Extensis' digital asset management software solves the problem of managing large collections of files by making file collections searchable and usable. DAM provides tools for finding, organizing, and converting large collections of rich media files.
What we liked best about the whole experience with Extensis, is the amazing support we have gotten through the whole process of getting everything set up. The documentation of the software is well written and easy to understand. Our main contact person Jeff has been phenomenal with answering any questions we have had.
It wasn't as easy to set up the catalog files, and get everything ported over. Though that could be just how we went about using the system. Since we always find a different way to use a software than most.
The business problem's we will be solving is the amount of time it takes to search for a single file in our old system. We can not search for images by file name, or add keywords to get those images to pop up. The other struggle we had were the issues with cross platform's Windows and Mac's have a different naming convention. Some files would end up looking very odd between the two. The benefits that we are realizing is the software is easy to use, we can control and manage user's and all around it will be easier to search for the files.
We had 62,000-some digital assets when we installed Portfolio in 2013 - mostly photos. I'd been wrangling photos from multiple sources, and our users had been renaming files so they could record the details of an image. Extensis Portfolio made it easy to assign keywords, captions, and other details. I like being able to quickly create a gallery of images and generate a PDF. I also love the ability to batch rename files - or resize. We recently added the NetPublish feature to add the ability to share galleries with others within our network who don't have access to Portfolio.
We now have multiple catalogs (one for marketing photos, one for events, one for archive, one for confidential) and our users want to be able to search across the catalogs. Our users also seem to have problems with search requiring quotes around a name. (Otherwise, a search for John [space] Smith returns all photos tagged with John and all photos tagged with Smith.) I wish that if I chose to move a folder from one catalog to another, it would move the folder itself and not just the assets inside. The zoom is not as clear as the one on Adobe Bridge, so it can be hard to read peoples' name tags, for example, which would be handy for tagging. I have a bad habit of logging in and doing a search, and then closing the browser window and needing to start over, but I don't know how Extensis could fix that. I liked the product better when it had a desktop version - it was easier to link images in InDesign. The web-only option can be frustrating. Lastly, although this is great for photos, I...
This may not be the most sophisticated product out there. If you're looking for something to manage video, this is probably not the right solution.
We work with photos from across an entire academic health center. Extensis Portfolio helps us find, organize and tag files and is especially helpful when we need to remove a photo from our collection. It's helpful for tagging subjects so we know whether they are a patient, a model, a volunteer, etc. We purchased it to help manage patient photos and releases to make sure we weren't violating HIPAA law.
What I like best is the way Portfolio makes it easy to catalog items, create web galleries, and manage metadata.
What I dislike is performance issues that you see when your catalogs get really big (1 million + assets).
Make sure you ask the right questions to the right people at Extensis when you are planning your system. The posted requirements would work fine for a small deployment, but across an enterprise, you will need a consultation to assure you will have a setup to handle your needs.
Do your homework concerning your actual planned usage. Portfolio will requires more resources than you may think, based upon the information easily available. More than a million assets and hundreds of Netpublish sites require serious dedicated hardware. And don't forget storage.
Portfolio allows for our photographers to quickly catalog their images and provide the customer with their finished images quickly, through a Netpublish site. It allows our archivist to add important metadata to images and publish a library of images for use across the enterprise. It allows various groups to provide access to event photos. The best part of this is it eliminates the duplication of images by keeping all of the images centrally located while allowing the images to be used in multiple ways.
Ease of use / not cumbersome to use
Great search capabilities
Smart galleries based on search results
Dependence on Flash (a huge drawback)
No support for multi-page PDF documents
iPhone app was last updated in 2015
No iPad support
While you may be considering other products before purchase, we suggest giving Extensis a closer look as most likely it will meet most of your DAM needs.
We are a design school and due to the volume of digital content we are dealing with on a daily basis it is essential to have a reliable tool to manage all this data. We use Extensis internally in the Administration to archive, share assets and make them available for Programmes Office, PR, Marketing and Information Resources and soon plan to integrate Extensis in our curriculum as we appreciate the need for our students to be better prepared for their future workplace where effective digital asset management and teamwork is key.
I believe the strongest feature for us has been the way it handles keywords, especially the way folder names are automatically added to the files as keywords. On the fly, we can create a quick folder/subfolder structure, dump the files into that folder, and now all of those files are now tagged those folder names.
Please stop using Flash in the web client.
As useful as this tool is, it is still a tool that requires consistent maintenance through a basic understanding of it's core features. It won't magically clean up all of your files at the touch of a button. It's like buying a top of the line camera, without any prior knowledge of photography, and expecting it to produce superior photos on its own. So, before committing to Portfolio, sit down with your team first and go over what everyone thinks about file organization. It's important that everyone is on the same page. Does everyone know what keywords/metadata are? Has anyone worked with music playlists or photo album programs before (it's the same concept)? How do they name their files (Final-Final-v2-for_review.pdf)? The power of Portfolio relies on every single user, and how they can properly tag files, place in correct folders, name files logically, etc. That's all it really takes. Once you have that established, then you're golden.
Previously, our product photography had been organized by folders, and finding images meant scrolling through directories manually. The NetPublish feature alleviated all of that, as we now have the entire library accessible through a simple search engine. Not only did this cut down the time searching for images for ourselves, it has also eliminated all additional requests for us to deliver product images to other departments.
Portfolio is easy to use, and intuitive. The ability to drag and drop images from the database is great, it reduces the number of duplicate files we have on the network. The mobile app allows merchants to take images while they are in the field and load them for others to see.
I do not like that Portfolio is a server based system, I would prefer cloud based. This would allow the other offices around the county and around the world to easily use Portfolio Express.
Decide if a server based or a cloud based DAM is better for you.
Visibility of our assets for all brands. Images and Videos were shot by a certain brand, and others did not have easy access to the files unless they knew the shot was taking place or if you asked the photographer. Our websites and emails are now able to utilize the images, overall improving the look of our brands.
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