Posts Tagged ‘Flex’

Cloud computing with a DAM

December 18, 2009

After Sean’s interesting little entry on whether more companies are going to move their application offering into the cloud, I had the pleasure of spending a lengthy amount of time Murray Oles of Chalex. They have taken a rather different approach to providing Digital Asset Management as a service and not as the key application driver. Workflow orchestration is their approach and storing assets is just a process that happens during our working day, and lets face it in our pre-media environments we are all about getting our jobs out and the assets are attached to our jobs, so this is a refreshing approach from a DAM vendor.

There are two things that make this system stand apart from the other; the first one which isn’tunique to what I have seen, but is unique in their implementation to it is the ability to build workflows to manage the process flow of your jobs, now this could be anything from the automation of tasks, to the people that need to review and approve something and right down to the assigning of tasks to people, studios or outsource partners. Now I said it wasn’t completely unique and that was because we have seen workflow in systems offered by Artesia and ADAM, but the workflow is all based around the assests and not the business processes.

The second thing that is pretty unique is that the system is offered completely in the cloud… yes completely – assets and all…. It all sits up there on the Amazon servers, this provides them with the ability to deploy an instance of the basic setup in a matter of hours, for more advanced configurations where the processes need to be mapped and custom panels need creating then these can be developed after the process has been worked out.

The system is using some great technology under the bonnet, such as Cozimo the collaborative, review and presentation system for online digital content in real-time, this is similar to other systems out there from Kodak, Dalim, and ProofHQ but also allows you to annotate video!

On top of these they are able to integrate additional services into the system such as:

  • Google integration –iGoogle “Gadgets” –Google Apps
  • Collaboration services
  • Video previews
  • FLASH previews
  • Web to print services
  • Promo planning
  • Adobe In Design Server engine
  • Translation services
  • On-line page building

Naturally there are the normal features such as published workflow models, resource groups, workflow teams and roles & permission setting along with a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your work assignments. They have also started developing smart forms based in Flex allowing for the information to be dynamically generated.

On top of all this they have an Adobe Air application that allows the users to connect and interact with the assets connected with a specific task. All for either an annual subscription fee or an outright price with annual maintenance fee that is very very competitive against other offerings on the market.

So with the prediction for 2010 being the year of the DAM Cloud Explosion, these guys are well positioned to get ahead of the race with a concept that doesn’t put the digital asset management as the key driver, but rather the business process is the heart of the solution.

We look forward to seeing how this system develops over the next 6 to 12 months as they find more integrators around the world to help them get a better saturation in the market.

My only closing comments would be that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, unfortunately their main website for the products does need a bit of a marketeers touch.

Author: Gary George

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DAM Trends – How will they affect Pre-Media? Part 1

June 3, 2009

So another DAM Henry Stewart Symposium has come around and we see that people talk about what is going on in the world of DAM, lets first look at the predictions made by people there. I have to say, I agree with them as I have myself been an advocator of these changes for some years now. This will be one of many posts as there are a lot of trends to list.

XMP has finally become a key driver for the DAM vendors to start leveraging on, we as endusers have wanted to be able to transport of content across our sites, maintaining the information about it for years. Adobe introduced XMP in 2001 with metadata for PDF file through Acrobat 5, admittedly they only made it available in toolkit form a few years back, but why did it take so long! We were crying out for this! Any company working on a global level would have instantly reaped the benefits across their different business units.

Rich User Interfaces Now come on, if you scout the web like I do (and I’m just Joe average) you will want your DAM solution to be engaging even if you are using the vanilla DAM, even if you are not and have put your own skin on it then using the latest web user experience technologies such as Flex, Ajax, Silverlight, Air etc etc to increase user operability and productivity it is just a must do for any company!

Creative Suite Integration I have to say this one disappoints me a little, it’s like the DAM industry is neglecting the fact that our companies have heaps of back catalogue of Quark documents, and their saying that Adobe has won the race…. well a little unfair in my opinion, both Quark & Indesign have their place and by neglecting the Quark users out their I think your missing out on a potential revenue stream. On the flip side, yes I have seen some create integrations and was working on one myself last year that would have taken DAM/File Server/Desktop User to the next level.

Video Management We all know that moving images captivate our attention, so why again has it taken so long for DAM to capture this enduser requirement, my guess is that the explosion of self video publishing and greater non broadcast video advertising as bought this to their attention. Or maybe more businesses are becoming multi-facetted in their client offerings and thus this has been moved to the top of the pile…

Web 2 Print So many web 2 print solutions available now, so the focus must be on making the DAM’s API available for any system to pull content from, the trend for W2P companies to put a DAM in is no new idea, most companies that purchased a W2P system quickly discover that the embedded asset management has little to no power and most will probably just use a file system to store the assets with no database management.

More on trends tomorrow where I’ll be commenting on the integration elements of DAM systems.

Author: Gary George

Adobe Flex 4 – Goes to Public Beta

June 2, 2009

As the power of our DAM and client portals come of age and update their presentation interfaces to the newest technologies, Adobe release a new version of their open source web application framework. Many Flex and Flash developers were waiting for this news for a year.

Even though it is only a public beta, will the developers of pre-media applications make a start at being early adopters or play caution to the wind and wait like so many people do and see what others have done before them….

Lets think back to when Adobe Air was first released, instantly I could see applications being presented to the desktop users to interact with their DAM, MIS, ERP, CRM and workflows, yet we waited for a long time before any pre-media software companies adopted it, notably and doing such a great job of it was a Dutch software company ( with their ElvisReady DAM solution ( even Ebay managed to get an application to market before any pre-media companies did so.

I can understand that any new release of software or technology can be met with sceptisism and I am sure the same happened with the Silverlight runtime, but when two of the most powerful software companies on the planet create a new mainstream technology, they will push the runtimes however they can. With Adobe Air I argued that it would be come a standard install with any Adobe application from Acrobat Reader to Flash Player, with Silverlight it would be a seemless plugin to the browsers, sure enough my predictions were not far off correct.

Understandably being an early technology adapter can be risky business as you do not have the benefit of the community to help with your coding issues, but you don’t produce engaging web applications using cutting edge technology by playing it safe, nor do you get noticed for taking advantage of the new programming tools that allow for users to save time and frustration…. New Ebay vs old Ebay…. which do you prefer?

With internet access and speed growing at an enormous rate, is it any wonder that our users or clients are internet application savvy, most spend a large amount of time in social media websites that have adopted new was of engaging their users, when they turn back to their work applications and they are static pages are you losing their attention by constant page refreshes and loading?

I’d love for more developers or maybe development departments send or assign time to R&D of new technology to ensure their companies can stay ahead of the curve.

Author: Gary George