Portfolio v8.5.x

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Portfolio v8.5 was announced 6 June 2007. See here. Version 8.5.1 was released 28 Jan 08; as well as being Leopard compatible it has an number of other useful fixes. Version 8.5.2 was released 12 Apr 08 and primarily implements performance/stability fixes for large catalogues; preview storage is revised.

Alongside v9 release, a version 8.5.3 was given a soft launch in June 09; the only known change from v8.5.2 is that the Bibble-supplied RAW filters have been replaced with open-source libraries. The app and cataloguer engine are both versioned to v8.5.3 whilst Portfolio Express remains at v8.5.3.2. The change to the DCRAW libraries for RAW support has shaved almost 20MB of the installed size. Informal vendor comment is that v8.5.3 is the start of a new stand-alone track and there Portfolio server v.8.5 users should continue to use v8.5.2; note though that v8.5.3 will connect to servers if it has a ClientConnect licence.

Version 8.5.3 has a significant bug in that it can't properly process files with a '.tif' extension ('.tiff' is not affected). If you use '.tif' files it is suggested you do not use v8.5.3 until it is patched/updated.

Client / Portfolio range

Improved file format support. Support for InDesign CS3, Illustrator CS3. New RAW formats supported (formats yet to be announced). Improved handling of EPS & PDF (especially in Windows).

Windows Vista support. Version 8.5 (all components) will have been tested against Microsoft Windows Vista.

OS 10.5 Leopard support. Version 8.5.1 (all components) will have been tested against OS X Leopard.

Catalogue Types. Predefined catalogue 'templates'. By using (or creating) a set of XML-based plist files users have choice as to type of catalogue created. The aspects covered: advanced cataloguing options settings, custom field to be created, metadata mappings. Borders and Saved views continue to be added based on the files in those named sub-folders of the application. Not included, Saved Finds/Saved Views/Galleries/Categories; these still require manual creation. This feature will remove or lessen the need to keep preconfigured empty catalogues for workflow purposes. Inproved in v8.5.1, you can take an existing catalogue and use it as a new Catalog Type template via File -> Save Catalog Type.

Default field values. A new pane in the Administration dialog allows default field values to be set. When adding new items to a catalogue, you can now determine that if no other value is chosen or extracted, specific fields will always start with a default setting.

Presets. A Presets palette has been added. It is populated from the metadata section (only) from the catalogue's Saved Cataloguing Options. This allows for the mass updating of Keywords, Description and any custom field values. To create a new preset simply configure the metadata section of Cataloguing Options and save it. As with other palettes, the current list selection can be dragged/dropped or button-click assigned to the current selection of records in the gallery windows (i.e. one or more items and not necessarily contiguous selections).

Client Serial Codes. Mac and Win clients now have separate, non-cross-platform, serial codes. This is apparently due to additional licensed components in the Windows client, forcing the vendor to track per-OS usage. ASA users or upgraders from previous versions who have group licences in use cross-platform should contact Extensis about getting new per-OS allocations of licences for their v8.5 clients.

Updated for Adobe CS3 XMP SDK. From v8.5.1, Portfolio uses the newer Adobe SDK for reading/writing metadata which should lead to cleaner/faster metadata extraction/embed. As yet the only embeddable formats remain JPEG and (uncompressed) TIFF. Users of Project Sync can use Bridge CS3 to embed metadata to a wider range of formats and this can then be synched with Portfolio.

Enter new serial number. From v8.5.1, serial numbers can altered via the client (Mac - Portfolio menu, Win - Help menu). You can't remove an existing licence but you can overwrite it with a new one. This is a boon for multi-seat users where it can become necessary to apply new multi-seat licences, something that previously involved poking auond under the hood. Now simply apply the new licence and you're done!

Manually set preview folder path. The path to the preview folder can be set by hand. See Catalog Administration/Previews dialog (v7) for more.

New Catalog Type (based on current catalogue). New in v8.5.1, it allows much of the current catalogue's customisation to be saved as a Catalog Type pre-set. See Catalog Types dialog.

Screen Preview storage. From v8.5.2, previews are read from See Screen (Disk) Previews for more.


Project Sync for Adobe CS3. By far the biggest change to the Portfolio Suite, warranting its own page. This feature is a plug-in to Adobe CS3's Version Cue 2 server allowing very tight integration of DAM into the organisation.

Auto Sync. Performance, stability, logging. AutoSync has been improved so that folders synchronize more quickly and reliably. Logging has been extended to give more feedback on what Auto Sync is doing.

SQL Connect. Portfolio SQL Connect support is expanded to include MySQL 4.1.21 or 5.0.37, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (SP4), 2005 (SP2), Oracle 10gR2.

Set-up and configuration enhancements. The enhancements to catalogue set-up described under the client section are available for server-created catalogues.


