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Have you ever read an article on digital asset management and thought ‘What did I just read’? DAMS tech is full of cryptic acronyms. I’ve been known to read around the abbreviations rather than spend time using Google or Wikipedia to decipher complex language. If you’re reading this article there is a high chance you’ve read lots of content around digital asset management systems (DAMS). Let’s explore one of the more exciting acronyms – API. API or Application Programming Interface offers a convenient way to share data or specific features between your Portfolio Solution and other core business systems. For example it can be used to easily add product imagery from your DAM to accompany a product SKU in a specifications data-centric application. Discover more about APIs from

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a previous post. I’d also like to share how one organization is leveraging an API to work smarter and more efficiently: Courtauld Institute of Art Video Do you currently have a process in place that could be improved by utilizing an API? Let me know in the comments section.


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Do you rely upon collections management software? If you’re a museum it’s likely that you do.

To manage a collection of objects, paintings and more, museums rely upon collections management software. To manage and store all of the images and other digital files about objects in the collection, museums rely upon digital asset managers such as Extensis Portfolio Server.

zetcom, developer of the collections management software MuseumPlus used the Portfolio Server API to develop the MuseumPlus-Portfolio-Synchronizer. This connector keeps the collections management system and Portfolio Server in perfect sync.

Best of all, zetcom is providing the MuseumPlus-Portfolio-Synchronizer without any licensing fee. Setup and configuration costs can easily be rolled it into your standard MuseumPlus installation costs, so it’s easy to make sure that all of your systems are working well together.

If you’re already up and running with MuseumPlus and Portfolio Server contact zetcom about services required to get the Synchronizer up and running.

To see how the MuseumPlus-Portfolio-Synchronizer is working for the Courtauld Institute of Art watch this webcast.


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Do you know what an Application Programming Interface (API) is? If the answer is “no”, you’re not alone.

What is an API?

The Portfolio Application Programming Interface (API) enables integration between Portfolio Server and other business systems to share information and eradicate unnecessary duplication of work and management of redundant information.

What can an API can do for you?

The API allows you to utilise Portfolio assets, such as images, PDFs, marketing materials and metadata, as well as other Portfolio Server features like galleries and search with Content Management, Collection Management, and other business systems. By combining Digital Asset Management (DAM) with these other systems, organisations can provide an efficient and comprehensive collection information solution.

300x120-PS11-ProductThe Courtauld Institute of Art in London turned to Portfolio Server for archiving the 3 million images its collection, using the product’s metadata import functions so that each asset can be easily found and shared across departments.

They also leveraged Portfolio Server’s API, enabling integration with their collection management system, zetcom’s MuseumPlus. This allows individuals throughout the organization to access items from MuseumPlus collection via Portfolio Server.

Portfolio Server’s ability to connect to MuseumPlus was a great advantage in accessing not just the original digital files, but also to create on-demand copies in multiple resolutions and sizes through Portfolio Server’s media processing functions. By using DAM along with its existing collection management system, The Courtauld Institute is improving efficiency and ensuring the preservation of its priceless collection.

To hear the webcast, click here

To read the case study, click here


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I recently attended the Createasphere digital asset management conference in New York City and really enjoyed it.

Createasphere is one of a few major conferences focused solely on digital asset management and, according to their site, a place where you can “explore where the content creation industry is headed, learn from world class professionals, connect with your peers and quickly access the best resources and expertise available.” As the Product Marketing Manager for DAM Solutions at Extensis and an admitted DAM Geek, it’s no wonder that I was excited to attend the conference for the first time.

I found the session content and presentations to be very informative and entertaining. I’ve seen DAM related talks in the past that were too academic, too theoretical, and just plain boring. However, the presentations at Createasphere provided practical advice and included just the right amount of “DAM” puns and jokes (trust me, it’s easy to over do it with the DAM jokes). One of those presentations was from a user of Portfolio Server, Bob Hendriks, who talked about how In Transit Images uses the Portfolio API to sell photographs online (you can watch a similar version of his presentation in this webcast recording).

Another favorite session was a presentation from Christy King, Director of New Media & Tech at UFC titled “The DAM Truth: You are Introducing a Work Culture Revolution When You Advocate for an Asset Management System”. One of the many interesting points she made was “Do you really need to keep everything?” where she questioned keeping different formats of a file in addition to the original high-res file. This reminded me of how NetMediaMAX eliminates the need to create and store duplicate files by providing on-demand format conversion.

I also did a bit of networking meeting with existing Portfolio Server users, prospective customers, and even had a nice dinner with the conference organizers.

I really enjoyed the conference and hope to attend again in the future since I got a lot out of it. Have you ever attended a DAM related conference? What would you hope to learn or experience at a conference like Createasphere? Let me know by leaving a comment.


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As I’ve previously described, a digital asset management API allows organizations to share their rich media files and metadata with other business systems to further increase efficiency and avoid redundant data storage.

