During your search for the appropriate Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution, you've no doubt considered SharePoint as a possibility. SharePoint is probably already being utilized in your organization in some way, so it makes sense to see how it measures up. But does SharePoint 2010 offer enough OOTB features to be a legitimate candidate?
Digital asset management (DAM) is defined by Microsoft as "the process by which an organization creates, obtains, stores, organizes, manages, distributes and eventually disposes of digital assets". In today's organization, managing digital assets in a structured manner is more than likely a mandatory process.
Editor's Note: Read more on DAM: 6 Things to Consider When Selecting A Digital Asset Management Solution
Does SharePoint Provide Enough DAM for You?
To properly answer that question you'll need to identify the core requirements for your organization. If you're looking for an experience that is designed specifically for digital media with a lot of advanced options, then SharePoint is not going to give you that OOTB. But if you're like most, then your goal is to make sure your investment in SharePoint has something to offer your users for their digital content.
The main drivers behind SharePont 2010's DAM offering are asset libraries and the new digital media content types for images, audio and video.
Asset libraries are essentially document libraries that have been altered for managing digital media. With these library types, you can preview digital content by hovering over the item in the library itself. It will show you some of the metadata without having to bring up the item on a separate page.
You’ll even be able to render the content in the browser as long as you have Silverlight installed.
The great advantage of using SharePoint 2010 to manage your digital assets is that you’ll have all of the other great features of SharePoint at your disposal. Whereas a standalone DAM product might tout workflow or search as a selling point, SharePoint 2010 offers these and many more as standard features within the framework of SharePoint itself.
Search, tagging and rating, workflow, fine-grained permissions, metadata management, collaboration and Office integration are all core features that make SharePoint 2010 an attractive option.
Is SharePoint 2010 a perfect solution for DAM? Definitely not. There are some noteworthy limitations that you should evaluate before you commit to this product. But one thing to keep in mind about SharePoint in general, is that it has always been a great enabler of 3rd party enhancements.