Eliminate busy work with AutoTasks

October 18, 2018

Do you find yourself performing the same tasks over and over when it comes to digital assets? Maybe that’s clearing out last year’s marketing collateral, copy-pasting usage rights onto public-facing images, or resizing JPGs from the latest product photo shoot for the web.

Relax. We can help out with this one.

With NetX AutoTasks, you can write custom scripts that work within NetX to perform specific tasks. This can save you tons of that time you spend formatting, adjusting permissions, tweaking metadata, and moving assets around from folder to folder.

Here are five of our favorite time-saving AutoTasks:

1. Expire Assets

Some assets have a finite shelf life. For example, imagery that is only licensed for a period of time, marketing campaigns that wrap up at a specific date, or promotional assets that are linked to your current theater season, exhibition, or clothing line.

When those assets are no longer needed, cleaning up NetX to ensure only the current assets are being used can a time-consuming process.

With AutoTasks, you can set assets to automatically expire on a target date. As soon as midnight hits on that date, the desired “expiration” functions will be applied. For example, you could set any (or all) of these tasks to occur:

  • Asset is moved to a different folder
  • Access permissions are updated
  • Metadata is updated with expired status and date expired
  • Asset is visually watermarked with an “expired” mark
  • Asset is moved to cheaper long-term storage (such as Amazon Glacier)

No need to mark your calendar — just set the expiration AutoTask and forget it.

Travel Alberta

2. Manage User Permissions

AutoTasks can also help ensure the right people are accessing your content. This can be a huge time saver if you have a large number of people (internal or external) who need to access NetX, and sensitive assets you want to protect access to.

For example, Travel Alberta provides specific user permissions based on a user’s industry. When a new user registers, they get automatic access to a limited library. Meanwhile, Global Visual Asset Development Specialist Maryanne Doran gets an automated email with the user’s information, including company and self-selected industry. She then slots the new account into the right user group, which automatically updates their permissions and triggers an email to inform the user of their new account status and permissions.

Travel Alberta also uses AutoTasks to update permissions on assets when Maryanne uploads them into a specific folder. For example, if she adds a video file to the “Commercials” folder, users will have to send a justification request to gain access to it.

“It’s nice not to have think too much about it when I upload sensitive content into the library,” she says.

Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta

3. Assign Attribute Values

When your assets all need detailed — but distinct — information attached to them, it’s not easy to update them quickly. But with AutoTasks, you can automatically assign attribute values to your assets based on other criteria.

One interesting way this is used is by The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum. When an asset’s status is changed from “Under Review” to “Accepted,” the AutoTask does two things:

  • Moves the asset into a public folder where users with the right permissions can access it
  • Automatically creates a caption that include licensing information and rights by drawing on previously filled values (photographer, year, copyright information, permissions)

4. Linking Assets

You can use AutoTasks to automatically link similar assets together through their metadata. For example:

  • Link a full image of a painting to that same image with a color bar
  • Link different sizes or formats of images together (for example: JPG, TIFF, and PNG, etc)
  • Link a model release form to every image with that model
  • Link product images that all use the same blouse, purse, or other pieces of a look

You can already search for specific metadata values in order to pull up those assets all together, but linking through an AutoTask allows you to create a relationship between assets that is visible from the asset itself.

5. Automatically Generate Derivatives

Many organizations create the same types of formats or sizes over and over: low- and high-res version of the same image, different aspect ratios, a range of sizes, different file formats, etc.

With AutoTasks, NetX can automatically render as many formats as you want and put them right where you need them.

For example, an eCommerce company may need to generate dozens of different image  derivatives for every product they upload in order to support its website’s responsive design. With AutoTasks, when an image’s status is changed to “Final,” the system automatically generates all the needed derivatives, then sends them to an Amazon S3 file bucket where they can feed the website.

How Will AutoTasks Save You Time?

AutoTasks are a valuable way to free up the time you spend on repetitive tasks and ensure consistency in the way you handle digital assets. Learn more about how NetX’s AutoTasks can make managing your digital assets easier, then get in touch with our team.

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