Watermarking Preview and original images can be delivered to the browser with added visible watermarks to discourage unauthorized use. By placing this feature in NetPublish rather than the client, internal client users have access to unmarked files. Application of a watermark is restricted to bitmap format source files, i.e. image types such as JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP (?TIFF - probably, but not mentioned). Previews, being JPEGs will always be available for watermarking. Those currently generating in-NP-site 'previews' directly from Originals will be able still use watermarking - i.e. if NP can create a JPEG from the original, it can watermark it. Thumbnails can't be watermarked via this method. If NP code calls an original or original-derived image from a format that can't be watermarked - the 'cannot render image' generic error image will be displayed. The latter is likely to cause some confusion as the user can't tell if the image is failing from watermarking or for reasons such as failed permissions. The watermark is a GIF [sic] so blend to background colour needs to be considered carefully when setting transparency. The watermark can be set at the various margins, centred or stretched, the setting be common to all assets for a given NP site. Thus internal NP users might have a non-watermarked site, whilst external users might get watermarks. Use of watermarking is controlled by the next feature. When enabling/disabling

Asset Protection. An asset lock-out. A site-level setting for the Archive/Preview/Original commands. The settings are true/watermark/false. The 'true' setting is the current v8.0 behaviour. A 'watermark' setting is the same as before but watermarking is applied where indicated (and source file format allows). Setting 'false' stops that type of assets (preview/original/zip archive of originals) from being downloaded or used as a source for NP-generated images; you can't have an original used for creating previews but being locked for download (only). Some neat functionality here that may see existing users making more use of large screen previews as the source of their NP-generated images so originals can be locked off. It is also worth mentioning that these setting trump a correctly coded NP URL - i.e. calling a download won't work if that asset type is set to 'false'. This setting - in v8.5.0 - can't be set via the NP Assistant dialog, you will need OS or FTP access to the site's site properties file but I'm sure UI controls will follow (it involves getting the hood up on NPA which is a body of work in itself).

Assets Log The assets log is there in v8.0 but not many use is as it's missing a critical feature who downloaded the file. The asset log has been extended to give info on: download date and time, IP of the machine initiating the download, was the file part of a (zip) archive, the name of archive downloaded (default = "archive.zip") column will be blank if not part of an archive, original source file's pathname, filename of original source file, catalogue Item ID of record, name of source catalogue, NP catalogue alias name, NP site name, width/height/aspect ratio of the file downloaded (if adjusted). The saved data is tab-delimited for easy use in spreadsheets, etc.

Performance This has been worked on for faster downloads and faster page display times.

Compatible with v8.0/8.1.x?

No, v8.0/8.1.x and v8.5 client/server components will not be interoperable. However, NetPublish v8.5 will also be able to accept v7.0.4+/8.0/8.1.x/8.5 publishing as was the case with previous NP versions. Unlike with the client/server scenario this may let users of older versions access some of the new NP v8.5 features as they apply to all served sites.

Tech Specs

See Technical Requirements page.

Upgrade costs

Who can upgrade for free:

Anyone buying after v8.5. was announced 06 Jun 2007
  • Anyone with a current Annual Service Agreement (ASA), i.e. an ASA entitling them to use v8.1 at the moment; the ASA may have started under a previous version, what matters is the ASA has not expired.
  • ASA users will have any required new serial codes issued via their account on the Extensis web site (installers can be downloaded from there as well). Note the need to split previously cross-OS client groups into per-OS groups.

    For all other users the upgrade will be pay-for, with prices (in US Dollars) here.

    Upgrade - implications for IT staff?

    The client will install to a new folder. So for users except power users, system integrators, etc., who may need several versions installed ordinary users should probably uninstall the old client once the new one is tested as correct. You may wish to copy custom data like the server location data files, user-saved Saved Views, etc. Firmer data on this is unlikely until closer to code release. Do be aware that a fair amount of customisation info about catalogues is stored per-user in Preferences/Registry though users may have assumed it is in the catalogue, i.e. it's liable to loss if not careful when cycling installed versions. It is not yet known of uninstalling an older version after installing v8.5 will have any problems - at worst the v8.5. client could be re-installed.

    Catalogues will need upgrading. You may want to migrate data into a brand-new v8.5 catalogue if it proves that v8.5 has solved the odd hard-wired constraints on selection of fields for data embedding. Do not though, that drag-drop migration requires a rebuild of catalogues - or custom Mac/Win scripting work to seed old record IDs into the new catalogue so another script can copy/rename existing previews. The latter is probably only worth doing if you have very large catalogues and/or not all assets are online. Otherwise, let the catalogues rebuild previews. Not possible to test yet, but one other benison of using a new v8.5 catalogue is if new records made via drag/drop can invoke

    As with full version upgrades, only one version of the server/SQLConnect/NP can be installed and running. On both OSs, the 'services' of Portfolio Server and NP keep the same name from version to version. The simplest upgrade path is to stop and uninstall the old version then install the new one and run with that. At the top end, those with spare servers can run up a new v8/5 equipped server and test before swap. Those with a need to test the new version and no spare kit can consider using a well equipped desktop OS (Pro version, if Windows) which will allow basic functionality and new features to be tested.

    Version 8.5.2+. v8.5.2+ are compatible with v8.5.0/1 but changes to the way previews are stored mean that v8.5.0/1 components won't be able to correctly locate previews generated/re-generated by v8.5.2+ clients. For that reason, it is recommended the pre/post-v8.5.2 components are not mixed in the same configuration. There should be on other difficulties.

    If planning to use Project Sync, you'll need to consider the related issues of connecting/co-locating with Version Cue 2.

    Question: Portfolio v8.5.x [FAQ00391.htm]
    Last Update:- 21 July 2009

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