5 Things: DALiM TWiST Video Series

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 @ 09:16 AM

Tags: creative, creative workflow, video, digital assets, TWiST, Dalim, DAM Systems, digital asset management, DAM, workflow, graphics, production

 

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School is in session with our very own Solutions Architect and TWiST Expert, Scott Tully. It is time to get out of Spring Break mode and get ready to learn 5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In DALiM TWiST

This is 5-part video series, aims to educate and enlighten users and administrators of Dalim TWiST by illustrating the capabilities of the TWiST software as pertains to workflow engineering and graphic arts production. As the theme implies, the TWiST toolbox is so intuitive, users quickly achieve their workflow objectives and stop, never realizing all the workflow automation and intelligence that TWiST has to offer.

Episode One: "Stick a FORK in it" contrasts the methodolgy of building TWiST workflows with multiple branches versus a linear workflow featuring the TWiST Basic Tool: Fork.

Episode Two: "Hidden in Plain Sight" illuminates the documented, yet overlooked PDF concatenation feature of the FilterGroup tool, providing the fundamentals of the tool's configuration and demonstrating its unique feature.

Episode Three: "All Good Things" introduces TWiST's capability of providing for 'conditional pauses' based on logic as expressed within the WaitOn tool.

Episode Four: "Six Ways To Sunday" : "Six ways to Sunday" moves away from the tool-based example and conclusion model, revealing a unconventional approach to TWiST's input methodology.

Episode Five: "X Marks The Start": Turns conventional usage of TWiST on it's head, introducing SetParamFromXML's ability to translate a spreadsheet into a "run list" as well as some additional, helpful programmatic "X's".

Tully has produced this video blog series to share both his passion for, and intimate knowledge of, all things TWiST, knowing you would appreciate the timely tips or insightful reminders about this specific tool or a underlying feature.

We are confident that the 5 Things series will ignite your imagination and fuel your pursuit of ever more efficient, effective TWiST workflows.

Each video in the 5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In DALiM TWiST series is a run time of less than three minutes, and each episode is sure to enlighten or remind users that there is always more than one way to get things done.

Watch Video 1: Stick a FORK in it RIGHT HERE

Watch Video 2: Hidden in Plain Sight RIGHT HERE

Watch Video 3: All Good Things RIGHT HERE

Watch Video 4: Six Ways To Sunday RIGHT HERE

Watch Video 5: X Marks The Start RIGHT HERE

You can see all episodes on the DALiM TWiST Channel at Flathead U

  

Insights on North Plains Ngage 2015 & Xinet 18

Posted by Jeff Zakim on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 01:22 PM

Tags: MySQL, Xinet, DAM Systems, Xinet server DAM Systems, digital asset management, DAM, North Plains, NAPC, Xinet Pilot, technology

Hear about the North Plains nGage 2015 conference and what is coming in Xinet V18 from our intreped travelers, Mike and Larry who ventured out to this years conference in sunny Orlando, Florida. Not only was the weather great, but so was the content, speakers, presentations and hearty discussions with clients, partners and vendors. Read on, you will feel like you were there.

#NGage2015Mike Gershowitz, Vice President 

My Orlando trip for North Plains' nGage Conference was delightful! Just the 85 degree warmth would've been sufficient, but this conference also had a very rich agenda

During Partner Day, North Plains' new executive team impressed me as enlightened professionals who listened while presenting their product development roadmap. They also asked for future contributing ideas, announced some smart, like-minded speakers for an enriched eGage experience and ended an excellent day with a relaxing cocktail party with many global North Plains channel partners. All were eager to collaborate in an effort to best service multi-site Xinet clients, including SYD Conseil - Cogito Digital Management, Bay Digital, and Visual Products Japan.

North Plains most intriguing development roadmap topic to us at NAPC by far was the upcoming Xinet Version 18 release, which further resolves many of the most important issues affecting current users, as well as potential new users. What's still a future is the ability for a 'master' Xinet file system and database to effectively synchronize with local, disparate deployment instances.

