So how is a DAM better than just storing files in a folder structure on a server?
Simply put, it is easier to search for what you are looking for vs trying to recall where you might have placed it (possibly in a folder somewhere on an external drive). In Part 1 we discuss the power of applying metadata to digital objects to make them more searchable with descriptive electronic tags (Creator, Caption, Date, File Type, Subject, Keywords..etc.). These descriptive tags or metadata is what powers the search capabilities of a DAM Solution. Now instead of wracking your memory trying to remember where you might have placed a file months or even years ago, a DAM solution requires that you only remember some description of the object in order to retrieve it.
Let’s see it in action! (click on the video)
So what types of search functionality is a “must have” in a DAM Solution?
As you start to evaluate digital asset management vendors make sure their DAM Solution has an easy intuitive interface where you can conduct a basic search and a more advanced search which allows you to drill down on specific metadata fields.
How does a basic or “free text” search operate?
Basically if you been using Google, you are using a similar type of search mechanism. You enter keywords and the DAM Solution searches metadata fields and retrieves relevant digital objects based on your search criteria.
Depending on the DAM Vendor “free text” search might also have the following functionality….
- Boolean Search: This type search allows you to use “operators” between keywords such as AND, OR, and NOT to produce more relevant search results. For example, your Boolean search could be “Montana” AND “horses”. Your search results would include all digital objects where “Montana” and “horses” are contained within the metadata. In contrast if you’re Boolean search was “Montana” NOT “horses” the search results would retrieve only digital objects containing “Montana” but exclude any objects containing “Montana” with “horses”.
- Exact Phrase Search: This type of search is where keywords must appear in an exact phrase. This may be achieved by putting a string of keywords in quotes (“”). For example, your exact phrase search was “Looking glass” so your search results would only contain objects where “Looking glass” is strung together. Any objects that contain “looking” and “glass” not strung together would be excluded.
- All Words Search: This type of search is the same as putting an “AND” between keywords. For example if your all words search contained “car”, “road”, and “speed” your search results would bring back hits only containing car, road and speed in the metadata. Any objects containing only one or two for the keywords would be excluded.
- Any Words Search: This is the same as putting “OR” between keywords. For example if your any word search contained “car”, “road”, and “speed” your search results would bring any and all objects containing car, road, and speed.
- Word Root Search: This type of functionality allows you to expand search results based on the root of a word. If you deployed the word root search for “running” your search results would include hits for run, runs, and ran.
How Does Advance Search Operate in a DAM Solution?
Again this is depending on the available functionality of the DAM software vendor’s solution, the advance search should give you the ability to drill down on a metadata field or combination of fields in order to narrow down a search results.
Field Level Text Search
These are short descriptors associated with fields in the database organized in categories relevant to the collection. This functionality is where the true power of DAM’s database now comes into play. There are many combinations of powerful features associated with these fields with true & false logic, date ranges, free text, file type and Boolean capabilities. Because these fields are associated, database users are able to cross reference search criteria in order to find exactly what they are trying to retrieve.
An example of very powerful field level text search is by DATE. Since this field is referencing a database, users have the ability to not only search for a date but a range of date options.
This can include:
- Ignore the date
- There is no date in that field
- Before a specific date
- After a specific date
- Between dates
- In the last (hours, days, months or years depending upon the date field)
- And in some cases, never
DAM software solution technology is powerful, it allows you to manage and control thousands if not millions of digital objects with truly powerful management and distribution tools.
In our next installment, we will discuss taxonomy and the power of organizing your digital assets with hierarchal metadata.
How does search work in a DAM Software Solution?
(Part 3 – Power of Taxonomy)
In case you missed Part 1 click:How does search work in a DAM Software Solution? (Part 1 Metadata: making digital objects searchable)
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