The Power of Permissions in Digital Asset Management

There’s a huge amount of work that goes into adopting any sort of database management system. You have to get your content into it, you have to make sure your users can access the data, and you have to figure out how to categorize so that people can find the right content. There’s one step, however, that often gets lost in the shuffle of the set-up process, and how you are willing to let that data be used.

Any organization is going to have a multitude of users who want different things from their DAM and should have different access to content. From the intern who’s been tasked with uploading the 300 new photos from the company picnic to the public relations folks who want to get the content out into the world, everyone needs a customized set of privileges. These are user permissions in digital asset management. And if you’re not thinking about it, do you know how your data is being used?

What Can Users Do?

The most basic permissions are simple—viewing, editing, downloading, uploading—and are something that everyone thinks about when bringing the DAM software to their organization. The people who will use it the most will most likely have greater permissions than those who log in once or twice a month to upload some photos. But where the necessary evaluation comes is in the smaller things—rights, exporting, searching.

The Rights Stuff

We’ll go more into detail about rights in a future post but I want to touch on some basic concepts here. Every photo/graphic/document in your system was created by someone. It may have come from a freelancer or a staff member. It may be submitted by the subject for publicity use. A DAM software system can help you protect that item.

Getting Social


The influence and reach of social media has reached new heights in our business world. The need for multimedia assets to be shared with different platforms has been one of the key features people look for in a DAM. They want to be able to send that asset out into the world quickly and easily. But they also want to know that it’s being used appropriately.

Here’s a few tips to make sure your users have the permissions they should:

  • Multiple levels of permissions are key – set up tiers of access for the different tiers of employees so that you’ll know what everyone is able to do
  • Download vs request – when offering content to the world it’s important to recognize that some users should have immediate access to content through downloads and others need to request permission to use your images
  • What are your rights – does the company own this image? Is it available for publicity use?
  • Be proactive – Talk about permissions ahead of time and make sure they’re set up before you release your DAM company-wide

A DAM is a wonderful resource that can help you leverage your assets in the best way possible. So think about who will see your data and how you can present it to users in the best way for your company.

Sara Hatch
Support Engineer
Email: shatch@MerlinOne.com
Phone: 617.328.6645

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