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Third Light

Profile Index

    The DAM Playbook

    This vendor does not appear in the in the DAM Playbook.

    DAM 10 Core Accreditation

    This vendor is not 10 Core accredited.

    Vendor Details

    Contact Name
    Roland Henry
    Company Profile
    Third Light is a digital asset management (DAM) software company based in Cambridge, UK. We serve a global customer base from our headquarters here, and we also have resellers in USA and Scandinavia.

    You’ve got files - lots of them. Photos, videos, logos, branding… and your library is growing all the time.

    Trying to manage all these files is one of the most frustrating and inefficient things you have to deal with. You’re constantly investing time and money trying to find old content or struggling to control the use of current files around your organisation.

    What you really want is to be able to centralise, search, share and re-use your media electronically via an online cloud-based environment that you control and manage.

    If you could do this your organisation would be able to make much better use of your time. Not only that, your job would be so much more enjoyable.

    Sounds good doesn’t it? It is, and we know exactly how to help you make it a reality. That’s why organisations around the world work with us, ranging from small businesses and charities to some of the most famous global brands.

    Contact Telephone
    +44 (0)1223 475674
    Contact Email
    Company Website
    Years Trading
    Company Turnover Category
    The turnover of the vendor can give an indication of their size. US Dollars is used as common currency to allow comparisons. Note that turnover is not necessarily any indicator of financial stability but as part of any procurement due diligence you are obliged to carry out by your organisation, any vendors who have not agreed to show their turnover here might be required to do so if subsequently appointed.
    • $2m - $5m
    Company Turnover
    This is the actual turnover of the vendor in US Dollars.
    Percentage of Revenue From DAM Software
    A vendor might have a large turnover and many employees, but their DAM software division is a very small element of what they offer. If a large proportion of their revenue comes from DAM solutions (licenses, support, hosting, consulting etc) then this may mean they are more specialised, but also there are risks to their overall financial stability if there is a downturn in the DAM software market.
    Number of Full-Time Employees
    Along with turnover, the number of full-time employees gives an indication of the size of the vendor. Note that although a firm might have many employees, not all of them might be dedicated to developing DAM solutions, so this cannot be relied on in isolation.
    Office Locations
    • Cambridge UK
    Product Name
    Intelligent Media Server
    Latest Version Number
    Date Of Last Release
    Documentation URL
    User group URL
    Online trial link
    Trial download or sandbox link
    Company RSS Feed URL
    Company LinkedIn URL
    Company Facebook URL
    Clients & Customers
    • Mulberry
    • Virgin
    • United Nations
    • University of Oxford
    • London Transport
    • Royal Mail
    • Denver Broncos
    • Cambridge Consultants
    • CenterParcs
    • Hurley
    • NATO
    • Mars Foods
    • NASCAR
    • Phoenix Suns
    • QinetiQ
    • The Scottish Parliament
    • The Scout Association
    • Westminster Abbey
    • BAFTA
    • Royal Albert Hall
    Partner Network
    If the vendor operates through a sales channel they may use intermediaries who have regional focus or additional specialisms in a given vertical market.
    • Yes
    Partner Network Notes
    Partners in Scandinavia, Australia, South Africa, USA and UK to assist with implementation and integration.


    Licensing Model
    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.
    • Proprietary
    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.
    • Some open source components used, but core product is not open source
    Open Source Component Usage Notes
    Open source components as described in credits/OSS acknowledgements


    Software Delivery Methods
    • Installed (On-Premise)
    • Cloud/SaaS
    • Hybrid


    Client refers to the type of hardware or software device that can be used to access or control the DAM system.
    • Web client
    • Desktop client
    • iOS mobile app
    Client Notes
    Intelligent Media Server is a web-based program, but with plugins and applications that support key activities (in particular uploads and downloads). Additionally, we integrate as a shared network drive when used on a local area network. This gives direct access to assets from tools like Creative Suite, without plugins. In this case, IMS is a hybrid file server and DAM server.

    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.
    • Linux
    • Not applicable
    Server Operating System Notes
    Provided as an appliance (black box) suitable for installation on bare hardware, VMWare, Windows Server (Hyper-V) or hosting on Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure and PVM services. No knowledge of Linux is assumed or required.

