Digital Asset Management in Dynamics Marketing

Part of Microsoft Dynamics Marketings (MDM) Digital Asset Management system includes the ability for you to work with files, file folders, and file libraries.

In this blog post I'll talk about

  • File and Folder structure and security
  • How to add files via drag and drop or upload
  • How to move or copy files between folders
  • How to Markup files
  • Library options for files

File and Folder Structure

MDM includes powerful functions to help manage all types of electronic Files, including

  • Office documents
  • Images
  • Audio
  • Videos
  • Presentations
  • PDF files
  • ,,,and more

MDM organizes files in a recursive folder structure the same way Windows does. The recursive folder structures enable you to create an unlimited number of folders within folders to facilitate organizing files.  

MDM has two types of Folders

  • System folders (created by MDM)
  • User folders (created by users)

At the top of the file structure there is a root folder called "Files". This root folder contains all files and folders and cannot be deleted. MDM automatically creates a folder for each entity which can be accessed from the "Files" section of the entities dashboard or from within the "File" window.

The "File" Window

MDM stores all the files that marketing and creative teams need to do their jobs in one place, the "File" window.  This enables files to be easily linked to the projects that use them or the jobs that created them. 

To view files and folders through the "File" window in the main navigation panel

  1. Click Home
  2. Click Assets & Media and scroll to the "Files" section
  3. Click Files to open the "File" window.  

The "File" window will open in the folder you last worked with 


The top of the window shows the path to the file folder being viewed (1). You can click any of the folders in the path to display the contents of that folder, or click the sections in the file navigation tree to display the contents of the folder selected. Click the arrows to the left of the folder to expand or collapse the navigation tree (2)

Files and folders can be displayed in a grid view, or you can use the display slide tool (3) to change the display to small or large thumbnails. 

When you upload files, the system will create a thumbnail of the file (4). The thumbnails are small graphical representations of the file that are stored in the MDM database. 

MDM can thumbnail many types of files including

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • Vide
  • ...and more

Using Search to Find Files Across Folders

You can search for files directly or apply filters to help with navigation to find files.  

Type your search string, eg "Nokia" and click Go

You see resulting files across folders

The "File Maintain" Page

When you click on a file in the "File" window or from the "Files" dashboard of the entity it is on, MDM will bring up the "File Maintain" page. 

The "File Maintain" page displays metadata and icons for a uploading version etc

  1. The file is automatically sequentially assigned a unique ID
  2. The "File Name" uses the original name of the file that was uploaded
  3. Metadata for the file - the file type, size, version, and date - are listed below the thumbnail image
  4. The six icons below the file image allow you to (seen from the left)
    1. "Upload" a new version of the file
    2. "Download" the file
    3. "Preview" the image of the file
    4. "Markup" the file
    5. Create a "FPO" (For Placement Only) full size low resolution download version of the file
    6. "Lock" and "Unlock" the file to prevent users from making changes to its profile information or adding new versions

In the upper right corner of the page you'll see four check boxes (1)

  • The file is marked as "Active" by default
  • If "Version Control" is defined under Settings/Administration/File Options then it will be selected automatically for the file (2)
  • The "Final" checkbox allows you to identify which version of the file is the final version – only one version of the file can be the final version 
  • The "Restrict Download" option enables you to set the file so that it can only be viewed in the browser and cannot be downloaded. This allows you to route and share files securely to both internal and external contacts without providing them the ability to download a copy of the file onto their local client.

The Icons in the upper right corner of the page allow you to quickly

  1. "Route for Approval"
  2. Mark the file as a "Site Favorite"
  3. "Subscribe" to receive alerts for the file
  4. "Email" the file
  5. "Process" the file image if it isn’t thumb nailed
  6. "Print" the file


  • If you click the "Process" file icon to thumbnail the file image and the file has been marked up, you will receive a warning notifying you that reprocessing the file image will permanently delete all markup notes 
  • You have the option to click OK to process the file or Cancel to not process the file

Clicking the "Details" button (1) will expand the "Details" section in which you find additional fields and descriptive attribute sections about the file

The "Created By" and "Create Date" fields (2) are populated automatically based on the contact record of the user who uploaded it and the date and time it was uploaded. 

The "File Location" field (3)  is hard coded as the MDM Database. 

You can enter in additional descriptions and attributes about the file, they are not generated automatically. 

If comments have been added to the file (during the Markup process - see later below), an additional "Comments" button will be displayed below the "Details" button to allow you to expand and see comments made on the file. 

