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Exploring Asset Library in SharePoint 2010 (Online & On-Premise)

SharePoint 2010 (both Online & On-Premise) is equipped with new type of Library called Asset Library. Asset library provides place to store your and manage your digital assets and provide enrich interface to view them, another powerful feature is to perform navigation and filtering based on meta data This post demonstrates how to create an asset library, inspect ways how it represents digital items visually, and then how to enable navigation and filtering based on meta data. In order to perform following steps, you must have access to SharePoint 2010 along with at least single SharePoint site collection available to you. One of the easiest ways to start working on SharePoint 2010 is to download Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (RTM) (beware of download size which is couple of GB’s)

  1. Navigate to SharePoint site and click Site Actions à View All Site Content. On the All Site Content Page click Create

  2. Select Asset Library, from the Installed Template and name it My Assets. Click Create.

    This is shown in figure below. Note that, if you don’t have Silverlight 3.0 installed on your machine you will see a different page to create various Lists and Libraries, from there you can select Asset Library.



  3. Click Add new item link and select, on the Upload Document dialog click Upload Multiple Files link as show in figure below and upload three images. You can simply drag and drop files. It’s preferred that you choose images with small sizes for example less than 1 MB.


  4. Once the upload process is complete you should see similar view as shown in following figure. Off course your images will be different. Now hover your mouse over an image and you will see that image in a larger dialog box, with more details, this is shown in figure below.

  5. If you want to see the image in a full window, just click View Item link, the image will be open in full view but use the same browser window. To void this and open the image in new tab press CTRL key and then click View Item link, this will make IE 7 or above open the item in separate tab. This is shown in figure below.


  6. Using the same steps as mentioned in step 3 add at least single video and audio file to My Assets Library. The Asset Library supports WMV, WMA and MP3 format for video and audio. If you try to upload other formats you will receive warning as shown in figure below and file(s) will not be uploaded.



  7. Notice that for audio and video thumbnails shows different icons , as shown in figure below.

  8. Hover you mouse on a video or an audio file and you will see the dialog similar to one that appears for image. Following figure shows the dialog for a video file. Notice you have link with title Play.


  9. Click on the Play link, you will see a video player as shown in figure below. The video will start playing automatically. This video player uses Silverlight and it must be installed locally on your machine.



    Modifying The Default View


  10. If you notice, the information dialog you get when you hover on any file in step 4 and 7 the dialog lacks two key attributes, file type and file size. This is especially important as media files are usually available is various formats and you may want to know the size and type of the file before downloading it.


  11. To modify the view, click on the Library Tab and select Modify View from Manage View groups. This is shown in figure below.




  12. On the Edit View Page, select the Display checkbox for File Size and File Type (File extension) columns as shown below. Click OK to save your changes.


  13. From the Asset Library, hover on any file and you will see File Size and File Type information inside the dialog, following figure shows this for a video and image file.

Meta Data Driven navigation

Let’s take look into another interesting feature of doing navigation on your digital assets based on Meta data. Imagine your Asset Library with several hundred items or even more, finding anything even when you put them into folders will be daunting tasks. With SharePoint 2010 Meta data driven navigation, the filtering will be done based on Meta data tags, but as Meta data can be hierarchical the navigation is natural and provide users most intuitive way seek the items. However this should never be considered as a replacement of doing categorization by using folders. Also note that meta data driven navigation can be applied to other type of libraries and lists too, event to custom lists!


  1. Let’s enable the meta data driven navigation on My Assets library that you created earlier. From the Library Tab, select Library Settings located in Settings group , as shown in figure below



  2. On Document Library Settings page, select Meta data navigation settings link located under the General Settings section as shown in figure below.    


  3. From Configure
    Navigation Hierarchies section, select Content Type from Available Hierarchy Fields list box as shown in figure below.



  4. Click Add > button, this will move the Content Type field to Select Hierarchy Fields list box, as shown in figure below.



  5. On the Configure Key Filters section, select Content Type and Date Picture Taken fields from the Available Key Filter Fields as shown in figure below (If you want you can choose other fields but for this tip these two will be sufficient)

  6. Click the Add> button, both of these fields will be moved to Selected key Filter Fields, as shown in figure below. Finally click OK to save your changes.



  7. Browse to the My Asset library, notice a hierarchical menu on the quick launch as shown in figure below, this enables you to perform navigation on items based on fields in the content type.


  8. Expand the Content Type node by clicking on the small arrow as sown below.

  9. Now click on any of the value, for example Image. Notice when you make this selection, the view on the right is filtered based on this value, following two figures shows the view when selection is done for the values of Image and Video respectively.

  10. Finally lets quickly take a look at Key filtering option present just underneath the navigation we seen earlier, this is shown in figure below.

  11. From the Content Type drop down select Image and from Date Picture
    Taken calendar select date when one of the images were originally take (note that your uploaded date and picture taken date will differ). Both of these selections are shown in figure below. Finally click on Apply button. The library view will filter any images that are not taken on the date you had specified.



    To sum up Asset Library is an excellent way to store your digit assets including images, audio and videos. Combine with other powerful collaboration and content management features of SharePoint 2010 you can now use SharePoint in your organization in much more productive ways than ever before.



5 thoughts on “Exploring Asset Library in SharePoint 2010 (Online & On-Premise)

  1. Edit the digital item and set “Preview Image URL” column to a valid URL of a thumbnail image. When this is set to a valid URL you will see the thumbnail image instead of default reel image. SP 2010 wont do automatic thumbnail so you have provide your own thumbnail image.

  2. I’d love to get the metadata established before bringing images into an Asset library. Any helpful tips on this? I have Adobe Photoshop CS5, but they don’t play together well.

  3. Due to the volume of images I deal with, is there a tool or program that is compatible w/ sp2010 that I can prepopulate my metadata prior to uploading into SP? For example, City and State, or City and country?

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