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Converting to Extensis Portfolio from Canto Cumulus

Friday March 28th, 2008 by Jim Kidwell

Converting from Canto Cumulus to Extensis PortfolioIt seems that we’re getting more and more inquires lately about converting to Portfolio Server™ from Canto® Cumulus®. There are of course many reasons why you might choose to switch to a digital asset management solution using Extensis Portfolio (award winning interface, excellent technical support, MySQL® 5 support, among many others) but I’m not here to pitch you with a hard sell. To see if Portfolio meets your requirements, and if you’d like to upgrade from Canto, check out all of the info over on the Portfolio pages of our website.

To whom I’m speaking here are those of you who are using Cumulus and are entirely ready to make a change. So, you’re ready, right. Yet, you’re probably the most concerned about how you’ll get data out of Cumulus and into Extensis™ Portfolio. After all, you did all that work entering metadata, why would you want to lose it?

The good news is, when converting you basically have three options. Which option you choose depends upon how your assets are stored, and how much work that you want to perform in-house.

Option #1 – Have Extensis perform the conversion for you

If you have a large quantity of assets that aren’t available online, or aren’t interested in the conversion process, it is possible for the Extensis Integration and Consulting Services (ICS) team to perform the conversion for you. Of course, this option is not without cost, but depending upon your knowledge and needs it may be the best choice.

Requirements:

  • Willingness to help us understand your workflow to ensure an effective and useful conversion.

Process:

During the conversion process the Extensis ICS team uses a variety of specially developed processes to convert Cumulus catalogs into Portfolio catalogs. They can even convert Cumulus catalogs into powerful SQL-based Portfolio Server catalogs.

For more information on the upgrading process, you can contact any of our corporate sales reps, or check out our ICS options at the Extensis website.

Option #2 – Do it yourself with online assets

If you have all of your assets stored online, and don’t mind doing some basic metadata importing and exporting you might be able to do all of the work yourself.

Requirements:

  • All files stored in an online, accessible location.
  • Good knowledge of required metadata.
  • Confidence with metadata export and import.

Basic overview of procedure:

  1. Install and configure Portfolio.
  2. Create a catalog.
  3. Using the online location of your files, catalog all of your files with Portfolio. If you are using Portfolio Server, this can be done automatically with AutoSync.
  4. Export all necessary metadata from Canto Cumulus.
  5. Import the metadata into Portfolio.
  6. Recreate any categories as required.

Option #3 – Do it yourself with offline assets

So, what happens if you have a quantity of offline assets (on CD, DVD, external drive, etc.) yet still want to do the conversion yourself? You can perform the conversion and recreate all of your preview files with a bit of help from those around your office. Distributing the task of re-inserting all of the discs in your catalog among many people can minimize each person’s effort and speed up the process exponentially. This option requires Portfolio Server.

Requirements:

  • Offline files on CD, DVD or other media each with a unique disc name.
  • Good knowledge of required metadata.
  • Confidence with metadata export and import.
  • Trustworthy coworkers or friends to which you’ll use in this distributed method of cataloging assets.

Basic overview of procedure:

  1. Install and configure Portfolio Server.
  2. Create a catalog.
  3. Catalog any online files with Portfolio.
  4. Distribute your offline media (CD, DVD, etc.) to your helpers.
  5. Have your helpers catalog their stack of media.
  6. Export all necessary metadata from Canto Cumulus.
  7. Import the metadata into Portfolio.
  8. Recreate any categories as required.

If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve performed many Canto to Portfolio conversions and are confident in our technology. If for whatever reason you would rather not perform the conversion yourself, please feel free to call our corporate sales department. They can talk through your specific needs and how our ICS team may be able to help you.