    The Third Light OS is self-updating and includes features to allow updates to be applied without specialist intervention or vendor involvement.

    Web Server
    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.
    • Other
    Web Server Notes

    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.
    • PHP
    • Python
    • C++
    • Other
    Server Technology Notes
    Go microservices architecture

    Database Technology
    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.
    • MySQL
    Database Notes
    Third Light comes with the option for a Synchronisation Module, which allows clustering in a hot standby arrangement, even if the servers are geographically remote. This takes care of database synchronisation as well as keeping media replicated.

    Search Technologies
    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.
    • No
    Service Oriented Architecture Definition
    Some vendors have widely differing opinions of what Service Oriented Architecture means. Their response to this question allows you to understand if their definition concurs with your own. If you are not contemplating a large scale DAM implementation or one with many complex integration requirements, SOA may not be relevant to your needs.


    Search Features
    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.
    • Keyword
    • Folders
    • Filters
    • Faceted Search
    • Linked Asset Search
    Search Notes
    In addition to standard searching, Third Light has the ability to offer search suggestions which are based on clusters of results. For example, a search for Paris with 100 results might contain 50 results about the Eiffel Tower, 25 about the Louvre and 25 on other subjects. Third Light will make the Eiffel Tower and Louvre into clickable suggestions for a refinement.

    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.
    • Yes


    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.
    • IPTC
    • IPTC Core
    • XMP
    • EXIF
    Embedded metadata support (writing)
    See the reading question above for more details on what embedded metadata is. This question refers to whether embedded metadata can be written back to files if edited within the DAM system.
    • IPTC
    • IPTC Core
    • XMP
    • EXIF
    Controlled Vocabularies
    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.
    • Yes
    Controlled Vocabulary Notes
    Supports keyword vocabularies but also supports different representations of vocabularies to try and assist with data entry. For example, a drop-down alternative is suitable for short lists of keywords, and enforces a unique single selection, while our tree metadata layout is designed with taxonomies and many-to-many mappings.

    Careful user interface and metadata presets are designed to reduce vocabulary creep.

    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.
    • Yes
    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.
    • Text field
    • Drop down menu
    • Checkbox
    • Date
    • Other
    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.
    Supports tree (taxonomy) structures, which interact with search suggestions to provide meaningful recommendations, as well as simplifying the entry of metadata from a known tree without keyword work.

    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.
    • Yes
    Audit Trail
    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.
    • Yes
    Audit Trail Notes
    All actions are recorded, including what has been changed by whom if there is an adjustment to a setting, or new metadata edits are made. Underlying security records are also created to support server and information security standards.

    Built-In Reports
    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?".
    • Most popular assets by download
    • Most active users by downloads
    • Average number of search results returned over a given period
    • Asset search to download ratio
    • Download activity over a given period
    • Login activity over a given period
    • Popular search terms

    Asset Processing

    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.
    • Yes
    Dedicated/Scalable Proxy or Derivative Asset Generation Notes
    Queue tasks that could be lengthy, such as proxy creation for large video clips, can be pushed to external queue runners. Networked workers can be added (without limit). An AMQP queue is used to marshall work. This facility is exposed for integrators.

    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.
    • Yes

    Asset Manipulation

    Image Manipulation
    Many DAM systems allow users to manipulate images by resizing, cropping etc. Choose any features which are important to your users.
    • Image re-sizing
    • Image cropping
    • Format conversion
    • Rotate image
    • Change colorspace
    • Batch manipulate groups of assets
    Image Manipulation Notes
    Colour space management is built in, to avoid CYMK/RGB presentation errors (especially prevalent in TIFF data).

    A novel feature in Third Light is its ability to offer cropping and scaling combined into a single form. This helps less experienced users to get a perfect fit to their required end use, without introducing notions of resolution.

    Video Manipulation
    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.
    • Format conversion
    • EDLs and editing features
    • Timeline metadata
    • Batch operations on multiple video assets
    Video Manipulation Notes
    Third Light has the ability to extract sections of videos, leave marker metadata inside a video timeline, or convert a video into different end formats.

    A good example of time saving in this tool is to take a lengthy MPEG4 HD video and reduce it to a 10MB WMV file quickly. This can be published directly to a web page, rather than a download, if desired. All video players are HTML5 and Flash capable, so they work on iOS, Mac, PC etc.

