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HOW TO Order and Process Assets in Cumulus with DARS (DataBasics Asset Request Solution)

HOW TO Order and Process Assets in Cumulus with DARS (DataBasics Asset Request Solution)

The new DataBasics Asset Request Solution (DARS) provides a facility for external users to order selected assets from Cumulus through Portals and enable Cumulus administrators to process the submitted requests in Cumulus Web Client or Desktop Client. DARS is currently running on DataBasics demo site and we encourage customers with existing EOSP solution to try it. Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to order assets from Cumulus, process asset requests in Web Client, process requests in Desktop Client, and receiving assets from Cumulus.


Ordering assets from Cumulus

1. Connect to portals cumulus.databasics.com.au/portals
2. Add the assets you want to order into the basket.
3. Click the ‘Request Assets’ button.

4. Complete the request form – recipient address (this will be usually preconfigured with Cumulus Content Manager address), name, phone number, address & reason for request and send the request.

Processing asset requests in Cumulus

1. Open submitted request email and copy the Search String.

2. Log into Web Client https://cumulus.databasics.com.au/cwc
3. Open the catalog, paste the search string into the quick search box and click the magnifying glass.

4. Select all, or relevant, assets.

5. From the Tools Menu select one of the following options:


6. Once you have completed the approval process you can use a download collection to send the relevant assets to the requestor (Tool menu > Share > Create a collection and send a link to selected recipients).

Edit the collection name, recipient email address, subject, body text, embargo and recipient permissions.

Web Client Note
• If portals support’s multiple catalogs the request may include assets from different catalogs. In this scenario, you will need to open one catalog at a time and repeat the quick search process. Alternatively use Desktop Client to open all relevant catalogs in one window.
• Assets which are related to Master Assets do not show in Web Client search, only in the Master Asset Relations Tab. If portals is configured to publish related assets, use Desktop Client to process the asset requests.

Processing requests in Desktop Client

1. Copy the search string from the asset request email.
2. Open the relevant catalog/s, paste the search string into the quick search box and click the magnifying glass.

3. Select all, or relevant, assets.

4. Select one of the following options:
• From the Workflow menu select the relevant approval workflow.
• From the File menu select, Save Collection As, and save for later approval processing.
• If you have already decided to approve the assets go to step 5.
5. Once you have completed the approval process you can use a download collection to send the relevant assets to the requestor (File menu > Send Collection Link).

Edit collection name, recipient, subject, body text, embargo and recipient permissions.

Desktop Client Note
• If portals support multiple catalogs and the request includes assets from different catalogs you can open all the catalogs available to portals in one window and quick search will find all requested assets.

Receiving assets from Cumulus

1. The requestor will receive a download invitation email.

2. When they click on the link or the View button it will connect them to the download collection with the preconfigured download options.









Watch demo here.


If you already have active accounts in the DataBasics Cumulus demo environment you can log-in and evaluate this new feature.
If you don’t, please nominate users for testing (name and email address) and we will provide access. Email us at: support@databasics.com.au

DAM Summit Cultural Heritage Panel – Wrap

DAM Summit Cultural Heritage Panel – Wrap

Day 2: The Cultural Heritage Panel

The recent DAM Summit EU held in Berlin was a chance for Canto staff, their partners and customers to share information on all aspects of digital asset management – technical know-how, case studies, value-add plugins, and the Cumulus road map.

Part of this ‘show and tell‘ included a panel session on Day 2 on DAM for Cultural Heritage which postulated a number of questions pertinent to cultural heritage.

The panel was a mix of Cultural Heritage DAM users and Canto partners involved with the implementation of DAM systems. The questions were drawn from public responses to an online survey conducted in the lead-up to the Summit.



  • Marianne Peereboom, Van Gogh Museum
  • Michael Fink, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
  • Birgit Scheps-Bretschneider, Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
  • Jesper Arentoft, Attention Solutions
  • Alexander Graeber, CDS Gromke e.K.
  • Chaired by Ricky Patten, databasics


The Questions

These were the questions that were put to the panel:

  1. What should the make up of the team involved be to ensure success of the DAMS project.
  2. Analysing usage and user behaviour of your DAMS.
  3. Importance of integrating DAMS and CMS (Collection Management System).
  4. The main reason for introducing DAMS in a cultural heritage organisation.
  5. Importance of contributors in your organisation and their impacts on the DAMS.
  6. Importance of delivering content to external portals, such as Trove, Europeana, Getty or social media channels.
  7. Should the DAMS be created for the institution to use or for an external audience.
  8. How can crowd-sourcing metadata be effective.


