FocusOPEN 3.4.4. Released

One of our Open Source Digital Asset Management vendors, FocusOPEN, have released version 3.4.4 of their flagship product.  In common with many of these developer oriented DAM systems,  there is lots of detail about new features, but very little narrative.  To be fair, I complained about the opposite with ADAM a few months ago, so ‘be careful what you wish for’, as the saying goes!

The stand out updates look like:

  • Metadata configuration by asset type
  • AJAX interface features
  • Batch functionality to add to lightboxes, link assets and set user permissions
  • New reports and filtering options

FocusOPEN 3.4.4 Beta has been released today. The upgrade includes 55 modifications and a wide range of bug fixes. This is being advance released to Commercial users first.” [Read More]

There are quite a few less significant items and this looks like a bit of a ‘bag of bits’ release to fix a number of functional limitations and bugs.

The last sentence is indicative of another trend with a few of these open source providers where they seem to be shying away from the ‘free of cost’ part of Open Source, Razuna would be the other example.  It looks like many of the PHP/LAMP options such as ResourceSpace are sticking to their more permissive licences (which I would favour) and no costs apart from support, hosting and customisation.  The 3.4.3 version of FocusOPEN has been promised for GPL users for some time now and has been available for commercial licence subscribers since March 2012, so it looks like a lag of some 10 months for anyone unwilling to pay them.

Much depends on why you want an open source DAM system.  If it is to modify the base system with full access to the code to develop upon it then there are currently not that many options for .NET apart from this one.

There are a good number of closed source DAMs that use Microsoft technology (such as the aforementioned ADAM and Picturepark to name just two) as well as the ubiquitous SharePoint option as well.  My understanding is that ADAM includes a Python scripting language in contrast to the server-side JavaScript one in FocusOPEN.  The documentation for the latter is sparse, (presumably unless you pay FocusOPEN for a commercial licence).  I’m not sure what others offer in this area, but since .NET applications are compiled, integrating any of your own modifications needs to be carefully handled even if you do use an open source product – that might explain the use of the scripting tools.

ADAM and Picturepark are larger companies than FocusOPEN which only recently separated from their former owners, Daydream who seem to be a semi-detached consulting VAR these days.  Lastly, if you can handle using Python, I would take a look at TACTIC from Southpaw which appears capable of giving a few of the alternatives described a run for their money or Entermedia which is Java based and gaining traction in the Video/AV market.

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