Use AEM Desktop App

Use AEM Desktop App to simplify access to any asset managed in AEM on desktop, for any application and file format.

AEM desktop app is a local application that connects to AEM author, simplifying access to any asset management in AEM. Upon starting desktop app, the url for the AEM author instance is requested. We’ll log in using an AEM user that has been added to the out of the box dam-users group which provides read and write access to assets in AEM. Upon login, desktop app displays all the folders and assets in AEM the user has permission to see. Clicking through the folders provides a browse experience.
Clicking into an asset shows a larger rendition of the asset along with more detailed metadata.
The listing provides quick access to key insights and controls. The asset’s status indicates if an asset has been downloaded for local use. In this case, all our assets are cloud only, which means they have not been synced to our local file system. We’ll see how the status updates as we further explore desktop app. The file menu provides a number of actions for interacting with an asset, and we’ll take a look at these later. Desktop app also allows you to sort assets, allowing you to find the ones you’re looking for more quickly.
Not only can you browse, but full tech search is also supported.
Let’s switch gears and look at how we can use assets locally. First, let’s jump over to the local file system. Upon startup, AEM desktop app creates a local file share that’s used to store synced assets, allowing local applications to access them. You can see that even though we’ve browsing AEM assets in desktop app, there are no assets in the local file system yet. The dam file system mount is empty. There are a few ways we can sync files from AEM into the local file system. We can open an asset, which syncs the asset to the local file system and opens it in the default application registered to the asset’s file type. Edit an asset, this is the same as open, but also checks the asset out.
Download an asset simply syncs the asset to the local file system without further action.
Reveal syncs the asset and opens up a file system window displaying the synced asset.
The checked in or checked out status of an asset can be toggled as needed. Checked out assets prevent other users from making changes to the asset and should be used whenever an asset is being edited or changed. Open in web opens the asset in the AEM author instance’s asset web UI.
As you can see, now all these assets have a status of locally available, indicating they exist in the local file system for use by any application on my computer. Open, edit and download operations can be performed with multiple assets selected or by selecting a folder.
Once assets are on the local file system, they can be used in any application or even edited.
These images were uploaded into AEM upside down. Let’s use desktop app to check them all out and quickly correct their orientation and upload the changes back to AEM. We can select all the assets and edit them, which automatically syncs and checks them out. Using a local application, in this case, Mac OS’s Preview, we can quickly select all the images and rotate them 180 degrees. When finished we can save our changes. Note that this will only save the changes to the local file system, and not yet upload them to AEM. This is a useful feature which allows assets to be incrementally changed and saved without spanning AEM author with micro-updates. Back in desktop app, the status of these assets have been updated to reflect they’ve been edited locally. Note that the thumbnails will continue to display the version of the asset in AEM even after local edits. Desktop app also helps make apparent what files have been edited locally via the view filter.
Changes can be discarded, or the edited asset can be uploaded back to AEM along with a comment of what changed.
Multiple assets can be selected and uploaded at once as well.
The asset transfers view shows a list of the pending and past asset transfers, both uploads and downloads. This can be helpful to understand the state of very large transfers that take longer amounts of time to transfer between the local computer and AEM. Let’s take a look at creating new folders and uploading new assets to AEM using the desktop app. In desktop app we can create new folders and upload discreet files that have been selected for upload.
A powerful capability of desktop app uploads is the bulk uploading of folders of assets, including sub folder trees that contain other assets. Using this approach, desktop app provides a great way to organize new assets locally and then move them into AEM in a controlled manner.
While this example moves only a handful of assets, this approach can be used to move hundreds of assets across many folders. Note that creating new files or folders directly in the file system will not result in their appearance in the desktop app; because desktop app uses AEM as a source of it’s view.
Lastly, let’s take a look at deletion. Remember that additions and removals on the local file system are not automatically reflected in desktop app or AEM.
So a delete to an asset or a folder in the file system does not result in a deletion in AEM. To delete folders or assets, simply select them in desktop app and click delete.
Alright, I hope this video helped you understand how AEM desktop app can be used to access and use assets in AEM. Now go download desktop app and try it out for yourself.
  • Discover assets in AEM via browse and search using a dedicated desktop application
  • Optimized bandwidth management allows upload and download of many, large assets
  • Bulk upload and download folders and assets
  • Access synchronized assets offline
Adobe Asset Link is Adobe’s dedicated solution for working with AEM assets inside Adobe Creative Cloud applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. When using AEM Assets in these applications, Adobe Asset Link is preferred over AEM Desktop App.

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