Some thoughts on product image management

Razuna 1.6.5 – so much to talk about

As you may have seen, we recently launched Razuna 1.6.5. More than 220 fixes and enhancements, so as usual there’s quite an impressive collection of new features under the hood. I could blog for days, and I probably will, about what you can do now in Razuna, but one feature in particular is really groundbreaking, and that’s the one I will talk about today.

At Razuna we are proud to serve some of the world’s best-known brands, and some of these, in particular in the Packaged Goods and Retail sector, have tons of products to keep track of. In some cases, they install a Product Information System (PIM), which helps them manage all product details and syndicate across multiple channels. An important part of product information is images and video, and naturally, we have some PIM vendors as partners, so our customers can use Razuna for managing the images, documents and video and the rest via our partners’ software.

The Razuna Product Layer

Some of our customers, on the other hand, just need to manage product images and video on a product level and share with their resellers, agents and subsidiaries. And – this brings me to a new feature in Razuna; The product layer. With Razuna 1.6.5 all Razuna customers can enable the product layer, which allows them to collect multiple assets under one product and thus achieve fast, simple and efficient product image management capabilities. And since Razuna handles videos, documents and audio too, you can do product video management, product document management and so on.

The idea is that you group multiple images or videos under one UPC (Universal Product Code) and upload into Razuna. This way, you can upload front shot, back shot, side shots, top shot and even nutritional information under one product. Each image or video is handled via the Razuna rendition system, and you can even create further renditions.

Easy Sharing

Once you have uploaded your images and connected them to a product via the UPC code, you can search UPCs directly or simply share the folder with your resellers or agents at the click of a button. They don’t even need to be created as users in Razuna, but you can simply send them a link to the shared folder, where they can quickly download all files organized by product.

It’s not a PIM system, but for those of you who just need an easier way to manage product related images, documents, video or even audio – the Razuna Product layer is worth trying out.

And it’s free

The Razuna Product Layer can be downloaded with the standard Razuna Open Source version from Github. We will automatically upgrade existing paying customers for free to Razuna 1.6.5, which includes the product layer. So if you have a Razuna dedicated server, a Razuna hosted account or support plan, all you have to do is take a look at the wiki or sign up for one of our free webinars to learn more about how to use the product layer.

We love our new features, and we love them even more, when we can treat our valued customers to something extra for free. Enjoy.

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Razuna 1.6.5 released – Product Image Management, New API, Expiration dates and 220 other enhancements

Razuna just announced its newest release, 1.6.5, which includes a number of new features to make image, video, audio and document handling easier for businesses. One of the major additions to Razuna 1.6.5 is a product layer, which allows businesses to attach multiple assets to a single product.

“We’re not in the PIM business,” says Jens Strandbygaard, CEO of Razuna. “But many of our customers use Razuna to handle product images and videos. And to better support their needs, we have developed a module, which will allow them to bundle assets under a single product.”

The module supports UPC formats, and images and video will automatically be organized under the UPC number upon upload. If the customer uses a PIM system, such as e.g. Riversand, they can connect their PIM system to Razuna and automatically fetch the relevant assets for each product.

“We believe this module will greatly help businesses organize their product related assets and quickly provide access to resellers, customers or systems such as a webshop or a PIM system.”

New API foundation
Razuna has also changed the API foundation so that connectivity to Razuna for other systems is easier. It is now possible to access Razuna using standard user keys, which means that existing user rights for images and videos can be inherited in other systems.

“We have about 35 global software partners, integrating their applications with Razuna. Such partners could be PIM software vendors that use Razuna as an embedded media asset management application. So with this change, they can use single-sign-on and ensure that users only see assets that they are allowed to see across the platforms,” says Jens Strandbygaard.

Folder subscription
Users can now subscribe to folders, which allows them to receive notifications, whenever another user makes changes to these folders.

“Most of our customers have teams with many different people working in Razuna, and with the folder subscriptions, they can now stay updated whenever relevant changes occur.”

Set expiration dates
Another interesting feature in Razuna is the ability to set an expiration date on asset and user records. “Many businesses buy images for a certain period from stock image providers. With Razuna they can now set the expiration date directly and avoid using images which they are no longer allowed to use.”

More than 220 issues tackled
All in all, more than 220 issues have been tackled and a host of new features introduced.
Amongst them:

- Downloaded assets retain the same folder structure as in Razuna
Downloading files previously showed a custom folder structure. In Razuna 1.6.5 you will get the same folder structure as in the system which makes it a lot easier to identify downloads and share assets.

- Copy of folder
Whole folders can be copied, including all assets, metadata, etc.

- Export templates
In addition to the existing metadata export functionality users can now export the metadata and map it to other systems through a template. Through use of a template only relevant metadata fields will be exported.

