The time-saving power of federated search

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Editors who work in a content management system (CMS) will tell you that there are few things more annoying than having to click away from the CMS to do related tasks that you can’t complete from within the system.

That’s why federated search—which allows you to search for assets on other sites from within your CMS—is such a key component of the best editing systems.

Brightspot has it covered with our built-in federated search functionality that streamlines your workflow and saves you time and aggravation.

Creating Content Without Federated Search

To highlight just how useful federated search is, let’s first take a look at what happens if you don’t have this integrated search function in your CMS.

Say you’re humming along on a blog post, writing the final paragraph and adding all the tags, categories and meta descriptions within your work screen. Then you get to the point when you have to find a photo for your post, and you swear you can almost hear that record-scratch sound as everything slams to a halt.

You’re forced to open a new browser window to access the site where you source your photos. Once you’ve found the image you want, you download it and save it to a folder on your hard drive. Then you click back over to your CMS, where you upload it and add the metadata before applying it to your post.

It may not sound like a huge hassle, but it’s enough of a disruption to negatively impact your workflow. It takes you away from your integrated online editing environment, adding steps and time to your process.

Understanding Integrated Federated Search

Integrated federated search is essential for any competitive CMS that aims to make editors’ lives easier, and Brightspot comes equipped with it right out of the box.

Configuring federated search in Brightspot is simple, with no IT input required. You’ll need to enable a plug-in for the sites from which you want to source images and enter the appropriate API keys into settings.

Brightspot’s federated search integrations fall into three categories:

  1. Photo agencies (Getty Images, Shutterstock, AP Images, Adobe Stock)
  2. File storage (Drive, Dropbox, Box, Slack)
  3. Video (YouTube, GIPHY)

Our federated photo search function allows you to query a site like Getty Images directly from the CMS, saving you time and hassle when you need to source a new asset. You can import the image as a Brightspot content type, then edit and add metadata right from inside your workflow in the CMS. What’s more, all of the metadata from Getty Images is automatically included with the import.

Here’s a look into our Slack integration:

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The Slack federated search integration

Our YouTube federated search integration can be customized to limit sourcing to a specific channel, so you can set it to bring up, say, only videos from your company’s channel in search.

How Brightspot’s Federated Search Saves Time

After connecting to your image purveyor with the plug-in, you’re all set to start searching: Just enter your search term in the Brightspot dashboard, and all available images from your source site will appear.

You can search throughout your workflow within the CMS, and you can save searches so you won’t need to reset filters every time. Once you’ve completed your search, Brightspot presents options: save search, create a new workstream, bulk edit content, bulk archive, create galleries, and create collections. Having these options right at your fingertips saves even more time.

In addition to this ease of access to photos, Brightspot supports digital rights management and licensing, allowing you to manage your content’s usage and expiration via the CMS. You can set usage approvals and expiration dates on your assets so you can make sure your team is only accessing approved images and knows when their licenses will expire.

Brightspot also allows you to control how front-end users encounter your assets as they search. The Search Spotlights feature lets you associate keywords with pieces of content so that visitors to your site see certain images first when searching specific terms. You can also control which filters and sorting options front-end users can use. You can set sorting options to include relevancy and recency, and the results can be filtered by content type, tag or section.

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Publish your images in no time with Federated Search

Managing assets using federated search in Brightspot makes you a model of efficiency. No longer do you need to dedicate chunks of your time or members of your team—or entire teams—to sourcing and managing photos and other assets. This type of seamless functionality is essential for busy editors who want workflows in which they can complete content projects without disruption.

Federated search isn’t the only thing our partners—including some of the world’s largest brands and most-respected media companies—tell us they love about Brightspot. In this two-minute video, see how seven other Brightspot features make the lives of reporters, editors and other content creators that much easier.


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