There are countless abbreviations and technical terms in the world of PIM and DAM. If you are unsure about any term or need an explanation or the correct definition, you can find the answer to your question in our CS Glossary.

NOTE: This is a list of common terms often used in PIM, DAM, Data Quality, and OpenSearch Modules of Contentserv System. The list will be frequently updated.

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Active Job - (framework) Active Job is a framework for declaring jobs and making them run on a variety of queuing backends. These jobs can include everything from regularly scheduled clean-ups to billing charges, to mailings. Anything that can be chopped into small units of work and run in parallel, really. (See

Additive Inheritance - (configuration) This is where one class (child) can have more than one superclass and inherit features from all parent classes. This option is available for all attributes from attribute type group references and for Selection and Simple Selection with activated option Multiple Selections. (See )

Administrator - (user type) A technical specialist/ superuser who configures a software system.

Advanced Search - (configuration) Method of refining search results, by adding some additional search criteria. A filter can be applied before running a search or it can be used to refine search results after the initial search has been executed. (See

  • Example
    You might want to find all types of Smart TV of a particular color, say red as opposed to all types of colors available.

Article - (concept) An article is a specific variant of a product. It is a physical object.

Assortments - (concept) Assortments are used to define subsets of the product master file that are published, for example, in catalogs or online shops.

Asset Management - (concept) In general, it relates to the management of either physical objects, locations, or items of value. However, derivative terms like Digital Asset Management specifically relate to the digital files which are usually (but not always) media-related.

Related: DAM, MAM, PIM

Asset Editing - Asset editing refers to the alteration of an original asset to produce a derivative file. The new file might be used as a proxy within a DAM system, or it could be for external purposes, for example, changing the resolution of an image or converting a video file into another file format.

Assisting Objects - (concept) Refers to the additional reusable objects with their own properties. Linking them to the product (through reference attributes) is useful as additional reference information. (See )

  • Example
    Linking back a brand specific size chart for the Adidas shoes.

Attribute - (concept) A data field that describes a product, mostly a characteristic or detailed piece of information related to a particular object. Attributes can be one of two types, description or specification. (See

Attribution Class - (concept: class type) A class that adds specific attributes to the product it is assigned to.

  • Example
    A 'Mobile Phone’ class may add attributes for Screen Size, Memory Size, Operating System, etc.

Attribute Type - (concept) The specification in an attribute definition of the kind of data that can be stored in an instance of that attribute.

  • Example
    Simple data types, such as string or number, as well as more complex data types like currency or date.


Boolean Property - (property type) A Boolean property allows selecting between two options.

  • Example:
    Contains nuts: Yes/No

Boolean Search - (concept) The process of identifying an asset on a true or false (binary) basis.

For a “Yes” answer, a user's request term is the same as an index term associated with the asset being examined.

Boolean Search Operators - (functional concept) Boolean Search Operators control how the PIM/DAM systems interpret search terms for asset retrieval (e.g., AND, OR, and NOT). AND represents the intersection of two terms, while OR represents a union of the two terms. NOT acts as a filter, excluding records containing a specified term.


Classification - (concept) It is referred to as a particular type of hierarchy that organizes groups of objects or assets. Objects are linked to classifications via references and may have references to multiple classifications. (See

Calculated Attribute - (attribute type) An attribute type shows the result of a calculation of 2 or more numbers.

Catalog - (concept) Catalog (or 'Catalogue' in UK English spelling) refers to the range of assets stored within a repository. Conventionally, this would only include digital files that have had descriptive metadata applied to them via the cataloging process (and which have become digital assets as a result). Where workflow is involved, assets that have not yet been approved may or may not be considered as included within a catalog.

Channel - (module) It can be of two types:

  • Communication Channel: A connection or path between a sender and a receiver provided by a transmission medium. Such as, Contentserv can export product data from a PIM representing the sender. For transferring the product information to the potential customer representing the receiver it can be propagated into one or more channels. Propagation works via different transmission media, for example, a webshop, a print catalog, or an electronic catalog. Each transmission medium represents a separate channel or connection to a specific customer group.


  • Distribution Channel: A transactional communication channel used for selling products. A distribution channel represents a path or pipeline through which goods and services flow from the vendor to the consumer. The payments generated by the flow in the opposite direction from the consumer back to the vendor.

Channel Manager - (user type, customer role) Monitor the customer touchpoints to the system from ERP, POS, etc., to move data smoothly across the entire commercial network.

Classes - (concept) Classes define base configurations for products. Each class that is given to a product allows that product to have a more precise definition. There are multiple levels of classes that can be used in conjunction.

