FocusOPEN (Stable) Maintenance Update

At the time of writing, this applies to Commercial edition users only as 3.4.4.x is currently not available for AGPL users.

An updated edition of FocusOPEN has been released with various bug fixes and minor changes:

  • Fix to prevent some short descriptions getting truncated.
  • Fix to enable categories to get imported via batch import if automated publication options were set to not publish.
  • View contact sheet tweak to stop newlines breaking rollover.
  • Adjustment to QueryParser to pick up FocusOPEN noise words by checking they are lower case before making comparison.
  • Fix to full text asset search query builder to prevent multiple records being returned when searching in file content.
  • Addition of pdftotext application for use with extracting text from PDFs (see notes below).
  • Fix to correct 344 batch import when used on editions with sub-folders rather than dedicated a dedicated website.
  • Modification to allow contact sheet minimum role to be specified.
  • Fix to allow non-digital assets to be downloaded if NoPhysicalAssetDownloads=false in the assetform.
  • Fix made to prevent error when users without brand admin filter visible try and perform bulk asset operations.
  • Fix to ensure colons are encoded when writing xml element names for the category taxonomy.

PDF Text Indexing and 64-bit Platforms

A bug was discovered with the Adobe PDF iFilter which FocusOPEN 3.4.4 now uses for text extraction of text from PDF files. The PDF iFilter relies on COM interoperability and this is unstable for 64-bit editions of Windows and text was frequently failing to be properly extracted from these documents. To make this feature more robust on all platforms, a fall-back option using the open source pdftotext application has been included with this release. If the iFilter fails, pdfftotext will be used instead to extract the text. This is temporarily stored in a new folder (ExtractedPDFTextFolder) inside application data which is created if it does not exist already.

The configuration changes below explain how to reference pdftotext within FocusOPEN. To install the application, simply copy it to the required location (it does not need a dedicated installer). Both 64-bit and 32-bit editions are provided.

Configuration Changes

5 new configuration keys have been added, 3 in web.config and 2 in config\appsettings.config.



<add key="AlphanumericallySortCategoriesByDefault" value="true"/>
<add key="EditableDuration" value="true"/>
<add key="ContactSheetSendingMinimumRole" value="5"/>
  • AlphanumericallySortCategoriesByDefault causes categories to get sorted alphanumerically if true or ordered as originally designed by the admin user if false
  • Editable duration enables the duration value returned by FFMPEG for video and audio files to be edited if required. Seconds should be specified.
  • ContactSheetSendingMinimumRole is a modification requested by a FocusOPEN customer and allows the role level who can send contact sheets to be changed. The default of 5 is super administrator (as it was previously).


<add key="PDFToTextPath" value="C:\FocusOPEN\Extras\xpdfbin-win-3.03\bin32\pdftotext.exe"/>
<add key="ExtractedPDFTextFolder" value="##ApplicationDataFolder##\ExtractedPDFTextFolder"/>
  • PDFToTextPath is the location of the pdftotext application. This is included in the extras folder of the deployment package but can be moved to any suitable location.
  • ExtractedPDFTextFolder is created if it does not already exist and is a temporary location for pdftotext to store the extracted text before it is inserted into the database.


Applying The Update

  • The update can be applied as follows:
  • Backup the entire webroot folder and retain if required
  • Move these folders outside the webroot: App_Data, AuthPlugins, Brands, Config also Plugins if you have amended any
  • Move web.config outside the webroot also
  • Copy the webroot from the deployment package over the top
  • Move or delete same folders and web.config copied into the webroot from the deployment package
  • Replace with your originals
  • Apply the two config file changes described in the earlier notes to web.config and config\appsettings.config



FocusOPEN 3.4.5 Released

FocusOPEN 3.4.5 has been released to Commercial edition users.  This includes a number of new features and some minor changes.


  • User Group Metadata – added ability to configure metadata fields by user group
  • Asset metadata export feature to produce data in XML or CSV  format
  • Support for extracting mapping coordinates and generating Google Maps links
  • Filter users by role in user manager
  • Batch user management to delete, renew and change user groups
  • Setting to allow users to edit assets that are outside their Primary Group
  • Arbitrary asset ID filter to make it easier to select random sets of assets
  • 64-bit APS installer

Minor changes

  • Faster category management uses cached categories instead of enumerating them each time
  • Ability manually specify video duration
  • Option to sort categories as designed or alphanumerically
  • Lightbox filter now works off both user and public lightboxes


  • Fixes to XML taxonomy export

FocusOPEN AGPL Edition Released

AGPL edition users can now download FocusOPEN from the My Account dashboard.  This was made available to Commercial users last year and they are recommended to switch to 3.4.4 as this is now a stable release.  The AGPL edition is missing various key features such as Active Directory integration, batch importing and requires all attribution to be retained.  See the comparison chart for a description of the key differences.

