Add digital assets to Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service Assets

Adobe Experience Manager Assets accepts many types of digital assets from many sources. It stores the binaries and created renditions, can do asset processing using a variety of workflow and Adobe Sensei services, allows for distribution through many channels across many surfaces.

Adobe Experience Manager enriches the binary content of the uploaded digital files with rich metadata, smart tags, renditions, and other Digital Asset Management (DAM) services. You can upload various types of files, such as images, documents, and raw image files, from your local folder or a network drive to Experience Manager Assets.

In addition to the most commonly used browser upload, other methods of adding assets to the Experience Manager repository exist, including desktop clients, like Adobe Asset Link or Experience Manager desktop app, upload and ingestion scripts that customers would create, and automated ingestion integrations added as Experience Manager extensions.

While you can upload and manage any binary file in Experience Manager, most commonly used file formats have support for additional services, like metadata extraction or preview/rendition generation. Refer to supported file formats for details.

You can also choose to have additional processing done on the uploaded assets. A number of asset processing profiles can be configured on the folder, into which assets are uploaded, to add specific metadata, renditions or image processing services. See process assets when uploaded.

Assets provides the following upload methods. Adobe recommends that you understand your use case and applicability of an upload option before using it.

Upload method When to use? Primary Persona
Assets Console user interface Occasional upload, ease of press and drag, finder upload. Do not use to upload a large number of assets. All users
Upload API For dynamic decisions during upload. Developer
Experience Manager desktop app Low volume asset ingestion, but not for migration. Administrator, Marketer
Adobe Asset Link Useful when creatives and marketers work on assets from within the supported Creative Cloud desktop apps. Creative, Marketer
Asset bulk ingestor Recommended for large-scale migrations and occasional bulk ingestions. Only for supported datastores. Administrator, Developer

Upload assets

To upload a file (or multiple files), you can either select them on your desktop and drag on the user interface (web browser) to the destination folder. Alternatively, you can initiate upload from from the user interface.

  1. In the Assets user interface, navigate to the location where you want to add digital assets.

  2. To upload the assets, do one of the following:

    • On the toolbar, click Create > Files. You can rename the file in the presented dialog if needed.
    • In a browser that supports HTML5, drag the assets directly on the Assets user interface. The dialog to rename file is not displayed.


    To select multiple files, select the Ctrl or the Command key and select the assets in the file picker dialog. When using an iPad, you can select only one file at a time.

  3. To cancel an ongoing upload, click close (X) next to the progress bar. When you cancel the upload operation, Assets deletes the partially uploaded portion of the asset.
    If you cancel an upload operation before the files are uploaded, Assets stops uploading the current file and refreshes the content. However, files that are already uploaded are not deleted.

  4. The upload progress dialog in Assets displays the count of successfully uploaded files and the files that failed to upload.
    In addition, the Assets user interface displays the most recent asset that you upload or the folder that you created first.


To upload nested folder hierarchies, see bulk upload assets.

Handling uploads when asset already exists

You can upload an asset with the same path (same name and same location) as that of an existing asset. However, a warning dialog is displayed with the following options:

  • Replace existing asset: If you replace an existing asset, the metadata for the asset and any prior modifications (for example annotations, cropping, and so on) you made to the existing asset are deleted.
  • Create another version: A new version of the existing asset is created in the repository. You can view the two versions in the Timeline and can revert to the previously existing version if required.
  • Keep both: If you choose to keep both assets, the new asset is renamed.

To retain the duplicate asset in Assets, click Keep. To delete the duplicate asset you uploaded, click Delete.

File name handling and forbidden characters

Experience Manager Assets tries to prevent you from uploading assets with the forbidden characters in their filenames. If you try to upload an asset with file name containing a disallowed character or more, Assets displays a warning message and stops the upload until you remove these characters or upload with an allowed name.

To suit specific file naming conventions for your organization, the Upload Assets dialog lets you specify long names for the files that you upload. The following (space-separated list of) characters are not supported:

  • invalid characters for asset file name * / : [ \\ ] | # % { } ? &
  • invalid characters for asset folder name * / : [ \\ ] | # % { } ? \" . ^ ; + & \t

Bulk upload assets

The bulk asset ingestor can handle very large number of assets efficiently. However, a large-scale ingestion is not just a broad file dump or a casual migration. For a large-scale ingestion to be a meaningful project that serves your business purpose and is efficient, plan the migration and curate the assets organization. All ingestions are different so instead of generalizing, factor in the nuanced repository composition and business needs. The following are some overarching suggestions to plan and execute a bulk ingestion:

  • Curate assets: Remove assets that are not needed in the DAM. Consider removing unused, obsolete, or duplicate assets. This reduces the data transferred and assets ingested leading to faster ingestions.
  • Organize assets: Consider organizing the content in some logical order, say by file size, file format, use case, or priority. In general, large complex files require more processing. You can also consider ingesting large files separately using the file size filtering option (described below).
  • Stagger ingestions: Consider breaking up your ingestion into multiple bulk ingestion projects. This lets you see content sooner and update your ingestion as necessary. For example, you can ingest processing-intensive assets during non-peak hours or gradually in multiple chunks. However, you can ingest smaller and simpler assets that do not require much processing in one go.

