2017-04-12: Investing in the future
QBank 3.0 is over three years old and counting! We have a lot of wonderful clients using the system, each in their own way. One of the big goals in QBank's road map this year is to evaluate how the system is being used. Having this data is massively useful when deciding which features need to be developed, which parts of the interface that might be lacking, and which useful functions that you might not even be aware of, that we might need to promote better. A lot of time is being invested in extracting relevant data and figuring out how we can best use it. And don't worry; we're not tracking your personal whereabouts!
But as usual, while we're working hard at background improvements like this, we've got a bunch of new features for the interface;
While you have been able to upload audio files, we haven't really had any more extra support for it in the interface, like playback, downloading variants, etc. The last update includes playback support in the detail view, converting to different audio formats, and viewing the actual waveform of the file as thumbnails! When applicable, we can also extract embedded album covers from the audio files to use as previews and thumbnails!
Download variants from moodboard
While downloading the original file from media in moodboards have been sufficient for a long time, an increasing request for downloading specific image templates directly from the moodboard has pushed this feature up the development backlog. When creating and editing moodboards using the Business template, you now have the option of allowing download of the original file, and/or any templates you wish the visitors to have direct access to!
Access level history visible across the interface
Access adjustments made to media/folders/moodboards/categories can now be followed in the respective history feeds along with the usual edits, status changes, etc. Your colleague can't open the media you shared? No problem! Just check the media history and any unwanted changes should be easy to spot!
The user and group panels now have a new tab where you can view a summary of group/user, category, publish site & functionality access for that group/user, or maybe more importantly; a list of functionality the group/user does not have access to.
Detail media statistics
You can now find individual media statistics through each detail view, giving a summary of views, downloads and user activity for your favourite files!
Other noteworthy adjustments and fixes:
- Downloading files from a moodboard will "open the download" in a new tab in your browser until further notice. Changes to how we handle creating and downloading files have required us to do this change for now, while we work on a better solution in a future update.
- Mandatory properties are now highlighted in the upload dialog.
- "Back to search" button has returned to the detail view! Using the button will take you back to the search result from where you entered the detail. This may be preferable instead of using the browser "back" multiple times.
- Added clipping path command to image templates, to enable creating transparent background images from non-transparent images by using clipping paths (when available)
- Improved validation when publishing to social media, such as checking and possibly cutting title length before publishing to YouTube.
- New users who haven't received their welcome mails for some reason, will be highlighted in the user list on the administration page.
- There is now a plugin that creates an attachment file when publishing media. The attachment contains more or less complete media information, and can be exported in CSV/XML/JSON. This plugin is very useful for creating automatic export functions, or integrating easily with other systems. Contact your sales person for more information!
Have a nice easter!
The optimization work in december has continued during january. Apart from skimming the top off load times everywhere, QBank is also running on fresh new servers, which has provided noticeable performance boost.
- Falcon.io added to connectable social media sites! Read more about Falcon.io.
- Added option of specifying relative date formats in date filters. When you specify any date criteria in a search, you can instead of the "YYYY-MM-DD" format choose to specify a dynamic time period, like "+2 months". This is mostly practical when saving the filter to a saved search, since every time you load that search, it will calculate the given time period from that moment.
You can use this to set up filters to for example quickly find media that are expiring within a month, or media that have expired the last week. The relative dates are powerful can be specified very detailed, like "first friday of next month" or "last day of this month". Read more about formatting here
- You can now set/change user type in the user administration panel.
- Mandatory properties are now highlighted in the upload dialog, to show that the field is important, even if you can skip filling it in at that stage.
- Several bug fixes
2017-01-23: General statistics
Added another box of statistics under Backend statistics and Frontend statistics. This box is called "General Statistics" and contains information of some of the most interesting points of measurements, between selected dates.
Major changes and feature:
- PowerPoint and open document presentations have thumbnails now! It's more then that actually. In the detail view of a presentation there is a small button (when you hover the mouse over the preview image) which opens up the whole presentation directly in your browser. No plugins needed!
- Slide builder is now available. Slide builder is a tool for creating new Microsoft PowerPoint presentations based on one or more existing presentations where it is possible to mix and match individual slides. Read more here!