While we were developing the API we assumed that Portfolio Server users would be interested in using the Portfolio API to share assets with systems like content management and e-commerce websites, but we were also excited to learn what other ideas people had in mind. During a recent webcast I conducted an informal poll and asked attendees “What other systems would you like to integrate with DAM?”. Here were the results:

FileMaker 24%
“E-Commerce” 12%
SharePoint 12%
QuickBooks 12%
Jive 6%
Sitecore 6%
Drupal 6%
Omeka 6%
“Content Management System” 6%
Ektron 6%
Box.com 6%

 

It was surprising to me that FileMaker integration was by far the most desired API connection with DAM. Surprising until recently when I attended the UPAA symposium where I discovered that some DAM users rely on FileMaker databases for tracking projects (in the case of UPAA, photography shoots). With this new understanding, the connection between the two systems made sense—a project that originated within a FileMaker database could be associated with assets inside the DAM. For example, clicking a link within the FileMaker database could reveal assets related to the project within the DAM. Or project details in the FileMaker database could be used to populate fields within the DAM for project assets.

If you use FileMaker and are interested in integrating it with DAM, share with us what you’d like to do in the  comments section below.


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We have posted a recording of the Monetizing Your Asset Collection with Digital Asset Management webcast. View the webcast to learn how online art and photography business In Transit Images is using Portfolio Server to make their photography collections available online for licensing and printing.

Watch the “Monetizing Your Asset Collection with Digital Asset Management″ webcast recording


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Last week I posted an example of how a company can use a DAM API to ensure open access and data portability. This week I’m bringing you an example of how a museum can use a DAM API to share assets and metadata with a collection management system:

A museum stores information about its artifacts in a collection management system while storing photographs of objects within a DAM. Before the Portfolio API, staff would enter the same information in both systems or manually establish links between an object record and an asset record. Image searches often required users to consult both the collection management system and the DAM to obtain both the artifact information and photographs. Since many staff members in the organization are not trained or licensed to use the collection management system, requests for images were fulfilled manually by collection management staff. After developing a custom integration script between the systems using the Portfolio API, users now search for and retrieve images directly
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from the user- friendly Portfolio Server Web Client. Object information is automatically transferred from the collection management system to the Portfolio Server catalog where anyone within the organization can search the collection and download photographs.

For more examples like this, along with more information about the Portfolio API and other enterprise DAM technologies, check out our Enterprise DAM Technology whitepaper.


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Last week I posted an example of a stock photography company using API to connect their digital asset mnagement system to an e-commerce website. This week I’m bringing you an example of how a company can use a DAM API to ensure open access and data portability:

After reaching capacity limitations, a university decides to migrate from a legacy DAM system to a scalable solution. However, they discover that their multi-decade collection of over 1 million photographs and metadata is stored in a proprietary database that cannot be migrated without hundreds of hours of manual data entry. To avoid vendor lock-in, the university’s IT department requires that any DAM
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replacement solution allows open and direct access to all assets. The university selects Portfolio Server because the Portfolio API provides open and direct access to all files and metadata.

For more examples like this, along with more information about the Portfolio API and other enterprise DAM technologies, check out our Enterprise DAM Technology whitepaper.


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Join us for a webcast about online art and photography business In Transit Images  who are using Portfolio Server to make their photography collections available online for licensing and printing.

In Transit Images Managing Director Bob Hendriks will discuss:

  • Challenges they faced with their manual system before DAM, including rising costs and general overhead
  • How they implemented and managed the system with no formal IT person on staff
  • How they linked their internal system to the Web portal using the Portfolio API to drive their online business forward
  • Overall benefits including cutting time savings in half with initial rollout (and 20% savings over time)
  • How In Transit plans to manage an expected doubling library of assets year over year

At the end of the presentation, Bob will be available for a live Q&A.

May 31st, 2012
11:00 AM (Pacific) / 2:00 PM (Eastern)
Register for the webcast

(A recorded webcast will be emailed to you if you register but can’t attend.)


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You may have heard the term “API” before, and you may know that it stands for Application Programming Interface—but what does that mean?

Just like a user interface that  lets people access your digital asset management system, an API lets other computer systems access your DAM.

If you’re not in IT you may be thinking “So what? How does that help me?”. Well, let me give you an example of how letting a website access your DAM via an API can help generate revenue:

A stock photography company uses the Portfolio API to synchronize their local image management workflow with a cloud-based ecommerce solution. Previously, images were tagged twice—once during initial ingestion into the DAM from contributing photographers, and once again after uploading to the ecommerce website. Instead of manually uploading and re-tagging images a second time in the ecommerce platform, synchronization between the in-house workflow and ecommerce website now takes place automatically via a custom Portfolio API script.

The images and metadata managed within Portfolio Server are automatically transferred to an ecommerce website, enabling efficient monetization of the digital asset collection. In addition, the API provides a programming toolkit to web developers that offers robust image processing tools like batch format conversions, image previewing, and video streaming.

For more examples like this, along with more information about the Portfolio API and other enterprise DAM technologies, check out our Enterprise DAM Technology whitepaper.


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