Uploading vs Linking Assets

There are a couple places in shopVOX that let you upload or link digital asset files like artwork, pdfs, excel docs, etc. This article helps you understand the differences between linking and uploading.

Before we go into Upload vs Link. Lets look at the storage hierarchy in shopVOX. There are some basic principles within shopVOX that are universal regardless of whether you decide to link or upload your assets.

Asset Levels

In summary there are 4 compartments or pools for assets where assets are centralized for ease of access. Account Level, Customers, Transactional (Sales lead,QT, SO, IN), and Jobs. It's easy to take an asset from one of these pools, and bring it to the other by using the "Find and Copy" Feature. We'll also serve you relevant connections to keep you from having to leave the screen you are on.

Account Level Assets: (click here for more info on these)

These are documents like order forms, contracts, artwork or other files you want to use again and again.

Customer Assets:

You can store these assets as uploads or links. These assets are easy to find from inside transactions (QT, SO, IN) and jobs.

Sales Leads & Transaction assets:
  • Sales Lead - These linked or uploaded assets will automatically be copied to a QT, SO, or IN as it progresses. If I add artwork to a lead after a QT, SO, IN  is created, that artwork won't carry over automatically. It can still be found using the "Find & Copy" feature.
  • Quote - Assets uploaded or linked to a QT will automatically be copied as the transaction progresses to a SO and/or IN. If I add artwork to a lead after a SO or IN  is created, that artwork won't carry over automatically. It can still be found using the "Find & Copy" feature or in the Assets User Interface (see image below)
  • Sales Order - Assets uploaded or linked to an SO will automatically be copied as the transaction progresses to an IN.  If I add artwork to a lead after a QT, SO, IN  is created, that artwork won't carry over automatically. It can still be found using the "Find & Copy" feature or on the Assets User Interface (see image below)
  • Invoice - Assets uploaded or linked to an IN will automatically be copied as the transaction progresses to an IN. If I add artwork to QT or SO after it is converted to an Invoice that artwork won't carry over automatically. It can still be found using the "Find & Copy" feature and will show relevant results similar to those shown in the images directly above.
Job assets:

Assets found an any transaction or customer will easily be seen from inside the Job on the right hand side. Some of these boxes will show relevant assets based on where the transaction is at. In the example below, a Job was created for a quote, once this quote progresses to a sales order, it will update to show SO Assets.

Uploading Assets

Uploading is easy to do. You can drag n drop artwork, or add artwork from any of the following sources. Anytime you upload into shopVOX you are creating a copy of the artwork. Taking it from an original source (shown below) to shopVOX where it can be stored and accessed, viewed, and downloaded later

  • Box.com
  • My Computer
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Web Images
  • Flickr
  • FTP
  • Github
  • Google Drive
  • One Drive
  • Google Photos
  • Link (URL)
  • Camera (Phone, Tablet or Computer Camera)
  • Instagram
  • Record Video (Phone, Tablet or Computer Camera)
PROS
  • It's very easy to use and convenient
  • Store all your companies files in shopVOX
  • When done properly this will keep a copy (backup) of the file in shopVOX in case anything happens.
  • Can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection
CONS
  • There isn't an easy way to get this artwork out of shopVOX. Because you are putting a copy in shopVOX, and not keeping the originals, this shouldn't be cause for alarm.
  • It will count towards your 25 GB of Asset Storage.

Linking involves pasting some kind of URL (It could be locally stored on the computer, a local server, or to the world wide web). The user in shopVOX, or your customer (using online proofing for example) clicks on link thumbnail before they see the actual file.

Common Linking Types:
  • Cloud Storage
  • Local Computer
  • Advanced Networking and/or Servers

Cloud Storage: These include services like Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox. The three cloud storage solutions mentioned above can operate on your computer, so you can store a file in google drive for example on one file computer, and google drive uses pixie dust and magic to sync that file in the cloud, and on other devices that have access to the file. It can also produce a link to the file with a simple right click from inside your computer as shown.

Google Drive Example:

Below is one example of google drive (One Drive and Dropbox have something similar). This should give you at least some idea of how these drives work really well for linking.

Step 1: Right Click on the file that's in one of these special cloud folders on your computer's file explorer and your file menu will appear with drive options

Step 2: In this Google Drive Example, if I click on "Share with Google Drive" a menu will pop up with the sharing options shown below

I can select the second option for online proofing so my customers can access it. If I only want it to be accessed from inside the organization then I would select one of the bottom three options.

Step 3: A link will be created, which can be pasted into shopVOX for easy access.

PROS:

  • Some of these include free storage up to a certain number of Gigabits.
  • Easy to use and share files between multiple computers.
  • Provides an offsite backup of your assets

CONS: 

  • At some point these cost money.
  • Using these on a computer will use RAM, Hard drive space, and internet bandwidth
  • We do not support technical issues that may occur outside of shopVOX
Local Computer:

This is not recommended, but it can be done. 

PROS:

  • Pretty straightforward if only using one computer.
  • Does not count towards shopVOX file storage limits

CONS:

  • This will only work on computers that have the same file structure. For example if computer one stores in C:\users\artwork, but your other computer operates on a E:\users\artwork folder, you'll need to switch the file drive letter on one of the computers.
  • This will not work for online proofs because customers who use online proofing won't have your files on there computer.
  • This kind of storage isn't very scale-able
  • We Do Not support technical issues that may occur outside of shopVOX
Self Hosted File Servers/Network Folders/FTPs/Third Party Solutions

Many of these types of solutions usually require some intermediate understanding of computers. Pros and Cons for these will vary.

Linking Summed Up

PROS for Linking

  • Does not count towards shopVOX file storage. No additional shopVOX storage costs
  • Your artwork and assets aren't sitting on shopVOX servers. Only links to those assets.
  • If using cloud storage, your data is usually backed up by them and is usually low cost compared to shopVOX's $1 per GB.

CONS for Linking

  • No thumbnail is produced for the assets.
  • Extra clicks - linking requires the user to click on the link in order to view the asset. An uploaded file will actually show a thumbnail.
  • Takes a little extra effort to understand the URL structure or create URLs depending on how you are generating URLs (Hopefully this article helps)

TIPS ON BEST USE

  • Mix it up. Some customers link certain aspects of there assets, while uploading others. For example if you are sending low resolution proofs to customers (less than 5 mb) you might want to upload these proofs to shopVOX, while linking actual customer artwork (which tends to be a lot bigger than a JPG or raster PDF) to shopVOX.
  • If you are using Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox you may want to have a folder that is public to anyone who as the URL. This will make the contents available to anyone who has a URL. This is relatively secure because the URL is generally very random set of symbols,  upper and lowercase letters, and/or numbers. This makes sharing easy, you drop the proof into the folder in whatever format you perfer to send proofs in, you can right click from your computer drive and get a link, and paste it into shopVOX.

Why do we limit to 25 GB?

Because file storage is one of the most complex and taxing parts of any web or locally hosted server solution, we limit your basic subscription to 25 GB of storage for Pro (10 GB for Job Board). If you go over it's $1 per GB after that. shopVOX will not stop you from going over. You can check on your usage by going to Account Settings>> Settings

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