One of our featured open source DAM vendors, Southpaw Technologies, have released a Mac OS X edition of their TACTIC production DAM system. The Mac version contains the same features as the Windows edition:
“Once we launched our open source system, we began receiving more and more requests for Mac OSX support from individual and small teams,” said Gary Mundell, CEO of Southpaw Technology. “We’ve always said we would provide that Mac version when we could do so without sacrificing any functionality or performance. Today, I’m happy to say we’ve achieved that goal. And what’s better, with our new open source model, we can provide TACTIC TEAM to Mac users for free.” [Read More]
An ongoing debate in DAM is the choice between dedicated desktop clients or entirely web based applications. Some vendors also offer a hybrid model where you can use a web application or a dedicated client. I have found web applications to be generally less than satisfactory in terms of usability, although they have improved a lot recently. The convenience of being able to access a web based DAM from any browser offsets the inherent limitations of this approach.
Mobile apps seem to have put the fat client back on the agenda again in recent years. I didn’t really understand why anyone would want to use these until I started making more use of mobile apps myself. The web mobile user experience, in my view, is atrocious and unusable for proper work. I’ve tried various devices from cheap Chinese tablets running Android through to iPads and operating complex web applications like DAM systems via web browsers is a painful task on all of them (although I will concede the iPad is a little less painful than most). This might explain why some vendors have taken the risk of building dedicated mobile apps even though the mobile market is in a three-way platform conflict between iOS, Android and now Windows 8 with the mobile devices themselves going through a hyperactive evolutionary growth spurt too.
Ultimately, the thin client model has to be the delivery method of choice as it is the more scalable and flexible option. That said, in DAM especially, it might be a long time before both vendors and users are willing to be weaned off dedicated apps and clearly some vendors like Southpaw are still finding the majority of their users favour them. I also have to note, that after over 15 years of working in the DAM industry, the often-predicted demise of the desktop app still hasn’t happened and (features aside) the way people use DAM systems is still remarkably similar to what it was.