File management refers to the system that an organization or operating system uses to organize and manage digital files. It includes such features as file directory structure, automated file backups and basic levels of user permissions. The most common directory structure used in file management systems is a ‘tree structure’ (folders within folders), which is often accessed within a “dual pane manager” – the user interface used in windows and mac operating systems for viewing the file directory tree structure. Digital Asset Management (DAM) goes a step beyond and organizes your files via a powerful, searchable database. Managing files within a DAM system (database) gives you maximum control and speed while working with important files.
What’s a File and What’s a Digital Asset?
Any document, image, video, audio, presentation can be considered a file – regardless of it’s value to your organization. A digital asset, on the other hand, is a file that has intrinsic value to your organization – such as: logos, photo shoots, videos produced, brochures, slide decks and more.
File Management Benefits of DAM
Robust User Roles and Permissions
Ordinarily file management user roles are supercharged in a DAM system. For example, with Canto’s DAM system you can create as many levels of roles and permissions as needed, with highly granular settings to access, metadata read/write, download with watermark, share low or high-res images and workflow functions.
With DAM, employ user-friendly administrative reporting on file usage and improve your business decision making. Know which assets are used the most and receive reports on who is accessing what assets for auditing purposes. This applies to internal file usage, as well as external, such as that conducted through a client portal.
Network drives and internet-based file shares pose notorious risk to multigeographic team file sharing. Avoid the pitfalls of user deletion errors (that can put the entire team’s work at risk), or third party intrusion. With DAM, encryption can be used for logins and SSL (https) connections are also supported. DAM user requests are processed through secure Java Web applications, and sessions work via firewalls.
What is Metadata?
DAM adds metadata tagging and search capabilities to traditional file management schemas. Metadata is information about a file – this can be digital rights management information, standard metadata schemas used for digital image tagging, geospatial information, approval stage levels and/or any custom information your organization can imagine.
DAM Works via Metadata
DAM is able to offer advanced enterprise search through the use of rich metatags that identify digital assets according to a wide range of criteria. Such criteria could include project, location, owner, sku number, subject, copyright expiration date or any variables you decide. Then, by searching just a few keywords and filtering results, the entire enterprise-wide library of assets from a particular event, project, campaign or other grouping can become available for individual needs.