Files and data
XS supports many ways of automatically adding files by agents. Your agents simply FTP files to your database and you can set up processing rules for each supplying party separately. We can also load content from external media for you.
Depending on your version of XS, photographers can upload directly. You can allow their files to enter the system automatically and there’s also a submission queue that you can use to review files before that. It’s also possible to allow photographers to edit their own files online. Uploading by photographers is possible with the built-in HTML uploader and FTP.
Metadata is automatically extracted from files that enter the system. XS supports Photoshop/XMP and IPTC. Most editing programs allow you to write either. Automatic assigning of metadata and properties is possible by creating defaults for suppliers and groups (e.g. photographers and agents). And by creating Data processing rules. Data can be edited online and XS will write back the data into the files.
You can configure which database fields are written back into the embedded file data (XMP/IPTC). You can furthermore configure fixed values to be written and there’s also support for macro’s. The process of IPTC injection occurs at the point of delivery, i.e. before a user downloads a file.
Regardless how a file is submitted (i.e. loaded from external media, syndicated, uploaded with FTP or with the built-in HTTP uploader) – each file goes through a number of steps before finally appearing on your website. The entire process can be configured to meet your requirements. Metadata is extracted from your files, metadata may get cleaned-up, enriched, removed and mapped to fields in the database. Files are linked to suppliers (contributors), search- and access filters are created. Thumbnails are generated in different sizes, previews are watermarked and so on. The entire process is often referred to as the “Ingestion process”.
The built-in job server function lets you schedule data export jobs that you can run once or repeatedly – e.g. once daily after 23:00PM. You can export meta data but other data as well. For example users, orders, invoices and so on. The client facing pages also have functions to for example download the metadata of all files in a lightbox.
You can configure data mappings in which you specify the source and target of each value that’s being read when loading new files. Different mappings can be created for each supplier group (e.g. an affiliate agency). Data processing rules furthermore allow you to process the data in different ways depending on who the supplier is. You can find more information about data processing rules here.
Importing user accounts is a service that we do offer. The costs will depend on your data. Generally speaking, importing CSV data files is relatively simple but user logins must be unique. If your data has clear text passwords, then we can encrypt those. If not, then new ones will have to be generated.
We can export files and data to external HDD’s and we can send those to you or any other recipient (e.g. an affiliate agency). We do charge fees for this.
You can have your content partners send us external media directly. There are procedures that must be followed and there are costs involved.
You only have to supply your high res (master) files with embedded metadata. Or with separate XML sidecar files. Everything else is completely automated.
XS websites have a batch edit function that you can use to edit the metadata for many files at once. You can also upload data files to update files already in the system.
XS websites offer many functions for metadata editing. The HTTP uploader also allows you or your contributors to check and edit metadata before submitting the files to the system. The editing function is completely customisable and supports predefined lists, adding keywords from similar files already in the system, a controlled vocabulary, automatic metadata based on defaults from suppliers and/or groups, data cleaning and enriching by use of Data processing rules and much more.
Infradox XS uses Storage broker software to store each master file on a primary and on a secondary location. Both locations are RAID6 storage servers, already offering redundancy. The second location is for fail over purposes, to ascertain maximum availability. If you have one million files of 10MB each, then your Net storage is 10 million MB. Your actual storage is 20 million MB. We charge Net storage only.
All versions of XS have syndication built-in. You can create rules in Back office to specify which files are to be syndicated, and you can create subscribers, i.e. parties that will automatically receive your files and data.
The hosting fees are for use of the platform, hosting hardware, bandwidth, FTP, redundant storage of your master files, support, database backups, and regular free-of-charge version updates. You can find more information on the Features page.
XS Enterprise websites are hosted on dedicated webserver hardware in our data center. Dedicated hardware is available as an option for other clients. We charge monthly fees for this.
We offer WordPress hosting if you want to run a blog or a forum website etc. We charge one-off costs for set up.
You can buy a licence to allow other websites to search your database. You can furthermore allow API users to download files, such downloads will appear as an order in your system. Your website searching multiple databases/websites and then displaying the combined results in your own website is also possible – depending on your XS version. If there’s no support yet for the API of the party that you want to work with, then we can be contracted to program the interface for you. Note that there also other means of exchanging data/files with others without having to use API’s. For more information have a look here.
The use of API’s allows you setup live connections with others. There are many advantages to this approach, but it also creates dependencies and there are limitations. I.e. you can’t offer functions that are not supported by the 3rd party API. In many cases a hybrid solution is ideal. This means that you receive only the metadata (and perhaps a link to low res file). This data can be automatically imported into your database so that you can apply your own restrictions, filters and so on. You’ll then only use their API to get the master file when a user wants to download a file. Note that metadata syndication from your database to the outside world is available in any version of XS.