FocusOPEN Service Provider Directory Launched

A FocusOPEN Service Provider Directory has been established on the services section of the FocusOPEN website.  If you are a registered user of FocusOPEN and are able to provide services to others, such as customisation, hosting, support or training then you can now get a free entry in the directory.  To do this, login to your account, select ‘My Profile’ and check the ‘Create service provider entry’ checkbox. You need to complete your trading name, telephone, email and website plus a short profile. All submissions will be checked by the FocusOPEN support team before going live.

FocusOPEN 3.4.4 (Stable) Released

FocusOPEN 3.4.4 Stable Edition has been released.  This is available to Commercial edition users only at this time.  A variety of bug fixes and changes have been applied to the stable 344 release, including the full list below.

An updated FocusOPEN 3.4.4 deployment guide is now available as well as upgrade instructions for FocusOPEN 3.4.3.x users on the wiki.


  • Option to restrict asset list searches by upload users who have uploaded
  • Ability to automatically generate optional Google Maps links for images with embedded GPRS coordinates in EXIF data

Minor Changes

  • Adjustments to workflow to automatically include default message so approvers do not need to enter anything unless they wish to
  • Modifications to stop usage approval workflow sending out multiple messages for different assets in a single order
  • Security adjustments for AD authentication modules
  • Ability to add/remove previews for contact sheets sent to non-registered users
  • Ability to change the term ‘linked lightbox’ via config
  • Extension of brand administrator functionality on user profile
  • Modified APS to allow configuration of ImageMagick and FFMPEG command line strings
  • File metadata (embedded metadata) now accessible via API using getassetvalue and getfullassetdetails

Notable Bug Fixes

  • Various performance enhancements
  • Fix to category count updater to prevent stack overflow faults
  • Removal of obsolete strict/loose permissions settings
  • Category management bug in IE8 and IE9 fixed
  • Various lightbox email functionality bugs resolved
  • Fixed issues with page header when refreshing searches
  • Various brand related fixes with viewstates
  • Fix to copyright owner truncation bug
  • Fix preventing files uploaded with an underscore from causing importer to fail
  • Prevention of direct download buttons appearing when disabled in brand settings
  • Rectification of an issue which caused assets to disappear if they were not assigned to a primary group when saved
  • Resolution of faulty ImageMagick CMYK conversion string
  • Various fixes to brand administrator permissions and default access
  • Creation of duplicate workflows prevented
  • Corrections to earlier beta text extraction command line application to prevent previews from being removed during an upgrade.
  • Suppression of contact link from admin master page if not requested
  • Prevention of earlier beta bug where only public lightboxes were shown in admin filter
  • Fix to zipped lightbox functionality


FocusOPEN 3.4.4 Beta Released

FocusOPEN 3.4.4 Beta has been released today.  The upgrade includes 55 modifications and a wide range of bug fixes.  This is being advance released to Commercial users first.

A summary of the changes is below.


* Configure metadata by Asset Type ported from previously implemented custom editions
* Option to batch copy metadata settings between asset types
* API Test Harness
* Batch import converted to an AJAX based method with progress bar and ability to pause/resume
* New AJAX persistent lightbox slides up dynamically and can be pinned
* Ability change asset or preview unavailable graphics for individual brands
* Lightbox slideshow feature added
* Encrypted Single Sign On (SSO) URL capability added for external authentication to externally hosted FocusOPEN instances
* Batch link assets
* Batch add asset to lightboxes from the admin area
* Batch import feature extended to allow job settings to be stored as templates for other users or exported
* Email alias feature allows users to retain personal email addresses for messages but login with a corporate email address
* Custom button feature allows client-side developers to add their own functionality to appear next to other asset buttons.
* API functions to get/set user Groups
* Added ability to link different IP addresses to individual Guest accounts
* Added option to hyperlink fields in asset detail view to call new searches based on the metadata in the current one.
* Document assets are now converted to raw text and then stored in the database rather than as BLOBs
* Batch delete or merge nodes from taxonomies
* Duplicate Merge feature to allow duplicate fields in a taxonomy to be merged together based on the value or external reference field
* Batch user Group/Permissions modification
* Updated disk usage information to assign quotas to individual brands rather than using the volume data
* Asset popularity report added
* Batch download as zip from the admin area added to compliment end user catalogue feature
* Added ability for super administrators to create zipped lightboxes for users to download directly without manually assembling an order.
* Group searches now search sub-Groups
* Ability to exclude some fields from template cataloguing operations (set in config)
* New filters to not search short description or Group name added
* New search ordering field: relevancy, date, popularity or other (sorting by list headers)

