Merlin WebMaster Gets an Update…Woo Hoo!

Merlin WebMaster

Metadata Color Codes are displayed with other easy to use tools, including “More Like This” searching, printing, Trax integration and download.

Am I excited! I have spent the last few days testing our new WebMaster browser templates. The MerlinOne development team has done a great job of adding new useful functionality to the already easy to use Merlin WebMaster browser client. These changes will make using Merlin to manage digital assets even easier and more powerful at the same time.

There are so many new items; I almost don’t know where to start. As usual, most of the new functionality has come directly from suggestions from our users. In the last round of updates, we added a web upload form, and included the ability to show a color code based on metadata, resize JPGs on download, do batch downloads and we also improved project management significantly.

This time, we have rolled in our cool “MetaCard” feature to help prompt users who are not quite sure where to search that I have previously written about. This  “faceted” searching is a great tool for users who are not sure what they are looking for. (Click HERE to see what I previously wrote about faceted searching.)

So what else is new?

  • Reserved Content is protected from download by other web users
  • Download to Server Targets of individual items
  • Batch Download to Server Targets or the Desktop in addition to the emailed link to a zip file
  • Mandatory metadata fields may be set for the web upload form
  • User selectable default view on login (default search, blank screen, MetaCard or Advanced Search window)
  • Improved admin tools that do not require a trip to the server for configuration.
    • Field Configuration (show, hide and arrange fields)
    • Display configuration (columns, rows and thumbnail size)
    • Personal Login Choices (over ride default login setting)
    • User Filters applied to projects

WebMaster is not intended to replace the rich client, whose powerful batch editing features and review tools are designed for industrial strength photo editing.  But, because of increased WebMaster flexibility, it may be that intermediate users don’t need the rich client, they can do all their work with the new and improved web client.

We have tried to ensure that the new feature set mimics workflows established in the rich client. For example, in the M5 rich client, it is possible to configure a color code to reflect specific data associated with an asset.  Many sites key right management information to specific values in the instructions field. Once this is set up, it is possible to have the WebMaster templates reflect similar color codes based on the same values, so a red box color code means the same thing to users regardless of which client being used to access content.

We have a similar improvement with the “Reserved” feature. Rich client users may recall that it is possible reserve an item so that if another user tries to download the item, that user is warned that another user has “reserved” the item. For web users, that means that while many items will retain their download link, reserved items will not. Instead, reserved items will be denoted with the same warning triangle icon as seen in the M5 rich client. Also, hovering over the icon will yield a tool-tip with the reservation related information.

The new reservation functionality is based on the previously released feature that prevents downloading of certain content based on user group membership and metadata. For example, users may be able to view a set of content, but some of the items in that group will not be available for download because of specific metadata.

And last, but not least, a non-technical person with admin privileges is able to configure the different views in the WebMaster client. Need to show or hide fields in the search panel or single view? No problem. This is easily managed in the new User Admin area. Need to re-label a field? Again, this is easily done.

Merlin WebMaster, improved again, and as usual, many of the improvements are the direct result of customer feedback.  MerlinOne customers will be notified when the new templates are released. We will hold a web training session (Merlin Users Group) in the near future to go over the new features, so customers should be on the lookout for information regarding that. If you are not a Merlin user and are interested in learning more about Digital Asset Management with Merlin, contact me.

Posted by David Breslauer

Screenshot of Merlin WebMaster

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