The lower part of the File Dashboard include options to:

  • "Alerts/Subscribe" – add or remove contacts that can receive alerts for the file
  • "Approvals/Reviews" – see approvals or reviews related to the file
  • "Email" – see emails related to the file
  • "Folders" – see the Folder(s) that the file is located in
  • "Related Files" – add files that are related to the file for reference
  • "Security" – view or change the user security settings for a file
  • "Usage" – see a summary of Upload, Download, Email, and Print counts for the file


  • Security for files is determined by user type and user privileges and will be discussed later

Version Control

MDM provides version control features to help protect files. Site-wide version control settings enable the MDM administrative user to require version control for all files stored in MDM. 

Under Settings -> File Options, check the "Version Control" checkbox, and click Save or Submit.
When version control is on for a file, MDM displays all the versions together on the File profile, so you can open and work with each version if necessary. 

Once a version has been stored in MDM, the version cannot be changed or deleted. By preventing users from overwriting versions, MDM can ensure that there is a clear trail of changes that were made to each file and that files are not overwritten or modified accidentally.

If version control is turned off, MDM replaces the current version of the file with the new one. The old version is permanently deleted.


  • Version control can be turned on or off on the individual file by Administrative users file at any time 
  • Non-administrative users can only turn version control on or off on individual files that they upload

Adding Files to Favorites

You can flag files as either "My Favorites" (1) or "Site Favorites" (2) for quick access to files that you frequently use (click the down arrow to expand the vertical toolbar)

You can also right click the file and mark it as a favorite

The "My Favorites" folder can also be accessed from the "Files" section of your Contact Dashboard. 

When you flag a file as a "My Favorite", the file will be added to your "My Favorites" folder which can be accessed from the "File" window by clicking on the "View My" (1) button. 

When you flag a file as a "Site Favorite", the file is added to the "Site Favorite Files" which can be added as a Widget to your Home Page.  


  • Only files can be flagged as Favorites, folders cannot be flagged as Favorites. 
  • Files flagged as "Site Favorites" are displayed in all users "Site Favorite Files" widget that have "Can Read" security rights to the file.

Dragging and Dropping Files into Folders

You can upload files directly from your desktop to MDM by simply dragging and dropping them into a MDM file folder. 
Files can be added from within the "File" window, or by navigating directly to the "Files" section of the entity dashboard you want to add the file to. 

Click the "Upload" icon (1) to display the "Upload" dialog

Navigate to the file in your Windows file system (1), drag the file to the "Upload" dialog (2) and click Upload (3)

The uploaded file now in the MDM folder

You can

  • drag a single file or drag multiple files into the "Files" section
  • click the "Upload" icon and drag files into the "Upload" window
  • click Browse to navigate and select files to add and click the Upload button.


  • You need Silverlight installed on the workstation to drag and drop

Adding and Moving Files

Files that are already uploaded to MDM can be added to multiple folders within the "File" window as well by dragging and dropping the file into the new location in the folder tree. 

  1. Click the blue bar of file you want to copy or move – and hold the left mouse key
  2. Drag the file over the the folder that you want to add the file (yellow bar around the folder name confirms you are there)
  3. Click the Ctrl key to copy the file to the new location - or - the Shift key to move the file.
  4. Release the left mouse button


Working with Folders in the "File Maintain" page

You can copy, move, and delete files using the "Folders" section of the "File Maintain" page

  1. From the File dashboard select "Folders"
  2. The folders that the file is located in are displayed (in my example just one)
  3. Click the "Add" icon to search for other Folders to add the file to
    - or –
  4. Click the "Delete" icon to remove the file from a specific folder.

The "Add" icon will bring up a search box.

  1. Type the name of the folder to search for
  2. Click Go to see the search result
  3. In the search result, check the check box next to the folder you want the file added to, and then click Add

Marking Files Up

Once a file has been uploaded into MDM, you can add comments, shapes, boxes, circles, arrows, post it notes, etc. using visual tools right on top of the file. 


  • Files must be thumbnailed in order to be marked up. If a file is not thumbnailed, you can click the "Process File" icon to reprocess the thumbnail image of the file. 

If you click the "Process File" icon to thumbnail the file image and the file has been Marked Up, you will receive a warning notifying you that reprocessing the file image will permanently delete all Markup notes. You have the option to click OK to Process the file or Cancel to not process the file.


  • Microsoft Silverlight must be installed on the user’s workstation in order to use the Mark Up feature. 

