For the last months I have been dealing with Adobe Scene7 every once in a while on my job. From configuring Viewers to invalidating CDN cache when necessary, my experience and feedback on it was good.

Until now.

I never cared that much about the fact that its interface was all Flash. Not after I started using IBM’s Websphere Commerce (an e-commerce platform) where all of its management tools are built on flash. Flash is.. well, outdated. It doesn’t perform or work – sometimes, at all – but at this point let’s just say I couldn’t care less.

The issues came when I started playing around with Batch Set Presets: a feature that enables you to create ImageSets, SpinSets or Multi-Axis Sets automatically. The way it works is quite simple, actually, but somehow Adobe managed to mess it up. You start by defining a match expression (regex) to pick up your assets and group them into a set of the type you have chosen. Getting this to work is not as easy as you’d expect as the lack of help within the screen is close to nonexistent but once you understand how files get picked up, it’s pretty straight-forward.

Now, if you want your assets to be grouped in a Set in a very specific order which is not alphabetic, that is when your nightmares start. First of all, there is no documentation available for the Sequence Ordering functionality so you have to literally start your trial & error attempts. This is when you need to be careful. During your tests, you will probably do something along the lines of:

  1. Generate Set
  2. Verify Result
  3. Worked as expected
    1. Done!
  4. Didn’t work as expected
    1. Unpublish Set
    2. Delete Set
    3. Start again.

While you are doing this and after a few failed attempts, you might end seeing the same result over and over again to the point where you think nothing you can possibly think will work as the result is always the same. This happens because, even though you unpublished and deleted the previous Set, for some reason that I cannot understand, that same Set you just deleted gets picked up and added back to your working folder. It doesn’t matter if you emptied your trash in Scene7 or not, if the Set has the name of a previously created Set, then it will get updated.

A nice way to spot (or replicate) this is to actually view the Job details window. You will notice on the detail message that Scene7 updated your asset <insert name here>.

So what is the solution?

So the solution for this is to actually change the prefix (or suffix) of the Batch Set Preset on the Naming Convent and Creating Options. This way the Set always gets created from scratch and you are 100% sure you are seeing the result of your changes.

Another interesting fact is the Active column of the Batch Set Presets. Ticking this checkbox also seems to have no impact all. Whatever presets you have on that list will get executed when you upload a file, it doesn’t matters if you have it active or not. Perhaps I am looking at this field the wrong way and expecting a behavior that is completely different than what was implemented, but then I guess the point I mentioned above about no context help being available applies here as well.

I am not sure how mature this feature is within Scene7 but all I can say is that I wasted quite some time on this until I (finally!) got it to work.

Oh, and if you are wondering about Sequence Ordering, just use a regular expression to match whatever files you want to be first. Eg: if your first file needs to be the one ending with the word “main”, then just use something like [a-zA-Z0-9]{10}main.

I hope Adobe updates this tool and fixes all of these issues (and gets rid of its Flash interface too!)

If this helped you let me know! Write a comment here or drop me a tweet @flipesteves and share your experience with Scene7.