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Refcard #323

Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs

Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology platforms organize content and make it accessible to DAM users. Organizations are both attracted to the value of centralized digital assets and careful about the resources available for DAM implementation and management. The understanding, planning, and integration of DAM to other systems via plug-ins, connectors, and APIs drive value and benefit for the organization.

Published: Feb. 10, 2020
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Cloudinary
Free PDF for easy Reference
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Written by

author avatar Jeffrey Marino Project Manager, WordCityStudio
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Refcard #323

Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs

Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology platforms organize content and make it accessible to DAM users. Organizations are both attracted to the value of centralized digital assets and careful about the resources available for DAM implementation and management. The understanding, planning, and integration of DAM to other systems via plug-ins, connectors, and APIs drive value and benefit for the organization.

Published: Feb. 10, 2020
1,399
Free PDF for easy Reference

Written by

author avatar Jeffrey Marino Project Manager, WordCityStudio

Brought to you by

Cloudinary
Table of Contents

Introduction

The API Web

The Connected DAM

Client Driven: Partner With Vendors for Custom Integration

Massive Mission Driven

Vendor Driven

The Value of API Strategy in Digital Asset Management

Section 1

Introduction

There is no doubt that there has been and continues to be an explosion in the number of workflow permutations for the creation, variation, storage, discovery, control, and dissemination of all kinds of content. Audiovisual content is by almost any measure premium content:

  • Creation takes a lot of planning, collaboration, and control.
  • Initial, intermediate, and finished files form millions of bytes to store and retrieve.
  • Potential for audience impact is sky high.
  • Consumption across all devices by billions of people seems to have no limit.

While the ease (and affordability) of content production may be lower than ever, its sheer volume creates a significant cost center to manage, distribute, and archive. Organizations seek efficient control of their audiovisual content (from here on referred to as digital assets) as proprietary information so they can capitalize on them directly through marketing and sales, and indirectly by increasing their value and vitality in the ecosystem.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 2

The API Web

Before we look closer at DAM, let’s talk about APIs in daily life, starting with a metaphor:

When you sit down to order at a restaurant, the waiter takes your order, relays it to the kitchen, and returns with your food. In this scenario, the waiter acts as the API, or intermediary.

I like this metaphor — as opposed to ‘electric plug’ or ‘shipping container’ — because in this scenario, it is clear that service comes at a cost (as in, please leave a nice tip!).

Technically speaking, an API performs a simple set of actions between or among separate systems:

  • Create – add data
  • Read – retrieve data
  • Update – modify data
  • Delete – delete data

These simple-seeming actions act as powerful multipliers of connectivity of everyday life on the internet. Just as waiters in restaurants serve to expedite the dining experience (and add value), APIs are the connectors that pervasively, invisibly, and effectively undergird almost all interactions on the internet. Below are examples of some common APIs we encounter in day-to-day life.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 3

The Connected DAM

Broadly, digital asset management technology promises tools, platforms, and processes for handling assets at scale, delivering numerous business benefits including discovery, distribution, archiving, reuse, restriction, and more. Enterprise DAM implementation can involve intricate dependencies on and interactions among each organization’s unique, evolving technology stack. Just as a DAM is but one component of an organization’s stack, DAM technology forms a small subset of the broader marketing technology universe — hundreds versus thousands of platforms, respectively.

A DAM platform may stand alone to create and deliver value for the organization. But when it connects, converses, and interacts automatically with other systems in an organization’s stack, it produces far greater value.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 4

Client Driven: Partner With Vendors for Custom Integration

These flavors of DAM integration came up in recent conversations with clients, consultants, and vendors, and their respective experiences and use cases provide interesting perspectives. Also following is an initial report on API offerings from a handful of well-known vendors, which may indicate trends.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 5

Massive Mission Driven

“APIs are written by developers, for developers,” says Eric Shows, Assistant Manager, Digital Imaging Unit at the New York Public Library. “The biggest barrier is documentation.” While their API is designed to enable others to access and scrape a collection of nearly one million images, they are not in the business of developing APIs.

“Our purpose,” says Brent Reidy, Senior Director, Digital Research, is “to make our collections available for research in writing books and to add to the store of knowledge.” The Digital Collections API is another doorway into the stacks — in effect, a library card for a computer.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 6

Vendor Driven

While evident that custom integrations — via client or third party — continue to yield notable benefits, over the last few years, the vendor space has experienced a shift toward creating out-of-the-box integrations.

To further understand API strategy within the DAM marketplace, specifically, we researched how some vendors are presenting plugins and connectors to external systems. Interspersed below are the results, with some executive insight and commentary from Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter:

Integrations are the single greatest number of requests from customers and prospective customers…Customers are now more cloud-savvy, and vendors are motivated to relieve their technical debt and enable nimbleness…the trend is about increasing the value of the DAM by connecting to predecessor systems and increasing their value as well.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

Section 7

The Value of API Strategy in Digital Asset Management

The workings of the API economy are an important factor in the digital supply chain, creating value not only for the user experience but also for the organization itself.

Understanding this value is a key basis for project management teams tasked with considering, vetting, justifying, planning, and executing DAM integrations within other business systems. Project resources and budget require careful consideration of technical debt based on the business purpose, not the integration technique. Point-to-point approaches for automation can be as simple as using a watch folder to trigger an action or be complex enough to require platform development.


This is a preview of the Introduction to Digital Asset Management via APIs Refcard. To read the entire Refcard, please download the PDF from the link above.

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