To upload larger number of files, use one of the following approaches. Also, see the use cases and methods

  • Asset upload APIs: Use a custom upload script or tool that leverages APIs to add additional handling of assets (for example, translate metadata or rename files), if required.
  • Experience Manager desktop app: Useful for creative professionals and marketers who upload assets from their local file system. Use it to upload nested folders available locally.
  • Bulk ingestion tool: Use for ingestion of large amounts of assets either occasionally or initially when deploying Experience Manager.

Asset bulk ingestor tool

The tool is provided only to the administrators group to use for large-scale ingestion of assets from Azure or S3 datastores. See a video walk-through of the configuration and ingestion.

To configure the tool, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Tools > Assets > Bulk Import. Select the Create option.

Configuration of bulk importer

  1. On bulk import configuration page, provide the required values.

    • Title: A descriptive title.
    • Import Source: Select the applicable datasource.
    • Filter by Min Size: Provide minimum file size of assets in MB.
    • Filter by Max Size: Provide maximum file size of assets in MB.
    • Exclude Mime Types: Comma-separated list of MIME types to exclude from the ingestion. For example, image/jpeg, image/.*, video/mp4.
    • Include Mime Types: Comma-separated list of MIME types to include in the ingestion. See all supported file formats.
    • Import Mode: Select Skip, Replace, or Create Version. Skip mode is the default and in this mode the ingestor skips to import an asset if it already exists. See the meaning of replace and create version options.
    • Assets Target Folder: Import folder in DAM where assets are to be imported. For example, /content/dam/imported_assets
  2. You can delete, modify, execute and do more with your created ingestor configurations. When you select a bulk import ingestor configuration, the follow option are available in the toolbar.

    • Edit: Edit the selected configuration.
    • Delete: Delete the selected configuration.
    • Check: Validate connection to the datastore.
    • Dry Run: Invoke a test run of the bulk ingestion.
    • Run: Execute the selected configuration.
    • Stop: Terminate an active configuration.
    • Schedule: Set one-time or recurring schedule to ingest assets.
    • Job Status: View the status of the configuration when it is used in an ongoing import job or used for a completed job.
    • Job History: Previous instances of the job.
    • View Assets: View the target folder if it exists.

    Toolbar options for ingestor configurations

To schedule a one-time or a recurring bulk import, follow these steps:

  1. Create a bulk import configuration.

  2. Select the configuration and select Schedule from the toolbar.

  3. Set a one-time ingestion or schedule an hourly, a daily, or a weekly schedule. Click Submit.

    Schedule bulk ingestor job

Upload assets using desktop clients

In addition to web browser user interface, Experience Manager supports other clients on desktop. They also provide upload experience without the need to go to the web browser.

  • Adobe Asset Link provides access to assets from Experience Manager in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign desktop applications. You can upload the currently open document into Experience Manager directly from Adobe Asset Link user interface from within these desktop applications.
  • Experience Manager desktop app simplifies working with assets on desktop, independent on their file type or native application that handles them. It is particularly useful to upload files in nested folder hierarchies from your local file system, as browser upload only supports uploading flat file lists.

Process assets when uploaded

In order to do additional processing on the uploaded assets, you can apply processing profiles on the upload folders. The profiles are available in the Properties page of a folder in Assets. A digital asset without an extension or with an incorrect extension is not processed as desired. For example, when uploading such assets, either nothing happens or an incorrect processing profile may apply to the asset. Users can still store the binary files in the DAM.

Properties of an asset folder with options to add a processing profile

The following tabs are available:

  • Metadata profiles let you apply default metadata properties to assets uploaded into that folder.
  • Processing profiles let you generate more renditions than are possible by default.

Additionally, if Dynamic Media is enabled on your deployment, the following tabs are available:


Dynamic Media cropping and other operations on assets are non-destructive, that is, the operations do not change the uploaded original. Instead, it provides parameters to crop or transform when delivering the assets.

For folders that have a processing profile assigned, the profile name appears on the thumbnail in the card view. In the list view, the profile name appears in the Processing Profile column.

Upload or ingest assets using APIs

Technical details of the upload APIs and protocol, and links to open-source SDK and sample clients is provided in asset upload section of the developer reference.

Tips, best practices, and limitations

  • Direct binary upload is a new method to upload assets. It is supported by default by the product capabilities and clients, like Experience Manager user interface, Adobe Asset Link, and Experience Manager desktop app. Any custom code that is customized or extended by customers technical teams must use the new upload APIs and protocols.

  • Adobe recommends adding not more than 1000 assets in each folder in Experience Manager Assets. While you can add more assets to a folder, it is possible that you will experience performance issues such as slower navigation to such folders.

  • When you select Replace in the Name Conflict dialog, the asset ID is regenerated for the new asset. This ID is different from the ID of the previous asset. If Assets Insights is enabled to track impressions or clicks with Adobe Analytics, the regenerated asset ID invalidates the data-captured for the asset on Analytics.

  • Some upload methods do not stop you from uploading assets with forbidden characters in the filenames. The characters are replaced with - symbol.

  • Uploading assets using the browser only supports flat file lists and not nested folder hierarchies. To upload all assets inside nested folder, consider using desktop app.

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