Wiki Digital Asset Management

Eager to learn? Our wiki contains useful information on digital and media asset management.

What is digital asset management? What are the benefits? How does it differ from media asset management? And how does it differ from image and media databases? In our wiki, we answer all your questions and explain key digital asset management terms simply and clearly. Swot up here!

 


Definitions

  • Asset(s)

    An asset is a file in a content management system. Assets can be files like images, photos, documents, videos, audio files, or InDesign files.

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  • Asset Processing

    Asset processing describes the processing of assets by the system, which (among other things) involves drawing information from the assets to enhance metadata. Asset processing therefore includes reading document text to enable full-text search queries, identifying physical data and using markers like watermarks or batches.

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  • CMS (content management system)

    A CMS is a central software system that can be used to manage and edit content. Website content is often managed using a CMS, for instance. Generally speaking, media and image databases are also considered to be CMS systems.

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  • Creative Suit Integration

    The Adobe Creative Suite is a collection of design, graphics and production programs developed by the US company Adobe Systems.

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  • DAM (digital asset management)

    A digital asset management system is a CMS that manages digital assets (files), i.e. text documents, contracts, images and videos, and makes them available for use. Many digital asset management systems also focus on media asset management or video asset management for the management of image, audio and video assets.

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  • Image Batching

    Image batching describes the process of overlaying an image with another graphic element that will be applied to the asset as part of copy protection, copyright notices or other informational purposes. In general, images are batched when provided as previews to external users or unauthorised user groups. Typical batch shapes include circles or rectangles containing text conveying the relevant information.

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  • MAM (media asset management)

    Like digital asset management systems, media asset management systems can be used to manage digital assets. However, their features are generally adapted to visualise and edit media assets like images, videos and layout documents. They’re notably better suited than normal CMS systems to evaluating image data and editing media assets through the system.

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  • Metadata

    Metadata is additional information on a given file. Typical metadata for a book could include the name of the author, the circulation, the year of publication, the publisher and the ISBN. The metadata for an asset includes the file name, access rights and the date the file was last changed. Besides the assets themselves, metadata is the most important information held in an asset database. Among other things, metadata can be used to find assets in the database based on metadata criteria. However, metadata can also provide information like an asset’s intended use or authorship. Good CMS systems provide a comprehensive system for metadata planning.

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  • MIME Type

    The MIME type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) identifies a file’s content type by category, including audio, application, image, text, video and more. MIME types are generally written into the file itself, but this isn’t always possible. Alternatively, files can then be identified by their file extension, but this is not always reliable.

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  • Mount Point

    ‘Mount point’ is a term originally introduced by UNIX systems that now plays a role in most of the world’s operating systems and asset management systems. A mount point is the point of entry to a file system, e.g. a hard drive or network drive. Some CMS systems support group-dependent mount points. This means that different user groups are granted access to different data ranges on a single storage medium. Good systems also support mount point lists, meaning access can be granted to different network drives, for instance.

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  • Proof

    In DAM systems, the term ‘proof’ describes a technique in the printing industry. Before the start of production, an impression is created to check the quality, colour fidelity and accuracy of the material. This is called a print proof. With the advent of digitalisation in the printing industry, a number of new and innovative print proofing solutions appeared on the market. Today, we can create a so-called ‘soft proof’. In a soft proof, the desired asset is no longer printed out. Instead, it’s simply displayed on your monitor. Using a combination of monitor and print profiles, it’s now possible to display a sample of the final print result on your monitor with a very small margin for error.

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  • Soft Proofing

    With the advent of digitalisation in the printing industry, a number of new and innovative print proofing solutions appeared on the market. Today, we can create a so-called ‘soft proof’. In a soft proof, the desired asset is no longer printed out. Instead, it’s simply displayed on your monitor. Using a combination of monitor and print profiles, it’s now possible to display a sample of the final print result on your monitor with a very small margin for error.

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  • VAM (video asset management)

    Video asset management systems are also a kind of content management and digital asset management system. A VAM offers special functions for viewing and editing video content. Some VAM systems can also be run in conjunction with special video editing hardware to ensure the highest possible quality and duration of editing operations. Many VAM systems provide a preview using a configurable number of snapshots – at 1, 5, 10, 15 or 20-second intervals, for instance. These settings can usually be modified according to your needs.

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  • Watermarks

    Watermarks are used to mark assets that are only intended for use as previews or other limited purposes. In general, watermarks contain information on the source and authorship of an asset.

