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Release Notes: Picturepark Content Platform (November 2019 Update)

By Picturepark Communication Team • Nov 12, 2019

Picturepark Content Platform is released in its newest version:

  • Platform(s): {name}.picturepark.com
  • Date: 27-November-2019
  • Version: November 2019 Update (10.4)
  • Main changes:
    • New interface for the Business Rule Engine
    • Dynamic output formats
    • Configuration of single download filenames
    • Share download portal

Release Summary

This release is mainly focused on backend performance improvements, the extension of the Business Rule Engine, UX improvements & enhanced SDK examples; as well as general bug fixing. Notable changes include

  • The Business Rules Engine (BRE) now features a UI for configuration and new actions, conditions, and more to enable the automated tagging of content items - among other things.
  • Dynamic custom output formats can be defined for images and become rendered only when requested. They are then cached for a period of time, in case other users require the same format.
  • Single download filenames can now be configured for virtual and file content items, based on descriptive metadata. For file content items technical metadata is also available.
  • The share download portal component has an improved file selection dialogue, viewers and more.
  • User guidance for editing after upload and the batch editor has been improved.
  • Display pattern rendering has been reworked so that reindexing is triggered pro-actively by an admin, indicated via a badge in the main menu, for reindexing.
  • An additional service provider example is available on Github, which uses new features for better integrated business processes that can now report on progress or handle request cancellation.

Release Details

Below you can find information, grouped by relevance, for generic types of users of the Content Platform.

Users

Share Improvements

When sharing, users are now only shown recipient suggestions from recipients previously used in sent and received shares. Previously, all users with the same user role could see each others email addresses in the dropdown of the shares whenever sending a share.

The share download portal has an improved item detail view with direct video playback or larger previews without opening fullscreen mode, as well as the display of basic metadata taken from the content detail pattern. Further changes to improve the mobile experience for users are that details are now better viewable. Additional viewers are additionally available (especially in the SDK) which simplifies integration to 3rd-parties.

Other Notable Changes

  • Background images on login pages are no longer loaded on mobile versions to save loading time.
  • The sort configuration and order is now shown directly in the toolbar, with the sort setting and sort order indicated with the top/down arrow.
  • Content items for which rendering has failed are now displayed with the file format icon.
  • Notifications in the notification toast are limited to 20 at a time. If there are 20 notifications already shown, then as the new notifications come in on top, the older notifications are removed.

Editors

Import

Editors can now benefit from improved user guidance for metadata editing after import. A prompt allowing users to directly open and work on imported files in the batch editor, once an import has been completed, is displayed. This can be deactivated, if desired, by more proficient users.

Batch Editor

Collections, which are created when batch editing content, are cleaned up after a defined retention time which defaults to 7 days.

The batch editor has been adapted to only show the virtual item tab if virtual items are in the batch currently being edited.

Further improvements have been implemented to switch to single batch edit mode when only one item is available for editing, after filtering results, also switching back to batch edit mode when filters are reset.

Permissions

Permission sets can now be applied to the EXIF and XMP metadata layers, making it possible to provide more granular permissions.

Administrators

Business Rules

A new configuration interface is available for admins that simplifies configuration of Business Rules. Previously, a json syntax would need to be entered. With this new interface, the Admin can configure/maintain powerful Business Rules with Conditions on uploads and updates. Each Business Rule can have several actions set to be triggered once a specified condition is fulfilled.

Also new with 10.4 are the Transformations and the Caches. The Admin can use these to transform existing values found in the filename, XMP/EXIF data or any other field of the content into a string to pass it to an action which will apply this string e.g. to the title. With the help of a cache, the Admin could even use a string to find existing tags (List Items) and pass the found IDs to the action; which will apply those tags to tagbox fields.

Use Case: Tag images with Product Identifiers, Copyrights and More

If you have content that carries unique identifiers in the filename or XMP/EXIF metadata, then this can be used for automatically tagging such files with e.g. related products, persons or other identifiable list items in the Content Platform - without any manual work needing to be done.

For instance, if a file with name F-10005900-002_MT-HERS_Apple Gala.psd is uploaded, then the Business Rule Engine (BRE) can tag the file with a related product, like a “Gala” apple with the SKU F-10005900-002 in our sample screenshot below. The Business Rule Engine also finds the string MT-HERS in the filename, which then assigns related content classification such as “Hero Shot” as seen in our sample below, and can also add default Copyright or License information related to this type of content.

Additionally, the Business Rule Engine can be used for a variety of other use cases such as tagging fulltext with a controlled vocabulary - please contact your account manager or Picturepark Support for more information.