We don’t host e-mail, XS simply integrates with your current mail server. It is however possible to set up an e-mail server for you, that your website can use to send e-mail to your users.
Depending on your version of XS, you can dynamically create subdomains for your website. Within XS, subdomains can be configured to use a different layout, different locale, filtered content and so on.
Generally speaking, we don’t host domain names or DNS. This is because we think it’s in your interest to separate where your domain is hosted from where your website is hosted. You should be the domain name owner, not another party who took care of it on your behalf. You can configure the DNS entries with your provider to point to the IP-address of your website (which you’ll receive from us).
We can buy and install a SSL certificate for you to run your website on HTTPS. You can also buy a certificate yourself. The costs depend on where you buy your certificate, and if it’s site-wide or for a single subdomain only. Note that www is in fact a subdomain. If you switch to SSL later on, this may affect URL’s already linked to by search engines or other websites.
Physical access to the hosting center – with 24/7 staff on site – requires a key card and finger print verification. We run redundant firewall servers. We can host your website on SSL. Admin accounts can be protected with pin codes and can be limited to specified IP addresses. IP ranges can be black listed. XS pro-actively blocks suspicious traffic. Passwords are encrypted and can not be read online. Too many failed log in attempts lock out users for a specified period. A single user account can not be used concurrently.
We will take care of initial configuration and basic styling after having talked to you about your requirements. You can also read the article First time configuration to get you started.
Customisation can take on many forms. A lot can be achieved by simply changing settings. Further-going customisation can be done with the code editor but this does require certain skills. If you have found someone to work on website customisation for you, then they can search our knowledge base articles for information. We can be contracted to support 3rd party developers if they need help. We can also be contracted to work on customisations for you.
We can be contracted to implement your design which has to take into account what’s possible with the system. XS is a standardised solution and although many changes are in fact possible, some requests may require programming. It’s not easy to list what is and isn’t possible, but you can send us your design and then we’ll be able to tell you. The platform is very flexible and it offers a lot of possibilities.
XS websites are responsive, but making a website really suitable for any device requires coding. This can easily be done with the code editor. Since most XS clients have specific demands in terms of layout and design, the process of tweaking pages for mobile devices is generally done at the end of the design implementation process.
You can include any solid 3rd party plugin with online chat functionality. There are many options available.
XS has a built-in coding language with tags, functions, widgets and so-called condition blocks. You can find a lot of information about this in our knowledge base, here’s a primer that you should read. You only need to familiarise yourself with this if you are going to use the code editor for further-going customisations.
If you figure it out, please do let us know
XS websites have many ready-made forms and you can add your own custom forms too. For example a search request form (instant brief), a website feedback form, a mailing list subscription form and so on.
XS websites can easily integrate with MailChimp. You can add forms to let your clients subscribe to your mailing lists. You can also export e-mail addresses from your user database to import in MailChimp.
Support for video files (for licencing) requires a separate module that can be bought for any version of XS. We charge a one-off fee for set up and ingestion configuration.
We charge one-off costs for set up and configuration of the ingestion/processing workflow. There are no recurring costs and your monthly costs are not affected – except for the costs of storage. How much the storage costs are affected will obviously depend on the number of video files and the size/length of your files. Please refer to your contract for information about the storage prices.
Infradox XS can process virtually any codec, most commonly used are Quicktime, MPEG, Windows Media. Other video file types are supported too. Audio is supported.
The original file is stored unchanged and available for download via the normal file order and download procedures. Note that very large files may affect your storage costs considerably. XS does create shorter video files from your originals for thumbnails and previews. As a default, the ingestion process will generate thumbnail size and preview size clips of approximately 10 seconds and the first few seconds are skipped. These parameters can be changed to meet your requirements. On the thumbnail pages, clips will automatically play when one hovers over a thumbnail. On the preview pages a larger clip is displayed that will also start to play automatically. Preview size clips can be automatically watermarked. We can also overlay fixed text at the bottom of the clip.
Thumbnail- and preview clips are automatically generated as part of the ingestion procedures. Both will play on mouse-over. XS also generates image thumbnails and previews in different sizes. These are jpegs and these are the first frame of the preview clip. Watermarking and overlaying text is also possible.
We generate 4 different file types for both the thumbnail size and the preview size clips and your website will automatically display the correct version depending on the visitor’s browser and/or operating system. Clips will play on Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and most other current browsers. Playback on iPhone and iPad and similar devices is also supported.