Read the rest of Mike's NGage 2015 experience here

 

Larry Chase, Vice President

Well folks, just back from the North Plains nGage Conference in Orlando and it was a great one. We experienced great weather and outstanding company with fellow Integrators and clients from around the world. There was an outstanding Keynote delivered by Robert Rose, a Content Marketing Strategist, Author and Speaker. His presentation on content marketing was quite impressive, and I have since looked up a video of a similar presentation to share.

One of the main highlights on nGage was the announcement of some very cool updates regarding Xinet, specifically the forthcoing release of Xinet 18. This had all in attendence very eager to learn more about this roll out.

First on the agenda is that of a certification that was granted by the DAM Foundationwhich is an organization focused on the betterment of the DAM ecosystem. The certification is based on a review of the 10 Core Characteristics that make a DAM a DAM. Now Xinet is on the short list of certified DAM software authors. Congratulations to Dale Dawson and team on this.

Read the rest of Larry's NGage experience including details on Xinet 

 

5 things you didn't know you could do with modern Xinet!

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 01:21 PM

Tags: subject matter, Best Practice, Archiving, Buying DAM Technology, digital asset management, NAPC blog, metadata

                             Dollarphotoclub 65554378 resized 600

Everyone's busy. It feels like everyone is treading water, just trying to keep their heads above the surface. With the deluge of interruptions and understaffing, not to mention new corporate mandates, it's hard to stay current with the technology you already own.

Let NAPC help! We're holding a webinar this Thursday, Feb 26th. "5 things you didn't know you could do with Xinet".

We're going to show modern search with real world examples, Pilot coming to the rescue in a variety of situations, some new automation possibilities, as well as a little bit on modern archiving. All of these are geared towards real world situations, making the user experience better while taking load off admins. Oh, and a sneak peek at the next generation of NAPC's products (Don't tell anyone).

So, grap a cuppa, and join us at 3pm Eastern this Thursday, while Sully and I take you through the hottest and coolest in modern Xinet. Click the link below to register. We'll even send a calendar invite to make your life easier.

Register

An asset management solution you’ll wish you had for tax time

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 10:19 AM

Tags: digital asset management, DAM, file, search, solution, file naming, filename, organize, tax season, discover

                     Dollarphotoclub 48738785

Right about now you, and the majority of our country’s population, are probably beginning the ritualistic hunt and peck of locating your financial asset documents to prepare for TAX SEASON. With a bit of scrambling and a boatload of stress (and vows that you’ll do things differently next year) eventually you’ll get through it...and wipe your brow, thankful that this time only comes one time a year.

Or does it?

If finding your visual assets at work is like preparing for tax season EVERY DAY, then you need another way...and that way is digital asset management (DAM). The reason is right there in the name; “management.” It’s a way to oversee, gather and group, and make work life so much easier. But DAM goes beyond just helping you find images.

According to Laura Fu, Customer Success Resource for NAPC and Digital Asset Management expert:

“DAM helps people DISCOVER content they didn't know existed or hadn't thought to look for...using a shared folder [not using DAM] on a company drive offers no policing, no standards. It's a free for all, so you must know exactly what you are looking for and where it lives.”

Working with a DAM solution is liberating and rewarding because it allows you to search and explore the way you would on Google and get a variety of options in return, not just the one you’re looking for.

Not working with a DAM solution (a.k.a. doing it the old fashioned way) is linear and limiting. With a filename, you get exactly what you’re looking for...and nothing more. Without a filename, you’re @#$!% out of luck.

Make finding the digital assets you need less taxing. Let a smart DAM solution help you work better, faster and more productively, every day!

 

                                                                      Read: DAM for Creatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Need to Manage Your Social Media Images the Right Way, Right Now

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, Aug 01, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

Tags: images, digital assets, database, content, Google Images, CMS, BAM, CDN, Community Managers, Bloggers, photos, photography, search engine, subject matter, digital asset management, social network, DAM, search, social media

digital asset management

Not too long ago, a Community Manager for a large and popular company grabbed an image off the web and posted it. “Well?” you wonder, “What’s so news-worthy about that? We do that all the time, where I work.” Turns out, that image was not in the slightest what that person thought it was. Not only was it not a colorful image depicting an historic U.S. celebration, but rather a tragic moment of national horror captured on film.

