Best Way to Catalog When You Want to Copy Files?


I’m new to Extensis Portfolio Server. I have a question that I couldn’t quite clear up from the manual or a search on this Forum.
I’m creating a new Catalog. In the process of creating this catalog, we’d like to copy the files from one server location to another. The current image files are, for this example, all on \server1\photos, but ultimately the photos should reside on a new server, \server2\photos.
If I set up a watch folder, and I set the option to Copy when we catalog, will both sets of images be in the catalog?
Should I just copy everything across the network, and not use Extensis to copy the files when I create the catalog?
Thank you.


A couple of questions pop up that should be thought through before we answer yours…

  • Do the images already exist in a catalog?
  • If so, do you want the metadata to follow the image when you copy them into the new catalog?
  • Are you making duplicates of the image files in the new location or simply relocating them when you create your new catalog?

My experience is that if there is no metadata to carry across, then move/copy the files outside Portfolio. It’s only when you have metadata or existing folder structure that you should move/copy inside portfolio. Just like any file manager program, if you move files between two drives, you actually make a copy of the files and records too when you move them inside the system.

hope this helps…


In the current test we are running, the images already exist in a catalog, and the keywords have been applied to them.

In future examples, they won’t be in a catalog yet, and have no pre-existing metadata or keywords attached to them. They’re just files on a file server.

We have plenty of storage at this point, so that’s why we wouldn’t do copy, instead of move. That’s why initially we thought we would copy rather than move when setting up the catalog.

So when I talked through this with my net admin, she said, “we have the space, so let’s use Extensis do copy when it gets cataloged.” However, my user already did the first test catalog on the old server, so that’s the stuff that’s already cataloged with metadata in place. But it’s looking at the files on the wrong (old) server.

So I guess I actually have two questions. One is how you do it when the catalog already exists, and how do you do it the catalog doesn’t exist. Sorry for the confusion!



If you have unique filenames you can update the paths in your catalog via drag and drop (see here for more information). If you’re running our Enterprise version you could even update paths in the catalog to replace ‘server1’ with ‘server2’ via the SQL back-end.

The watched folder feature will only update records that exist within the folder being watched. If you add a second folder for a new location, you’ll end up with new records. So that’s why the process usually is to remove any watched folders, update the paths to the new storage location, add a new watched folder for the new location.


Also, if using watched folders, moving items between different watched folders (within the same catalogue) will move the originals if both foldersets are on the same volume. If on different volume, the item is copied - can’t test right now how the record is affected (either duped so one record points to each or simply updated to point to only one of the two assets).

Dragging records between catalogues doesn’t move assets (or so has been my experience**). A record dragged to a new catalogue brings across all record information (at least for fields in both catalogues) but changed the RID (Item ID field) and won’t automatically create previews in the new catalogue.

** these things change over time but are rarely noted in documentation.