Use Experience Manager desktop app v1.10

Using the App, the assets within Experience Manager are easily accessible on your local desktop and can be used in any desktop applications. Assets can be easily revealed in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer, opened in desktop applications, and changed locally - the changes are saved back to Experience Manager with a new version created in the repository.

Such an integration allows various roles in the organization to manage the assets centrally in Assets and to access them in the Creative Cloud and other applications, while making it easy to adhere to the various standards including branding.

The key tasks you do using the Experience Manager desktop app v1 include:

  1. Connect with an Experience Manager server
  2. Open assets directly on desktop
  3. Edit and check out assets from desktop
  4. Upload assets and folders in bulk

For the various recommended dos and don’ts, see the best practices for using app. If you face issues using the App, see how to troubleshoot Experience Manager desktop.

NOTE

The desktop app was introduced in Experience Manager 6.1 release and was called Experience Manager Assets Companion App.

Experience Manager desktop app touch-points in the creative workflow

Experience Manager desktop app, along with Assets, integrates in your creative workflow and offers the following touch-points.

Experience Manager desktop app touch-points the creative workflow

Experience Manager desktop app touch-points the creative workflow

Install and connect the app to Experience Manager server

Before you can begin creating or editing the creative assets, connect the desktop application with the Assets server to download and upload assets in the repository. Perform the following tasks:

  1. Install the app.
  2. Set your preferences and connection details.
  3. Connect to an Experience Manager server and mount assets repository as local drive.
  4. Enable desktop actions on Experience Manager server.

Experience Manager desktop app uses an HTTPS connection to connect to Experience Manager server to robustly and securely transfer your assets.

NOTE

For part of or all of the installation and configuration steps, you may need help from your Experience Manager administrator or system administrator.

Install the application

To use Experience Manager desktop app, ensure that your Experience Manager server version is supported by the app. Download the appropriate installation file (binary) for your operating system (Mac or Windows) and install the app.

Detailed configuration can be necessary depending on your network and system preferences. See Install and configure Experience Manager desktop app for more details.

  1. Go to the Experience Manager desktop app v1.10 download page and download the appropriate binary for your operating system.

  2. Launch the downloaded installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the app.

    NOTE

    Only one instance of the Experience Manager desktop app can be installed and be active at a time.

Understand the in-app options and preferences

The application allows for settings to connect and disconnect from Experience Manager servers, view status of uploads, manage local cache, and so on. The default settings work for a typical user of the application. You can tweak the settings to get more out of the application and out of the integration with Experience Manager server. The various settings are described below in details.

Explore Assets Open the local drive in which the Assets repository is mounted. In other words, explore the assets that are now made available on your local machine.

View asset status When changed assets are uploaded or new assets are added to the Assets repository, the application uploads the assets in the background. The background upload allows for smooth operations, without you having to wait for the upload to finish, especially for large-sized assets. You can save your changes locally and forget it. The application takes some time to send these assets to the server, depending on the available bandwidth. You can check the status of the upload, along with some more basic information.

Options Click options from the desktop app tray to access settings to launch the application when your system starts; to connect to the Experience Manager server when the app is launched; and to change the local drive letter where Assets is available after mounting.

Advanced > Manage cache You can control the amount of disk space made available for local caching purposes. The artifacts from the Assets server are cached locally for a smoother experience. You can change the defaults to suit your requirements. Also, you can clear the cache to fetch all assets afresh. When you clear the cache, it preserves your unsaved changes. Any assets not checked into Experience Manager server are retained and not deleted.

Connect to an Experience Manager server

The app supports proxy configuration on Mac and Windows. The configuration is read when the app starts. If you modify proxy settings, restart the app for the changes to take effect.

NOTE

If you modify the proxy settings, restart the app for the changes to take effect. Otherwise, the app continues to use the previously configured proxy server.

  1. Launch Experience Manager desktop app. To map your Experience Manager instance with the app, specify your Experience Manager server in the format https://[aem-server-url]:[port].

