Integrated solution – the DAM as centralized data hub
The new generation of DAMs are not only a file storage with a web interface. They integrate with your design workflow and other application and are therefore the central repository. Is the “single point of truth”. Much like the CRM (Customer Relation Management) is the single point of truth for the sales department, the DAM is where all the assets you as a graphic designer work with are stored.
This means that you store your images, indesign, xpress, illustrator, word documents etc. into the DAM and open these assets directly from your application. No need for downloading and reuploading. It’s a substitute to the file system and has many benefits.
Depending on the system used they can be integrated to the CMS of your websites, push and pull data from a translation memory, avoid duplicate content, do version control, workflow management (for review and approval) and deliver from one source multiple outputs.
To make an example how this can benefit in your daily work. Let’s imagine we have a integration between the DAM and the CMS of the website. On the website you offer product brochures for download. Normally you would make the PDFs in Indesign and upload them to the CMS. With the integration you have the Indesign document and all images in the DAM and the CMS requests the PDF from the DAM. Therefore when you update the brochure you do not need to update the website.
Another example: You have 100 brochures that use the same logo. The logo is redesigned and you just have to update it once in the DAM, all 100 brochures now have the new logo.
Sounds like magic – but there are a few downsides. These systems are quite expensive and need a good planning. This systems are right for you if you have thousands of assets and many of them are reused over various projects or if you want to generate a centralized pool for single design departments. Thinking ahead for in the areas of structure, metadata and workflows are key to implement successfully such a system and to get a ROI (return of investment) you need a high user volume.
- Integration with design workflow (Indesign, Photoshop, Xpress) and other systems (CMS, CRM, translation memory)
- Very flexible and configurable systems are common
- No duplicate content (saving time, storage and money)
- Centralized management of all assets related to the design workflow
- Relatively expensive
- Only a few vendors offer usable integration to Indesign & Co
- Good planning necessary
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