Minor or Technical Modifications
* APS adjustments to use single thread with ImageMagick plug-in to stop it monopolising server resources
* Short description not limited to 400 characters
* Use brand default description rather than a hard-coded placeholder
* Revised preset metadata control allows administrators to modify preset fields in-line while editing assets
* Link to admin search allows search URLs for admin area to be shared
* Additional user bindings to get the brand and user group added to the client-side scripts
* Updates to allow rollover sizes to be changed in configuration settings.
* Settings to control the level to collapse/show Groups for both assets and users
* Brands can now have multiple administrators
* Single search terms are now expanded to wildcard searches to increase results (can be disabled if undesirable)
* Admin include file for each brand allows client-side developers to add their own custom code accessible from the admin area.
* Configurable asset thumbnail copy can now include any sting and dynamic variables
* Config settings to disable slideshow
* Config to disable PDF contact sheet
* New preview plug-in context added for asset detail within order manager
* Reduced size viewstate in asset editing page (improves performance when editing asset metadata)
* More events tracked in the user audit trail
* Setting to watermark by default added
* Years now reverse chronologically ordered
* Group plural value can be controlled from config settings
* Modifications to control what company options get displayed on the registration or add user form
* Some workflow copy made configurable via settings
* Contact footer option to allow user to add contact URL or mailto link
* Settings changes to allow automatic asset ID numeric searches to be enabled or disabled
* Ability to swap commas for newlines when mapping embedded metadata

Notable Bug Fixes
* Fixes to taxonomy loader
* Fixes to AD authentication plug-in to make this feature more robust
* Fixes to incorrect row number being reported during batch import operations
* Security enhancements to prevent Guest access to areas that require a user account
* Fixes made to stop illegal email addresses breaking the audit trail reporting
* Fix to allow Group Administrators to see asset previews from assets uploaded by users in their Group (or a Sub-Group)


FocusOPEN 3.4.3 will be released to AGPL users when 344 goes stable in January, FocusOPEN 3.4.4 is expected to be released to them in mid-2013.

FocusOPEN Software Launches

Today, FocusOPEN Software Limited became a separate company independent from our colleagues at DAM consulting company, Daydream.  Although we are now operating from different offices and have our own staff, we will still be working closely with Daydream as they maintain a number of their own client instances of FocusOPEN Digital Asset Manager and continue to contribute to the development of the FocusOPEN .NET DAM platform source code.

If you have a Silver or Gold support agreement with FocusOPEN, you will continue to use our web based portal or dedicated phone number for all support issues.  If you have a Gold or Enterprise support plan managed by Daydream with an account manager, you will be contacted by them.  Your support agreement and associated service level should not be affected.

FocusOPEN Commercial Edition – 50% Discount Offer Ends 31st October 2012

We have revised the pricing for FocusOPEN Digital Asset Manager Commercial edition and it is currently being offered at a 50% discount.  The Commercial release includes a number of features not currently provided in the AGPL community version.  Read the comparison table for more details.  The special offer ends on 31st October 2012 and will not be extended.

FocusOPEN Released

Today we have issued a stabilisation release: FocusOPEN  This corrects a number of faults but also includes some features back-ported from the forthcoming 3.4.4 released which is due to go into beta soon. is currently available for commercial users only, we do not have an AGPL release schedule at this time.

The new edition is available for download on the My Account dashboard.  A copy of the deployment guide can be downloaded from the deployment section on the Wiki.  An upgrade guide for existing 3.4.2 users who have an active commercial licence subscription is also the wiki here:

Additional new features added for this release:

  • Preview rollovers
  • Custom button feature that can be linked to client-side functionality to call API commands.
  • Option to exclude some static (non-custom) fields from template cataloguing operations.
  • Ability to change overlib rollover width.
  • Option to swap commas for newlines in mapped embedded metadata.
  • Optimised search so it works faster on SQL Server 2008 especially and 2005 also.
  • Option setting added to prevent AD overwriting the user’s role when they logged in again (commercial edition only).
  • New API commands to get/set an asset’s group (and the permission option for each).
  • Option to bypass login page and log the user in as a Guest account along with options to enable non-guests to login if required also.
  • Removal of the limitation on a single brand administrator user per-brand.

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed issue with default metadata causing issues with multiple brands where the metadata fields had not been changed.
  • Changed default value of the user status to approved when generating AD authenticated accounts (commercial only).
  • Fixed issue where previous validation errors would prevent the user from registering via an auth plug-in.
  • Fixed bug with adding new brands and missing default category/filter settings.
  • Fixed fault with batch import feature where usage restrictions field mapping was not being carried out.
  • Fix to enable non-native authentication users (e.g from AD) to bulk delete assets by checking their password against the plug-in authentication server.
  • Fix to correct batch import fault where the option to create an asset if the user’s mapped asset ID could not be found was not being picked up.
  • Fixed issue where previous validation errors would prevent the user from registering via an authentication plug-in.
  • Fixed fault where expiry date sorting would throw an error.

FocusOPEN Hotfix

A hotfix has been released for FocusOPEN which corrects an issue with pop-ups and certain combinations of metadata for multi-brand instances of FocusOPEN.  This fault is rectified in FocusOPEN 3.4.3 which Commercial users have access and is pending release for AGPL users later this year.  The patch should not be used on 3.4.3 instances.

The patch can be downloaded from the FocusOPEN wiki here: