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Author Topic: Software Selection for Work Project  (Read 7696 times)
Ken
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« on: May 31, 2007, 08:41:40 AM »

Hello Everybody,

I have been reading and reviewing the forums on and off for several months while trying to select software for a project at work.  Now, after reading and trying out a variety of software packages, I could use some input on my decision making process.  I work in a municipality, and as our department's "photographer" (my actual work involves regulatory compliance and project management), I was asked to lead a large photo project that is now being used as a foundation for a departmental photo catalog.  As this is not my regular job, the ideal DAM software package would allow me to present my clients (departmental staff) with a stand-alone (run-time) catalog of thumbnail images that they could browse by viewing, search by keyword, or view/search by category.  The catalog will start with about 2000 images and grow from there, but the biggest challenge is the types of requests I receive for images.  Requests for images typically ask for certain elected officials, with certain population groups, at certain locations.  As networkable software is not an option, I have several choices at present, all of which are less than ideal.  They are as follows:

iView - Primary problem for me:  Run-time browser/catalog requires installation of Quicktime on host machine.  This is not an option since this software is not installed throughout our department, nor will it be.

Portfolio - Primary problem for me:  No search capabiliites by categories (Run-time browser/catalog, however,  is supposed to be able to run on host machine without Quicktime if just viewing jpeg images).

IDimager - Primary problem for me:  Current version does not have run-time capabilities, but the new v.4 to be released in beta next week is supposed to have this feature.  My concern is that this is a beta launch, and as responsive as Hert is to his customers, the program may not be fully released in a stable and robust form, for some time.

iMatch - Primary problem for me:  I purchased this program last fall because I liked how it handles categories, but is has no run-time browser, and its GUI is very difficult to learn and remember if the program is not used everyday.

Other options under consideration:

ACDSee Portable for U3 - Its a possbility, but I do not know much about the program.

Where is it? - They have a portable program, but again I do not know if this program is as stable and robust (do you sense a priority here?) as I would like it to be.

At present, I am leaning between IDimager v.4 and Portfolio.  I could give up the run-time browser catalog, but them I would have to do all of the searching rather than the people requesting the image.  I know that I have left out many details, but I did not wnat to write a book for my first post.  That's Peter's job!  Wink

Thanks,

--Ken
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havezet
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 09:59:57 AM »

Hi Ken,

Don't be too worried that the first V4 betas won't be stable Wink

Hert
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Ken
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 10:43:38 AM »

You are an amazing man, Hert.  You seem to be everywhere!  I am sure that you know that my concerns about using beata software were not personal.  That is why its called beta in the first place.  Although some companies seem to be a bit mixed up and call their beta software v1.0.  :Smiley  The more that I learn about IDimager, the more comfortable I feel about using it, although there there seems to be a lot of "power under the hood" that could cause me trouble if I am not careful.  Remember, a little knowledge is dangerous!

Now, back to v.4's beta.  I hope you are not expecting a test period as long as Google's GMail. Shocked  While I know your customer service is quite exceptional, my concern is that using/testing beta software often comes at a price in terms of time and user frustration.  While I find the work interesting, playing photo editor and DAM is not my normal job, and I am afraid with too much frustration that I may become unstable.  That was the reason that you saw the word "robust" in my initial post.  Either way, I am looking forward to the launch of v.4's beta.  I hope it is a huge success.
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billseymour
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 03:06:29 PM »

Hert, I also have a Q for you:

If I were to start with idimager (this being my first use of a DAM program), would it be best to do the 'real DAM work' in your version 3.5 (whatever is most recent), or do you feel that the beta v4 could be used for real workflow? Thanks. Bill
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havezet
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 02:27:27 AM »

You are an amazing man, Hert.  You seem to be everywhere!  I am sure that you know that my concerns about using beata software were not personal.

Of course. I never take comments (positive or negative) personal. As long as they are constructive I can only use them for the benefit.

Quote
I hope you are not expecting a test period as long as Google's GMail. Shocked

V4  will be released in September. No years to get out of beta Smiley

Quote
While I know your customer service is quite exceptional, my concern is that using/testing beta software often comes at a price in terms of time and user frustration.  While I find the work interesting, playing photo editor and DAM is not my normal job, and I am afraid with too much frustration that I may become unstable.  That was the reason that you saw the word "robust" in my initial post.  Either way, I am looking forward to the launch of v.4's beta.  I hope it is a huge success.

