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Author Topic: Networked DAM solutions? IdImager? Iviewpro? EM2?  (Read 12465 times)
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« on: July 27, 2008, 01:22:21 PM »

Hi All,

I am surprised that there are not that many people asking questions about networking and DAM. I feel that they are what a 7-Eleven is to a Slurpee, yet it is not supported that well in any of the softwares (except perhaps Idimager).

Just so that you know the story, I have tried: Bridge CS3, LR, IviewPro, imatch, idimager, Picassa, Fotostation, Portfolio and few others I can't remember. None of them handle networking well at all (not sure about idimager since I haven't been able to fully test it). It is quite pathetic to be quite honest. We live in a world where all information is shared in one way or the other and we are all mobile: and you would think that these softwares would be upto the task. What they gain in one area, they disappoint grossly in another. Ok, enough of my frustration.

This is what I am looking for and hoping that someone can point me in the right way.

1. Import pictures (RAW and JPEGS) from a CF Card using "ANY" of my laptop computers or desktop computers and saving it to a central server using the software or ImageIngester.
2. Again, using "ANY" of my computers, pull up and catalogue, rate, delete, modify, upload, backup, show pictures (and anything you can do with a picture) that reside on the central server using the DAM software.

Now to achieve these two tasks (which seem very hard for the popular bunch of DAM software), these criteria's should be met:

1. Speed, Speed, Speed. I have the fastest computers with 2-4 gigs of RAM and have fast Gigabyte connections with SATA 3Gig drives on the server.
2. Stability - Iview and LR(not really a DAM software, but I like the ease of use) has crashed numerous times that I have tried to run this with simple 5 Gig worth of pictures. They just lock up.
3. Ease of use and easy to use Search features and not proprietory standards like LR. My keywords should be put in the pictures and not stored like LR does. I just moved some pictures and had "forgotten" to save the metadata and corrections in LR. Now I have lost all that work cause LR refuses to save again.

Anyone know a solution to this? Is Idimager SQL version the best?

Thanx for any help. Sorry if I sound frustrated, but I am. Its is year 4 I think that I still haven't implemented a solution and now my picture count is upto 100K (almost 200Gigs).

EDIT: - Anand
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 11:19:43 PM by AnandS » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 09:43:20 PM »

Hi Anand,

There are several proven options that all cost money. True network performance means enterprise level software and includes Extensis Portfolio, Canto Cumulus and Fotoware FotoStation. Portfolio has a nice interface and is designed more with creatives in mind as a visual database. Cumulus handles like Excel. FotoStation is a workflow solution targeted at media organisations and its photographer client will feel more intuitive than the others.

Idimager SQLServer Edition is also designed for networking but I have no experience with this version.

There are apps in the pipeline that will address your set up, which is not unique. Many studios now work with several computers some offsite. We're looking at maybe two years before these apps become reality.

-- Robert.

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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 10:54:20 AM »

I'm a little late, but I would like to chime in here and say that my whole family of four uses the SQL Server version of IDImager.  We have about 50K images in it so far, and the performance on the local machine and the networked machines is pretty similar.  We keep local thumbnail/preview databases on each workstation so that we are not moving images across the network much (and all our machines are now on 1Gb/s Ethernet).  IDImager also has a built-in web server, so you can even do some tasks with your images using a web browser (handy if you are connected to your office by a slow link).

What IDImager does not support yet is different logins with different access levels.  It doesn't sound like that would be a problem for you, but with a couple of youngish kids it would help me a bit.

Gordon Currie
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 12:03:11 PM »

IDImager Pro SQL is really the only choice unless you want to spend the money on an enterprise class solution (with corresponding price tag).

Most of the 'networkable' software solutions use SQLite to store their database. SQLite was created to be a tiny and fast local storage, and is usable over a network, but NOT multiuser. I've long been frustrated with LightRoom as it is an attractive piece of software, but they insist on using SQLite.

To be multiuser you need to use MS SQL Server or MySQL (among others).

I had hopes for Expression Media since Microsoft truly knows networking, but it languished forever before being sold off. It had very good performance over a network (better than any of the usual suspects). But it wasn't capable of multiuser access.


Gordon Currie

"Where the spirit does not work
 with the hand, there is no art."
-Leonardo Da Vinci
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 02:59:46 PM »

Just to chime in - I've spent a lot of time recently evaluating Canto Cumulus for a multiuser environment. I also have a lot of experience as an administrator and developer on a Portfolio-based solution. I don't really see a single scenario where Portfolio is a superior option - neither Portfolio or Cumulus have gorgeous, "lickable" visual skins - both are a bit dated looking - but functionally the Canto interface wins hands-down and is not significantly more or less Excel-like than Portfolio. Both actually have similar looks, but Cumulus has a tremendous amount of depth not available at any cost in Portfolio. Complete, very powerful taxonomy implementation - Portfolio has *none*. Very flexible security model, while Portfolio's security model is almost laughable. Excellent and fast full-text search and other powerful advanced search modes - Portfolio essentially has *no* fulltext search, it's indexing is terrible, and adv. searches are restricted to five clauses with no nesting - oh, and Portfolio can't search on it's Categories feature (their answer to taxonomies), making that even more useless (I don't know a single person using Portfolio Categories). Cumulus offers many more field types than Portfolio, and all field types can also have formulas attached for autopopulation. A strong events model allows you to perform configurable actions based on changes in metadata, records, and categories. Cumulus does not require you to provide access to the underlying file system, closing a huge security hole that Portfolio opens up. I could go on...

After this recent review, it confounds me how Portfolio and Cumulus are still considered competitors. I now see Portfolio as much more like iView - an app for cataloging a filesystem. Cumulus clearly qualifies as a full-blown DAM in my book.

Just a quick brain dump as I've been looking at these products very closely, lately.


Roger Howard
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 11:46:58 AM »

Apologies for posting in a dormant topic, but I'm specifically interested in Roger Howard's response comparing Canto Cumulus and Extensis Portfolio. In September 2010 Extensis put out a "Studio" version of their solution which fits between the single-user and the server version. I'm wondering if you were evaluating the Studio version, or if that matters? As my previous posts attest, we are a 2-person office struggling with Expression Media 2.

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