provide a controlled search for the selected folder in Assets. You can ignore the search box, but choose from the available filters, including File Type, Last Modified, Status, and more.

Reorder Assets

Assets added to a folder are normally listed in the order they are added ('Date Created'), and this order is maintained by the UBCMS. Order is important when the assets are displayed in the Photo Gallery or when a list is created by child pages with no specific sort order.

Views allow the user to change their current view of the asset order (not the real order). List View has many sorting options, while the other views have a 'Sort by' dropdown in the upper right. To see the natural order, go to the list view, and make sure none of the column headings has any up or down arrows next to them. Click the arrows if present one or two times until they go away. This is the natural order.

If you wish a folder's assets to be in an order you maintain, select 'Orderable' when you create the folder, or later adjust that setting in the folder's Properties. Then switch to List View, click the 'domino' icon at the far right of an asset, then drag and drop it into the prefered position.

Note: if you later change the folder to 'orderable', and any of the assets are published, you must unpublish the folder and its entire contents, then republish the folder and its contents to replicate that information for your live site.

Delete Assets

Before you delete an asset, make sure it is not being "referenced" by other pages (in other words, linked to or used as Shared Content). Failure to do so may result in broken links and missing content on your live site.

To delete an asset:

  1. Select the Asset.
  2. Click Delete in the tool bar at the top of the window. (Delete may be hidden with the "..." more options.)
  3. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.

Deletion is permanent. No backups or versions are saved but we can sometimes get copies of deleted assets from our QA server. This contains a complete copy of the entire author environment that is renewed regularly.  

Add Assets to a Page (Asset Browser)

Assets are added to your pages while editing the page. Use the Assets Browser in the Edit Console's SIde Panel.

Toggle Side Panel icon.

Toggle Side Panel icon

The Side Panel appears to the left of the main page content when selected from the Toggle Side Panel tool. It provides access to Assets, Components and a Content Tree.

Check References

  1. Select the asset.
  2. Click Properties in the tool bar at the top of the window.
  3. In the new window, look on the right for References.
  4. References to your asset are displayed, but only include pages that you yourself can view (shared content plus your own Web pages).
  5. Click on any of the referenced pages to load it in the window. (We suggest right-click + open in new tab.)

Redirects and Vanity URLs

It is not possible to apply a shorter URL or redirect an existing URL to an asset. To get around this limitation, create a regular website page using the Redirect Template. Then input your file's location into the page's dialog box; e.g. /content/dam/www/eub/about_ub/UB-org-chart.pdf

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