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Documentation & User Guides | Fotoware

What is an index?

Learn the basics about indexes and how they work.

What are indexes?

As the name implies, Index Manager uses what we refer to as indexes - containers where it stores all the metadata it has extracted from the assets you add to the system.

You can think of an index as a collection of files, or assets - Archives are set up in FotoStation and FotoWeb, and connect to the index and display its contents. It's also possible to configure clients with several archives that point to the same index, but by using search filtering they can display different content in each archive.

In its simplest form, the term index refers to the folder in which Index Manager stores the files that contain searchable metadata that is extracted from files in the attached document folders. However, most of the time you will find that the term refers to the folder with the actual index and the attached document folders as a collective unit. In other words, it is used for what a FotoStation or FotoWeb user would typically refer to as an archive. Although the context often reveals which of the two we are referring to, we will make an effort to clarify the distinction when that is called for.

How do indexes work?

Index Manager scans the document folders that you configure in the Index Manager Setting app and creates a reverse index of the content. The index itself is binary and is not human-readable. After you create an index, updating mechanisms in Index Manager make sure the index is updated when new files come into the watched folders or are removed. This ensures that they reflect the actual state of the files in the DAM system and serve this information to FotoStation and FotoWeb clients.

For more information on how file discovery works in Index Manager, see How Index Manager file discovery works.

For more information on Index Manager caching routines, see How Index Manager caching routines mechanisms work.

How to create and set up an index

Before creating an index, you should know that it really consists of two basic entities:

  • a folder that contains the data it extracts from the assets in the archive
  • a number of "document folders" containing the files to which you want to give clients access.

The first folder with the data is simply a placeholder for the binary index data. You should make sure to place this on the fastest available local drive as Index Manager needs to read from and write to this folder extensively. The document folders can be folders on a local drive, a shared network drive, or a SAN. Even a NAS can sometimes work.

For more information about choosing storage for your assets, see Supported storage types.

For more information about creating an index, see Creating an index.

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