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Integrating Enterprise Server in Elvis 4 - introduction

Integrating Elvis 4 and Enterprise Server - how it works

Elvis Server can be tightly integrated with Enterprise Server to make the assets that are stored in Elvis available in the workflow of Enterprise and to archive published publications from Enterprise to Elvis.

This integration makes it possible to:

This article describes the architecture as well as some of the technical aspects of working with assets within an Enterprise integration.


At the heart of the integration sits the Elvis Content Source plug-in. It is installed and configured in Enterprise Server and takes care of all communication between Elvis and Enterprise.

The following figure shows an overview of the plug-in architecture.

The content source architecture overview

  1. Elvis Server. Manages all files which can be placed on layouts or that can be stored (as a reference) in Dossiers in Enterprise. Such files include images, videos, audio files, documents and so on.
  1. Enterprise Server. When a file is accessed through Enterprise (for example by using Content Station or by placing a file on a layout in InDesign with Smart Connection installed), it retrieves the original file, the file preview, the thumbnail, metadata and versions from Elvis. Likewise, when changes to the metadata of a file is edited in Enterprise, the Content Source plug-in ensures that these changes are also made to the file in Elvis.
  1. Elvis client in Content Station. The interface of the Desktop client can be added to Content Station as an Application. This makes it possible for users to search for the assets in Elvis and use them in the Enterprise workflow (for example by dragging them into a Dossier).
  1. Elvis Content Source. The Elvis Content Source plug-in for Enterprise is the link between Elvis Server and Enterprise Server. It manages all file operations performed by Enterprise on files stored in Elvis.

Working with Elvis files in Enterprise

When a file in Elvis is used in Enterprise, a reference to the file in Elvis will be stored in Enterprise.

Note: This reference is sometimes referred to as a 'shadow object'.

When the Elvis file subsequently needs to be worked on, the original file — together with the file preview, thumbnail, metadata and versions — is retrieved from Elvis and stored on the local system of the user.


A Content Station user drags an image from Elvis into a Dossier in Enterprise. At this stage, a reference to the file in Elvis is stored in Enterprise.

Next, the user decides to open the image from Content Station in Photoshop for editing. Because this requires the original file, it is retrieved from Elvis (together with all the supporting files) and stored on the local system of the user.

The metadata of the file is stored in the file in Elvis and simultaneously in the reference in Enterprise. Whenever values in the mapped metadata fields is changed on either the Elvis side or the Enterprise side, these values are synchronized.

To summarize:

  • The original file is managed in and by Elvis
  • Versions of a file are created in Elvis
  • By default, only references of a file are stored in Enterprise
  • Metadata is stored in Elvis and updated in Enterprise

Note: A file from Elvis can only be used in one Enterprise Server at a time.

Behavior when exporting or importing files

When importing files from Enterprise in Elvis or exporting files from Elvis to Enterprise, the default behavior is that references are created in Enterprise. Should copies be created instead, this can be configured. For more information, see Importing files from Enterprise Server into Elvis 4 and Exporting files from the Elvis 4 Desktop Client to Enterprise Server.

User management

For a seamless integration between Elvis and Enterprise it is important that all clients use the same user to log in. The user therefore needs to be present in both Elvis Server and Enterprise Server and have the proper permissions assigned. The use of LDAP is advised. For more information, see Integrating Elvis 4 in Enterprise Server.

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