The DAM Playbook
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DAM 10 Core Accreditation
This vendor is not 10 Core accredited.
Contact NameRoger Martin
Gallery Server is an affordable and easy-to-use digital asset management and web gallery application. It is available under a 100% free open source license as well as a commercial license that is a fraction of the cost of other DAM systems.
Play with live demos where you can browse the gallery and upload your own files.
Use any web browser to organize your media files into albums you can easily add, edit, delete, rotate, rearrange, copy and move. Easily add thousands of files using one-click synchronize and ZIP file upload functions.
Video and audio files are automatically encoded into web-friendly H.264
MP4 and M4A files.
Customize the UI with built-in template and skin support. Support for zero-maintenance community galleries. Powerful user security with flexible, per-album granularity. Metadata extraction and editable, customizable properties. Built-in support for playing most video and audio files. GPS mapping. Auto-sync your gallery with your files. Integrated search function. Image watermarking with your own text and/or image.
Supports Active Directory integration. 100% managed code written in C# and ASP.NET 4.5. Free, open source software released under the GNU General Public License.
New in Version 3: Customizable, skinnable UI. Resizable, dockable 3-pane layout. Tagging support. Editable asset properties. Video encoder now creates fast-start H.264
MP4 from most files. Improved sorting. Improved mobile device support.
Product NameGallery Server
Latest Version Number3.2.1
Date Of Last Release02/06/2014
User group URLhttps://galleryserverpro.com/forum/
Trial download or sandbox linkhttps://galleryserverpro.com/try-it/
Company RSS Feed URLhttps://galleryserverpro.com/feed/
If the vendor operates through a sales channel they may use intermediaries who have regional focus or additional specialisms in a given vertical market.
This refers to the type of licence the DAM system software is supplied under. Proprietary means that the developer restricts access to the source code (the instructions used to generate the software). Open source means that the developer provides full access to the code so you can modify it yourself. Split model is hybrid and means they may offer both options with some restrictions removed (or added) depending on the model chosen. If split is selected, it is advisable to verify the differences with the vendor.
Open Source OSI Licence Used
If the vendor has indicated they offer an open source or split model licence (i.e. both open source and commercial options) then for the open source element, they should be able to provide an OSI (Open Source Initiative) approved licence. If one is not specified, their product may not be genuinely open source.
Use of Open Source Components
Many DAM systems use freely available open source components to deliver key functionality. The products themselves may not be open source, however. This question will help to identify to what extent they are open source.
- Many open source components used and core product is offered under a split commercial/OSI approved licence
Software Delivery Methods
Client refers to the type of hardware or software device that can be used to access or control the DAM system.
Server Operating Systems supported
This only applies for installed or hybrid DAM systems and refers to what types of OS they can be run on. This question is less relevant for DAM systems where a third party will be hosting it for you.
The type of web server software that the DAM system can operate with. Not all DAM systems use a web server and for pure SaaS products the question is irrelevant. If you either want SaaS or non-web DAM systems, do not choose an option.
Software Development Technologies Used
This means the programming language or development technology used to implement the DAM system. This question is more important for open source software or if you have IT policy restrictions that require you to use (or not use) some technologies. It may not be relevant if you require a hosted DAM and never intend to host the system in-house.
The Database that the DAM system uses. All DAM systems require some kind of storage for asset metadata and they are usually based on an existing technology - but that may not always be a conventional database. If the DAM will be hosted by someone else (e.g. SaaS/Cloud) this question may not be relevant.
SQL CE also supported
This refers to third party search components that the vendor uses to provide the text search features (and sometimes other related search functions).
- Custom (developed in-house)
Service Oriented Architecture
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) means the vendor's product uses a modular architecture where each core DAM function is delivered as a service which can be separated out independently from other functions. It is important for large-scale Digital Asset Management implementations or more complex integration requirements.
This describes the search strategies that can be used to find assets. If you do not understand any of them, leave the options de-selected. Most DAM systems should support at least keyword search at a minimum.
Search options allow for searching by title/caption, tags, people, or all meta fields.
