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Accessing Your Assets

(April 2008) posted on Wed Apr 09, 2008

Find the right solution for organizing and archiving digital image assets.

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By Angela Prues

* CreativeConnections, which allows Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress users to utilize ActiveMedia without leaving their layout application.

* An Enterprise Media Server, for custom applications and on-demand delivery of digital media to enterprise applications, portals, and websites.

DAMUseful Software

DAMUseful's Rank and File is a plug-in for Adobe Bridge allowing the user to map labels and ratings from Bridge to keywords. Features include a Star Ratings into the IPTC keywords so that other programs can see whether the image is one to five stars. Rank and File also writes labels into the keywords, headline, title, or description fields and can also resolve labeling issues with outdated Bridge labels. Prefixes can also be applied to labels so that different individuals or departments can have different rating systems.


Extensis Portfolio 8.5 offers a wide range of file-format support for asset management, organization, and storage. The SmartGalleries automatically discovers cataloged material fitting user-defined criteria; the Express Palette floating palette uses a keyboard shortcut to bring up catalog contents; and Roundtrip Metadata writes Portfolio metadata back into image files, including EXIF, IPTC, and XMP.

New features in Version 8.5 include a Presets Palette that saves metadata as presets that can be applied to batches. Default Field Values can be set and automatically applied to all assets entering Portfolio. Digital camera support has been expanded to include new models, and PDF and EPS support has been enhanced with high-resolution thumbnail previewing options.

Also available is the similar Web-based program, Portfolio Server 8.5, created for Adobe CS3-based workgroups.


FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced are the newest database-management products from FileMaker. In addition to managing digital assets, this software allows users to manage customers, clients, and vendors; track inventory and products; organize pictures, video, and other multimedia files; and even print invoices. FileMaker databases can be shared with both Windows and Mac users simultaneously over a network or the Web.

New features include a Quick Start screen that automatically recalls favorite databases and a Conditional Formatting option for visually formatting fields based on user-determined conditions. Also new is an easier 'send link' option to share databases, an Append to PDF tool that appends multiple reports into one easily distributed file, auto-resize options, software update notifications, and the option of connecting to external SQL data.