1.  What should the make up of the team involved be to ensure the success of the DAMS project?

Alex responded: IT will not be the main part of the team but is often a stakeholder. As the DAM is an extension of collection management, this is the most important user group.

Next comes the marketing group who may have usage of DAM associated with general communications and retail operations.

Jesper commented that the project management team need to be empowered and have the correct level of executive sponsorship.



2. Analysing usage and user behaviour of your DAMS.


Ricky suggested the following in response: Although the standard reporting tools of a DAM might be quite configurable they usually do not meet the need of a cultural heritage organisation, particularly due to the range of custom fields that such an organisation has, and the specific needs of the report.

The suggestion is to have custom reports built to match the data that will be stored according to the needs of the organisation.



3. Importance of integrating DAMS and CMS (Collection Management System).

Jesper commented that DAM is purpose built for media and one of the additional benefits for DAM solutions is when you reuse content to other systems such as CMS. So DAMS and CMS integration is a high value proposition.

At same time the DAMS must have suitable metadata for retrieval. Jesper cited cases where content could be found in Google but not in their DAM!

Birgit commented that CMS is limited in it’s capability to manage media and it is good to keep a clear distinction between the two solutions, although integration maybe included, they perform quite different tasks in a cultural heritage organisation.


4. The main reason for introducing DAMS in a cultural heritage organisation.

Marianne responded that the need for DAM is a no brainer. Cultural heritage organisations have huge collections of content that people want to be able to visualize – may be scans of collection items through to photography of exhibitions.

It’s all about Can’t find it Can’t use it!


5. Importance of contributors in your organisation and their impacts on the DAMS.

Marianne responded: contributors and their roles have to be associated with correct governance. You have to have the contributors correctly skilled to be able to assign meaningful metadata to content correctly.



6. Importance of delivering content to external portals, such as Trove, Europeana, Getty or social media channels.

Michael responded: Is that a question? It is an absolute minimum to have such content available externally to aggregation services so that people can find what they are looking for and the overall cultural heritage is preserved. In the past, users would have to physically travel – now research can be performed remotely.

Michael commented that he is working with Google to provide some level of support for them. The museum has rights to what gets made accessible – although it is not generally a question of who has rights to access content … the main question is how are you going to accomplish this.



7. Should the DAMS be created for the institution to use or for and external audience?

Both Jesper and Birgit commented: The DAM must be simple to use if the content is going to be made externally.

Jesper cited an example of a site who transformed the ownership to public, thus was entirely focused on an external audience.

Ricky recounted experiences with MA16 ( Museums Australia Conference) where the question of ownership of cultural heritage was a key topic. The institutions are the trusted holders of heritage whereas the public are the rightful owners and should be given complete access.



8. How can crowd-sourcing metadata be effective.

Birgit responded and gave an example of a collection of historical photos from the Pacific Islands. They put this up as a crowd sourcing activity and found that they had contributors from around the world helping with correct management the content. Everybody has some knowledge.

The benefits of offering and sharing collections online for comments was very evident. From a small island in Pacific during the 1970s to a museum in Dresden Germany!

Jesper commented that they also engaged in such a project and first asked -can you trust the metadata. They expected noise when going public but that was not the case. They received a lot of very useful metadata added to the collection and never had any deleterious noise!



Audience Question

Audience question:  Are there any standards used for metadata in cultural heritage?

Most replied that the use of Dublin Core or whatever your regional area uses as a local implementation of DC was generally accepted.



Ricky: I found the panel an interesting opportunity to catch up with many European approaches to digital asset management within a cultural heritage context. Interestingly I found the key issues that were discussed and approaches of the panelists to making DAM successful were very similar to those that we are currently engaged with in our region.

As a supplier of digital asset management solutions I see many similarities between different market segments. However the cultural heritage usage of DAM is different and this needs to be recognised by vendors. Many of the objectives of a cultural heritage organisation and how that then reflects in their usage of DAM has a very specific background. Balancing the role of the institution to be custodian of heritage items and also making general access available is a key strategy for success. A well implemented DAM solution provides the opportunity to achieve a well structured extension of collection management to include digital assets and at the same time enables access in a well controlled environment for digital surrogates.

I’d like to thank the panelist for their involvement in this discussion, for our faithful followers who engaged with the initial survey to provide input into the favoured topics, for our existing customers especially from cultural heritage institutions and of course Canto for organising the DAM Summit.


