In NetX, metadata fields are called attributes — their values store information, drive search, and set your DAM apart from a simple file storage system.
- How do your users find what they're looking for? Are users more likely to browse folders or type in a keyword?
- What words, phrases, or acronyms are widely used in your organization?
- Does your organization use a taxonomy elsewhere (a website for example) and how can this align with your DAM taxonomy?
- How can metadata drive your workflows (i.e. do assets transition from one status to another)?
- Do you need to control user access based on the status or rights of certain assets?
5 things to know about NetX attributes
Consider different metadata strategies.
Metadata is used in different ways to meet different needs: descriptive attributes feed the search index to help users find what they are looking for; structural attributes are used in place of folders to classify and organize assets; technical attributes include specific details or unique identifiers (like a SKU or UPC) needed by external systems; administrative attributes trigger workflows, define access to assets, indicate rights or approvals status, and more.
Strike a balance.
Search will be ineffective if there isn’t enough metadata. If there is too much, the system becomes unmanageable and usability suffers. Typically, 10-20 custom attribute fields are sufficient.
Good metadata = good search results.
Think about your users and what they want to search for. Incorporate specific words, phrases or acronyms that are widely used throughout your organization and avoid unnecessary descriptors. Be cautious with attribute values that are too vague, such as “Yes” and “No”.
Control your vocabulary.
Improve search results with attribute fields that support a controlled vocabulary (pulldown, multi-select, or tag) instead of free text fields. Controlled vocabularies help avoid variations and misspellings in your keywords and make cataloging easier. The Vocabularies feature makes it easy to change attribute values without having to re-catalog assets.
Minimize cataloging efforts.
To make cataloging more efficient, think about ways to leverage automatic indexing of filenames, folder names, and inherent metadata. Consider automated tagging features in NetX like Metadata Lookups, Attribute Profiles, and Smart Labels. Limit the number of mandatory attributes to make it easy for users to import.
Attribute sets allow users to view a subset of attributes in various contexts in the UI. Sets are convenient for grouping together related attribute fields or refining attributes when cataloging assets. For example, you might have one attribute set for rights management-related attribute fields, another set for photography cataloging, yet another one for documents, etc. The same attribute field can be added to multiple different sets. NetX administrators can create attribute sets that are available for everyone's use and individual users can also create and share custom sets of their own.
- Learn how to configure your Custom Attributes and Attribute Profiles.
- Create admin-defined System Attribute Sets and learn about User Attribute Sets.
- Use Vocabularies for controlled attribute value lists.
- Control who can view and edit attributes with Attribute Permissions.
- Enable Attribute History to create an audit trail of attribute value changes.
- Check out Dataset Manager to configure Metadata Lookups.
- Searching Overview gives you all the details.
- Turn your custom attribute fields or folders into Search Facets.
- Choose which default system facets to leave on or turn off.
- Perform an attribute value search from the Asset Detail View to find all assets with the same attribute value for any given field.
Tips and tricks
Avoid certain attribute field names. Names with special characters or names containing words that are within other attribute field names (e.g. Date, Event Date) can cause complications. Reserved Attribute Names cannot be used at all for custom attributes.
Attribute types can't be changed. i.e. a pulldown can’t be changed to a multi-select. If you have to change an attribute type, you'll need to create a new attribute field and re-tag all values that had previously been applied.
Tag (vocabulary) vs. Multi-select. The tag (vocabulary) attribute type has an advantage over multi-select with the option that allows non-admin users to add new values at the time of uploading or editing assets. This means an Admin is not required to edit the vocabulary first before users can catalog using new values.
Avoid using these problematic characters in attribute values:
, (comma) | (pipe) \n (line feed) \r (carriage return)
Each search facet will display up to 25 values for any particular set of assets, but this can be changed via a system property. The technical maximum is 1000 values, but the best practice is no more than 50. Quickly narrow down the list of available values by typing in the filter box.
Use attribute sets to change info displayed under the gallery thumbnails. By default, the File is displayed underneath each thumbnail in the gallery. This can be changed to any system or custom attribute field by dragging the desired field to the first position of an attribute set.
To restrict an attribute to Administrators only, enable attribute permissions on the attribute but do not assign any groups, or set the minimum user level to Administrator.
BEFORE YOUR NEXT ONBOARDING MEETING
- Meet with your Core Team and develop a set of custom attribute fields and values.
- Review your folder structure. This may help identify attributes that are needed or adjustment of your folder tree.
- Document your proposed attributes fields, values, and sets in the Attributes Onboarding Worksheet.
- Be prepared to discuss with your Onboarding Specialist.
Learn about User Access.
BEFORE YOU IMPORT ASSETS
Discuss your data migration plan with your Onboarding Specialist and read about File and Data Ingest.