Brandworkz Announce Release 8.1

DAM solutions provider Brandworkz have announced a new version of their cloud-based brand management software, which claims to focus on “providing better asset visibility and business intelligence”.  Although 8.1 is only a minor version upgrade, it looks as though they’ve undertaken some fairly extensive refactoring.

The full list of new features is as follows:

  • Full screen, responsive asset pop-up
  • Brandworkz Insights – asset usage stats and reports
  • Reporting Dashboards
  • My Stuff area
  • E-commerce Link Embedding
  • Adobe CC Integration

Bug fixes include:

  • Configurable pagination
  • Additional search features (filter for web to print and disabled assets, all users can now save searches)
  • Workflow now includes completion dates (instead of initialisation dates)
  • API improvements (more filters, preview retrieval, more download options)
  • Various other bug fixes

Although there’s nothing groundbreaking here, the improved feature-set should be welcomed by users.  The introduction of a responsive layout for the asset pop-up won’t be setting the trend boards alight – it’s now considered a baseline requirement for modern software –  but it’s good that they’ve finally tackled it and those wishing to work on their fondle-slabs should notice their UX barometers rising.

Perhaps a more interesting feature is the ability to add comments and annotations to images and multipage documents.  Although not enabled by default, the ability to annotate assets – providing it works well – is one of those often overlooked features that can provide invaluable contextual feedback for content creators, editors and end users.

The Brandworkz Insights feature “allows system administrators to see how their assets are being used within Brandworkz, in your documents and externally on the web.”  Again, although there’s nothing new on the innovation front (most systems provide asset usage statistics), the ability to see where assets have been used on the wider web could potentially be used as a forensic tool to investigate possible copyright infringements.  Whether this takes the form of an image-matching bot or a scraper that fingers EXIF data or specially-crafted links is not specified, although we suspect it’s a combination of both.

The other new features appear to be a mixture of eye candy and statistics (the reporting dashboards, charts and maps), with the ‘My Stuff’ area acting as a drawstring-cum-launchpad for recently used albums, uploads and searches, much the same as any other personalised DAM landing screen.

The remaining features include the ability to dynamically create e-commerce links based on matching metadata, and a new workflow diagram view; minor enhancements that should afford a greater degree of automation and productivity respectively.

Those tempted by the Adobe CC (Creative Cloud) Connector might want to check its development state first, as it’s still being shown as ‘Coming Soon’ on their integrations page.

In summary, Brandworkz 8.1 looks to be a well-received release, and although features such as responsiveness are a little overdue, it shows a willingness to listen to their users and keep abreast of trends.

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