Written by Ricky Patten from notes taken during the session.

All photos copyright Paul Dionne.



Why Upgrade to Cumulus 10?

Why Upgrade to Cumulus 10?

It’s not just operating systems that evolve – your digital asset management investment needs to do more than just keep up with the changes in technology. By taking advantage of new features and improvements is user interface design and functionality with new releases, you can extend your focus to engaging more directly with your team and your customers through faster, smoother interfaces, quick sharing via social media and easy mobile device accessibility.

For those who have not upgraded to the latest version of Cumulus, there are a number of compelling reasons why it will be worth it – Portals, controlled vocabularies, a new Mobile App, and the new InDesign Client –  to name but a few.

Portals – the next level display and distribution interface

Cumulus Sites was Canto’s first step in developing a public-facing interface that provided clean displays and easy distribution capabilities for digital assets. With the increasing use of iphones and ipads inside and outside the workplace and the need for an interface that is responsive on any device, Portals is Canto’s answer for easy and efficient website scaling on all platforms using Bootstrap and HTML5.  Portals employs Search Engine Optimisation which means your digital assets becomes quickly findable across the web through the regular web search engines. Large hi-res and multipage previews are available and you can create collections and send large files fast either by email or a link for secure, seamless transfer.

Portals allows for much broader customisation so your logo and branding can be much stronger to match your other public-facing interfaces such as your website. Portals eventually will replace Sites but you can have both interfaces installed and choose between them. Portals only runs on Cumulus 10 but Sites can also run on a Cumulus 10 server. Read more…

Improved Mobile App

The new Cumulus Mobile App has been re-written to provide much more functionality than the older Mobile Client. It mirrors the new look and feel of Portals and is totally responsive to your iOS device. Although it now comes bundled with Cumulus, those of you looking to upgrade will still need to purchase the license to use the Mobile App – but the many benefits are obvious.

Mobile App provides the same functionality as the full Cumulus Client… so you can search, comment, collaborate, markup, review, approve, upload and download content anytime, anywhere! Read more

Do you need a Controlled Vocabulary?

One of the many reasons people start out down the DAM track is to stop the proliferation of images and the inability to find  the required image or asset quickly – with subsequent duplication as a result. A controlled vocabulary goes a long way to assist with the correct identification of assets so they are findable and therefore reusable.

With Cumulus 10 comes the ability to import or setup your own vocabulary or taxonomy of terms that restricts the choice of indexing terms to only those keywords in a specified list and improves metadata input for later asset retrieval. This results in faster searches and searching in a more organised way.

Cumulus 10 introduces a new field “Vocabulary” and a special catalog called $Vocabularies. Once the Vocabulary field type is enabled, Cumulus will only allow the use of those search terms included in your predefined vocabulary list. For each vocabulary field in a Cumulus catalog, the administrator can specify the vocabulary (or the vocabularies) that can feed this field. Importing existing controlled vocabulary schemes into the $Vocabularies catalog works as simple as importing categories. Read more in Canto’s blog

InDesign Client – the best DAM InDesign integration

If there was ever a reason to upgrade, then the new Cumulus InDesign Client has to be top of the list for creatives and designers. This brand new Cumulus 10.1 release offers similar and more functionality than the original InDesign Companion that was released over 5 years ago. The recent Cumulus option, Adobe Drive Adapter, allows creatives to work with all Adobe’s products that use Bridge such as Illustrator and Photoshop as well as InDesign, but InDesign Client provides two-way communication between your Cumulus and InDesign – to reduce errors, simplify workflow and keep content fresh.

Some of the features includes a Categories panel that shows the Category tree of all open catalogs, a Records panel to select specific assets, an Information panel that shows all metadata of the record selected, and a Preview panel. Revert back to older versions of an asset as needed at any time, and all files used are uploaded and tracked automatically as related assets eliminating the need to hunt for, or relink, assets when another person opens the InDesign file. This ability to reference the used assets is significant as you can see at a glance exactly where they have been used. Read more

And there’s more!

There are other features and improvements that come with Cumulus 10 that help to make an upgrade worthwhile – from Custom Asset Relationships through to Category handling via drag n drop.

Asset Relationships refer to the links between related files and versions of files, eg PDFs from Word docs, consent forms with images, graphics used in Office or InDesign docs – these can be identified in Cumulus either as ‘contained’ or ‘referenced’ assets – similarly, ‘variants’ and ‘alternates’ identify assets that are created as variations or alternatives to the original. With Cumulus 10 you can now create your own custom relationships based on the type of asset or any other criteria that suits your business.

