Placeholder objects and the API


When Extensis developed the Portfolio API, they worked diligently to include all of the popular features that you know and love in the Portfolio client. But for one reason or another, some of the lesser-known features did not make the initial cut. This does not mean that we will never see those features again, in many cases, they have been planned for later versions.

One of these features is Placeholder objects.

A Placeholder is a temporary record without an associated image. You can use this in situations where you know that you will have X image, and you know the metadata associated with X image, but you don’t have the image yet. You can create the Placeholder, name it X, and then assign the metadata. When the actual image X becomes available, you can add it to the catalog with the metadata already in place.

Placeholders do not currently exist in the API, because the API cannot create imageless records. Each record must have an associated image, but . . . there is nothing saying you cannot create Placeholder images to accompany the Placeholder record.

Here is the proposed workflow.
[li]Choose a name and location for your Placeholder. The location must be accessible to the Portfolio Server. [/li]
[li]Have a generic graphic to act as a placeholder. A small 256x256 JPG that says “Placeholder” on it should work.[/li]
[li]When activated, the tool will upload the file to the server to the location that you specified. It will create a record on the catalog that you can assign your metadata too. [/li]
[li]When the time is right, replace the placeholder graphic with the true graphic.[/li][/ol]
How fancy you make this tool is up to you. You could even build your script to convert your generic graphic to specific formats on demand. For example if you are uploading a placeholder for a TIFF graphic, the placeholder would be a TIFF as well. That may be a bit above and beyond though.

I have included a small ‘proof of concept’ java script that you can download and review. Please note that you may have to adjust some variables to get it to work on your system. (Server IP, passwords, file locations, etc).

If you have any ideas or workflows that you would like to discuss, please share with the rest of us.

placeholder.zip (26.2 KB)