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  • XMP (extensible metadata platform)

    The XMP is a standard published by Adobe in order to save metadata directly in an asset. This technology makes it possible to use top-of-the-range cameras to save data like lighting levels, geographical coordinates and more. Throughout its life cycle, a file generally has more and more information written to its XMP data, which describes its content or edit history. With the Creative Suite industry standard, metadata in the most important products can be managed and maintained. Good DAM systems can read this information, make it available for search queries and add new information to the XMP data.

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Benefits of Digital Asset Management

  • Cross-media usage

    Thanks to the centralised storage of superior-quality data, it’s possible to use each asset in multiple cross-media scenarios. Using the best-quality version of each asset, derivative versions can be created for diverse applications like printed media, presentations, web features, mobile publications and more. These derivatives can be generated in advance or on an ad hoc basis depending on your requirements. This is completely automated by the DAM system, meaning there’s no need to increase your administrative workload during operation. With a unique configuration, consistent high quality is guaranteed.

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  • Low costs

    Duplicates, never-ending search queries, wasted storage space, data mix-ups, multiple software programs for editing files and more – there’s a long list of problems when it comes to data management. The result? Rising costs and chaotic data management. With the 4ALLPORTAL digital media asset management (MAM) tool, companies and organisations can significantly reduce their data management costs. By providing a central location for all your assets, you won’t need any other software to work with different file formats. What’s more, systems like SAP, ERP and online stores can be integrated quickly, helping you to improve your processes. Companies that use the MAM find it easier to effectively distribute costs and resources over the long term.

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  • Permanently available

    Software solutions designed for commercial use are generally client server applications that allow users to access data via a web application in their browser. Using the browser-based 4ALLPORTAL platform and connections to your company’s own cloud storage, your assets and all relevant information are permanently available.

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  • No duplicate Data

    One of the basic principles of a digital asset management system is unique, unambiguous data retention. The best-quality version of each asset is saved and generated on an ad hoc basis for cross-media use. In addition, good systems must be able to identify duplicate entries. This eliminates the need to save an asset to each individual product or usage scenario, for instance, which often leads to unnecessarily increased storage requirements and an unclear asset structure.

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  • No local installation, just servers

    Today, many DAM systems forego client software that has to be installed on every computer that will be used to access the system. Generally speaking, browser-based software is all that’s needed to access the system. This reduces costs, while also making the solution available on any number of systems without leading to higher costs and an increased workload. Leading systems are also cross-platform compatible, which means they can be used in exactly the same way on PC, Mac and Linux.

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  • Better Teamwork

    Central data storage and server technologies create a central asset action point. In this centralised system, employees, partners and customers can coordinate their work on the assets (selection, editing, indexing, etc.). Some systems also allow users to coordinate their work through the software itself.

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  • Boost productivity

    According to a data management study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology, employees use an average 22.6% of their time managing data. It’s therefore no surprise that another study by the Aberdeen Group entitled ‘Marketing Digital Asset Management’ found that companies that introduce a MAM can reduce content search times by 75% and boost employee productivity by 83%. Using the 4ALLPORTAL helps to streamline processes and optimise workflows with customers. As a browser-based, mobile application, our MAM is user-friendly and can be used anywhere with minimal training, which in turn helps to increase employees’ overall productivity.

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  • Reduce search times

    More than 200 billion emails are sent around the globe every day and the global data pool doubles in size every two years. Companies and organisations are facing one key challenge: somehow, they must control an enormous volume of different digital assets (including photos, videos, documents, graphics, emails, PDFs, etc.) from different sources. With the innovative 4ALLPORTAL Media Asset Management (MAM) software, you can easily organise this flood of information – because the MAM centrally manages over one billion assets and finds files in seconds. This keeps the time and effort you spend on data handling and search queries to a minimum, which in turn helps companies and organisations to act faster, giving them an edge over the competition.

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  • Additional information made available

    The different media and image databases also differ greatly in terms of how they handle individual file types and what data they can derive from them to help users find files using metadata. This is enormously helpful when searching for assets. The standard data available includes physical information, file size, format, date modified, etc. More recently, it’s also been possible to automatically analyse biometric information like the number of faces/people in a given image/video, or even the dominant colour combinations in an image. This makes it possible to search for colour coordinating images and photographs of groups or even specific people in the database

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  • Preview any file format

    Another basic feature of a media and image database is the ability to preview different file formats via the system interface. A MAM/DAM system can therefore generate previews of images, layout documents, videos, Office documents and a number of other assets. This means that the user of the system does not need to install individual software products on their computer in order to access the assets’ content. In most professional systems, it’s possible to configure preview quality and the types of previews generated.

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