Day Software goes from DAM-lite to DAM-heavy

  • 18-Jul-2007

Switzerland-based Web CMS vendor Day Software has always prided itself on offering customers additional capabilities for managing image assets. Now the company has built up and rolled out a formal Digital Asset Management (DAM) product called "CQ DAM."

This raises an interesting question. What does it mean to manage media assets? As Web CMS Report readers know, most Web CMS tools can now bring relatively advanced capabilities for managing generic binary files (versioning, extended metadata, workflow, WebDAV-based contribution, etc.). Same for many Document Management products. Some Web CMS products now also provide basic browser-based editing, scaling, and cropping of web images...if you dare.

But true digital asset management as it is understood (and needed) by dedicated creative professionals is something else. With heavyweight DAM you start to see much higher levels of sophistication (and complexity -- which means cost, too), including watermarking, digital rights management, autoextraction, and plug-ins to specific desktop tools. I haven't yet looked closely at the Day solution, but it looks like, at least from a feature perspective, the company is transitioning from DAM lite to DAM heavy.

Day's flagship CQ product still focuses on Web Content Management, where its offering is comparatively advanced. Clearly they are counting on some customers needing similarly broad asset management capabilities as well. Doubtless some will. But I suspect most enterprise web teams would do well to start with the kind of DAM-lite services that existing repositories might provide, before going big-time here.

Just don't expect to see (or try to build) DAM-heavy services in a DAM-lite platform. The transition from simply versioning a video file to decomposing it into individual images and audio snippets is a very big step. Plan carefully before you take it.