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What is DAM (Digital Asset Management)?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) consists of management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets.

The term "digital asset management" (DAM) also refers to the protocol for downloading, renaming, backing up, rating, grouping, archiving, optimizing, maintaining, thinning, and exporting files.

Characteristics of a DAM system

Ingest DAM systems ingest assets individually or in mass sets, and allow for the manipulation of those assets and their metadata individually or with mass actions.

Secure

DAM systems secure the assets they contain. Security in a DAM extends to defining access control lists (ACLs) for assets and defining roles for users accessing the system.
Store DAM systems store assets as both binaries and metadata. A DAM system can store multiple file types, and allows for the customization of metadata fields and the metadata in those fields attached to the stored files.
Render DAM systems render/transform assets on ingest into new forms, such as thumbnails or proxy files. The new forms generated on asset ingest via transformation should all be stored as asset parts of the original file uploaded.
Enrich DAM systems enrich assets through the extension of metadata and metrics regarding the use and reuse of the asset throughout its lifecycle.
Relate DAM systems relate assets by tracking the relationships between and among an original asset and versions/variants of the original. Versioning and version control tools are central to an asset’s life in a DAM system.
Process DAM systems regulate a structured process in the management, creation, and review of assets with workflow tools. Via programmed workflows, DAMs allow for a decentralized work force to collaborate together in a centralized system.
Retrieve DAM systems allow for users to find assets and to retrieve those assets by facilitating search through metadata, collections, workflows, and access control tools. By increasing the discovery of assets that may not have been easily accessible before ingest, a DAM assists workers in leveraging existing content for maximum work potential.
Preview DAM systems have a preview function that allows users to view assets before downloading or opening a file on their own device. By allowing users to take a look at assets in search quickly, without download, DAM systems reduce the amount of time users must spend in search.
Integrate DAM systems produce/publish content by providing methods whereby assets may be shared, linked to, or otherwise be distributed outside the system. This DAM function may be as simple as generating a URL on ingest or as complex as allowing users to build collections of items for sharing with a work group.

 

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