  • Example:

    Product, Single Article

Controlled Vocabulary - (functional concept) A controlled vocabulary is an authoritative list of preferred terms used to ensure consistent application of metadata to your assets. Use of a controlled vocabulary, “preferred terms” and the use of synonyms in the drop-down or pick lists are all good ways to take control of and provide consistency to your assets.

Collection - (feature ) An object that holds a static set of objects, or dynamic search criteria that can be refreshed as required to find the latest matching objects. Using collections helps to display resulting data, perform bulk actions, and export data. (See )

  • Example:

    A collection that consists of high-end smartphones

Concatenated Attribute - (attribute type) A combination of multiple text-based properties.

  • Example:

    The dimension concatenated attribute type would combine the properties for Length, Width, and Height into ‘10cm x 20cm x 2cm’.

Content Stewards - (user type, customer role) Content Stewards work with all forms of assets across the enterprise, keep the right version of assets discoverable and accessible to groups with different needs for content access and usage.

CSV - (format) Comma-separated values. CSV is a simple text file format for exchanging simply structured data. Values are stored in a table as a series of ASCII text lines organized so that each column value is separated by a character (a comma or semicolon) from the next column’s value and each row starts a new line



Dashboard - (module) The CS dashboard is an interactive user interface that presents, tracks, and organizes multiple data sources in a central location for businesses to monitor and analyze performance.


It is an overview or pre-configured view of the multiple data sources in a central location.

Data Export - (process) - A process that prepares data, especially items and categories, such that it can be sent to downstream systems using various transport mechanisms, such as message queues or FTP, CSV or MS Excel files.


An external file that is used to export data from a catalog or a hierarchy.

Data Fields - (configuration) Data object of a particular type, e.g. belonging to the data type “product”. Data types have data fields where content can be stored, e.g. the data type “product” comprises the data fields “description” and “manufacturer”. There are simple and qualified data fields. Qualified fields need to be further specified using additional settings (e.g. the language).

Data Governance - (concept) Data governance is an approach to managing a company’s data assets. It defines who is accountable for various aspects of an organization’s data as well as including procedures that define how the data is used, structured, and stored. This also includes using the data quality rules and KPIs to capture the quality of data in the system. The variance in the quality parameters can be showcased using various Dashboard tiles.

Data Import - (process) - The process that accepts the data from a data source into a catalog or hierarchy.


An external data file (CSV or MS Excel), or data feed, that is used to import data into a catalog or hierarchy.

Data Model - (configuration) The data model defines the base data structure for products, assets in the system. This structure enables users to connect predefined classes or taxonomies with the products to classify them. The data model defines products from the highest level of classification, down to individual attributes and properties.

  • Example:

    A data model is made up of blueprints of different types of database objects like types of products, dimensions, contexts, object types, reference types, keys, component models, attribute groups, attributes, and tags. You can use the data model to create a new product class in this case.

Data Migration - (configuration) Data Migration is the transfer of data from an incumbent database to its replacement. The process is consultative in nature and usually involves developers and subject experts/technical consultants deciding how to convert (or 'map') records from the old system into the new, then writing scripts or programs to automate this.

Data Steward - (user type, customer role) A data steward is a role within an organization responsible for utilizing an organization’s data governance processes to ensure the suitability of both content and metadata.

Data Type - (configuration) A data type specifies the data category of a data source, a variable, and all data source or post-export parameters. Each data source, variable, and parameter can only have one data type.

Data Quality - (module) The module provides a set of tools and best context-specific processes to improve the fitness of data that are used for analysis and decision making. The goal is to create insights into the health of that data using various processes and technologies on increasingly bigger and more complex data sets.

Derivative Files - (configuration) These can refer to previews that enable users to see what an asset looks like before they download it. They may include a variety of options such as thumbnail images, Flash Video, low resolution, or watermarked editions of images. As well as previews, derivative files sometimes refer to assets that will be used for production purposes but where some key aspect has been altered (e.g. the size, format, or color space).

DeepL Translator (tool) - A free machine translation service launched in August 2017. It has received positive press asserting that it is more accurate and nuanced than Google Translate. DeepL converts words directly between English and ten languages: 

Chinese (simplified), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) - (domain type) Digital Asset Management (DAM) offers a solution for enterprises to store, organize, find, and retrieve digital files. Digital files in the DAM are linked to the PIM through relationships.

Dynamic Selection - (configuration) - A saved search query of items or categories.


EAN - (concept) European Article Numbering is the former name of GS1. It is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. 

ERP - (system) Enterprise Resource Planning system. ERP systems are comprehensive merchandise planning and control systems used to efficiently manage resources such as capital, personnel, materials, supplies, IT systems, goods, and logistics.