    Authenticate on Mac and provide Experience Manager server URL

  2. In the login screen, specify the user name and password for your instance. To specify an alternate Experience Manager instance, select the Alternate Login URL option.

    Provide Experience Manager server credentials on the login screen on Experience Manager desktop app

Enable desktop actions in Experience Manager web interface

From within the Assets user interface, you can explore the asset locations or check-out and open the asset for editing in your desktop application. These options are called desktop actions and are not enabled by default. Follow these steps to enable it.

  1. In the Assets interface, click/tap the User icon in the upper right corner of the toolbar.

  2. Click My Preferences to display the Preferences dialog.

    Experience Manager interface with user preferences

  3. In the User Preferences dialog, select Show Desktop Actions For Assets, then click Accept.

    Check Show Desktop Actions For Assets to enable desktop actions

    Figure: Check Show Desktop Actions For Assets to enable the desktop actions.

Access and open assets on your desktop

When you click Open to open an asset on local machine, the app downloads the asset to its internal cache. The app launches the native desktop application that is associated with the file type of the downloaded asset.

On Mac, select Open from the context menu to open an asset through Experience Manager desktop app. On Windows, select Open on Web from the context menu to open the asset. From the Asset Status window, click/tap Open on Desktop icon to open the asset.

For Adobe InDesign (INDD) files, select Open from the context menu. When you click this option, the App downloads the linked assets to your local file system and then opens the INDD file in Adobe InDesign. This method ensures that the necessary assets are locally available when editing the INDD file.

Context menu options to access and open assets using Experience Manager desktop app

Figure: Context menu options to access and open assets using Experience Manager desktop app.

NOTE

On Windows, the default Windows 7 setting prevents Experience Manager desktop app from handling assets that are larger than 50 MB.

NOTE

Adobe recommends that you go to Finder View Options on Mac and deactivate the options Show item info, Show item preview, and Show preview column for the mounted Assets folder. It improves the performance.

Additional options in Experience Manager interface

After you map the Assets repository to your local drive, you can enable additional icons and the Folder Upload feature to appear for the mapped assets and folders.

  1. Open the Assets interface and hover the pointer over a folder or an asset, to display the desktop actions as quick actions in the Card view.

    In Assets UI, open quick actions menu to see desktop actions

    Figure: In Assets UI, open quick actions menu to see desktop actions.

    These desktop actions are also available when you click the Desktop Actions option in the toolbar after selecting the asset or from the toolbar in the asset page.

  2. To open the asset in the desktop application that is associated with the specific file extension, click the Open on desktop quick action Open on Desktop icon.

    Alternatively, choose Open from the Desktop Actions menu in the toolbar.

To locate the particular asset on your local file system, click Reveal quick action Reveal icon. Alternatively, choose Reveal from the Desktop Actions menu in the toolbar.

Understand the asset statuses

Windows default app icon App is connected to the server and all assets are synchronized.
Windows disabled icon App is launched but is not connected with the server. Some assets may be pending synchronization.
Windows file sync icon Assets are synchronizing. Files are either being uploaded or downloaded. You can see exact statuses and pause the transfers from the Asset Status window.
Windows reconnect icon App is trying to reconnect. Potentially the network issues are causing it to disconnect.

Work on your assets

Check out assets from the Experience Manager web interface

Assets lets you check out assets for editing and check them back in after you complete making the changes. After you check out an asset, only you can edit, annotate, publish, move, or delete the asset. Checking out an asset locks the asset and prevents other users from performing any of these operations. To be able to check out/in assets, you require Write access on them.

There are two ways of checking out assets from the Experience Manager web interface. For detailed information on the first method, see check in and checkout files from Assets UI. Follow these steps, for the second methods to check out and open the asset when Experience Manager desktop app is installed.

  1. Open the Assets interface and hover the pointer over a folder or an asset, to display the desktop actions as quick actions in the Card view.

    Properties option in Card View

    These desktop actions are also available when you click/tap the Desktop Actions icon in the toolbar after selecting the asset or from the toolbar in the asset page.

