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Make the Workflow Input the DAM Metadata

by Murray Oles
February 6, 2021

Metadata is data about data and generally speaking more is better. Configuring the metadata for a DAM system starts with understanding the relevant workflows and determining the information that users will enter in order to find and re-purpose assets stored in the DAM. Ideally the process of associating metadata with assets is fully automated, but in practice the task of entering DAM metadata is often a tedious manual process requiring administrative oversight. This is largely because most DAM vendors have approached workflow as an add-on service to their DAM as opposed to making the DAM serve the workflows of the business.

Until recently, BPM systems were too expensive for all but the larger companies, but that has changed and there are many solutions available for local and cloud-based implementation. The benefits of using a BPM are well established. Integrating DAM services with the BPM system automates the association of more relevant metadata with assets. The DAM enablement of the BPM system is runtime specific. Each workflow instance is enabled by a uniquely configured DAM service. The table below illustrates typical BPM metadata for running projects / jobs and case files through a pre-defined workflow.

Automating the association of BPM metadata with assets during import to a job saves time, reduces errors, and improves the integrity of the archive. By managing the DAM as a service to the workflow most of the metadata work is automated and if manual data entry were required it would be best performed at a designated tasks in the workflow. Access to assets can be based on the user role as well as the status of the “job(s)” that the asset is associated with. This architecture deploys faster and scales better than the traditional model where the workflows are about managing the DAM.