No doubt, by the time the news broke and a sick feeling started to sink in with the company’s CEO, that Community Manager was already long gone. It’s a guarantee that he or she will never work in their industry again. But that was just the beginning. The ripple effect from that one seemingly insignificant event cascaded a torrential wave of hate and doubt on the entire company, brand and all. Stocks plummeted, jobs were lost and a reputation was forever marred.

Whether this company will ever, ever regain any credibility remains to be seen, as they will forever be Googled as the company that royally f*%# up.

And all of this happened simply because they did not have a system in place for gathering, organizing and storing images for their social media.

Blindly entering criterion into a search engine like Google Images is just not the way. You’ve got to properly mind your store. And if you’re not the one managing your database of photography, then you need to set firm guidelines for the person who is.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter...sound familiar? If you use them (and of course you do), then you need to set yourself up immediately under any one of these solutions; Content Management System (CMS), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Brand Asset Management (BAM), or Content Delivery Network (CDN).

These can help you safely and effectively create a stockpile of amazing images that are just what you need, ready at a moment’s notice. No more guessing what they are, or where they came from. No more last-minute, frantic searches.

If only that Community Manager had known, we’d have an entirely different theme for this blog.

But sometimes it takes a mega-error to help us reflect upon what we’re doing, and not doing right.

Stop the risk here and now.

Find your perfect digital management solution.

Archives, Archives, who's got my Archives?

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 03:35 PM

Tags: Xinet, DAM Systems, Xinet server DAM Systems, digital asset management, Ad Agencies, DAM, NAPC, data, data management, digital asset protection

We were all thrown into a whirlwind of activity with North Plain's (NP)  notice this year of the End of Life of SGL's FlashNet for Xinet. Here's the State of the Nation with regard to Archives:

In the immediate near term there's a great new archiving solution using modern software. The builder of the integration has a long history of writing to exactly this space, and his current tools allow restores from FlashNet as well. For the medium term, we can help you setup a system that will give you easy access to archives using the familiar tools, while you restore as much legacy archives as you feel needed. Long term- you restore files using the base FlashNet software, for as long as you can find hardware that will support the tape technology in use at time of archive.


SGL's FlashNet is going away, and in it's place we'll be relying on Archiware's P5 Archive. This backup software is robust, modern, with a hugely enhanced toolset, and a long history or being present in this exact space of Graphic Arts. We're excited by the options and capabilities it presents, from hyper-intelligent backups to much better hardware support, to a modern web-based interface. Archive to Disk? check. Perpetual intelligent incremental backups? check. Ability to offload backup off primary disk to either other disk or tape? check. It's great stuff, and we can't wait to help you getting  it in place and using it.

FlashWeb and it's recent replacement WebNative Archive are going away, being replaced by InPress' OnFile. InPress has been building solutions for Xinet for forever, and has a rich history and understanding of how to write robust code for the ecosystem. They have hundreds and hundreds of instances of InPressive and Accelerator out there, and a great tool set that enhances the Xinet experience. NAPC has been doing business with them for years, and are really excited and pleased by North Plains choosing of InPress as the heir to building out the interface between Xinet and Archive. Jorgen and Co. are well on the way to an initial release that will fulfill the common need- an easy way to find archives, submit them for restore, monitor progress, or ask an admin to restore files.

The other large concern we've been facing is how to ensure continued access to legacy archives. SGL's licensing machine is going dark next summer, so if there's a HW failure that requires a new license, one won't be available after that, which is a crippling prospect. We've worked out with NP a strategy for setting up a legacy restore server: a separate, static Xinet setup, one that has a small license but full access to archives through the web interface, to allow for easy user restores while a larger restore operation takes place. We're envisioning this as a small older server (or VM) with the older tape library attached.

