What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

A Digital Asset Management System (DAM) is ideal for the management, preparation and distribution of digital assets such as images, videos and documents.


Here, not only assets are managed, but also metadata such as permissions, categories or file links. In addition, a DAM system offers process flows to be controlled via a separate workflow engine.

Native integration possibilities e.g. for Akeneo PIM, Oxid eSales and Adobe Photoshop as well as CMS connections like Contao are also possible.

Understand how DAM works

A typical DAM system is used to organize media according to a certain principle. The following graphic shows a simplified representation of the functions of a digital asset management system and the life cycle of digital assets.

Life cycle of digital assets

Differentiation PIM/DAM

In general, the biggest difference between Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) is that both systems are used to manage different objects. A PIM is used to manage structured product information while a DAM is used to manage media assets such as images, videos and documents. Basically, a PIM and a DAM were developed for different purposes. Both work together as a great team and complement each other fabulously as shown in the following diagram.


Perfect Match DAM/PIM

Profit from DAM

A DAM is a central tool that manages all types of files in the life cycle of a product. It guarantees that you offer consistent product content on all channels. In addition, digital asset management provides your company with numerous benefits.
  • Improve work efficiency
    A DAM ensures that the assets are accessible to all team members. This means that team members can work from all possible locations and do not have to worry about errors creeping in via outdated data. In addition, a DAM ensures that your content is always up to date.
  • Increase productivity
    A DAM requires less research work because users can create efficient search queries and thus save time. Tedious searching in different sources is no longer necessary. Coordination between different departments becomes easier.
  • Reduce costs
    All employees can access digital assets regardless of device, time or location. This saves time and eliminates the need to use insecure cloud databases that were previously required for data exchange.
  • Shorten marketing cycles
    Änderungen an Assets werden von einer zentralen Datenbank gesteuert, damit diese nicht mehrmals hintereinander durchgeführt werden müssen. Die Änderungen erfolgen auf jedem einzelnen Kanal automatisch und müssen nicht extra an alle Beteiligten weitergegeben werden, wodurch sich die Markteinführung deutlich beschleunigt.
  • Increase security
    Data protection is at the top of the priority list. Of course, we want to make sure that users without access authorization have no possibility to change files. A DAM provides granular roles and rights management to protect your data.
  • Optimize media content
    A DAM solution ensures that the content is at an optimum level and helps to find out which media best address the needs of the customers. This allows you to determine whether an existing asset still has value and will continue to generate profit.



When is it worthwhile to integrate a DAM System?

Digital asset management is used primarily in companies where a large number of digital assets have to be managed, distributed or published in the form of files (on the website, in the online store, in the print catalog, etc.) and previous solutions are no longer sufficient.
However, self-employed people and private individuals who have to manage a large number of files also frequently use DAM software. To find out whether a Media Asset Management System offers advantages compared to your previous solution, the following questions can help you to question your previous way of working.

  • Do your images and digital assets such as product data sheets, videos, mood pictures or manuals reside on a hard drive or network drive?
  • Do you have to manually prepare and optimize your digital assets for the online store or website before you upload them?
  • Do you use a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or ownCloud?
  • Do you not find images or files anymore because you don't know where they are stored in your folder structure?
  • Do you store images and assets multiple times in different resolutions for different purposes?
  • Do you often send large files via email to suppliers, team members or customers?

The questions listed here are just a few of the areas in which a digital asset management system can help you in your daily work and simplify workflows.

Request a TESSA demo or try it yourself.
Get to know Digital Asset Management with TESSA now!


Choose the right DAM solution

In the search for the right DAM solution, you have to deal with some difficult questions. To make the decision easier, it's best to keep the following points in mind:

  • View your own content. It is important to check the entire content. Focus on valuable content.
  • Consider the system requirements. Think about the users, infrastructure and the company you work with.
  • Consider the requirements of the business. Identify the challenges you want to overcome with a DAM.

Synonyme für Digital Asset Management oder Bilddatenbank

In linguistic usage, other terms have established themselves alongside the terms Digital Asset Management and Media Asset Management. Among these are the following:

  • Picture database
  • Picture archive
  • Media database
  • Media Library Software
  • Digital Media Management
  • Digital Asset Software
  • DAM-System (= Digital Asset Management)
  • MAM-System (= Media Asset Management)
  • Product Asset Management
  • Mediaportal
  • Marketing Asset Management

The variety of terms can quickly cause confusion among potential customers. For example, a digital asset management system is often also simply called media asset management, and in everyday language, the term image database is often used when DAM software is actually meant.

Ultimately, however, it can be said that the systems behind these terms differ only slightly from each other functionally and deal with the same main topic: Simplifying the work with digital assets and files.