Minor changes and maintenance:
- Optimizations of the first load and searching has been done. These optimizations are not applicable in all cases but some customers should notice some improvement in overall speed.
- Bug fixes.
2016-12-13: Interface face lift and snowflakes
Major changes and features:
- It's snowing! Winter has come to QBank, if you're more of a summer person you can disable the snowfall through a toggle in the upper right.
- The login page has had a face lift! We hope you'll enjoy the new look, which will be updated to keep in style with the current season!
- More mail notifications! You'll find the growing list of notifications under your personal settings in QBank. You can now get notifications when there's a new version of a media you've downloaded, or when someone downloads/approves/publishes a media you've uploaded.
- Administrators with access can now update the logotype and a few additional settings for your QBank. These options can be found under "Administration" -> "Settings"
- We now have a MailChimp integration! If you're using MailChimp to handle your company email, you can now setup an integration to allow QBank images & videos to be published directly to your MailChimp file archive. Of course, you can decide exactly which sizes and formats are made available! Contact your QBank sales representative for more information!
Minor changes and maintenance:
- Publishing and unpublishing have gone through a lot of reworking and tweaks. As our customer base grows, our publishing system is continiously being pushed beyond limits to keep up with all the work. We've had visible issues that have affected customers, mainly in our shared environment, during the last couple of months, which we've worked hard to solve. New code and more hardware in the background have mended the problems for now, but we'll continue to monitor and improve the cogs in the background!
- We've added a little more useful information to the user administration pages about last logins, failed logins etc.
2016-10-07: Implemented and upcoming features
We have some new features and changes to share with you, and a sneak peak on what we're working on!
Major changes and features:
- Checkbox properties are now instead "Yes/No" radio buttons. This should be an improvement to both usability, property overview and the feel of the inputs in the interface in general.
- Access setting views and dialogs have been reworked. The interfaces should no longer feel different from each other, apart from slightly different naming on the access columns according to the object you're updating. Some issues with access being lost or other oddities should hopefully not be a problem anymore after these clarifications.
"0-access" will also be displayed properly in the interface, i.e. when a user or group gets "no access" set, there is an extra checkbox to indicate that the row should actually be saved with "no access", and not removed from custom access entries. This was handled differently before (and sometimes not at all) but should now be more intuitive.
- There is now a plugin to help with automatic cropping. For frontends or other implementations where automatic cropping templates are used, this plugin will make it easy to correct and fine tune the origo placement for individual media. Contact your sales person for more information!
- You will now receive fewer email from the QBank robot. According to a new setting under "User menu -> Settings -> Notifications" will allow you to select the interval you wish to receive these periodical digests. At writing moment, the digest will mostly contain information about moodboards, but as we add notifications to various QBank events, those will be added to the digest.
- Watermark images! Image templates now have the "watermark" command available. Simply upload your logo or copyright text or whatever you want to use as a watermark, apply the command to an image template and select your uploaded "watermark media". This will of course work when downloading templates from QBank backend, but also when connected to publish sites.
- Document templates! Or at least one document template right now. Document templates will be extended with time to allow, for example, conversion from non-PDF formats to PDF, extracting text from documents into a plain format, or getting specific pages displayed. For now, the document template will allow us to publish the original document to publish sites that otherwise don't include the original file. Many implementations skip publishing the original file, as thumbnails are sufficient, but for documents you usually need the original file.
- QBank now supports complex password policies! You can activate the policy in your QBank to ensure for example that user passwords meet certain requirements, aren't used for longer than a certain period, or that passwords aren't reused when a change is required. This makes QBank fully compliable with any policies or ISO certifications your company may implement.
- IP-Whitelisting! What was previously custom settings made by technicians can now be implemented by any QBank administrator! Whitelisting means you can limit who can log in to your QBank by specific IP addresses.
Minor changes and additions:
- Multiple edit dialog has been polished, the suggested values should appear and disappear as expected and some quirks with changing category in the dialog have been ironed out.
- Added a blank template to mail customization page. Instead of branding the layout of the mail to your liking, you can contact your sales person to use a blank template instead of the QBank branded look.
- Added "Parent" search option to filters. This will allow you to either include or exclude grouped media from your search results.
- Added "External usage" search option to filters. This will allow you to quickly find media that have been used, or exclude media that haven't, from search results.
