The Differences Between File Sharing Software and DAM

File sharing software like Dropbox and digital asset management (DAM) system may appear as an apples-to-apples comparison to someone not unfamiliar with DAM.  Both systems are used to help individuals share large files without stressing the email server.  However, the comparison between file sharing systems and DAMs is an apples-to-oranges comparison.  Here are the key differences:

  1. Brand Management – DAM regulate how assets are shared to preserve the brand.  DAMs can control how the assets are shared by role, copyright, campaign, file type, etc.  For example, DAM administrators can sunset the access to an asset by copyright expiration to prevent others from downloading an assets.  In addition, DAMs also provide administrators tools to measure the use and demand of assets.
  2. Workflow – DAMs are used to track the production of an asset and preserve variations of an asset.  For example, marketing departments use DAMs to collaborate on a project through various phases.  A DAM will preserve the comments, rankings, and use of an asset during and after production.
  3. Archiving – DAMs are a storage place for assets.  Users can use metadata, taxonomies, keywords, etc to search for an asset.  These search methods are possible because the DAM enforces policies on how assets are stored and labeled.  In contrast, Dropbox users may vary in how the user organizes content from one another.
  4. Versioning – DAM include version tracking to mark changes to an asset and link the changes to one another.  Through versioning, DAMs will store the history of the assets – past, present, approved and not approved versions.  Versioning is crucial when reusing an asset.  Users can go back to a previous version and make modifications instead of creating a whole new asset from scratch.  As a result, the user saves time.