What is Digital Asset Management?
Providing what is needed to facilitate the creation, management and distribution of digital media answers the question “What is Digital Asset Management?”
What is a digital asset? Digital assets can be images, graphics, logos, animations, audio/video clips, presentations, pages, documents and a number of other digital file formats. A digital file becomes an asset when its environment contains additional information outside of the file. For an asset to be useful it must be accessible for its intended and/or permitted use. The key to making that happen is metadata – the descriptive information for the file that makes up the asset details. Metadata is what allows assets to be catalogued, searched for and retrieved for its permitted use(s).
What is a digital asset management system? A DAM system (DAMS) is a combination of software, hardware and professional services that provides a central location for storing, managing and accessing digital assets – both the files and the accompanying metadata.
What are the basic tasks of a Digital Asset Management system?
Here are some terms that capture some of the everyday work functions involving a DAM system:
Ingest – Adding files and metadata to a central repository. Metadata can be automatically entered (if embedded in the file and read by the DAM system) or manually entered by an administrator within the DAM system.
Annotate – Commenting, collaborating and/or making notes on assets to determine and control uses and promote an asset’s ability to be repurposed effectively.
Catalog – Indexing and classifying assets in a number of ways in which they can be controlled and easily retrieved by approved users to use for appropriate communications.
Store – Preserving the integrity of the digital file and its metadata for the lifetime of an asset so that it can be controlled, versioned, repurposed and archived according to administrative direction.
Retrieve – Searching, finding, accessing and/or delivering assets in the proper file formats (often involving file transformation services) so that the asset(s) may be used according to the intended and/or permitted uses.
While these are just a few of the core tasks, DAM also facilitates several processes and workflows in managing the digital asset life cycle. Learn more about the life cycle for digital media asset management.