- Added options to get email notifications when someone comments or uploads media to one of your moodboards.
- Added search term statistics to backend statistics overview. Like for frontends, you will now be able to overlook the most popular searches and the average hit rates.
- Administrators will get a warning on the user administration page when new users don't receive their welcome mail.
- Fixed Internet Explorer problems with drag-and-drop uploading.
- Fixed some quirks with subfolders to deleted folders. Subfolders will now also be deleted when their ancestor is. There were some cases were you could get unexpected search results, or the subfolders would appear as "bastards" in search suggestions and folder picker dialogs.
- The "Autodeployer" plugin now allows setting up more than one publish condition. Different file types may be published to different sites, several property criteria may be set up, and an additional option to publish somewhere when a file is published to another site has been added.
- A new plugin will copy folder titles into specific media properties when media are added to the designated folders. This complements the existing "folder data to media property" plugin, where folder properties are copied to media added to the folders. These plugins can be used to automate the tagging procedure when you upload media. If you have a common set of property tags, or multiple sets, that are often indexed on media, you can simplify this process by uploading to specific folders which will automatically tag the media for you. Contact your sales person for more information on either plugin.
- When there's only one moodboard template to choose when creating a moodboard, that template will be automatically selected. Finally!
- The upload dialog should now be smarter at figuring out what type of file you're trying to upload. Previously you would have problems when the file type wasn't detected properly, but the category was restricted to certain file types, thereby preventing upload.
- UTF8 characters (ÅÄÖ etc) in media titles should now be sorted correctly when sorting search results by title. There are still some issues with UTF8 chars, there can for example be cases where you don't get the expected results in a search because of how the characters are saved, but we're working on that!
- The publish dialog now has little cogwheels on each publish site row, clicking these will show all templates to be created when publishing, and allow you to select specificially which ones you want to be included. This is useful when you add a template to a publish site and need to republish everything; instead of republishing all the other templates you will save a lot of time by simply converting the new template(s). It is also useful if you've updated previews or thumbnails and don't need to republish the original files.
- Plugin support has been improved, allowing us to create even cooler plugins for you! If you've ever wished something worked differently, or had some idea on how QBank could make life easier for you, give us a call and we'll sort it out for you!
There's now also a proper procedure for updating plugins, allowing older versions to keep functioning until the new version is manually installed.
- Property validation is now properly implemented everywhere. There were some unfortunate side-effects of this affecting certain existing work flows which had unknowingly exploited some holes in the property value validation.
- Some loop-holes regarding access when creating folders and moodboards have been patched. This led to some problems where access would fall off entirely when users without access to update access tried updating folders or moodboards.
- Apart from everything above, we're always working on improving stability and making QBank faster and smarter! A lot of the work we do is hardly noticeable for the users, but know that even if development seems stagnant for periods, a lot is going on in the background! QBank is a huge beast, and as it's constantly evolving we will inevitably introduce bugs and issues that couldn't be foreseen, but thats where we thank you, our diligent users, for helping us identify these issues and squashing them before they become serious problems.
2016-07-23: New Plug in!
Hello customers! Welcome back to work. I hope you had a great summer vacation with lots of happy moments.
While you were out catching Pokemons in the sun our fantastic developer did some great work *evolving* a new plug in. With this new plug in you can highlight assets in your Qbank with colorful frames. Feel free to choose color. You might want to highlight assets that no longer are in use (archieved pics or expired pics for example).
Contact us if you are interested in this new Plug in. We like it a lot and we think it can be useful for you too
2016-07-15: Summer bug extermination and list of new stuff
The time before summer at QBank usually consists of meeting deadlines and wrapping up projects, before we and our customers go on vacation. We usually end up with a week or two where we can focus on cleaning up and fixing those little things that we just haven't gotten around to during the work year.
This last month we've been able to terminate about 14 bugs/issues in varying scale, and since the last update to this post we've implemented the following features and improvements;
- Hierarchial properties! Create a tree of property values, useful for things like product categorization, locations, and events. This feature deserves a post of it's own and will get highlighted more when it's been fully integrated and adapted into existing workflows.