ETL - (tool) ETL stands for extract, transform, load, three database functions that are combined into one tool to pull data out of one database and place it into another database. The extract is the process of reading data from a database. The ETL tool you will find in the CS System is Talend.

EXIF - (format) Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) is a metadata standard used to store technical information about digital images. 

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Faceted Search - (configuration) Faceted search is also sometimes referred to as guided navigation. Users search a collection of discrete, but related elements called facets. These can be organized hierarchically or as a linear sequence. The way the facets are presented can be using a keyword search to act as a preliminary filter - where the initial characters define what is shown subsequently, or they might be fixed classifications that users browse through like bookmarks. (See

Favorites - (configuration) If you want to search the same way over and over again, you can save the search configuration as a favorite. Favoriting searches on list-views saves you time as you don't have to construct a new search every time you need to find out certain information. (See

File Format - (format type) File format is a catch-all term to describe the type of each digital file. Some file formats are product-specific and will be named after the software or hardware used to create them. Others are more generic and may be created by a wide range of tools.

Flash - (tool) Flash is an application used to create Shockwave Flash (SWF) files and associated media such as Flash Video (FLV). Although the files are often referred to as 'movies' they are frequently applications, interactive features, animations, or games. The Flash player is ubiquitous as it is bundled with Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers. As a result, Flash is currently the pre-eminent dynamic media format in use on the web. In Video Digital Asset Management systems, H.264, MPEG4, and Flash movies are often used as proxy formats to allow users to check video assets before downloading them.


GDSN - (network system) This is a network of computer systems for exchanging information through data pools. GDSN data pools enable collaborators to operate based on standards that support live data sharing and trading updates.

GTIN - (standard marking) Global Trade Item Number is a unique GS1 System identification number for products and services. A Global Trade Item Number maybe 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits in length, represented as GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13, and GTIN-14 respectively. The former designation "Gencod" remains in countries where French retailers operate. This code is the one that will be transformed into a barcode and exchanged in the e-business messages.

GDPR Compliant - (standard marking) The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law regarding data protection and privacy. Compliant DAM solution will adhere to this and give users appropriate control over their personal data.

GIF - (format) A image file type that is most commonly known for supporting animated content. It is also used for flat graphics and logos, rather than full-color photos.



Hot Folder - (configuration) A hot folder (or "watched folder") is a directory in the file system that is continuously monitored by the CS system. Files copied into this directory are automatically imported to the pre-defined location in the PIM/DAM. Hot folders are used for both for manual imports (users copy files into the hot folder on the CS server via a network drive) and for integration with third parties that frequently send files (often via FTP to the hot folder). Hot folders have the advantage of importing the files faster, but they have the disadvantage that there's no immediate feedback about the status (success/failure) of the import.

Hierarchy - (configuration) A type of container that is a hierarchical collection and classification of data. Hierarchies are made up of categories and items. Types of hierarchies include category hierarchies and organization hierarchies.


ID - (concept) The unique identifier for all objects within Contentserv System. It cannot be translated or edited once created, and cannot contain special characters.

InDesign - (tool) Adobe InDesign is a page layout and graphic design tool. One of its key benefits is tight integration with the Acrobat PDF format along with a higher level of compatibility with other popular graphics applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

INDD - (format) This is the native file format for InDesign, Adobe’s desktop publishing (DTP) software. InDesign is currently considered the industry standard for DTP, so marketing teams will likely encounter .indd files regularly.


Inheritance - (process) The process of referencing attribute instances based on hierarchy structure or on item relationships. Currently, InfoSphere MDM for PIM only supports referencing attribute instances from parent categories in a location hierarchy. Attribute instances can be specified in lower levels in the location hierarchy to override values referenced from parent locations.


JPEG - (format) JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, however, it more commonly refers to a compression standard that is used to reduce the disk space consumed by digital images. The compression method is referred to as 'lossy' because some of the original data from the image are lost as part of the process.  JPEG files are usually recognisable by the extension .jpeg or .jpg.



Keywords - (concept) Keywords are words or phrases that are applied to the digital assets within your PIM/DAM system. They enable users to find relevant content and help those managing a PIM/DAM library to keep content well organized. Keywords are generally descriptive of the asset’s content or are words relatable to activity within your organization, such as a recent project or design.

Keyword Search - (process) Keyword search is the process of using descriptive words related to the type of content that you wish to search for. For example, you might use the keywords “Smart LED TV” and “With Nano Crystal” to search your previous projects for images of Smart LED TV with Nano Crystal technology.