Click the "Mark Up" icon (1) to access the "Mark Up" screen for the file you want to mark up.

Or right click and click "MarkUp" directly in the "File" window


If the file you are going to mark up has multiple pages, a thumbnail image for each page is displayed. 

You can only use the markup tools in the maximize view.  Click the upper right corner of the image (1) to maximize or minimize the image.  

The file name and version are listed at the top along with the "Mark Up" toolbar options. 

Click on the dropdown next to the arrow to access the "Mark Up" tools available; comments, arrows, highlights, post it notes, callouts etc.


  • Mark up functions do not change the file in any way
  • When you click the Mark Up icon MDM makes a snapshot of each page of the file (the Mark Up image) and displays it on the "Mark Up" page
  • You can then use the mark up tools on the image without altering the file

To mark up a file

  1. Click the arrow to show the "Mark Up" toolbar
  2. Click the markup tool you want, eg. "Comment"
  3. Click in the image where you want to apply the comment
  4. Type the comment
  5. Click Save to save your mark up comments.

Mark Uup comments are displayed in the "Comments" panel on the right side of the "Mark Up" page (1) with the user contact information that made them and the page they are on if there is more than one page. 

A pushpin is seen in the picture (2) to indicate what part of the file the comment is regarding

Comments are in bold for the current page being viewed, comments made on other pages are greyed out to distinguish them.

The comments added to the "Mark Up" image are linked to the version of the file so that you can quickly see any comments that have been made in the "Comments" section of the "File Maintain" page. 

You can click on the mark up comment to edit or view the comment.


  • Mark up comments can be hard deleted by users with "Edit All" rights in their user privileges for "Mark Up". 
  • If a user only has "View All rights" in "Mark Up" and does not have "Edit All rights", they cannot open comments on the image but can view them in the comment pane on the right. This is to prevent them from editing or deleting a comment that was not made by them.

There are several options for displaying mark up comments that can be applied from the toolbar on the "Mark Up" page. You can choose to set the view to

  1. "View My" to display only comments made by you
    - or –
  2. "View All" comments so that comments made by all users are displayed

In the "View All" mode you can click on the "All" dropdown and select to only show comments made by specific users (in my example I'm the only editor):


  • Only users who made comments on that page are displayed in the All dropdown list

The toolbar in the markup page lets you do a lot of thing with the file


  1. Easily advance through the asset pages by using the paging options
  2. Zoom in or zoom out of the view, maximize the display to 100% of your monitor
  3. Set the edge/fill color, choose from four font options, and choose a text color for the comments
  4. Create a job that will automatically pull the file into the job
  5. Create a PDF of the file that will pull in all of the comments to allow you to save a Marked Up version of the file locally.

Here is how a marked up file would look as a PDF. Comments will be displayed with icons (1) and you can display the text by clicking the icon (2)

Comments are also listed in the Comments section to the right (1)

Mass Updating Files

Users who have adequate security privileges can update multiple files in a single operation. 

  1. Select the files that you want to update by clicking their checkboxes or the thumbnail image
  2. Expand the extended file tool menu
  3. Click the "Mass Update" icon

The "Mass Update" window is displayed:


Specify the changes you want applied to the selected files and click OK to update the files with the changes.


Working with Folders

MDM’s recursive Folder structure enables you to create an unlimited number of folders within folders to facilitate organization. 

MDM has two types of folders

  1. system folders
  2. user folders

System folders are created automatically for each entity and can be accessed from the Files section of the entity dashboard or from within the File Window.  

User folders are created by users and are created from within the system file folders or other user created file folders.


  • File folders (System and User) are not the same as Category folders. Category folders that you create to group jobs, contacts, campaigns, etc. do not show up in the File Folder Structure. 
  • Only File folders (system and user) are displayed in the file foldersStructure.

To create a file folder, from within a system folder in the file window or the "Files" section of an entity dashboard click the "New Folder"  icon (1) to display the "Add – Folder" dialog

The folder "Name" field (1) is a required field. You can also enter a "Description" for the folder, the "Created By" and "Create Date" (2) will populated automatically based on the logged in user’s contact record and date and time that it was created. 

Click Save to create the folder - and the "Security" access panel is displayed.  Depending upon the user privileges in "Files" you can grant or remove "Can Read" and "Can Update" rights to the folder. 

Click Submit and the file folder you created is displayed where it was created. 

You can click on the folder to open it, or click on the name of the folder in the file structure.  Click the "Properties" icon (2) to edit the folder and access the security panel for the file folder.


