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MediaBeacon University

Creating Hierarchies/Taxonomies in the Search Filter

MediaBeacon allows administrators to give selected user groups or user roles an ability to browse through assets using arbitrary hierarchies, also called taxonomies. This mode of browsing is driven exclusively by available metadata and is filtered by uploaded hierarchies, so users are given a predictable browsing experience.




Once a hierarchy is identified and uploaded to MediaBeacon, it can be used for filtering metadata and populating the Search Filter widget dynamically. Again, the Search Filter widget represents real data and is using classifications only to filter it.

AND / OR filters allow users to add respective logic to multiple selections in a given category. AND will return results with both values. OR will return results with either.

There are three main aspects to setting up hierarchies in the Search Filter widget:

  • setup of data dictionaries/hierarchies
  • setup of data schemas enabling those hierarchies
  • configuring a Search Filter widget

Sample Built-in Hierarchy

MediaBeacon comes with one pre-configured "File Type" hierarchy. To use it, simply add a Search Filter widget to a workspace, click the configuration gear, and add the "File Format (MediaBeacon Default)" field.

This sample hierarchy uses the "File Format" field in the "MediaBeacon Default" schema and the "File Formats" dictionary.



Dictionary Setup

MediaBeacon provides a simple and intuitive interface for setting up and maintaining dictionaries and hierarchies. Such classifications are used for validation of metadata values and for filtering data in the Search Filter widget.

Dictionaries in MediaBeacon can be set up in the application web interface or in Excel format outside of the system. They can be loaded from standard templates like WordNet or from arbitrary sources like custom databases in Excel format.


Note that in order for the system to recognize new dictionaries they have to be formatted in a certain way. You can download a sample template by clicking on the (Example) link in the interface shown above.

Dictionaries can contain hierarchical classifications. In order for MediaBeacon to recognize them automatically, make sure they are formatted exactly as shown in the template. Hierarchical entries must be separated via colons (:).


At any time, entries in any of the dictionaries can be edited either by downloading appropriate Excel file and then uploading it back or directly in MediaBeacon’s web interface as shown below (Using "Edit" command).


MediaBeacon can also perform a one-time import of existing values from a particular metadata field or synchronize selected dictionary with a certain field dynamically. See below.


Synchronization with fields that are freely editable by any user without validation can quickly pollute the dictionary. This is particularly relevant to dictionaries that are used to define hierarchies. Hierarchies are most useful when all of the entries are precise and validated by dictionaries.

Data Schema Setup

Hierarchical metadata and cascades can be set up on both existing and new data schemas.

Note, that for users to be able to see this schema it has to be enabled for their group. Each data schema can be turned on or off for each group by selecting appropriate checkboxes on the group permissions page [groupedit.jsp].


Fields with Forced Dictionaries

Validator: "ForceDictionary" + Appropriate Dictionary
UI Element: "Cascade" or "Comma Separated Cascade"
Index with SQL: "Yes"

Fields with Suggested Dictionaries

Validator: "SuggestDictionary" + Appropriate Dictionary
UI Element: "String"
Index with SQL: "Yes"

"Cascade" or "String" options will enable a single editable field.

"Comma Separated Cascade" will allow multiple fields. See example below.


Field names shown above are the field names specified in the Name Mappings Section.


Administrators can assign any number of qualifying data fields to the Search Filter widget. In order for a metadata field to "qualify", it must:

  • Be a "Force Dictionary" or "Suggest Dictionary" type of field
  • Have a valid dictionary or hierarchy attached
  • Have an appropriate UI element (see Data Schema Setup a few pages above)
  • Be indexed into a separate database column (checkbox "Index with SQL")

Search Filter Widget Setup

This is covered in depth in the Widget Manual.

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