Display pattern

The display pattern configuration on all types of schemas has been reworked, so that an admin can proactively start reindexing affected items after changing existing display patterns, which is also indicated via a badge in the main menu. Before, the reindexing of all items in the platform was automatically triggered after every save; forcing an admin to wait for the update to finish before making further changes.

Moreover the reindexing of display patterns is now handled via a dedicated service provider that can be deployed on a dedicated instance, to significantly improve performance on high-volume instances.

Download Filenames

Download filenames are now configurable as display patterns for each file type and each virtual type, providing more flexibility for your workflows.

They can be changed per customer via the API, as well as in the settings of file types and virtual types. Configuration supports different combinations of metadata values and static text, including translations and tags. The same configuration options as for display patterns are available. Examples are:

  1. Title_WidthxHeight_ColorSpace_ColorProfile, resulting in Fruit-on-table_1024x765_RGB_AdobeRGB.jpg
  2. ProductName_ProductCategory_ProductCampaign, resulting in ContentPlatform_OnmichannelContentPlatform_BeyondDAM.mp4
  3. OriginalTitle_License_Source_Author, resulting in BerlinSkyline_CC0-Free-to-use_unsplashcom_Stefan-Widua.png

The feature also supports format-specific configuration, currently only available via API. For example, this allows you to treat the original differently, which would be required for files used in production workflows where original file links must be retained (e.g. in Indesign) but preview files for other uses are required to contain more descriptive information e.g. about product categories.

User Management

Emails are sent out to users with user roles that have the "manage users" right whenever a user confirms their registration on a customer instance. These emails will now not be sent if the logged-in user is a cp support user, in order to avoid flooding administrators with unnecessary emails.

Dynamic Custom Output Formats for Images

Dynamic custom formats enable users to download customer-defined images from Picturepark which are generated at request. This feature allows for customers to have specific campaign formats, for example, which may not be required for general use. Examples from our screenshot example are blog post header images, Instagram story images and Twitter images - all of which are only required for a subset of content.

Previously, only a limited set of predefined preview formats were supported.

The configuration settings also support a retention time for these downloaded derivatives so that once created the format will be delivered from a local cache, instead of being rerendered again.

Custom formats can be configured and changed via the API only at the moment. The UI is planned for an upcoming release.

Other Notable Changes

  • Admins will no longer need to use the “Automated livestream tasks SP” which is fully substituted by the Business Rule Engine and related features.
  • Admins can use the improved business process and notification features of the Business Processes Engine (BPE) which provides third party systems better control of business processes, via notifications and cancellation.
  • Admins can use the Clarifai autotagging (implemented as a HA/scaling CP core service) to be triggered on import only.
  • The Content Platform now has a limit of 5000 schemas. A validation check prevents the creation of the 5001st schema.
  • Schema and Field IDs can no longer start with numbers, as this conflicts with the id given for backend operations.

Developers

Further Developer Resource

Developers benefit from an improved API/SDK documentation, including additional samples.

Developers can use improved microsites via bugfixed components, some mobile UX fixes and more. Developers are however advised to wait for the next release, which is currently scheduled for late February 2020 (TBC), before committing larger changes, if possible, since further enhancements that result in SDK breaks are planned within that next update.

Developers can find a minimal Service Provider sample working together with the Business Rule Engine and Business Process Notifications. The example uses new Business Rule features such as consuming a Business Rule generated message, starting a business process using the API, reporting progress which is displayed in Picturepark and handling a cancellation triggered within Picturepark.

Other Notable Changes

  • GetContent and GetUsers maximum is 100, when it is exceeded you will get an RequestSizeLimitExceededException.
  • Different behavior for OwnershipTransfer (where more content could be affected) which directly grants edit permissions to the new owner. When the process for ownership transfer is started (when the owner is transferred and content is made available to the new owner for editing) a schema lock is applied to affected contents, to ensure data integrity.
  • Schema names and field names have been improved by implementing a backend check to ensure that names were supplied. This was previously not required when creating schemas and fields via the SDK but led to issues in the frontend.
  • The Lifecycle of Business process related to partial import has been updated to show the correct state when an import via API has failed e.g. if a tag assignment didn’t work, due to a missing tag. Previously it showed that it had succeeded.
  • ShareBasicCreateRequest the following three attributes have been removed:
    • RecipientsEmail
    • RecipientsUser
    • RecipientsGroup

... in favor of new attribute entitled RecipientEmails, which can be used for both internal and mail recipients.