In the longer term, for 'deep' archives that weren't worth the effort of restoring in bulk, you'll be able to attach a standalone drive to an even smaller box, and restore the very occasional file through the much beloved X interface. There's never been a license needed for FlashNet to restore through a single tape drive, licenses are only needed to drive a robot or to use the higher level functionality.

We're all over this- we understand the value and need for robust archiving and access to the lifework of your company. Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, etc..., etc....

rob

Video: An In-Depth Look At Xinet Pilot

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

Tags: Xinet, digital asset management, Xinet Pilot

Xinet Pilot from FlatheadU on Vimeo.

I blogged about the new North Plains, Xinet Pilot, when it first came out and we've had a few inquiries about it's configuration and functionality. Xinet Pilot is a Desktop Service. North Plains' description is an evolution from the Asset Browser feature into a Xinet-aware media browser for Mac client desktops. That's the fancy speak. I just call it awesome!

They further explain that Xinet Pilot runs on the client as a service, no longer restricted to working within the a Adobe application. And that's the awesome part: Freedom from the individual applications!

I provide a look at Xinet Pilot in our latest Flathead U video. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

Five Tools To Protect Your Digital Assets Online

Posted by Grant Mongardi on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

Tags: digital asset management, digital asset protection, disaster recovery

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"BEIJING: Cyber attacks that stole information from 141 targets in the US and other countries have been traced to a Chinese military unit in a drab office building in the outskirts of Shanghai, a US security firm alleged Tuesday." - Reuters

Google, Facebook, New York Times, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nortel Networks hacked. What chance do you stand?

If you can't trust your hardware, what do you trust? Information. Information is the key to both preventing and recovering from cyber attacks to your infrastructure. The right set of tools can be essential in protecting your data, digital assets, and your peace of mind.

1. Firewall - The first line of defense.

This is reasonably straightforward, however you need to be sure you're getting what you expect. Newer hardware from Cisco, Sonicwall, HP and Dell should be fine. ZTE not so much. Keep your hardware reasonably up-to-date to ensure the best security at the perimeter. Older, unpatched hardware is just open door.

2. Identity Management - a means of authentication and Identification. You need to know who is in your systems.

You need to maintain a centralized store of usernames and passwords. Islands of unmanaged identities is questionable if it is resides inside your firewall or even worse, on your DMZ. Ensuring that you are both recording login failures and password lockouts is also an essential part of prevention. If you have stores of unmanaged accounts that provide access to anything on your network you really need to make those go away. This is the achilles heel of any security-conscious company.

3. Authorization - You need to know who can do what.

You need to manage what levels of access every account in your organization has. This means that each role in your company should have an assigned set of requirements for infrastructure access, and that should determine exactly what their needs are for privilege requirements.

4. Auditing - you need to know what they are doing or what they did.

Log as much information as possible and review that information regularly. It's often the case that after the forensics on a hacked system that evidence of the compromise was there weeks or even months prior to the system actually being hacked. In fact we've found it's more the rule han the exception. Hackers are lazy, and typically will simply run automated scanning scripts on entire ranges of IP addresses looking for vulnerable systems. They often don't come back to the list of systems until they have some need later on. In many cases you can prevent a system compromise by simply being diligent in monitoring your systems.

5. IDS/IPS - Intrusion Detection and/or Prevention system.

"IDS" if you are unaware stands for Intrustion Detection System. These are typically network-resident systems that monitor network traffic and analyze it for potential nefarious conditions. Some of these systems rely simply on being able to promiscuously monitor all network packets, however some actually use client-installed detection systems that read directly from the machines in question. Using a combination of a well-designed IDS and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) it's pretty much assured that you will prevent 99.9% of network/server compromises.

The part not discussed here is the likelihood of individual vulnerable systems either becoming compromised or becoming vectors for compromise. Some of this can be mitigated by the items above, however it's not silver bullet. The primary goal of the above is to prevent unauthorized access to your critical systems. Preventing access to your desktops, laptops and mobile devices is going to be a much more difficult job.