Category handling via drag and drop is simply the ability to update a category tree automatically or provide a dialogue box to determine the outcome when dragging & dropping records making it an easy job to add assets to your catalogue.

Last but not least, Cumulus Web Client now offers Print Templates for printing a selection of assets as contact sheets. The selection of assets can result from a search, a collection, or be individually selected. Select or deselect multiple files in a row by using the Shift / Click selection option.

Summary and References

To sum up, Cumulus 10 offers existing users a way to move forward with their existing digital asset management system and take advantage of the changes in technology and new ways of working.

Some useful references are:
Blog entries: Custom Asset Relationships
What are Cumulus Portals?
Cumulus and InDesign Client
How to Create Your Own Controlled Vocabulary
Metadata, Controlled Vocab and your DAM

Cumulus X Features – datasheet.

Cumulus and Extended Permissions

Cumulus and Extended Permissions

STOP PRESS: Canto offers 50% discount till end December 2016 for existing customers
PermissionsCumulus out-of-the-box allows for a user’s access to be controlled by permissions which are applied for each user and that control the content with which they can interact. Generally, the functions a user is allowed to perform on records, assets and categories is set by the Cumulus administrator. These permissions can either apply to all catalog a user has access to, or can be catalog-specific.

Extended Permissions is a Cumulus add-on module that offers real-time permissions based on the business rules that you set. The permissions can change based on circumstances such as workflow approval processes, embargo and expiry dates, and other factors. It allows for the actual assets to have a permissions aspect that will determine how people can interact with the content.

This is implemented in either of two ways: either by assigning permissions to the assets themselves or by applying dynamic filters that control access based upon content characteristics.

What you can do with Extended Permissions:

Live Filtering

search_filterLive filtering is perhaps the simplest/ easiest way of implementing Extended Permissions. The traditional static permissions model doesn’t work when “yes” versus “no” needs to be based on real-time workflow status, rather than decisions made in advance. With live filtering, the visibility of assets can be controlled by a dynamic search query. After saving a query, it can be added to a user as a Live Filter. This could be used to give users only access to assets with a certain status, such as Approved. As soon as the status of a certain asset changes, the visibility of that asset to the user may change too.

As long as filtering is active, any further search operation – Quicksearch, Category Search, whatever – will only take into account the collection as defined by the filter criteria, not the whole catalog. Accordingly, the Find All Records command will only find records that match the filter criteria. An example is to create a checkbox metadata field called, “Ready for Client Approval.” Then create a Live Filter that finds only those files ready for approval. When the user logs in, she sees files ready for her approval, without any searching.

Set individual record/ category permissions

These enable administrators to determine who sees what on a particular asset or category. It allows a much more granular approach to asset access as you can hide asset records or categories from users who don’t need them ensuring asset security and metadata privacy. You can specify that user X can access specific types of documents like press releases for example, but not price lists.

For assigning individual permissions, a Permissions Template may be employed to grant individual permissions to multiple users/roles as defined in the template, granted to selected users one by one, or even automatically using built-in scheduler actions or the Roboflow (pdf) module.

This makes it possible to provide “private” metadata fields in your catalogs, such as “CIO Approved” or “Manager Approved” fields. Other users can see the fields if they have access to view sets that contain them – but only those listed as editors of the fields can make changes.

The primary value this feature offers is data integrity. If your catalog includes a “Manager Approved” field and that field is checked, you know for certain your manager has approved the asset. Because these fields can also serve as control mechanisms for Live Filtering, this enables managers in your group to enable or disable access to certain assets just by logging in (from anywhere) and changing a value.

Set permissions to edit field values

Field specific permissions can restrict the editing of certain fields to only chosen individuals or roles. Administrators can define permissions for certain metadata fields, for example they could define that in general a certain user can only view assets but have limited access to edit certain metadata fields for which they are responsible, such as copyright or distribution.


This is a very powerful feature, especially in workflow and approval scenarios. You can combine several permissions to achieve your desired outcome.

Note: Extended Permissions and Permissions templates are included in Cumulus Enterprise edition.

Written by Antra Silova, Media Specialist and Linda Rouse, Information Manager.

Useful links

Comparison of Workgroup versus Enterprise blog post.
Roboflow datasheet (pdf).