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Blog about Digital Asset Management

Why does a DAM need an API?


Most reputable Digital Asset Management (DAM) vendors offer a solution with a GUI and API. Not all DAM clients use the API though. At least not yet.

With the growing need to converge DAM, WCM, CMS, wikis and other ECM solutions, the API is one way to tie all these solutions together on the back end so each solution can talk to each other instead of us jumping from one solution to another repeatedly and also playing the endless copy/paste game. Since many organizations are only accumulating more digital assets by exponential numbers each year, this convergence will be needed faster than most people realize. Or people could continue living as if it was still the 20th century because they wish to continue getting buried further underneath poorly managed digital assets on a daily basis. Some people may have not awakened to the possibilities of how the solutions listed above can assist their daily work rather than needlessly burning time at the office, shuffling paper in order to act busy even though they can’t find that file created a year ago, a month ago or even a week ago. Do you know anyone who meets this description?

People need to make the conscious decision to work smarter with digital assets. This involves:

  • Finding the right tools for the organization’s business needs regarding digital assets
  • Finding out how digital assets should be managed within an organization (that is managed and organized, not one or the other)
  • Having up to date documentation explaining the process and systems involved today
  • Having training and ongoing support for users of these systems and processes
  • Following through with a standard workflow or process (how do you spell consistency)
    • What do I do with a digital asset once I have created or acquired it?
    • What do I do if I need to use a digital asset again?
  • Having scaleable systems that can grow with your organization (rather than be limited to what seemed adequate or cool or shiny at one time)
  • Holding people accountable (If you don’t know, ASK lots of questions and push for decisions instead of making lots of mistakes. If you do know, document it so others will know as well.)
  • Having someone who can program systems to communicate with each other via the API
  • Having an API on the systems which will ‘speak and listen’ to the same (programming) language(s) both to and from each system

Does your organization’s DAM have an API? Does your organization use the API?

Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

2 thoughts on “Why does a DAM need an API?

  1. Also worth noting these days is that a Web Services API is also needed so that the DAM can communicate with systems across the planet in addition to those running on the same hardware.

    David Diamond
    Director of Global Marketing
    Picturepark DAM

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