  2. To open the asset, click/tap the Open on desktop quick action Open on Desktop icon.

    Alternatively, choose Open from the Desktop Actions menu in the toolbar.

    NOTE

    When you edit a file that is just opened and not checked-out, other users do not get to know that an asset is being updated by you.

  3. To open an asset for editing in an Adobe Creative Cloud application, click/tap the Edit desktop quick action Edit Desktop icon. This also checks out the asset for editing. After you finish editing, check in the asset, to update the changes in Assets.

    Alternatively, choose Edit from the Desktop Actions menu in the toolbar.

  4. Select the Open menu option. The selected assets are opened in preview mode.

  5. To edit the assets, select the Edit option. The assets are opened in edit mode.

Check out assets from Finder on Mac OS

The app lets you check out asset files to prevent other users from modifying the files that you’re working on.

  1. From the Mac context menu, select Open AEM Assets Folder option to open Finder.

    Context menu options to access and open assets using Experience Manager desktop app

    Figure: Context menu options to access and open assets using Experience Manager desktop app.

  2. Navigate to the asset you want to check out.

  3. Right-click the asset, and select More Assets Info from the context menu.

  4. In the Asset Info dialog, click/tap the Checkout icon to check out the asset. The Checkout icon toggles to the check-in icon after you click/tap it.

    Browse to asset to checkout

  5. To check in the asset so it is available to other users, click/tap the check-in icon in the Asset Info dialog.

Check out assets on Windows

The app lets you check out asset files to prevent other users from modifying the files that you’re working on.

  1. From the Context menu, select the Explore Assets to open Explorer.

  2. In Explorer, navigate to the location of the asset you want to check out.

  3. Right-click the asset and select Open on Web from the context menu.

  4. In the Asset Info dialog, click/tap the Checkout icon. The Checkout icon toggles to check-in icon.

    Checkout icon toggles

  5. Review the asset in Explorer. The lock icon on the asset Asset lock icon indicates that you have checked out the asset.

    NOTE

    The lock icon may appear after some delay. Experience Manager desktop app caches the assets for quick access so it may take a few moments to update the locked status.

  6. To check in the asset so it is available to other users, click/tap the check-in icon in the Asset Info dialog.

Check in an asset using Finder or Explorer and using web interface

When you’ve finished editing the assets, save the assets in your desktop application. From the context menu, select More Assets Info and click check-in.

The assets are uploaded to Experience Manager server. Optionally, you can check the status of the upload by selecting View Asset Status from the system tray icon. Alternatively, you can check in an asset from the Experience Manager web interface. Click the checked out assets or select it. From the toolbar, click the check in icon check-in icon.

An asset is uploaded to Experience Manager automatically after any changes are saved locally. The check-in makes the asset available to other Experience Manager users for editing.

Bulk upload assets and folders to Experience Manager server

Using Experience Manager desktop app, you can upload an entire folder containing assets from your local file directory to Assets. This way, all assets within the folder are uploaded in bulk instead of having to upload them one at a time.

  1. From the Assets UI, click/tap Create from the toolbar, and the choose Upload Folder from the menu.

  2. Browse to the folder you want to upload and select it.

  3. Click/tap OK. The Assets Status dialog displays the status of the upload.

    See status of the upload in the Asset Status window

    See status of the upload in the Asset Status window

    NOTE

    You can manually pause or cancel the upload by clicking/tapping the appropriate icon.

  4. After the folder uploads, close the dialog and navigate to the Assets UI. The uploaded folder is displayed in the web interface.

Adobe does not recommend to copy-paste or drag larger number of files or nested folders, from the local file system, into the network share area. The app cannot control the upload process due to technical limitations and the performance is poor.

Alternatively, select files/folders you want to upload to Experience Manager in Finder or Explorer, copy them to system clipboard, navigate to the target folder in the network share area, and from the Experience Manager desktop app context menu select Paste Assets. This way, Experience Manager desktop app starts uploading the pasted assets similar to the Upload Folder option available in the Experience Manager web interface.

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