The metadata must be supplied in a so called “sidecar” file formatted as XML. Every video file must be accompanied by such a sidecar file and it must contain information that allows us to link the file to the correct supplier. E.g. if you upload a video file with the name myvideo.mov, then there must also be a file myvideo.xml. A file is not processed until both the clip and its xml sidecar file are uploaded.
The process of ordering and downloading video files is the same as the process for ordering image files. You can configure separate input forms for the information that you want your clients to supply. Automatic pricing with the price calculator is currently not available for video files. Video files can be RF or RM. The file that your client can download is the original/unchanged file that you have uploaded.
A media type filter is automatically created so that you can e.g. search for video only. Other custom filters can be created as well as required.
Video files can be part of galleries, series, stories, sets, events and so on. You can also create galleries etc. with both photos and videos.
Video metadata is searchable and accessible and the original files can be downloaded. The API results will contain a path to the jpeg thumbnail and preview for display purposes. Your 3rd party can access the thumbnail and preview clips as well. You can of course also exclude video files for certain API’s.
Metadata syndication is supported for any content type. You can configure syndication and data subscribers in Infradox backoffice.
Client facing pages
Most websites are open to any user, but require one to log in to be able to create orders, lightboxes and so on. It is also possible to allow only logged in users to view previews – or to close down the website completely so that only users with an account can visit the website. You can furthermore restrict access to specific website areas and to hide certain files from guest visitors or even logged in visitors depending on their permissions.
Passwords are encrypted and can not be retrieved. It is however possible to reset the password with a link that can be sent to the user’s e-mail address. Admins can also send such links to users. Most websites are configured to let users log in with their e-mail address, this is a setting in back office.
The XS system lets you dynamically add database driven pages. And if you want to step it up, you can build custom pages with the code editor.
You can enable the currencies that you want to support in Back office. The daily exchange rate is automatically updated via data exchange with the CEB.
Most text is stored in the database and can be changed as required. XS also uses constants that can be edited separately. And the repository lets you change field labels. Localisation is supported.
You can currently use English, Dutch and French user interface languages. We are planning on supporting German and Spanish in a future version. Note that is about the user interface language, not the metadata language.
XS websites offer advanced full text search functions with support for Boolean operators (and, or, not, near), wildcards, live search suggestions, word stemming algorithms, standard- and custom search filters, narrowing and widening search results, category searches and much more.
XS website have a lightbox function that is very useful for your clients as well as for staff members. The lightbox system incorporates many very powerful functions, including sharing (e-mail), rearranging the order of display, renaming, copying, merging and so on.
The Gallery manager is one of the most powerful functions of XS. Galleries are generally files grouped together and organised in a tree like structure. Galleries can be used for portfolio’s, photo stories, sports events, subject galleries and much more. Gallery pages offer many different viewing styles and XS has functions to automatically create and update galleries based on metadata criteria.
Infradox Back office is the area with functions for admins and staff members (e.g. user- and order management, site configuration and so on). Some staff member functions are also integrated within the client facing pages. For example the Gallery manager, the Batch editing tools, tools for inline text editing and so on.
Every XS website has a super admin account. This account has permissions to make certain changes that only the Super admin can make, among which making other users admins or staff members and setting their permissions.
This depends on your version, please have a look here. Infradox XS Enterprise allows for an unlimited number of staff members and admins.
Back office offers many functions, among which configuration and styling options, functions for managing tasks, users, orders, invoices, payments, royalties, quotations, search requests, syndication, data processing, imports and exports and much, much more. Please have a look at the features page for more information.
Please read the article with frequently asked questions about the invoicing module in our Knowledge base.
The Infradox XS platform is suited for commercial licencing, but it is just as suitable for organisations not in the business of selling or licencing content. E.g. for Culture, Government, Publishers, Newspapers and so on. The platform offers DAM functions and it can be configured for the use that you need.
Our clients can get one month free hosting for every new Agency or above client . Feel free to drop us a line if you want more info.
We offer a 5% discount on the managed hosting fees if you pay quarterly, and we offer one month free hosting if you pay per year. We furthermore offer discounts on the hosting fees to NGO’s and NPO’s (non-profit). And picture library start-ups get 10% off in the first year. We have special prices for storage if you need to store high file volumes.
Infradox XS is constantly developed further. We regularly release updates with new functions and improvements, at least 6 times a year. There may also be minor updates with fixes or small improvements. We will update your website automatically and free of charge.
You can post feature requests on the Feature request forum. We try to honor as many requests as possible. The more clients ask for a feature, the higher it moves up on our priority list. Such features will be part of a future update and provided free of charge. We can of course also be contracted to develop bespoke functions for you.