Widen, the 65-year-old grand ol’ firm in the digital asset management (DAM) space, is out with version 7.0 of its flagship software, the cloud-based Widen Media Collective. The new release offers nearly two dozen new features, including a WordPress Plugin, a Drupal module and integration with Amazon’s long-term storage system, Glacier. 

With the WordPress and Drupal integrations, users can search and use assets in Widen DAM from within those popular web content management systems. A new mobile app, for either iOS or Android devices, is designed primarily for searching and viewing by users in the field.

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The iPad app in version 7.0 of Widen's Media Collective DAM software.

Amazon CDN

Assets can now be saved to long-term storage in Amazon’s aptly-named Glacier, and Widen noted that those archived assets can still be managed, searched, previewed and retrieved from within the Media Collective. Additionally, version 7 employs Amazon’s content delivery network (CDN), CloudFront, for distribution and access from 42 server locations around the planet.

There is also new improved web-to-print functions via Widen’s arrangement with the S4 Marketing Automation print-on-demand software from Midwest printer Suttle Straus, employed for assembling templates and print materials. Another new feature, which allows licenses, releases, scripts or other pertinent documents to be attached to assets, was cited by the company as one of the most popular at its User Summit last month.

In addition to those new features, 7.0 includes a variety of improvements. A collaborative workflow has been added to commenting, search results have been enhanced to make assets more visible, and the upload process has been streamlined with an Upload button next to quick search. There is also the ability to upload files from the Assets Details page and “did you mean” searching that offers search terms from an initial search keyword.

Learning Opportunities

Integration with Other Tools

Widen Marketing & Sales Manager Jake Athey told CMSWire.com that the integration with Glacier was the new feature “with the most implications,” because of the pressing need of many customers to deal with “overwhelming amounts of data.”

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Searching for assets in Widen DAM, from WordPress.

As the DAM industry matures, DAM systems are becoming more a tool within larger systems that focus on multi-channel publishing or marketing/advertising creation and distribution. Widen manager of development and infrastructure Deanna Ballew told us that a key emphasis for the company at this point is to have “tight integration with other tools,” such as CMSs or long-term storage.

Widen announced in June that it was updating its Media Collective. In version 6.4, with fellow cloud occupant Dropbox, it also provided for the automatic generation of previews with InDesign files, including files inside ZIPs. In version 6.3, it introduced enhanced search and a new knowledge base.