  • The creation of the search information and display values for Contents and ListItems is now asynchronous, after the creation or update of the main items. This leads to better performances of the system and to more efficient scaling. The effect of such a change is more evident in the batch operations: when batch editing. For example, with 50000 pieces of content, at first all the ContentDocs are updated, then only afterwards the search documents and the display values are created. On a large amount of items, the gap of time can be considerable. During this time, the items can be successfully retrieved and updated through existing Get(Many), Update(Many), BatchEdit endpoints, saving a lot of waiting time. However, the returned display values will not be up to date; moreover the Search and Aggregate endpoints will not return correct results (search documents are being created).
    • Single editing operations always wait for the creation of the search documents and display values
    • Multiple editing operations:
      • Using the REST endpoints, when waiting for the completion of a BusinessProcess, the default behavior is to await the creation of the search documents and display values. This behavior can be changed, setting the waitForContinuationCompletion parameter to false
      • Using the .net SDK, the default behavior of all existing create, update and batch editing endpoints is to wait for the creation of the search documents and display values, in order to have a similar behavior to the previous one. A new parameter (waitSearchDocCreation) can be used in order not to wait (defaults to true)
  • When Display Patterns of a Schema are changed, the Display Values of the related Contents and List Items are not rendered immediately, as this process can take some time. The re-rendering only works on those display values that are out of date or not created yet. The process is therefore based on the information returned by the "status" endpoint: if the status is red, the display values of the data corresponding to the Content or Layer SchemaIDs and List SchemaIDs are recalculated. The operation is executed asynchronously and does not require any wait.
  • UserInactiveOrDeletedException was re-purposed to be used in any operation that cannot be performed on an inactive (deleted) or deleted (archived) user. The original purpose of it, signalling that a current user cannot login or access the system, was delegated to a new InactiveOrDeletedUserRefusedAccessException.
  • By introducing the new feature that Download filenames are now configurable as display patterns for each file type, they have been now been renamed FileName on OutputDetailViewItem to OriginalFileName.
  • In the .net SDK, the Metadata property of a content was always of type “DataDictionary”, while the Content property was sometimes a "DataDictionary" and sometimes an "object". This is now aligned to “object”. Metadata properties remained as a dictionary, but also as a more flexible IDictionary<string, object>.

Output format operations (Update / Delete) now create business processes, instead of returning BulkResponse. For Create Output format, this was already the case.

Known Issues

Here is a list of known issues that users should be aware of when using the Content Platform. If you encounter any other issues than those listed below, then please contact Picturepark Support.

Users

Embeds: Changes to width and height leads to the warning "You have unsaved changes". The user can change the width and height. Once done, the user will not be able to leave the share without getting the warning that he has "Unsaved changes". However, there is nothing to save. The changes done to the sizes are only for the creation of the URLs.

Authentication: Firefox - German language IDS Profile UI needs to be adjusted. The Identity Server Profile in the latest Firefox version doesn't look as clean as it does in Chrome, it has gaps between tabs and table and black corners on input fields.

Reload application scripts after a new version is deployed. After the new version is deployed, the application continues to run with the old script. This can result in strange UI errors and errors on loading data. Users must manually reload scripts with CTRL + F5.

Editors

Excel Roundtrip: Search: Searchmode not passed from content browser. It is possible to search for multiple assets using multiple terms in the content browser (example: w1077998, w1077999 or w1078000) via the search "Simple (any)". However, it is not possible to export these assets, as the search mode "Simple (any)" is not passed to the Excel Roundtrip App.

Batch Editor: Card view not loaded for some tags. In Batch Edit, the card view is sometimes (most likely for all already assigned tag) empty. In the Single Batch Edit, there is no title for already assigned tags.

Batch Editor: Batch editor doesn't close. If you open Batch editor over another already opened batch editor, for example via a pop-up after import has been completed, then try to close one Batch editor after another they just change each other. One closes another under it, meaning it is displayed over and over again.

Batch editor: Firefox & Edge issues. Not all selected content items are displayed in batch edit, when scrolling is needed.

Batch Editor: Not able to see the translations in "view" mode. The Editor is not able to see which translations are available. The filters are only available once the user is in the edit mode.

Admins

Schemas managing (Firefox & Edge): Elements on the tab 'Default values' are not adjusted if the checkbox Overwrite Default Values is activated/deactivated.

Edit JSON (Firefox): Scrolling via mouse wheel is not working in the Settings/Channels Edit JSON form.

Channels: Missing Results Display pattern cannot be removed to go back to default. You can change the missing results display pattern in a channel. If you want to change it back to the default one however by deleting what you wrote, then it won't let you save because the default language is required.

List Items: You can create a list with no fields and enter a list item that is empty. You then cannot delete the list item or the list.

Permissions: User Role Permission Manage permissions (UserRight.ManagePermissions) are required for the owner of a content item to be able to apply permissions and transfer ownership. This is only an issue in the UI. Via API, the user can assign permissions and change ownership of the content item when he edits it. This will be fixed with Version 10.4.2.

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