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Library - (function) Referred to the set of functions that can be reused in multiple business rules. Libraries cannot be called independently and must be referenced from other actions, conditions, or functions. Any number of JavaScript business rules can be used to define library functions.

Location Data - (concept) This is a set of attributes of items that are defined in a location hierarchy. The attributes are properties of the relationship between an item and a specific location in a location hierarchy. Location data can refer to attribute instances at higher locations in the hierarchy through location data inheritance. For example, the attribute "SalesPrice" might set a value for Europe and the UK, but for France, it might inherit the value set for Europe.


Mapping - (process type) connects different elements (attributes, tags, classes, and taxonomies) defined in an onboarding file to their respective elements (attributes, tags, classes, and taxonomies) defined in the system.

Media Asset Management - (domain type) Media Asset Management (MAM) is generally considered as simply an alternative term for Digital Asset Management, although some would argue that a MAM system only supports video rather than any type of digital file. To a greater extent, the terms are interchangeable, the expression tends to be favored when discussing Digital Asset Management for video or broadcast media contexts.

Merge - (process type) Once the duplicate records are identified, they need to be merged to create the master record. This record will be the best possible data representing the current, complete, and accurate view of customer information.

Metadata - (concept) Metadata is often referred to as 'data about data'. In a PIM/DAM, it refers to descriptive information applied to assets to support a task or activity. The most common example is to help users to locate assets in searches. To help find suitable media, assets, files, or products which will generally have short descriptions or titles added to them as a basic minimum, although it is more common to add much more descriptive detail to help users to locate what they are looking for.


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Object - (concept) This refers to an element within the system, for example, a product, image, classification, attribute, workflow, business rule, etc.

Object Type - (concept) A specific label for levels within a hierarchy, given to different elements within the system. Nearly every object in CS is labeled with an object type to help identify what it is (i.e. a product or an entity rather than an image, a TIF rather than a PDF, etc.). This includes entities, products, product categories, alternate hierarchies, images, and other assets, attributes, etc. Through the use of object types, administrators can control how rigid or loosely defined the database will be in terms of object creation and where objects are allowed to ‘live’ and/or be used.

Omnichannel - (process) A term mostly used in retail to describe the creation of integrated, seamless customer experiences across all customer touchpoints. If you offer an omnichannel customer experience, your customers will meet the same service, offers, product information, and more, no matter where they interact with your brand (e.g., in-store, on social media, via email, customer service, etc.).

OpenSearch - (module) OpenSearch is a collection of simple formats for the sharing of search results. (See

OpenJDK - (framework) JDK (Java Development Kit) is an open-source implementation of the Java SE (Java Platform, Standard Edition) specifications.

OpenLDAP - (framework) OpenLDAP is an open-source software implementation of LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).


PDF - (format) PDF stands for Portable Document Format. PDF files are created by Adobe Acrobat and are widely supported standard for distributing print quality documents electronically.


PNG - (format) Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a raster graphics file format that supports lossless data compression. PNG was created as an improved, non-patented replacement for Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)


Product - (concept) A data structure representing an item of merchandise. It typically includes product attributes like product name, description, sales unit, price, and others. Optionally, it can hold product variants and it can link to pictures or other media. Products are organized in categories.

Product Attribute - (concept) An attribute of an object. Product attributes are used to describe a product and to hold related information. A product attribute has a name and a value. For example, the value of the attribute color is blue.

Product Variant - (concept) A product that for nearly all product attributes has the same values as another product. To facilitate product data creation and maintenance of product variants, variant attributes can be defined holding the differing values. Examples: A hat product has product variants differing in the variant attribute color. A shoe product has product variants differing in the variant attributes color and size.

Product Information Management (PIM) - (domain) A set of operations and technologies organizing information about products as structured data. Typically used in a business context, such product information data is fed into one or more communication channels such as web sites, printed sales catalogs, electronic catalogs, and ERP systems.

Property - (class within data model) A property is a field used to describe a product. It comes in several different types.

  • Example:

    Name of Product, Price, Description

Property Collection - (property group) A reusable group of properties which is common to particular types of products. A property collection belongs to a tab and a class.

  • Example:

    Mobile phone (class) technical specifications information would be a collection of RAM, storage, and display size.

Product Manager - (user type, customer role)

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Query - (concept) A request for information from a database based on specific conditions.


Reference data - (concept, data type) Data that define values relevant to cross-functional organizational transactions. Reference data management aims to effectively define data fields, such as units of measurements, fixed conversion rates, and calendar structures, to "translate" these values into a common language in order to categorize data in a consistent way and secure data quality.

