Developments in Tiger and Longhorn and other tools for managing assets.
More new tools
Beyond the Tiger and Longhorn developments, there are other new
tools on the market that can make for easier asset management:
The total cost
Dozens of other DAM products are on the market, ranging from
entry-level products to systems costing several hundred thousand
dollars (see "Sourcelist: Managing Your Assets," February
2005, p. 54). And while basic systems may be just fine for most
operations (though probably not the single-user versions), keep
in mind that the cost of software is only a portion of a shop's
total cost. Whatever you pay for DAM software, you will probably
expend more capital setting it up and putting it into action than
for the software itself.
It's no small task to set up client permissions, establish and
input keywords, enter the assets, and thoroughly test the system.
The key to a good system is having it set up correctly in the
first place"?and that requires plenty of planning and research.
While automation sounds good, you can only automate data
after it is input, and that can be a very painstaking process.
Consider the source of the data you wish to manage and
how it's formatted. And consider what you might want to do
with the data down the road. Many shops have set up systems
only to find that they did not allow sufficient variables or open
fields for future growth.
Even with the most careful planning, there will also be costs
associated with updating and maintaining the software and
hardware. As new operating systems come online, you will really
have no choice but to upgrade. Many DAM developers offer a
fixed yearly price for upgrading your software.
Stephen Beals (firstname.lastname@example.org), in prepress production
for more than 30 years, is the digital prepress manager
with Finger Lakes Press in Auburn, NY.
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