Comparison with an image database

Where is Digital Asset Management different from an image database?

The differences at a glance

The functions of a modern DAM system are much more diverse and extensive than those of a simple image database.


The scope of an asset management system clearly exceeds the scope of a simple image database. An image database typically manages only images, graphics data (e.g., JPG, TIF, RAW, PNG, etc.) and video data (e.g., MP4, MPEG, etc.) in a simple manner.

Unlike an image database, an asset management system takes on a lot more tasks and offers special functions to simplify and optimize the daily work with digital assets. Modern DAM systems therefore have the following functions, for example:

  • Full-text search and tagging
    With manual or automatic tagging, assets can be found faster across folders and across categories in a later search. The tedious search on hard drives, network drives and cloud storage services such. Dropbox is dropped.
  • Metadata Management and Categories
    Optimized metadata management based on file-specific metadata (date, file size, resolution, color information, etc.) or freely definable metadata (eg categories, license date, responsible contact person, etc.). ) provides increased data quality.
  • Versioning
    Any version of an asset or file can be saved and restored if needed later. Changes to image and media data can be commented on and remain transparent and traceable.
  • Workflows
    Workflows can be used to map any process to optimally control an asset from creation to distribution. Data quality and control over the data are increasing.
  • Converting and Distributing
    The distribution of digital assets to any recipient and publication in any channel (e.g., website, online shop, print catalog) is done semi-automatically or fully automatically. Assets are automatically converted for each channel, and the file format, file size, and color settings can be adjusted based on presets and saved profiles. Optionally, images can be watermarked or automatically deleted.
  • Working together as a team and with suppliers
    Data sharing with graphic artists, agencies, retailers and end users can be simplified and accelerated via shopping carts and web portals. Alternative solutions such as e-mailing files, using cloud storage services (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or ownCloud) are no longer necessary. Internal log functions also make it possible to track every change in data as needed.
  • Integration into Existing System Landscapes
    Modern DAM systems are very specialized in what they do. Therefore, it is necessary that these digital asset management systems exchange with other software solutions. This automatic or manual exchange of information and data with PIM systems, ERP systems, websites, online shops and many other systems takes place via plug-ins or interfaces. These include, for example, ready-made plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, Akeneo-PIM or OXID eSales. A universal interface in the form of a RestAPI offers further possibilities for data exchange with other systems.

The DAM system therefore provides special functions for the various tasks that can be performed by a digital asset management system. These features support the user in their daily work by fully automating and simplifying many steps through the Digital Asset Management System.