    Data Import/Export

    Importing Metadata
    Importing metadata is an important feature if you have either legacy assets or metadata is generated using some other tools (for example a spreadsheet). Not all systems offer this, but usually if the feature is not available, the vendor will be able to carry out batch importing for you via professional services (note: this will usually incur a cost, unlike a built-in capability).
    • Yes
    Metadata Import Formats
    This question only applies if the vendor has features to import metadata. There are common formats like CSV, XML and Excel which DAM solutions may support. If this is a requirement you are likely to make frequent use of, it is essential to verify whether the product supports the formats you typically work with.
    • CSV (or any delimited file)
    Exporting Metadata
    As well as importing metadata, sometimes it is important to be able to export sections of it to conduct further analysis in third party applications. Not all products support this, but usually it will be possible to request the vendor provides an export via professional services (although a fee may be charged).
    • Yes
    Metadata Export Formats
    This question only applies if the vendor has features to export metadata. There are common formats like CSV, XML and Excel which DAM solutions may support. If this is a requirement you are likely to make frequent use of, it is essential to verify whether the product supports the formats you typically work with.
    • CSV (or other delimited file)
    Metadata Export Notes
    As well as CSV/TSV exports, all files that support IPTC/XMP are correctly tagged before exporting (e.g. at the point of download).


    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.
    • REST
    • SOAP
    • Other
    API Notes
    Third Light is built entirely on a JSON API. The user interface we ship is a reference model - our API is first and last in every part of our product development plans.

    Hooks are related to APIs but are initiated by the application rather than by an external application making the request. Hooks allow other actions to be initiated based on events, for example if a user downloads an asset, an action can be commenced to notify another application that this has taken place (along with the ID number of the asset, date/time etc).
    • Yes
    Hooks Targets Supported
    In most DAM applications that support them, hooks are initiated as web requests, so the system will call a given external URL and provide some parameters. Some solutions also support initiating scripts or applications which can run on the server where the system is hosted.
    • Other
    Hooks Definition
    If the vendor claims support for hooks, check how they define them and see if their interpretation concurs with your own. A reasonably detailed explanation along with citations/links should be given here.
    Third Light includes AMQP (message queues) which can be used to trigger on events.

    Storage Integration
    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.
    • Dropbox
    • Microsoft Azure Blob
    • WebDAV

    Scripting & Plug-Ins

    Scripting Capabilities
    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.
    • No
    Scripting Capability Notes
    A fullly scriptable automation engine is due for release in the next major build. This will be used to support AI/Machine Learning features.

    Plug-In Support
    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.
    • Yes
    Plug-In Capability Notes
    The concept of Third Light is to expose core functions via a well-documented API, and allow any application to invoke the equivalent features that we use in the main (supplied) UI. Example/reference code is available for the common case of adding Third Light as an image library plugin.


    Authentication Support
    If you need to integrate with an existing corporate authentication service then this option will be important for you.
    • Active Directory
    • LDAP
    • SAML
    Authentication Notes
    Active Directory (including LDAPS)
    Microsoft AD FS

    Multi-Lingual Options

    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.
    • English
    • Norwegian
    Multilingual Metadata Support
    See previous question. Most DAM systems with multi-lingual support will provide it for metadata.
    • Yes
    Multilingual Support Notes
    Supports right-to-left text, including in search and metadata.

    Each language can have its own metadata in parallel (ie. true, extensive support for internationalisation throughout the product, API etc). All storage is UTF8 for non-Western character support.

    Version Control

    File versioning
    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.
    • Yes
    Metadata versioning
    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.
    • Yes
    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.
    • Yes

    Product Screenshots

    Product Datasheets

    • Third Light IMS Enterprise Edition
      Download (PDF, ~609.76 Kb)
    • Third Light Overview
      Download (PDF, ~630.23 Kb)
    • OSS license acknowledgements
      Download (PDF, ~429.54 Kb)

    Product Videos

    Intelligent Media Server

    Overview of Third Light digital asset management system

    Profile Last Updated: 27/11/2020

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      All profile information has been provided by the vendors themselves and they are responsible for both its accuracy and validity.