Meta­data tem­plates are a new fea­ture in AEM DAM 5.6.1 that allows users to auto­mat­i­cally pre-fill some of the meta­data fields of assets when upload­ing them. This can be use­ful when upload­ing a large num­ber of assets that must have some com­mon meta­data val­ues, like tags or copy­right information.

In order to define a meta­data tem­plate, you will have to use the Dig­i­tal Assets tool in the Clas­sic UI, as there is no pro­vi­sion for man­ag­ing meta­data tem­plates in the Touch UI yet. How­ever, once a tem­plate has been applied to a folder, it is active regard­less of the chan­nel or inter­face used to upload the assets.

The def­i­n­i­tion and appli­ca­tion of a meta­data tem­plate is a two-step process. First, you need to cre­ate the meta­data tem­plate proper, which is noth­ing more than a list of meta­data fields with a name attached. Then, you have to assign the meta­data tem­plate to a folder, thereby cre­at­ing an instance of the tem­plate that spec­i­fies val­ues for the fields con­tained in the template.

I real­ize this expla­na­tion sounds more com­pli­cated than it actu­ally is in prac­tice, so let’s look at an example.

Access the Dig­i­tal Assets tool of an AEM 5.6.1 instance at http://server:port/damadmin, open the “New…” menu and select “New Meta­data Tem­plate…”. Give the tem­plate a name and pos­si­bly a descrip­tion then, in the next page of the dia­log, select which meta­data fields are to be included in the template.


To apply the newly cre­ated meta­data tem­plate to a folder, select one and bring up the con­tex­tual menu by right-clicking and choose the “Apply Meta­data Tem­plate…” option. In the first page of the dia­log that pops up, select the meta­data tem­plate you pre­vi­ously cre­ated and give a name to this instance​.In the next page, spec­ify actual val­ues for one or more of the fields con­tained in the tem­plate. In the exam­ple of fig. we spec­ify val­ues for Title, Copy­right, and Tags.

Now upload one or more assets to the folder and exam­ine their meta­data. You should see they have been filled with the val­ues you input into the tem­plate instance.

You can now go back to the folder and change or remove the tem­plate instance. Notice that, if you do so, exist­ing assets will not be mod­i­fied. The new tem­plate instance def­i­n­i­tion will only apply to new assets.

The tem­plate instance will also se used for any sub­fold­ers of the one it is applied to, unless a dif­fer­ent instance is applied to a descen­dant folder. In other words, when upload­ing an asset, the DAM will look for a tem­plate instance in the cur­rent folder and up its chain of ances­tors, until it find one, and then it will stop. There is no way, presently, to com­bine dif­fer­ent tem­plate instances as if they were one: Only the first one found is applied.

What hap­pens when an asset already has metadata?

You might won­der what hap­pens when you upload to a folder that is asso­ci­ated with a meta­data tem­plate an asset that already con­tains some meta­data that is auto­mat­i­cally extracted, like IPTC head­ers. Is the value spec­i­fied in the tem­plate going to be used, or is it the one inside the file? Well, the answer is both: Those fields will be cre­ated as multi-value prop­er­ties under the jcr:content/metadata node, so no val­ues from the file will be overwritten.

What hap­pens when you move an exist­ing asset to a folder that has a meta­data tem­plate applied?

Noth­ing. Meta­data tem­plates are only applied when upload­ing new assets.