- Improved filtering on dates in newsfeed. There are now two options instead of one to easily define a before/after date filter for events
- Add/remove users to groups from user administration page. A shortcut to having to go into each group and add a selection of users, you can select the users in the user list instead and add to one or more groups.
- Possibility to filter user list in user administration page based on user type. For customers with more than one type of user in their QBank (like Frontend users or other custom types) it is now possible to select which types you want to view and edit.
- Limit the amount of media thumbnails shown in multiple edit. Max 100 thumbnails will be shown (but you can still edit any amount of media you wish!), to prevent possible freezeup in some browsers when a large amount of images are suddenly added to the page.
- Improved "Suggested values" popover in multiple edit dialog. It should now feel more natural and intuitive in the way it appears and closes. There were also a couple of bugs with the values shown and the fact that now values were shown if you changed category.
- Change checkbox type input to a Yes/No radio to make the field easier to edit.
- Properties not connected to a media category will now be hidden from the search filter options.
Many of the bug fixes and improvements have been requested by you, our dear customers, so thank you for helping us make QBank a better product for you!
Until next time, have a great summer!
2016-05-18: Search for media with or without a property value set
Search for all media that has no value set for a specific property, easily find media that have not been correctly indexed yet.
2016-05-03: Property white list in upload dialog via moodboards
Today we added the possibility to hide property fields in the upload dialog, when uploading assets via moodboards.
2016-04-25: Slideshow style preview from search result & more
It is now possible to press the space bar after selecting one or more media in a search result to get a large preview. Afterwards you may use the right & left arrow keys to browse between the previews. When you don't have any media selected, the space bar will retain it's default browser behaviour (usually scrolling the page).
It didn't take us a month (since last update here) to develop this feature, but we've mostly been working on backend stuff, optimising tools and eliminating one or two bugs. There's also been a lot of plugin work, which we don't usually mention here. Most of the new developments and features are created as plugins, since we want to keep everything that a specific client requested or features that "someone" might use out of the core toolbox to keep it from cluttering or slowing down the interface.
2016-03-30: Virusscan plugin
On popular demand a plugin to scan newly uploaded files for viruses is available, contact your account manager for more information.
2016-03-11: Customizing e-mail
We rolled out an update to the admin interface in QBank which allows the administrator to change the default texts which are shown when a user wants to send a link to a media or moodboard to another user via e-mail. This allows you to personalize your QBank and use your own culture and language to present content from QBank.
The system allows for some place holders which will be replaced before the text is shown to the user. These place holders are special tokens and is shown for each text that is customizable.
We now also offers custom email templates (for a small fee) which allows you to brand all e-mails sent from your QBank with your graphical profile. Contact your account manager to know more.
2016-03-08: Working on our relationships
The past month and a half has seen a lot of focus on usability and relationships between objects. Relating assets have been possible through grouping them or using folders or moodboard to create arbitrary collections of media. A possible downside of grouping is that the grouped assets are taken out of the flow to simply tag along in the back seat of the main media. When the grouped assets still need to be searchable and available for use, gathering related files in a folder has been the option. The downside of this approach is that it really only works when browsing folders. Searching normally outside of the folder tree won't give you any indication of these arbitrary relationships.
We've been encouraging you to use our third option, the media picker property, in this case. It has been used to some extent, but to increase the usability we've now made a couple of improvements to the tool:
- Media pickers can now be connected to each other. This basically means that when you tag one media (item A) with another (item B), the other (item B) can also be automatically tagged with the media that tagged it (item A). It doesn't have to be the same media picker property being updated either! You could have one media picker property called "Modeled by", and another called "Clothes modeled". All the clothes images would have the "modeled by" property, and tagging a model there would update the model's "clothes modeled" property. So the model media will automatically show all clothes that have been worn and vice versa.
- Media pickers can include tagged media in searches! Each media picker property has the option of including any tagged media whenever the media that tagged them shows up in a search result. Continuing on the example with models and clothes, this could be used to show all images of models wearing a garment, when you search for the garment.
- You can now set a default filter to be applied when opening a specific media picker. Continuing on the clothes and models example, this could significantly speed up the process of finding the model you want to tag a garment with, by specifying a starting filter that looks for "image type: model" or similar keywords when the "model" media picker is opened.
