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Print Page - Need Recomendation for DAM software

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Software Discussions => Choosing Software/Other DAM Applications => Topic started by: Pat Monaghan on September 17, 2009, 11:50:49 AM



Title: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on September 17, 2009, 11:50:49 AM
Greetings all!
I am (among other things) the plant photographer for a manufacturing company. I have been tasked with finding a DAM software solution for our company.
We would like to have our images availabe for viewing and searching on an internal drive/web site. I would be the only one uploading and cataloging. Our other users would only need to be able to view/browse and search. The ability to search by keywords is essential. We are a mostly Windows shop, no Mac, a few Linux servers. For most of our users, something like Picasa would be good enough, but I have heard Picasa doesn't play well over a network.
I'll open it up for suggestions, I'd like to have 3 or 4 to research before making my recommendation.
Thanks, Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: george on September 17, 2009, 04:19:04 PM
Hi Pat,

I suggest IDimager:

http://www.idimager.com/

Take a look at what Dan Altick said about IDimager in this thread:

http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=4202.0

--George



Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on September 22, 2009, 04:42:15 PM
Pat,
You may want two tools - one to manage the entire collection, and one to be available over the web.  The one on the web might even be a service like PhotoShelter.
Hw many images in the collection, and how many do you want to make accessible? How many people need access?
Peter


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on September 23, 2009, 06:29:11 AM
Peter,
Thanks for answering. I picked up The DAM Book this week, I'm sure it will be of great help.
As to your questions, currently the collection is small (maybe 1000 images) but I want to get it under control before it grows much more. I need only myself to have full access (upload, edit, etc) the others would only need to view and search. We would like all our office & technical people to have view access, currently 80-90 persons. Once they found an image they need, they would contact me for a copy or print. Many of the images are on film (medium format, I'm still old school), but I have the film scanned and will put the scans in the collection, and will pull the negative if the desired use calls for it.
If access for this amount of persons is too cumbersome, I would need to let at least to let 6-8 persons have access, but our company culture is to let everyone access everything (so nothing can get done :)).
We run a windows network (some Linux servers, no MAC), and many of our users are on thin client terminals.
Thanks for any advice. Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: stefano.gerosa on September 25, 2009, 02:40:14 AM
I have a similar problem, about 5000-10000 photos to share between 3/4 internal employees who will manage the archive and an unspecified number (but not more than 30) external user who will just fetch photos.

I basically need a organize-search-fetch system. I think a web-based system will be the best, because i need the external user to access the DB from anywhere without installing anything on their PC's.

The only extra requirement is to assign permission at least on photo groups level, i need the external user to access just the part of the archive i want they to see.

I'm trying imageFolio ( http://imagefolio.com/ ), seems it covers basically all my needs, does someone use it?


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: johnbeardy on September 25, 2009, 03:46:48 AM
Stefano

Those user permissions make me think Extensis Portfolio would be most suitable for you.

John


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on September 25, 2009, 03:09:27 PM
Stefano,
PhotoShelter may be a good fit for your needs. 

Pat,
One hard part about your issue is that you have a training issue when you get to that many people. Some kind of web-based search engine is what you probably need. Will people need access to all 1000 images, or is there a smaller group that will be most useful?  Do they need to be able to download?  And does this download need to be password protected?
Peter


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: stefano.gerosa on September 28, 2009, 01:29:06 AM
@johnbeardy, thanks i'll give it a try

@peterkrogh, i think my company will prefer an in-house solution. We have an it department who can take care of server administration.


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on September 28, 2009, 06:49:20 AM
Peter, thanks for the reply. In amswer to your questions, yes everyone will need access to all images. No they will not need to download, they would request the file or print from me, that allows me some control over the use of the images. I wouldn't want someone trying to print a 16x20 from a thumbnail and then sending it to one of our customers. Password protection would not be needed if I am running from an internal web server.

I too have been looking at ImageFolio, thier advaned search feature looks interesting.

I'm still chewing through The DAM Book, I'm going to try and get this headed down the right path the first time.

Stefano, let me know what you think of ImageFolio.

Thanks to all, and keep the suggestions comming.
Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: stefano.gerosa on September 29, 2009, 12:53:27 AM
Stefano, let me know what you think of ImageFolio.

Software seems ok, but i'm having some trouble with the assistance.

The demo site (pro version) is offline, the forum is also offline, i've wrote them a mail few days ago with no response.
This doesn't look good...