Working with Libraries

Libraries are folders that are outside of the MDM file folder structure, but inside of the MDM database 

Libraries are used to create folders that can be published to the Internet or your Intranet so files that need to be made available to non-MDM users can be accessed from a public URL.

Libraries can only be created in two ways, from within

  1. the root of the "Files" window
  2. the "File Libraries" window.

Creating Libraries from the Files Window

When created from within the "Files" window, libraries can be created either from the root of the File navigation tree, or from within existing Library folders. This way they are outside of the file folder Structure, but within the MDM database.

To create a new Library from within the "Files" window


  1. Click "Files" in the root of the navigation tree in the "Files" window
  2. Click the "New Folder" icon to display the "Add – Folder" dialog


  1. The "Folder Name" field is required field, so type a name to the folder. 
  2. Check the "Library" checkbox to make the file folder a library
  3. Once the Library checkbox is selected, you can choose to make it public by checking the "Publish" checkbox
  4. Click Save - verify security settings - and then click Submit

If you check the "Publish" checkbox, a public library URL is created specific to that library and displayed at the top of the page (I've hidden most of the URL behind a black bar in the screenshot above). If a Library is not public, no URL is generated and it can only be accessed by a logged in user with the corresponding security privileges. 

Users with the corresponding privileges and permissions can add files to library folders through the "Files" window by drag and drop or browse and upload.

When accessed through the "Files" window, the files in libraries are able to be uploaded, downloaded, and edited by users with corresponding security access in the same way as non-library Files. 

When you click on a file in a library folder that is accessed from within the "Files" window, MDM displays that file in the main browser.

MDM organizes Libraries in a recursive Folder structure in the same way as the files folder structure. This enables you to create an unlimited number of library folders within other library folders. To create a new Library folder from within an existing library, click into the existing library folder and click the "New Folder" icon.


  • a library folder created within an existing public library folder will automatically be public and cannot be made not public 
  • a library folder created in a non-public library folder cannot be made into a public library folder


  • Security Restrictions do NOT carry over from one Folder to the next. Library security is determined by user type and user privileges and will be discussed in more detail later in this lesson.

Creating Libraries from within the File Libraries Window

To create a new library from within the "File Libraries" Window, from the main navigation panel

  1. Click Assets & Media
  2. Click File Libraries under "Files", and the "File Libraries" window is displayed. 


Existing libraries are displayed in the "File Libraries" window, but the MDM file folder structure navigation tree is not displayed. 

To create a new library folder from within the "File Libraries" window, click the "New Folder" icon and give it a name, check the "Library" checkbox, and if you wish to make it public, select the "Publish" checkbox and click Save

Users with the corresponding privileges and permissions can add files to library folders through the "File Libraries" window by drag and drop or browse and upload.

Files accessed from the "File Libraries" window can only be downloaded or uploaded depending on the user privileges. They cannot be edited and the "File Maintain" page cannot be accessed through the "File Libraries" window.  If you want to change a file, you must access the file from the "File Maintain" page or from the "Files" window.


Public Libraries

Public libraries and the files in them can only be accessed from the public library URL that is provided by a MDM user with the corresponding privileges and permissions. 

Each public library created at the root level of the file folder structure has a separate public URL (1), so that you can have separate branches of public library URLs. 

There is no restriction on navigation and access within the specific public library URL branch, so any files or library folders or library sub folders (2) within that specific public library url branch can be accessed by a non-user who has the public library URL.


When accessed through the public url the files can only be downloaded, they cannot be edited or overwritten and no new files can be uploaded through the public URL. 

If you want to change a published file, you must login to MDM and access the file from the File Maintain Page to modify the file.



Access to Files, Folders, and Libraries is controlled by "Security" settings. 

Security settings are determined by the user type and the user privileges.  You can click the "Properties" icon while in a folder or library to display the security settings for that folder or library. 

To check security for an individual file, click the security section from the file maintain page to display the security settings for that file. 


  • Folder and files inherit permission of their parent folders
  • If you change the permission settings on a folder you will be prompted with the option to apply the changes to all files and sub-folders within the folder
  • If you click OK the changes will be applied to all files and sub-folders, if you click Cancel the changes will only be applied to that folder.

User Privileges

You can control security settings for files, folders, and libraries using User "Privileges".

Options include

  • "View My"
  • "Edit My"
  • "View All"
  • "Edit All"

in "Files", "Libraries" and "Markup".


See also

  • Get started with digital asset management - link
  • More blog posts on Dynamics Marketing - link