Cloudinary Blog

DAM for Developers: Access Control

DAM for Developers: Access Control

In my last post, we spoke about AI-Based Content Analysis. Now, given the importance of security and privacy, authentication is at the heart of virtually all software. Access control is the layer on top of authentication that determines who can access what. Why is access control necessary? Because within most organizations nowadays is a multitude of digital assets stored in various folders, and functional teams need access to some of those assets to do their work even though their access to private assets must be restricted. Complexity arises as a result, especially during cross-functional collaboration among developers and other teams.

Cloudinary’s digital asset management (DAM) solution features built-in access-control modes. For example, to avoid inadvertent deletions of valid or relevant assets, Cloudinary retains deleted assets for at least 30 days and blocks access to private assets.

Webinar
Marketing Without Barriers Through Dynamic Asset Management

Access Control

Access control is a premium Cloudinary feature, currently available only to accounts with a custom plan or those accounts whose owners have explicitly requested enablement of access control.

Mode Setup

Once Cloudinary has enabled access control for your account, you can set up the modes for your assets from within your Media Library.

If an asset is restricted for access, as shown in the image above, no one can view it outside the Media Library—except those individuals who have both the asset’s URL and authentication token.

To change an asset’s access-control mode, click the asset and then the Summary tab for the Access control section, as shown in the image below:

Summary Tab of an Asset in Access-Control Mode

This dialog box then opens:

access control settings

Here, you can make the asset publicly available or restricted within a certain time frame. For example, you can specify the duration of the related project under Time-limited access to avoid assets being shared outside the company or team while the project is in progress.

To change the access-control mode for multiple assets, set up upload presets before uploading those assets with the Media Library’s upload widget. By default, the Upload Presets option is not available in the advanced options of the upload widget. Contact Cloudinary support to enable that option.

Authentication Tokens

An authentication token is an obfuscated alphanumeric code that ensures that the person requesting access to an asset through its URL has the permission to do so. Cloudinary DAM generates two types of tokens for access control:

  • The query parameter token, which is appended to an asset’s delivery URL.
  • The cookie token, which is downloaded to the user’s device for verification when the user accesses the asset through its URL.

Recall that you can access assets outside the Media Library only if you have both their URLs and authentication tokens.

Collections for Access Control

Collections are conceptual groupings of assets regardless of the latter’s folder structure. As an administrator or someone with owner permissions for a particular collection, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Create assets and add them to the collection
  • View the collection
  • Rename the collection
  • Delete the collection
  • Remove assets from the collection
  • Share the collection

See these two examples:

share folder

share collection dialog

As an administrator or owner of all collections, you can set up access-permission levels to control who can access which groups.

The sharing and permission-setup capabilities are available for multiple user accounts only, which are offered under Cloudinary’s advanced plan and other higher plans.

Next . . .

For more details on the access control-related tasks described in this post, see the related documentation. Stay tuned for my next post in the DAM for developers series about asset metadata.


Further Reading on Digital Asset Management

Recent Blog Posts

The Benefits of Headless DAMs

Headless is not a buzzword anymore. In fact, the concept of headless architecture is gaining momentum due to the flexibility it offers for composing new experiences and for tackling the undue complexity of an ever-evolving technology stack. That’s because while the evolution of the martech landscape has enabled disruptive, digital innovations, the approach of buying point solutions for solving specific challenges can expose companies to the complicated nature of new technologies, systems, and platforms.

Read more

Building Display Ads With Transparent Video

By Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan
Build Web Ads With Transparent Video to Attract User Engagement

Billions of views on the Internet every day drive one of the biggest industries on the planet: advertising. The sheer size of that market and the competitive nature of vying for consumer attention results in a constant need for innovation. Readers are jaded, and display ads are blind spots.

Read more
How Cloudinary's Media Optimizer Helps E-Businesses Deliver Superior Web Performance

As a technology company, Cloudinary owes its success to its ability to build solutions that address the most critical challenges you, our customers, face. The companies we serve run the gamut of digital businesses—retailers and direct-to-consumer brands, media and entertainment, travel and hospitality—which, coincidentally, all care about the same things.

Read more
How to Auto-Tag Video With Markers on Cloudinary for Easy Navigation

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that also holds true for video, one minute of which, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, is worth 1.8 million words. That's why online stores rely on rich media to promote products and sales. Images and videos impart a real sense of involvement with a purchase—a car, a vacation getaway, an apartment rental—setting your business apart from the competition.

Read more