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on September 29, 2009, 06:21:42 AM
Stefano, thanks for the reply. I thought maybe it was a firewall issue that was keeping me from the demo. You're right, it doesn't look good, "swine flu" maybe? ??? I'll send them a note as well and see what happens.

Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: mistadas on October 05, 2009, 04:17:55 AM
Yes I am looking at this Image Folio
I cant download the program either
I found some people shifting from Portfolio to Picasa
http://www.highonweb.com/?p=334
Razuna is also interesting
http://www.adamsoftware.net/
http://imagefolio.com/ 
http://www.ibase.com/
http://www.extensis.com/en/products/portfolioserver9/netpublish.jsp
http://www.razuna.org/ 
these are interesting
Russell Gardner



Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on October 06, 2009, 06:19:03 AM
Russell,
Thanks for those links.

http://www.highonweb.com/?p=334

This Picassa write-up is interesting. It sounds like they are making really good use of that as a tool. It does seem like it could be a bit of a mess, since everyone can add their own keywords, and that could become confusing. I also wonder if there is a way to preserve the database so that it does not need a 36-hour regeneration, and that any work saved internal to your own database could be preserved.
I also wonder about off-line media capability.

http://www.adamsoftware.net/
A quick look at this software did not seem to indicate something that would be good for an image archive.  Anybody know different?

http://imagefolio.com/ 
This one looks REALLY interesting. The Demo buttons took me in endless loops trying to find where "What Users See" and "Backend Administration", but I did manage to find this implementation:
http://www.bushphoto.com/bp/cgi-bin/ImageFolio42/imageFolio.cgi?advsearch=1

It looks like really capable software that can extract and use metadata - I'll need to follow up on this. If anyone is using this, perhaps a separate thread?

http://www.ibase.com/
Can't tell exactly what ibase can do without scheduling a guided tour. Lots of words on the website, but I was not able to quickly find some kind of demonstration of how the software works.

http://www.extensis.com/en/products/portfolioserver9/netpublish.jsp
Nice functionality in Extensis.

http://www.razuna.org/
As I said, this one looks like it is not fully image capable yet (no soft rotation!), but might be promising.


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: rogerhoward on October 06, 2009, 02:58:05 PM
Peter - curious what you don't like about ADAM... it must be said, it's in an entirely different class than the rest of the applications mentioned, so hard to compare directly - ADAM is a very powerful DAM platform, not something an individual or even single department would spring for, but for enterprise applications it's an excellent product - very powerful workflow automation (draw a Visio diagram of your workflow, using their objects, and you're done!), but again it's hardly comparable to the rest - it's in the Artesia, NorthPlains, MediaBeacon league. Expect products like this to require significant customization, many dollars, and lots of support, but to also be far more capable when you're looking to manage millions of assets across and large organization with thousands of users, multiple locations, complex metadata and security models, and many different front-ends and integration with desktop and backend tools.

Speaking of integration, ADAM does have some nice connection points to Adobe and Microsoft products - you can, for instance, expose parts of your repository through VersionCue so Photoshop/InDesign/etc users get direct access to assets, with version control, workflow, and metadata controls, right from their favorite desktop app. It also integrates well with SharePoint and many other enterprisey applications.

If I were in a small department I certainly wouldn't be looking at ADAM - but for large-scale DAM it's a great product. I've also had hands-on deployment experience with Artesia and NorthPlains, and while the particulars are different, much of the same - scalability, cost, market - applies to them as well.

- Roger Howard


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on October 06, 2009, 03:12:37 PM
Roger,
It was a quick assessment - thanks for your input. Are you familiar enough with it to know if it is "image-smart"? Does it natively work with the kind of IPTC/XMP data that most images are likely to arrive with?  Can it create a derivative file that is properly color managed?

I ask because I've been involved with a consulting project recently with a large government agency. They already have an Oracle solution installed in the agency, and were thinking of opening it up to the photo department. The cost to get the system to harvest IPTC data from DNG files, make web galleries, and produce derivative JPEGs was quoted in the $100,000 range. This is *after* the system is already up and running agency-wide.

It's one thing to pay for an enterprise installation, quite another to pay to make it actually do common functions. "Oh, you want it to work with .doc and PDF files? That will be an extra $50,000."
Peter


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: rogerhoward on October 06, 2009, 03:24:12 PM
Pay to make it do already common things? welcome to enterprise software :)

In all seriousness... IPTC/XMP support: yep. Color managed derivative generation - yep,though that's dependent on the image toolkit you opt for (ADAM, like most enterprise DAMs, integrates with a variety of toolkits for media transformations - from image processing to video encoding to similarity fingerprinting, etc), I believe all the common options support fully color-managed processing pipelines.

