Metadata profiles

Metadata profiles allow for the automatic application of default metadata to assets within asset folders, helping reduce the burden of metadata management on AEM users, and increasing metadata consistency.

Metadata profiles allow metadata values to be automatically applied to assets in AEM. They’re applied to asset folders and any new or reprocessed assets beneath the apply folders, automatically have these values copied to them. Metadata Profiles provide a great way of ensuring clean and consistent metadata across assets, but do rely heavily on a thoughtful AEM folder content architecture. For instance, here, we may want all our assets under our English adventures folder to always have the language metadata value of English as well as standard copyright information.
We can, of course, do this manually for each asset but there’s a better way using metadata Profiles.
Metadata Profiles are managed by asset administrators via tools, assets, metadata profiles. Any existing metadata Profiles are listed here and new ones can be created by tapping the create button.
The metadata profile management experience uses a UI similar to that of the metadata schema editor.
Metadata fields can be dragged into the metadata profile and configured via the active setting tab.
Let’s set a new field to populate the language metadata property. We’ll drag in a single value field, select it and review the setting options. First, we have the field label, which simply provides context to AEM administrators as to what metadata field will be automatically populated by AEM, but does not impact or influence the Profiles actual behavior. For clarity, this should be in sync with the field label in any metadata schema that might be used to expose this same property.
The map to property field defines the relative path from the DAM asset node to the property that will be populated and the default value. This is simply the value or values that will be automatically copied to the assets metadata when they’re added to folders or subfolders that use this particular metadata profile.
It’s often easiest to jump over to a metadata schema that defines this field to ensure the correct and corresponding map to property is being set.
Likewise, for metadata fields that are driven by control vocabulary, such as dropdowns, it’s often useful to cross-check with the metadata schema to ensure the correct value is going to be set on the profile. Okay, now that we’ve double checked language, we can finish configuring it in the metadata profile editor.
We’ll jump over to the Advanced tab and quickly populate the two copyright fields with the default copyright information as well.
Empty fields on a metadata profile, we’ll do nothing, but it’s nice to clean up Profiles to make it clear at a glance what fields are intended to be populated.
The organization of metadata Profiles, including the tab, section titles, field order and even field labels are ornamental and exist only to help communicate what the effect of the profile will be. That said, keeping metadata Profiles similar in organization and naming to metadata schema; helps keep the metadata Profiles maintainable and understandable. Lastly, it’s worth noting that metadata Profiles will often populate fields exposed by defined metadata schema, but this is not required. Profiles can also populate system level properties that are not made visible to AEM users via schemas, but only used by programmatic actors.
A metadata profile is attached to one or more asset folders and apply its values to all assets in those folders or any subfolders. Select it and tap Apply metadata profile to folders, then select the folder to apply it to and save your changes.
Metadata profiles can be easily removed from folders as well. Tap Remove Metadata Profiles from Folders. This lists all the folders, the profile is applied to, providing a clear view of where the profile is used. Simply select the folders from which to remove the profile and tap remove.
They can, of course, be deleted from AEM entirely by selecting them and tapping delete metadata profiles.
Their application can also be managed via asset folder properties.
Let’s jump over to Assets, Files and navigate to a folder.
Any asset folder that has a metadata profile applied will list it underneath the folder title.
Open its folder properties, select the asset processing tab and review the metadata profile section. Profiles can be applied, changed or removed by selecting the options from the dropdown which displays all metadata profiles in AEM. When selecting a metadata profile, a read only view is displayed beneath the dropdown showing the field and values the profile will add to assets. This provides a handy way for AEM users to understand what values the profile will populate. Keep in mind, this view does not reflect any cascade from parent folders, so the folder properties of a folder which inherits a metadata profile from a parent, will display none in the dropdown.
So our metadata profile is applied to our adventurous folder. Now, let’s explore the ways their values can be copied to the assets metadata. Before we do anything, let’s open up an existing asset and verify that by simply applying the metadata profile, this didn’t copy any of the values. Okay, so just as expected, there’s no language value yet, as well as no copyright data.
To apply a metadata profile’s values to existing assets, simply select them and reprocess them.
This tactic can be used when applying net new Profiles to existing folders or when changing metadata Profiles and reapplying them.
We can see that now after reprocessing the asset with the metadata profile in place, our asset has all the metadata values defined on the metadata profile.
Uploading new assets into a folder or subfolders that have the metadata profile applied, results in the values being automatically written to the assets metadata as part of the assets upload processing. Let’s go ahead and make a new subfolder under our adventures folder, and upload a handful of image assets and wait for them to process fully and let’s go in and check out the metadata to make sure that our language and copyright data has been updated.
Keep in mind profile values are copied down to the actual assets themselves rather than being indirectly inherited, which is why asset processing is required to copy new or change values from the profiles to the assets. As you can see, due to the profiles application at the folder level, and how it cascades down the folder tree ensuring a thoughtful content architecture is in place that can leverage this tool set is of utmost importance. Lastly, I want to touch on how nested metadata Profiles work. Right now we have a profile applied to the adventurous folder, and as we saw assets added to the adventures folder or subfolders, use this profile. So what would happen if a second metadata profile is applied above the adventures folder, say on the English folder, with this new profile somehow apply to assets under the adventures folder as well? The answer is no, assets use the closest profile in their respective folder tree. Because of this, it’s important to be thoughtful with the folder content hard key and metadata taxonomy to reduce the amount of duplication of metadata values across metadata profiles.