# Terms and Topics
Elevator has a few key terms to describe the types of operations you’ll be performing. It’s important to distinguish between these, or things can get pretty confusing.
An instance can be thought of as a “site” or a catalog. Instances are completely separate silos – data from one instance isn’t visible to other instances. Instances can be customized for particular groups, and are responsible for their own costs (Amazon storage fees).
An asset is an individual object within your instance. At minimum, an asset contains some metadata or descriptive information. Additionally, assets usually contain at least one digital object (a file – image, video, etc).
A template defines the fields that will be available when adding an asset. Fields may be text entry, location fields, dates, etc. An instances can contain many templates, and you can mix and match assets based on different templates.
Collections are groupings of assets. Assets can only existing within one collection at a time. Collections make it easy to browse assets based on topics or logical groupings. Collections can be nested (collections can be organized inside other collections).
Drawers are user-defined groups of assets. Given appropriate permissions, users of your instance can create drawers, add assets to those drawers, and share them with other users.