$100k may sound like a lot - and between you and me, it is! - but it's small beans for many "enterprise" consultants who seem to charge by the character. The key to good support of an enterprise app is having a strong, media-geeky developer on staff who can do a lot of these things internally. I've personally seen estimates for integration work by DAM consultants on an enterprise project that were well north of 100k, but which (when we balked) took an on-staff developer less than a month to build, with arguably better results.

But in the end, yeah, you will - no matter what vendor you go with - end up paying for some things which you just cannot, for the life of you, believe you have to pay extra for. But you're also getting "for free" (meaning, as part of the base license) lots of things which you simply couldn't pay someone to add to lesser products. It really comes down to a hard, honest assessment of priorities and requirements - if robustness, scalability, complex metadata and security models, a rich API are baseline requirements you'll pay dearly for those, before you ever get to look-and-feel stuff.

-Roger (straddling the line between sanity and enterprise DAM)


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: rogerhoward on October 06, 2009, 03:28:15 PM
Pay to make it do already common things? welcome to enterprise software :)

In all seriousness... IPTC/XMP support: yep. Color managed derivative generation - yep,though that's dependent on the image toolkit you opt for (ADAM, like most enterprise DAMs, integrates with a variety of toolkits for media transformations - from image processing to video encoding to similarity fingerprinting, etc), I believe all the common options support fully color-managed processing pipelines.

$100k may sound like a lot - and between you and me, it is! - but it's small beans for many "enterprise" consultants who seem to charge by the character. The key to good support of an enterprise app is having a strong developer *on staff* who can do a lot of these things internally. I've personally seen estimates for front-end work by DAM consultants on an enterprise project that were well north of 100k, but which (when we balked) took an on-staff developer less than a month to build, with arguably better results.

But in the end, yeah, you will - no matter what vendor you go with - end up paying for some things which you just cannot, for the life of you, believe you have to pay extra for. But you're also getting "for free" (meaning, as part of the base license) lots of things which you simply couldn't pay someone to add to lesser products. It really comes down to a hard, honest assessment of priorities and requirements - if robustness, scalability, complex metadata and security models, a rich API are baseline requirements you'll pay dearly for those, before you ever get to look-and-feel stuff.

-Roger (straddling the line between sanity and enterprise DAM)


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on October 06, 2009, 06:19:02 PM
Roger,
The shame here is that the department does not really need all that much - 1.5 full-time photographers' worth of work, web galleries and lightboxes. They're just trying to replace contact sheets, for God's sake.  None of the real capabilities of Oracle is necessary for this project.  And for $100k, you don't get any e-commerce - just a download folder of JPEGs that need to be billed separately.

It looks like ImgeFolio would do everything they need for a small fraction of the cost.

As to that cost, I really do think it's grossly inflated.  They charge that much because they can get some percentage of people to pay that much. Is it really possible that there is not some off-the-shelf configuration tools to make an Oracle database extract XMP data and map it to fields of the same name? 

The other thing I hear again and again is that these solutions don't work once they are delivered.  If you forget to spec out a small item, it could mean a costly change order.  For isntance, the applications they were suggesting - ImageMagik and Image Alchemy -  as best I can tell from the wensites, would not e able to extract the preview from the DNG. They would want to render the file from raw, which would be, um, wrong. 

Another thing that set off alarm bells was the programmer saying that everything was doable, even though he was clearly entirely unfamiliar with the technology. I mean, sure, everything's possible with unlimited funds and time, but that does not mean that you wuld want to go that way.  When I asked if they could point to an image-based installation that they had created before, all I heard was crickets.
Peter


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on October 07, 2009, 11:49:22 AM
Just when I decide to try Imagefolio, now thier whole site is offline. This not looking good, I will hope they are working on the non-working links, not cleaning out the desks.
For my project, I am going to look at Expressions Media, Lightroom, DigitalPro 5, and perhaps Bibble as solutions for my use. And for the rest of my users, who need only to search and view, I'll see if I can make Picasa work. The Imagefolio advanced search looks good, but where did they go?
Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on October 07, 2009, 11:55:14 AM
So, I post the above, and decide to try one more time, and now Imagefolio is back. Somewhere, someone is laughing.
Guess I'll try to download the trial before it disapears again.
Pat


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: roberte on October 11, 2009, 05:04:02 PM
Hi Peter,

I ask because I've been involved with a consulting project recently with a large government agency. They already have an Oracle solution installed in the agency, and were thinking of opening it up to the photo department. The cost to get the system to harvest IPTC data from DNG files, make web galleries, and produce derivative JPEGs was quoted in the $100,000 range. This is *after* the system is already up and running agency-wide.

