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White Paper: Digital Asset Management Glossary



Application Programming Interface, which is a set of specifications used by a DAM solution to allow access data via other applications.

Asset Manipulation

Altering an asset either for resaving or prior to download e.g. image cropping or video clipping.

Asset Rights

These are the permitted ways in which a specific asset can be used.

Batch Edit

The ability to select a group of assets to make the same changes to simultaneously.

Batch Upload

The ability to upload, catalogue and publish a group of assets simultaneously.

Boolean Search

A search mechanism which enables the users to combine multiple keywords during a single search using ‘OR’ ‘AND’ or ‘NOT’ to define the relationship between the keywords used.

Branded Website

Aa personalised solution in which the design reflects an organisations individual branding.


Is the process of adding metadata to assets.

Category tree

A classification system using words arranged in an expanding tree like structure of nodes (groups) and sub-nodes each possessing some quality or qualities in common.

Cloud Based Solution

This is a solution which is provided on the web and requires no installation on client computers. It can therefore be accessed from anywhere with internet access.

Comping Image

A larger low-resolution image, not the high-resolution version but large enough to satisfy designers to create a mock up.


This refers to the reduction of size of a file for storage or transfer, where it can be subsequently uncompressed to it’s former state for use.

Controlled Vocabulary

This offers pre-selected terms for users to choose from when cataloguing or searching. Often used in indexes, subject headings, thesauri and taxonomies.Helps to keep spellings accurate and keywords consistent.


Is the legal right that grants the creator of an original work e.g. photograph, the exclusive rights to decide if and when this original work may be used by others.


Digital Asset Management (see below)


In a DAM solution this holds metadata for the assets as well as the information regarding the registered users.

Digital Assets

Usually refers to images, multimedia and textual content files, but can be any digital file that an organisation or individual has the right to use.

Digital Asset Management

This is a collective term used to describe the process of storing, cataloguing, searching and sharing digital assets. Can also be referred to as Media Asset Management.

Digital Rights Management

The practice of protecting digital intellectual property from being used in a way that breaches the terms of its licence. This generally means preventing assets from being illegally copied.


The conversion of analogue or physical assets into their digital equivalents e.g. scanning images.


Sending assets to colleagues, partners or clients.


Digital Rights Management.

Duplicate Detection

A feature that alerts you to the existence of the same image in the DAM system.


The facility which allows users to conduct the whole purchase process online without the need to contact the vendors. An e-commerce enabled DAM solution should allow you to purchase rights to use a digital asset based on a combination of licence criteria e.g. Usage purpose, Duration, Region, Size etc.

Embedded Metadata

This is metadata which is stored within the digital file itself e.g. IPTC/XMP/EXIF.


The process that converts data in to an encoded form that can only be decoded when using the designated decryption key e.g. this process is used for securing data communication between a web server and a browser session.

GDPR Compliant

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law regarding data protection and privacy. Compliant DAM solution will adhere to this and give users appropriate control over their personal data.


The process of storing and making accessible digital assets and related services on a remote web server.


Is a set of metadata attributes that can be applied to and embedded within an image file.


This is the process of uploading assets and associated metadata into a DAM solution, the metadata should be mapped to specific fields in the DAM solution.

Keyword Ranking

Allows administrators to apply ranking to keywords during cataloguing which will then prioritise the most relevant assets in relation to a given search criteria.


The process of adding relevant ‘key’ words which describe the most important aspects of an asset for the purpose of searching. Also known as tagging.


A quick and easy method of sharing a link to a selection of assets.


The mechanism that links metadata relating to assets to the corresponding metadata fields in the DAM solution. This could be embedded metadata or metadata contained in a spreadsheet.


Descriptive information applied to assets to describe the attributes of the asset, such as content, originator, format, date created etc.


The transfer of data from the old database to the new, requires developers to ‘map’ records from fields in the old system to corresponding ones in the new solution.

Multi-Faceted Search

Sometimes referred to as guided navigation, enables users to find and select multiple attributes which are relevant to their search within an organised category structure. The most practical and ideal solution would be using a Category Tree with integrated Taxonomy.

Permission based Access

Individual users are assigned user levels which control what assets in the DAM solution they can access.


Small versions of the digital asset which give the users sufficient information to decide if they wish to download or share it.

Remote Access

The ability to log into the DAM to upload, search or share Assets from any location with internet access.


The relative quality of the image/video where high resolution is the best quality and low resolution is the lowest quality.

Responsive Design

The ability for the design of the web solution to adapt to the device on which it is being viewed e.g. mobile phone.


The ways in which a specific asset must not be used to comply to the available rights.


The commission due to an originator who has retained the copyright in an asset and the organisation has agreed to pay a % fee for each usage.


Software as a Service (SaaS) is a method of delivering software to clients via a subscription model.

Single Sign-On

Single Sign-On allows a user to log in to multiple different, independent applications using a sing ID and password in a single instance.


Secure Sockets Layer, used to establish an encrypted connection on the user’s computer and a server or website. Although now replaced by TLS, most people still refer to this technology as SSL.


Words or phrases that mean exactly or nearly the same as other words or phrases in the same language.


Transport Layer Security is the replacement for SSL allowing secure data traffic between two or more computer applications e.g. between a browser and a web server.


An alternative term given to the process of adding keywords / metadata to digital assets.


Small image of the asset which will appear in the search results to give an indication of the contents.


A hierarchical classification system designed to represent information about assets.

User Experience

How satisfied the user is having used the DAM Solution.


User Interface, this is a generic IT term which relates to the overall design of the solution the user interacts with when using the system.


The process of transferring the digital assets from a user’s computer to a DAM solution.

User Levels

Allows specific users to access particular assets based on what they are allowed to see with their user level.

Version Control

The mechanism which allows a user to upload another version of an existing asset and link the two.

Video bit rate

Video bitrate is the number of bits that are processed per second e.g. HD Blu-ray video @ 20 mbps, Standard Definition @ 6 mbps.


A translucent logo or image placed over the top of an asset such as an image, video or document to prevent it from being copied or re-used without the correct permission.


The modelling of the steps that must be taken within the solution to achieve a given task, this should be streamlined for maximum efficiency.


Extensible Metadata Platform, originally created by Adobe Systems Inc. is now an ISO standard for sharing metadata between different applications such as DAM systems.