Continuing from my AEM 6.3 Sites article from Summit 2017, here is a breakdown of the new features for Adobe Experience Manager 6.3 Assets. This comes from the session that I attended entitled: “What’s new in Experience Manager Assets: Top DAM features”. It uses their top 10 list but shouldn’t be considered completely comprehensive to all the new features that will be available with AEM 6.3. These are just the highlights. Special thanks to Elliot Sedegah and Josh Ramirez from Adobe for their presentation.
- Desktop App
There have been significant improvements with the Desktop App over last year’s version. It is reported as being more efficient with Macosx10, because they overhauled it. Assets now can be synched back into the DAM after changes from your desktop. As well as: Background Sync, Folder upload capability, and they tied the web UI to the desktop UI. If you utilize the Desktop App quite a bit, then you will find this quite helpful.
- Embrace Metadata
AEM 6.2 also introduced “Smart Tagging”, the ability for a computer to scan an image and decide what tags might pertain to it. Adobe has enhanced this to the point that authors will now have the ability to review the suggested tags and decide what becomes part of the asset metadata. They even have a confidence score that comes with each tag. This is great— but is a bit useless if you are doing any amount of bulk upload. And while not stated in the presentation, the assumption is that you still have to be using Adobe Managed Services to gain access to this tool. I wish they would start saying this as part of their “pitch”. Lastly, by default they have some new metadata sections for IPTC and creative ratings available by default.
“If you can’t find it then it doesn’t exist.” The biggest improvement to search is Server Side Sorting. This helps to prevent some of the annoyance that comes from infinite scroll. There are now more columns/fields for you to be able to view about your assets. Additionally you can customize your list view settings and configure the columns to display what you want. You also have some controls now to add a multivalue search predicate (essentially it can become an “And” and an “Or”) to your filters that can be indexed and have the search act upon. These seem like valuable improvements.
- Conquer Chaos
This was shown in the AEM 6.3 Sites video as well (See item 1 on our Sites article). The improvement to the Projects section that allow you to see what is happening regarding various tasks, within a particular content workflow. These include a new calendar view and the ability to reassign tasks mid-task. I liked these Inbox changes. They also talked about creating a Master Project, but this seemed less useful to me, however, if you are doing the same project over and over then it might be helpful.
- Review & Approval
It is easier to create a collection and kick off a “review and approve” task. Within the review and approve task, there are some improvements so you can request changes be made to the asset and kick off another task. Annotations now have new controls as well, so that each member making comments can determine what their annotation color is and not get confused when they are all listed within the asset.
This example is showcasing their integration with InDesign server (ID). ID files that have XML tags associated with it will come across to the DAM, indicating what areas of the document can be edited. Users can then use assets within the DAM to populate that ID file. Or you can start from scratch and create a brand new document based off of a template you have saved within the system. So, whatever you can build in ID, you can then use to modify things within the DAM (assuming you marked it up with the correct XML).
Video usage and upload are rising. It is now easier to see how long it will take to upload the video to the DAM. And they claim that it processes faster. You can change the thumbnail in the video, and it will get used wherever that video is referenced. They also said that you can now run video without running on flash (which means support for Apple devices). This was demoed in conjunction with HLS Video. This was skimmed over pretty quickly, but the idea was, that it will provide the proper tools to load and play the video based on your connection. Sounds interesting, but they kind of blitzed through that.
- Social & UGC
Livefyre is now more fully integrated into AEM Assets. It still requires a Livefyre account though, which means the need for a license. But if you rely on User Generated Content, or want to start using UGC, then this is something to consider. There are some rights management requests to make sure that the content you want to use, is allowed to be used. Once approved by the owner; then it will show up inside your DAM to be used.
This seemed very cool. While I have never worked on a project, or with a customer, that utilized 3D imagery, I love that AEM is going to be able to handle and manipulate them, in real time. The example that they showed was a color change on a 3D asset (specifically a car). This only seems to be scratching the surface of what could be done, and they promise that there is lots more to come in this feature. This was the funnest part of the demo for me. But I like cars. 😛
- Smart Tags is Getting Smarter
No idea why they even bothered to mention this since it won’t be coming with AEM 6.3, and the demo didn’t really work. Essentially, they are trying to improve smart tagging by training the system based on your own tags. I guess we’ll see more about this next year…?
Overall, Adobe claims that AEM Assets are much faster compared to previous versions. This was not a talking point that they listed in their top 10, but they did discuss it at the beginning. This goes along with their whole content velocity messaging. I hope that is the case. If you know of any other features that you are excited about in 6.3, let us know via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@axis41).