Rendition - (concept) A rendition is an alternative representation of a content node. Renditions are derived from their source nodes and are usually updated automatically when their source node is updated. In the context of Media Management, renditions are different editions or versions of an asset; for example, an alternative file format.

Repository - (storage) The repository is the combination of the content, the indexes, and the database. It contains a collection of Stores. Every part of the CS repository is either a component or a service.

REST - (process) REST stands for Representational State Transfer and is a method of exchanging data between two applications using HTTP (hypertext transmission protocol). Data is encoded in popular web application protocols such as XML or JSON which is usually straightforward for other systems to interpret and process.

Role - (concept) Defines the permissions of a user in the system. An organization can have several roles such as an Administrator or a General User. The roles vary between organizations but can be created to match the roles in your company.


SaaS - (system) ‘Software as a Service’, SaaS is a way of offering applications and services across the internet, accessible through a web browser. This removes the need for local server usage and management of software, as this is provided by the application vendor

Static Selection - (concept) A saved set of items or a fixed set of IDs that does not change. For example, if a record that originally met the criteria of the query on which the selection is based changes so that it does not currently meet the criteria, the record ID is still included in the selection each time it is processed.

Search Filter - (configuration) An extension of faceted search, a search filter is a specific product attribute a visitor can use to refine the search results of a particular category listing, e.g. by size, color, price, or brand. Multiple filters may be applied to take a broad range of products and refine them into a more narrow selection, allowing the end-user to retrieve the most relevant search results based on the criteria they’ve selected.


Tags - (concept) Properties that describe the products. Tags are manually created and then applied to the desired content. You can then filter what is displayed in the Library by filtering the content based on the desired Tag. (See

Tagging - (concept) Tagging is a colloquial term given to the process of adding metadata generally and keywords in particular to stored assets/files/media/data quality rules or more.

Tasks - (function) The work and/or action that must be completed within a specific workflow state (whether by a user or via automation). (See

Transition - (function) The change of tasks from one state to another within a workflow.

Translation Memory - (storage) Database that contains existing translations that can be reused.

TMS - (system) Translation Memory System or Translation Management System is a software that effectively facilitates translation projects by centralizing, automating, and reusing existing content throughout the translation process. Using TMS (e.g. Across or Trados), translation jobs can be created and submitted to translation service providers, terminologists, proofreaders, and editors. (See

Tree List Editor - (module) Tree List Editor module is designed to display information in a tree-like structure. For this purpose, the ASPxTreeList and Tree List controls (from the ASPxTreeList and XtraTreeList libraries) are used in ASP.NET and WinForms applications. These controls provide such data representation capabilities as sorting data values against multiple columns, calculating and displaying summary values, node preview, node images, runtime column customization, formatting column, and summary values, using advanced editors to display and edit cell values, etc.


Unique Key - (concept) A unique key is a system entity that represents a specific object in the CS system. The entity is composed of one or more data points, whether utilized as-is or in a combined and/or transformed format using a specified formula. There can be exactly one record for each object for each defined key. No two objects with the same unique key can exist.

User - An abstract supertype of Customer and Employee. Represents an individual user account, no user group. Cannot have a customized configuration.

User Group - A principal-related type that can hold other principals (that is, user accounts and user groups). Does not represent a single user, but a group of users. Can have a customized configuration.

User Permissions - (function, role-based) Rules that allow or restrict users from performing certain functions within the system. Mostly controlled by the administrator.

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Validation Rule - (concept, data quality type) A validation rule or DQ Rule is defined on an attribute definition that specifies the criteria that must be met by the data stored in an instance of this attribute for that attribute to be valid.


Workflows - (process) A sequence of processes that a piece of work progresses through until completion. In Contentserv, the piece of work is normally a product. The status of the product is also managed through the workflow such as Active, Published, and Inactive. (See

  • Example:

    A Data Steward adds a new product through the Onboarding Portal. Before the product is published in the PIM it undergoes a sequence of processes including data validation and enrichment.

Workflow Action - (step) Workflow action is the transition of one workflow state to another.

Workflow Components - (step) It is a part of the workflow action. Various components add extra functionality to a workflow action such as sending mail, initiate a translation, etc.

Workflow State - (step) A step within a workflow to which a specific user, user group, or system can be assigned to complete the task(s) associated with the state. OR - It is the condition of an object when a workflow is assigned to it.

Workflow Step - (process) A unique activity in a workflow. Workflow steps are performed by one or more users or roles. A workflow step must have one or more exit values that connect to another step in the workflow. Types of workflow steps include success or failure steps, approval steps, modify steps, and nested workflow steps.


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Get to know Contentserv System better with the related definition to all the complex technical and functional terms often used by our Technical Consultants.