- Create renditions by pixels and inches
Renditions (conversions) can be created based on both pixels and inches. So users can upload e.g. a Photoshop document and have Razuna convert it to a given size specified in inches.

- Labels, too, have permissions, similar to folders in Razuna
Many customers use labels as virtual folders, and Razuna now treats them much like folders. This allows customers to setup virtual folder structures to create and share subsets of assets.

- Replacing and archiving existing assets in bulk
Users can replace existing assets in bulk via uploading of a compressed file containing the new assets. The existing assets will be archived and can be found under the “Versions”/”Additional Renditions” tab

- Major improvements to search indexing
Razuna has always been focused on providing fast and accurate searches, and with the release of 1.6.5, the search indexing has been dramatically improved.

As always, users of the hosted version and support plan will be upgraded for free and users of the self-hosted edition can download the new version for free at http://razuna.org..

New users can sign up on Razuna.com for a free 30 trial.

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API enhancements in Razuna 1.6.5

The new Razuna 1.6.5 release features many exciting new features and enhancements. While I’ll leave a list of of new things to another blog post, I like to point out the major change to the API here.

While we’ve added a couple of new API calls, the most important change has been the possibility to use the API as a user!

In previous versions, the API was just available for an Administrator. Which meant that you had to build an application that provided everything to the user. In short, you had to take care of the permissions on the endpoint. This of course, was out of sync with the permissions of the user within Razuna. Needless to say that this wasn’t the most optimal solution.

As of Razuna 1.6.5 you can now build an application and give your users access with their own API Key. Users will only see what they are allowed to see (according to their group level and permission) in your application. In other words, you don’t need to worry about access to folders and files anymore on your end, as the API takes care of this now.

Razuna 1.6.5 comes with over 200 issues tackled. Many issues are fulfilled feature requests or enhancements to existing functionality. Razuna 1.6.5 will be made available on May 30th.

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Razuna extension for Magento

We are now releasing a Magento extension, which will allow Magento users to fetch product images directly in Razuna. This will save Magento users hours and hours of work and help keep product images completely up-to-date.

We have seen a growing interest from Magento users to have Razuna serve product images directly in Magento. Since Magento has a rather labourious interface, when it comes to handling images, we have been pondering different scenarios for some time. The reason was that we didn’t want to just integrate Razuna and let user continue to manage images in Magento, since it wouldn’t really generate the time savings that we are looking for.

So – we came up with a completely different approach, using our versatile API. We simply override the product image handling in Magento, allowing users to manage all images directly in Razuna.

Images are only stored in Razuna

With this approach, you simply store your images in Razuna and ignore the product image section in Magento. When a product is shown to a customer, either in a search, a category or on the main product view, Magento connects to Razuna and fetches all relevant product images.

So in stead of manually uploading thousands of images in Magento, sometimes even the same image on multiple products, you just upload to Razuna, add the SKU from Magento as a label and the extension handles the rest.

How much time do I save?

You will save a lot of time. It is an arduous process to attach images to products in Magento. Razuna, being a real media asset management platform, however, is designed to handle images well. So assuming you have a product with SKU: 12345 in Magento. In the old days, you would either try to import the product and relevant image(s), which requires some skill – or you would go to the product in Magento and open the Image tab. From here, you manually upload the image and decide, whether it’s the category or the main image. Once completed, you save the product.

With Razuna, all you do is add the SKU to the image in Razuna as a label. This takes seconds. You can add labels to multiple images in batch or by downloading and manipulating labels in a spreadsheet. You can even add the same label (SKU) to multiple products.

And if you have the Razuna Magento extension installed, then that’s really it. Magento will find all the images, show thumbnails etc.

What if an image changes?

You probably need to change product images from time to time. In Magento, you need to log in and manually remove the old image and upload the new on all images, which use the image.

In Razuna, you simply log in, upload the new version, and Magento is automatically updated on all matching products. Again a tremendous time saver.

Manage which image to show as category image

You can also manage category and main product images. By using the labels: Thumbnail and Main in Razuna, you can also decide which image to show in the category listing and which image to use as the main product image. These labels are simply added alongside the label with the SKU.

Easy installation in Magento

You can either download the Razuna Magento extension package here: razuna-1.0.x.tgz and upload in Magento Connect Manager, which you access from your Magento Admin. You can also get the extension directly from the Magento community.

The extension is free and you can use it with all Razuna deployments: Open source, cloud SaaS, dedicated managed server or enterprise on-premise installations.

When you install the extension, the Magento image handling is completely overridden. So if the image is not in Razuna with a label matching the SKU, it will not show in Magento.

Demo and more information

You can watch a real life demo of Razuna and Magento here: http://magento.razuna.org where there’s also additional information. You can also watch the video below to learn more.

You can read our press release here.

Or watch the video below to see how it works:

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