 

Webinar Playback: The Seven Deadly Sins of Brand Asset Management

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 07:14 PM

Tags: digital asset management, brand asset management, North Plains

brandassets

On Wednesday, we enjoyed the opportunity to cohost a webinar along with NAPC partner North Plains and Henry Stewart DAM entitled The Seven Deadly Sins of Brand Asset Management. 200 attendees from over 20 countries listened in, and NAPC's own Scott Tully took the mic at one point to speak on issues relating to brand asset management.


The sins themselves are as follows: Consistency, compliance, collaboration, connection, communication, control, and cost. Each sin has the potential to cause tremendous embarrassment to your brand and cost your company significant amounts of money. If you missed the event, you can catch it at your convenience; simply watch the playback right here!

The Archive to the Cloud: A Sunny Process

Posted by Mike Gershowitz on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

Tags: Xinet, digital asset management, cloud software, Amazon S3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud Storage

The idea of taking your finished goods, project files, or other files you don't think you'll need ready, and sending them to the ‘cloud’ has gained tremendous steam over the past several years. Historically, the archive environment blended itself very well to maintaining databases, dealing with hierarchies and storage, especially as discs with more space became commercially available.

Unfortunately, the archive has always had some big problems:

-People need to buy new technology to replace legacy technology, not only creating an upfront cost but causing learning curves.

-The archive creates significant capital expense.

-Large archives inevitably create red tape, which there is significant marketplace pressure to avoid.

The historical kneejerk reaction is to simply buy more discs, but this leads to the archive’s biggest weakness: Disc space grows exponentially because archive data never goes away. Disk storage is more expensive than other media types (i.e.: tape), increasingly difficult to manage, and put you at risk even with an effective disaster recovery plan. Having this massive trove of data somehow backed up or stored in a secure facility isn’t a great answer because you lose easy access.

NAPC believes that the real future is a shift to a cloud storage module with it naturally and conveniently trackable by Xinet, leading to the whole concept Amazon is propagating with its array of cloud storage services.

Approaching cloud resources as part of a hierarchical storage management (HSM) environment will provide highly-leveraged benefits. You’ll be able to define business rules based on how much you archive, how frequently you archive, and how much time from the date you archive to the date you upload. You can put rules in place to automatically manage this information and keep the vast preponderance of your data in the least expensive location. When you need to simultaneously convert a large amount of data, you’ll be able to tap Amazon’s ability to transfer as much as 16 terabytes at once from the discs. Everything will be meticulously maintained by Xinet’s database.

If you can accept a four-hour wait to get your data back, Amazon’s Glacier service is extraordinary cheap (just 1-cent/Gb/month). Keep in mind you could easily spend more than 4-hours sifting through massive, unorganized archives and NEVER find what you need. Cloud storage, including Amazon, is represented by cheap pricing with wonderful enhancements of everything being online.

Amazon promises reliability and access, and some people have raised concerns over Amazon’s reliability, but really: Amazon is one of the most successful web companies ever. If you aren’t going to trust your web storage with them, who can you trust?

At NAPC we’ve embarked on a project working with our own Sean Kenny. Sean builds a very comprehensive step that we expect will take everyone into account who uses any integrator, Xinet or otherwise, BrandControl, took into account things like first period of time that someone archives from live to a final resting place, is your highest possibility of needing it back, incorporated the ability to initially put the archive data into the much more live on demand Amazon S3.

Offline information will show up as offline. Everything shows up as the same environment from a user’s perspective to search and browse, to determine for certain it’s what you want, and to automatically request a restore. You avoid additional infrastructure and IT costs and you eliminate the need for creating secondary copies of all your backup discs and storing them in a secure facility.

At the end of the day, here’s what cloud storage nets you for a very modest price: Support, software configuration, a storage fee, and making the cloud a natural extension of the business environment. Perhaps most importantly, your business looks like real thought leaders to potential leads. Who doesn’t like spending less money for even better results?

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