Other related features:
- We now have a copy tool! This complements the multiple edit tool and is ment to be used when you have a media from which you wish to copy all properties and/or folder & moodboard placements onto any number of other media. This can for example be used as a way of templating a series of common indexations and quickly applying them to new uploads.
Read more about the copy tool here!
- There is now a plugin that allows you to connect a moodboard to one or many folders. When media is added or uploaded to the moodboard, they will also be added to any connected folders! Moodboards aren't really ment to be a permanent means of sorting and finding media, so a way of getting a more lasting indexation is to add them to some logical folders. Of course, the best way of categorizing media is to tag them directly, which is why...
- ... we've also made it possible for a folder to set properties on media that are added to it! The properties are inherited through any parents aswell, giving you the ability to create a corresponding "property tree". This means that you can create a more or less automatic tagging flow where you have a folder structure describing a full indexation of any files placed out in the lowest "branches", and each end branch is connected to a moodboard, where files can be uploaded by external users. Voilá, you can now do the job once and never have to worry about it again!
- We've opened up properties for publish sites, the same way properties work for media or folders for example. This allows us to build more dynamic portals and frontends, where you as administrator can set anything from informational texts, banners, up/down dates etc. through the QBank backend. QBank can now basically be used sort of like a small-scale CMS (Content Management System).
- Category file validation has been added. This enables you to set specific rules per category dictating what type of files can be uploaded/added to them. When categories represent file types or high/res images, you can make sure that the correct file is uploaded to the correct category.
General improvements and fixes:
- Grouping assets where one or more files are published will suggest re-publishing the affected files, to make sure any changes are pushed to external channels.
- More hotkeys! See this post for a complete list of current hotkeys and other shortcuts in the QBank GUI
- Sorting in lists across the interface is now language specific according to the interface language chosen by the user.
- The "new assets" badge on the library/uploaded/trash tabs won't be immediately removed from the first tab you visit, giving you the chance to actually see how many new files there are in your default tab.
- Any text that you paste into the input field of a keywords property will be automatically split on comma's and inserted as many keywords, instead of one long keyword with a bunch of commas in it!
- Moodboard description field is now formattable. Enhance your description with the common bold/italic/font size variations.
- Added some basic file information to a tooltip when hovering search results. If you have two very similar thumbnails you can differ between them by hovering to see the original filename, size, and file type.
- Improved navigation in the user administration page. There is a simple search field that searches username/first- & lastname/email/ID. The user list will also scroll independently from the actual data form in the right column, so the entire page doesn't jump unexpectedly to the top when selecting a user.
2016-01-25: Set titles for files during upload
Sometimes we add some piece of functionality which may make you wonder why it wasn't there in the first place. The answer to this question is usually that we wanted the functionality all along and had it on the to-do list, but either didn't know exactly how to implement it, or simply had it on very low priority.
Setting titles during upload is a good example of this. We introduced the "Clean titles" option to the upload dialog a while back as a sort of workaround while we were still discussing the best way to solve the main issue properly. The solution we finally ended up going with is simply clicking the respective filenames in the table column, setting the desired filename, and clicking the save icon or simply pressing the enter key. The "Clean titles" option remains and will still apply to unchanged filenames when checked, but will not be applied to the titles you set manually.
2015-12-01: Usability & annoyance fixes (removed, not added!)
- When dragging media to a folder or a moodboard you can now hover with mouse over the respective tab headers in the left column to change to that tab. This is an intuitive action that was lacking, so if you were going to drop media in a folder but you were looking at the moodboards, you would have to cancel the dragging action and switch tab before grabbing the media and dragging again.
- Video previews are no longer limited to 2 minutes! There's still a max duration but it is far more generous and based on the resolution of the video. A 360p video will get a max duration of around 20 minutes while a 1080p will be restricted to around 10 minutes (a couple of other factors play a role in the calculation). Previews are ment to be previews and not a lower resolution of the entire film, we have video templates and the video tool available for that purpose, but the 2 minute cap was deemed unreasonably short. Most of the videos that our clients upload are commercials and presentation material so the new max durations should work out nicely!
- Added total file count and size to the upload dialog. When uploading a lot of files it wasn't clear exactly how many files you had added. With this new footer information it will be clear if you accidentally included the wrong version of an asset or selected the assets from the wrong folder.
