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Sneak peak of the ProMAX Digital asset management system (DAM)
Jody SappingtonSep 28, 2022 3:00:31 PM4 min read

How Does A DAM System Work?


The best DAM systems are designed to help make your life easier. The right system will allow you to quickly find what you need, organize assets in a way that makes sense for your business, and use them as needed. In this post, we'll show you how DAM works and what it can do for your business. We talk about the bigger question in our Guide to Digital Asset Management Systems.

What Is A Digital Asset Management System?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a software system for storing and using digital assets. It’s not just for images, but can also be used for other types of media such as videos, audio files, and documents. 

DAM systems are cloud-based, which means there’s no need to maintain servers in-house — you only pay for what you use. This makes it easy to scale up or down according to your needs. 

A DAM system allows users to search through their assets based on metadata tags they add when they upload them: keywords, categories, and more.

A DAM system should allow you to search for assets by metadata. Metadata is the information about a file that describes what it is, who created it, when it was created, and other key details. For example, The word “green” in a text document may reference the color green; but as part of an image file's metadata (or data), it could refer to the subject matter of something like a green leaf or grassy field in which case searching for all images with "green" attached would be very useful for creating slideshows around these themes. 

By way of contrast, keywords are just one specific type of metadata that can be used when searching an asset catalog with some tools (though not all). A keyword might be any word describing what an asset looks like or represents—for instance, “summer” or “redhead girl” or even `#summer` if one were going for something more abstract but easily recognizable by humans (and machines). 

While there are many ways to tag items using their namespaces (the words they belong under), many systems allow users some flexibility in how they choose these labels so long as they're consistent within each namespace and across thematic subjects—so long as there's no overlap between thematic subjects! 


Functions of Digital Asset Management System

A DAM system should be able to handle the types of files that you use. If your company uses a lot of PDFs, then it’s important to find a system with the right PDF tool. The same goes for other file types such as TIFF or JPEG. Also, if you work with clients who use different file types than yours, make sure their needs are met as well. 

The DAM system's backend is often based on a relational database. Relational databases are organized in tables, which contain records or rows that share the same attributes. The system uses SQL (Structured Query Language), the standard language for managing data in relational databases, to store metadata about assets. 

How Does It Work?

Quality DAM systems can be cloud-based, with no need for IT departments to maintain servers. Cloud-based DAM systems are a great option for any company that needs to manage its digital assets but doesn't have the time or resources to maintain them on its own. 

  • Cloud-based systems are easier to manage. A cloud-based system allows you to access all of your files from anywhere, making it easy for employees in different departments or locations to collaborate and share ideas. This also means that you don't need an IT department—or any extra hardware—to maintain your DAM system; all maintenance is done by the cloud provider. 
  • Cloud-based systems are often more secure than on-premise solutions because they're not installed locally; instead, they run remotely over an internet connection, which makes them more difficult targets for hackers trying to access sensitive data like credit card numbers or account passwords (not that we'd ever do such things). 
  • Cloud platforms offer scalability without having to buy new servers every time there's an increase in demand; as more users join your network, their storage needs will automatically be met by adding more space within the cloud platform itself rather than physically upgrading local hardware components like hard drives and RAM modules which cost money upfront while taking up valuable space inside server rooms at headquarters locations around the world where companies would rather not spend unnecessary capital into upgrading infrastructure when existing equipment could still provide adequate performance levels needed today 

Today's modern DAM systems are sophisticated tools for managing content in many forms: images, video, audio, and documents. You can use them to manage your marketing campaigns or sales campaigns. 


If you're still not sure how a DAM system works, we recommend that you speak with a vendor and ask questions. The vendor will be able to explain their product and show you how it works in practice. You'll want to ask for references from previous clients who have implemented similar systems or used other products like the one proposed here. 

There are many excellent DAM systems on the market today, but none of them will work well if they're not tailored specifically to your business needs. Make sure your vendor knows what those needs are before signing on!