Have a look at Piction.com (http://www.piction.com/). They work with Oracle and SQL databases with clients around the globe.

-- Robert.


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: peterkrogh on October 12, 2009, 05:09:26 AM
Robert,
I think the top this client wants to spend is in the $20,000 range. I'm betting that *anything* you do with Oracle is more than that.
And given all they really want are some smart web galleries, (searchable by event or subject, filterable by ratings) with download capabilities (produce a decent tagged JPEG out the other end), this is probably overkill.
Peter


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: aniemann on October 14, 2009, 04:30:27 PM
Thanks everybody for the various links to vendors in this thread. Funny how we all seem to be on the same wave at the same time. At the museum here we are finally starting to look at setting up an 'enterprise' level image database for the whole museum. I'm deathly afraid of it as what I've seen the artifact guys go through with their 'enterprise' level databases several times now is hair raising. Tons of money paid out and then it doesn't work as advertised and no-one wants to use it.

So a couple of thoughts if I may:

-ImageFolio, despite what I'm now hearing about the company's flakiness is written in PHP I believe. This should mean a fair number of programmers available in the community that could work on it even if the company itself goes south. Is this a correct assumption?

-Portfolio 9 looks really good in a lot of ways. Does anyone have first hand experience with it? Will it be capable of large collections in the hundreds of thousands?

-Lightroom as the initial ingesting, image manipulating/correcting and keywording tool for all photographers. Then feed this to something like MediaBeacon or ImageFolio which would pick up the xmp data and feed it to the 'masses'. Does that workflow seem reasonable or am I missing something?

Thanks so much, Andy



 


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: cyangate on November 03, 2009, 01:57:28 PM
Hi Andy,

About your workflow suggestion, it makes sense but there might be additional workflows that you may want to consider once the photographer is done. Depending on the industry whether it is marketing related or motion pictures or print publishing, there is usually the selection process that happens before the content is visible to the whole world. You may need to consider DAM products that do give you security features around assets. That means that the only the approved/selected content can be exposed in DAM through the security features of DAM. That will still allow internal staff to re-purpose the non-select photos for other purposes.

For the earlier comment on enterprise DAM, I agree the fact that they do not provide certain simple things that can be done by even the simplest desktop applications (such as Picassa). However, security, scalability and flexibility is what you pay for. Even though enterprise DAM costs a lot, the ability to mold it to your own needs justifies the price tag.

Bulent


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: mistadas on November 18, 2009, 10:13:45 PM
Pat this thread had my attention and I keep coming back.
Did you go with Image Folio and how did it fair ?
And has anyone used IDimager ?
thank  you
Anandadas


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: Pat Monaghan on November 19, 2009, 07:55:38 AM
Imagefolio - we couldn't get the demo to install on our server, and could not get a response out of Imagefolio support. If it's that hard to get them to sell it to me, I want nothing to do with it. I see nothing but trouble down that road.
My recommendation here is to:
Purchase LightBox Photo Gallery and run it on an internal server. My IT guy thinks that to run the $700 LightBox Pro version, it will cost him $10,000-15,000 to build a server to run it. I think he's nuts, but that's just my opinion.
Or
Use a hosting service. Something like Zenfolio for $100/year, could handle what we need to do. I would keep the orginals locally, and publish a catalog to the hosting service, if it gets hacked or the service losses it, I just upload a new copy. For my needs the full size files do not need to be available to others, people would request prints or files from me.

I made my recommendations a couple of weeks ago, no decision yet.


Title: Re: Need Recomendation for DAM software
Post by: BobSmith on November 19, 2009, 08:24:34 AM
My IT guy thinks that to run the $700 LightBox Pro version, it will cost him $10,000-15,000 to build a server to run it. I think he's nuts, but that's just my opinion.

A new Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server for $1K should run it just fine right out of the box.  You'd have to add Zend Optimizer but that's a free download and about two minutes to install.  I run Lightbox on a late model G5 with Leopard server and it runs just fine.  I only recently moved to Leopard server. I'd been running it on Tiger server on a lesser G5 (dual 1.8 with 2GB RAM) for a few years.

Bob Smith