Originally posted by Troy Allen on CMSWire on December 14, 2010.
Abstract: The following article has been split between two parts. Part two continues to provide details on techniques to bridge the gap between creation and management.
In an Ideal World, Integration Would be Seamless
A lot still needs to be done in order to bridge the gap between creation and management when it comes to rich media files. An ideal solution would include a DAM product that is designed to integrate with the creation product’s management applications.
Users should be able to store a graphic in a repository, call it into a creation project, share it with other users on that project and be notified when that graphic is updated.The person updating the graphic should be able to perform a search to see all compositions that are using the file so that the artist knows the impact of editing the graphic.
While working in a tool such as Adobe Photoshop, a user should be able to navigate to a file system, to Adobe’s Version Cue or to an enterprise DAM repository like Oracle’s Enterprise Content Management to find the elements required to complete a composition.The user should then be able to store that composition in a DAM repository so that other users can use that same composition as an element in another project.
There have been limited co-development efforts between DAM producers and creative tool designers. Until true integration happens, organizations will have to work within the boundaries of the product or design their own solutions to get the best out of their resources.
Suggestions for Bridging the Gap Between Creation and Management
Companies need all the capabilities that the creative packages provide along with the extended functionality of DAM solutions. As demand drives efforts to bridge the gap between creation and management and as organizations and users become more sophisticated, both management and creation products will have to adapt to keep pace.Until then, here are some points that can help bridge the gap:
- Store all individual elements within a DAM repository. Have the DAM system configured for subscription services to notify users when new elements are added and updated, enable workflow process for approval and validation and apply security to match content utilization across the user community. Even though most DAM and creative applications are not integrated, users can still search the DAM system to find the elements they need, record in the elements DAM metadata record what project or compilation the element is being used for, and download a copy for use in the current project.When the compilation is finished, store it in the DAM system for future reuse and workflows.
- Utilize the built in work-streams of the creative tools. As elements are downloaded from the DAM, store them within the project of the creative tool. Periodically review notifications from the DAM system and update the project when elements are updated.
- Try to maintain a single trusted file for any element within the DAM system. Refrain from simply storing elements on a shared file system or sending them to project members via email. Having a single and validated source of an element can help to increase consistency and reduce the time spent finding items needed to complete compositions.
- Take the time, either with your own resources or with assistance from external consulting firms, to truly understand how your content creators work. The first step into maximizing any process requires fully understanding how people perform the tasks. Automate what needs to be automated and reduce the time spent on finding the things your creators need by increasing the enterprise search functionality.
In the corporate world where rich media files are used as individual objects or as compilations, it is important to manage them efficiently. By combining creation tools with digital asset management, companies can reduce production times, make the processes more efficient and increase productivity.
Even though the gap between creation and management still exists, it is getting smaller. Companies can find the solutions they need for their particular process by combining creation and management and using creative solutions — either that the company themselves create or one provided by external consultants.
There is no complete of the shelf solution for every process, but with a little ingenuity, a solution can be devised.