Picturepark, a Swiss vendor of browser-based DAM software, is trying to make digital asset management a more friendly process with the latest version of its SaaS and on-premises software. Picturepark 8.3 features upgrades aimed at improving both overall ease of use and collaborative discussions and workflows.

Promoting Teamwork

Several features of the latest scheduled upgrade of Picturepark enhance users’ ability to work as a team. For example, workgroups can now subscribe to be notified when specific assets have been modified or deleted. In addition, a new Review Manager feature is designed to ease group discussions and approval workflows, and can include people without Picturepark accounts. And the Picturepark developer program now offers a PHP for users to connect third-party systems into the Picturepark DAM system.

Derivative Benefits

Another major upgrade of Picturepark 8.3 is a feature designed to make it easier for users to select derivatives, or created alternate versions of digital asset masters. Picturepark 8.3 displays file information and zoomable live previews of each derivative, as well as of the original masters. Other new features include a menu option for downloading all files referenced by presentation, layout or other format into one compressed Zip file.

Playing Nice with Others

Picturepark 8.3 also includes an underlying architecture designed to allow customers to add several recently introduced DAM layers for other major enterprise systems. Last week, Picturepark released SharePoint Connector, a layer designed to allow SharePoint users to leverage approval workflow, security, and asset processing functions from Picturepark without leaving SharePoint.

In April 2012, Picturepark released a connector to the popular Dropbox file sharing solution. As with the SharePoint Connector, Dropbox users do not need Picturepark accounts to take advantage of Picturepark functionality.

And Picturepark is not always the one initiating connections. In March 2012, digital publishing software provider Woodwing released Connector for Picturepark, which allows Woodwing Enterprise users to retrieve Picturepark assets from within the Woodwing environment.

Bursting the DAM Open

The new collaborative features of Picturepark 8.3, as well as recent efforts to connect Picturepark DAM functionality with third-party enterprise CMSes, are indicative of a broader trend in the DAM provider/user community to make digital asset management as open a process as possible. Beyond making it easier for users of popular enterprise CMS tools such as Sharepoint to gain access to DAM tools, upgrades such as the ones included in Picturepark 8.3 make it easier for multiple users to collaboratively manage digital asset workflows and avoid difficulties associated with “versioning.”

Especially in the modern business environment where teams work together from remote locations and may never even meet in person, the most valuable DAM is one that opens, rather than closes off, digital assets.