Index/Search Text Content Of Documents
Some DAM systems can search the text content of document assets and that might be important for your DAM solution.
Embedded metadata support (reading)
Embedded metadata refers to information stored within asset files which can be searched from the DAM system. There are different standards for this type of metadata. Some image cataloguing software like Adobe Lightroom will write this data to asset files and a device like a camera may capture details also such as GPRS coordinates where an photo was shot. XMP metadata is often used with other types of files such as InDesign or PDF. If you are unsure whether this applied to you, do not check any options.
Controlled Vocabularies are predefined lists of search terms. They can be realised in many different ways but the common factor is the user picks from a restricted selection rather than enters a keyword. Most DAM systems will usually support both controlled vocabularies and keywords.
User Defined Metadata Fields
The ability to configure metadata your own metadata fields is important for DAM systems so you can assign a dedicated field for certain items of information rather than using a generic classification method or one of the vendor's own standard fields.
Cataloguing Interface Options
When cataloguing assets with custom fields, some metadata will be controlled selections, others will be free text. There are further choices like date fields, file attachments etc.
Cataloguing Interface Notes
Verify how the vendor has implemented a given cataloguing interface control. It is preferable if they can demonstrate with examples of how they have implemented interface options for cataloguing and metadata entry.
5-star rating supported
Business Intelligence & Reporting
Asset Usage Records
To enable reports to be generated, DAM solutions must retain records of asset usage, including searching, download and editing of records. The reporting should include the user who carried out the activity and the date/time it occurred.
A detailed audit trail that logs every user action in a central record is useful to gain insight into user behaviour. Comprehensive audit trails allow DAM system users to produce reports that address their unique needs.
A range of built-in reports that you can quickly generate is useful to answer common questions such as the "what is our most popular asset?".
Dedicated/Scalable Proxy or Derivative Asset Generation
Nearly all DAM systems will generate thumbnails and previews of media, including more dynamic types like video or audio. Some products use a separate server to do this which usually makes them more suitable for large scale asset ingestion and processing.
Multi-Page Document Asset Previews
If you deal with document oriented assets, having a solution which can generate multi-page previews (and also zoom in on them) can save the hassle of downloading a file only to discover it is not the one you need. For assets with very similar content, this can be a useful feature.
Many DAM systems allow users to manipulate images by resizing, cropping etc. Choose any features which are important to your users.
- Format conversion
- Rotate image
Some DAM systems may allow video assets to be converted or modified. If that is a potential requirement for you, specify those features which are likely to be needed. EDL = Edit Decision List and refers to providing in/out points when editing video footage.
API means Application Programming Interface and allows third party software to control a DAM system. If you intend to integrate your DAM with another existing solution then you need to choose the API protocol that is compatible with that.
Many DAM solutions will now allow assets to be stored on the server of Cloud storage providers. This allows asset files to be distributed and/or integrated with other solutions. Some third party services use generic protocols like FTP, others are proprietary.
Scripting & Plug-Ins
Some advanced DAM solutions have a scripting capability that allows users or third parties to add functionality which the vendor did not originally envisage. Usually programming skills will be required to use this, but some tools have visual interfaces also.
In addition to scripting (or sometimes instead of), some DAM solutions will have a plug-in architecture that allows third party developers to extend the core platform.
If you need to integrate with an existing corporate authentication service then this option will be important for you.
Multilingual Application Interface Support
The interface means the controls to use the DAM system. This is different from the metadata support which is usually entered by end users when cataloguing assets.
Multilingual Metadata Support
See previous question. Most DAM systems with multi-lingual support will provide it for metadata.
File versioning refers to the digital media associated with an asset record. This is usually the minimum requirement for a DAM system to claim support for versioning assets. See also responses to the related question about metadata versioning below.
Metadata versioning is separate from the files associated with assets. Many DAM solutions will track updated digital assets but only retain a single current version of the metadata. Since metadata is likely to be edited many more times than assets get replaced, this can be an important point to check.
Independent Metadata And File Versioning
This questions assesses whether the solution allows versions of either the file or metadata to be reverted independently or if both are linked to a single shared version instance.