- The "Deploy" term with related uses has been changed to "Publish" across the interface. Both terms were used and we usually communicated related actions as "publishing" through our various channels.
- When scrolling a search result there's now a much better indication that more results are being loaded in the form of shimmering placeholders. New search results begin being loaded when you approach the end of the page so they are usually added before you actually end up where they will go, creating the popular illusion of "infinite scroll". However, on slow connections or complicated search queries combined with very fast scrolling, you would sometimes "catch up" with the autoloading, seeing an empty space where the new results were going to be appended. Instead of this buggy-looking white space you now get a clear indication of what's going on aswell as the indication that QBank is working on it and haven't just quit on you!
2015-09-23: A couple of improvements
- Added the option of writing descriptions for categories. The optional description will show up as a tooltip in the upload window when hovering the respective category, as well as both the single and multiple media edit views.
- When creating new media through the image tool, the suggested title will be appended with the template used (if one was used).
2015-09-15: Search for duplicates
There's now a filter called "Duplicates" in the filter dropdown. Adding this filter will limit searching to only find duplicates (of course still matching any other search filters).
While you still have the option to click on the warning triangle when QBank finds a duplicate in the uploaded tab for example, this additional filter may be useful when cleaning up amongst media, or when you need to find duplicates you know exist but that may have slipped down far in the general search result.
2015-09-15: Keep changed thumbnails & previews when uploading a new version of a media
You are now presented with the option of keeping any changed thumbnails and/or previews for a media when uploading a new version of it. If the media has a custom thumbnail or preview, this option is checked by default. If not, you still have the option to keep the current images for the new version regardless. This is useful if you're for example uploading a new version of a JPG image, but the new version is an editable format such as PSD/EPS/AI, and there's a risk that the new thumbnail will have unwanted transparency or other artifacts that the JPG version doesn't.
2015-08-28: Added option to view unapproved media in folders & moodboards in the library tab
The splitting of content into the Upload & Library tabs is intended to help create a workflow in QBank. Newly uploaded files are somewhat quarantined in the upload tab until someone with access approves them and they can start being published and otherwise used, giving the user confidence that the file is indeed relevant and correct for the purpose.
A side-effect of the tabs has been that users are sometimes confused or misled by an empty folder or moodboard, when for example he or she was clearly informed that new material had been uploaded. Coupled with this side-effect is of course the extra couple of clicks that would be required to go to the correct tab and finding the folder again there, instead of getting some help from the view in the other tab. In an attempt to get rid of this possible annoyance, we've added an option to the toolbar when viewing a folder or a moodboard in the library tab to toggle this feature on/off. Any unapproved media in the library tab will show up semi-transparent in the search result.
2015-08-23: Prefill properties automatically when publishing to social media
A social media channel such as YouTube can now have it's fields (title, description, visibility etc) hooked up against media properties, so that they are filled out automatically when you deploy to that channel. Each channel is customized separately so that different YouTube channels may take their prefilled values from different media properties.
2015-08-16: Send passwords & login instructions to new users
Something that should have been in place since day one, but better late than never! When creating users through the admin panel you now have the option of letting QBank specify a password and/or mailing the chosen password to the user with login instructions.
2015-08-15: Improved presentation of multi-page PDFs
We have implemented an improved view to show the contents of a multi-page PDF document, not requiring you to download the document or install any browser plugins. Simply hover over the preview image (see below) and click view document.
2015-08-07: Revamped support tab
We have updated the support tab; in addition to making it easier to get in touch with internal first line support within your organisation (if defined), it now also links directly to our knowledge base where you can find helpful articles, the QBank manual and tutorial videos.
Internal contacts can be designated by checking the "First line support" checkbox under account administration.
2015-07-25: Custom folder icons
When creating new folders, you can now choose a custom icon as the folder thumbnail in QBank. When setting up the folder in Administration, simply choose your desired icon from the icons list and create a new folder type with the new icon. You can then select this folder type when you Edit a folder Library and setting the folder type to the one you just created.
2015-05-13: Improved handling of embedded metadata
Improvements to the admin interface that allows any embedded metadata in files to automatically populate any metadata property. [Read more]
2015-05-10: Publishing to social channels
You can now publish assets directly to YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. [Read more]
(This is a promoted article)