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What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

Generally speaking, digital asset management refers to the use of a variety of software and hardware tools to ingest, log and archive digital content into a shared repository.  While there are currently several software-based solutions available to assist individuals and small-scale organizations with the storage and management of content, larger enterprises often require a much more robust system that is capable of handling massive amounts of content and data, particularly when that content includes video or audio files.

DAM workflows vary widely depending on how the content is to be utilized.  However, most DAM solutions include components for ingesting, logging, archiving and distributing assets over a LAN or WAN. 

  • Ingesting is the process whereby new files are brought into a shared storage architecture.  Most basic systems simply move or copy preexisting content into a designated location so that it can be tagged and archived.  Advanced systems can be designed to produce new digital files using hardware and/or software solutions. 
  • Logging (or tagging) is the term used for applying metadata tags to assets before they are archived.  These tags then become the keywords against which individuals can search for archived content.
  •  Distribution includes a variety of tools for the exploitation of stored content, which can range from simple sharing over a local network or FTP to the professional production of media (tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.).


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