Thanks for that.

Hert
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havezet
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 02:31:45 AM »

If I were to start with idimager (this being my first use of a DAM program), would it be best to do the 'real DAM work' in your version 3.5 (whatever is most recent), or do you feel that the beta v4 could be used for real workflow? Thanks. Bill

Hi Bill,

The V4 beta is a full featured solution so should fit "real DAM work" even better than V3.5. One thing I'd like to point out is that the beta will be availbale for registered customer only, although this may change.

Hert
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billseymour
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 06:01:10 AM »

Hert- So trial version of idimager will be 3.5, then. Interesting dilemma- if you feel v4 is 'ready enough', then making v4 part of a trial period would be smart (since presumably it is a more desirable version, and may encourage someone to buy it); if you feel there may be beta-bugs to work out, then v4 in a trial period might discourage potential users.

As a potential user, I'd be interested in 'trying out' v4 sooner, even if bugs- since it would be a trial, I would only be using test images, so really no harm would be done at my end; and this would give you additional users to give feedback.
Bill
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Ken
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 12:51:00 PM »

As a potential user, I'd be interested in 'trying out' v4 sooner, even if bugs- since it would be a trial, I would only be using test images, so really no harm would be done at my end; and this would give you additional users to give feedback.
Bill

I have similar feelings about v.4, but understand Hert's concerns about beta distribution.  Since v3.5 is currently available for trail, what might be useful is a release of v.4's manual.  Its not exactly the same as trial software, but it will give some indication of what we can expect.

--Ken
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billseymour
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 03:29:40 PM »

Ken-
I agree- v3.5 to try out, and v4 manual to review, would be most helpful. (Hert, what do you think of this idea?)
Bill
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havezet
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 04:16:05 AM »

I agree- v3.5 to try out, and v4 manual to review, would be most helpful. (Hert, what do you think of this idea?)

Hi Ken and Bill,

There is no updated manual yet. The past time was used for feature development and as we go into beta, the time is there that 99% of the application is "determined", meaning only now the documentation (manual, help files, ...) can be started. The docs will be made during the beta period.

Hert
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havezet
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2007, 04:06:28 AM »

Hello Ken and Bill,

Yesterday IDimager Pro V4 BETA was released to the public. This means that anyone can download the beta for a trial run.

Read this topic for more info:
http://www.idimager.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3992

Hert
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Ken
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2007, 08:34:45 AM »

Yesterday IDimager Pro V4 BETA was released to the public. This means that anyone can download the beta for a trial run.

Read this topic for more info:
http://www.idimager.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3992

Hert
Congratulations, Hert!  Smiley  I downloaded the file last night was was able to play with the program a little bit before heading off to bed.  On first blush, the revised GUI seems much easier to use.  I look forward to spending more time with the program in the next few days.

--Ken
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R. Neil Haugen
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2007, 01:15:20 PM »

I'd be very interested in your findings. About ready to dive into either iVMP or IDimager ... do you know anything about the workgroup version, using full SQL? In my studio. with 5 or 6 stations and 4-5 people wanting/using image files a day, ... sounds interesting if it works.

Neil
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R Neil Haugen
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billseymour
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2007, 01:18:05 PM »

Hert- Congratulations from me, as well. I will be giving v4 Desktop a whirl shortly- thanks for making v4 beta available to potential customers; this lets me evaluate iDi properly.
Bill
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Ken
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2007, 03:10:46 PM »

I'd be very interested in your findings. About ready to dive into either iVMP or IDimager ... do you know anything about the workgroup version, using full SQL? In my studio. with 5 or 6 stations and 4-5 people wanting/using image files a day, ... sounds interesting if it works.

Neil

Hi Neil,

You might want to look at Hert's forums about using his program in a workgroup.  I am probably not the best person to comment because I am looking at the desktop version which is running on SQLite.  The other program that seems to be designed for a workgroup is Portfolio by Extensis.  I know that there are some concerns about it with respect to DAM work practices, but it may be worth your consideration.

All the best,

--Ken
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