Xinet by Northplains

(11)
4.0 out of 5 stars

The Xinet solution is a flexible, efficient DAM system that excels at InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator workflows for smaller production teams and creative workgroups within the enterprise.

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Xinet by Northplains Reviews

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Xinet review by Mike W.
Mike W.
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Verified Current User
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"Software that changed my company"

What do you like best?

This back-end piece of software does so much - it's hard to fit in one review. First it is a web based Digital Asset Manager that allows you to (add, sort by, categorize by and view existing) metadata. This web based digital asset manager also adds the following functionality - web based thumb nail previews for almost any graphic format, web based image manipulation (crop, change size, change resolution, etc), web based file manipulation (ex. change photoshop file to jpeg), it ties into file archiving software and backup software. That's not all, the software also works as a high-end printer rip.

What do you dislike?

1. Not the cheapest of software

2. While it runs on most OS's, the server should be run on RedHat (or CentOS) for performance reasons. RedHat support addes to the cost of the server

3. You need fairly beefy hardware to run this software

Recommendations to others considering the product

Just do it

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We run a cross-platform (Mac and PC) business. Before this software, the PC users were unable to view any graphics files that the Macs were working on. Since the web based software does graphic thumb nails for just about any file type, it solved the problem. Hot folders can also be configured to farther increase productivity.

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Xinet review by Lisa N.
Lisa N.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Xinet within Advertising Agencies"

What do you like best?

Xinet is a system that has allowed us to clear up much of our workflow and image repetition on our servers. With customization of an additional Transition Portal front end, the user interface has much improved. With properly training users, the metadata and search functions have proved helpful. It is customizable to a very individual level if you have the administration team to support that customization. This has helped us allow for very individualized access and abilities within the system for all of our users or groups of users. We also appreciate being able to customize individual portals for client access. Being able to set up various triggers and actions to help things move through the system and provide notifications is helpful as well.

What do you dislike?

The back end administration can be a bit cumbersome to figure out. And the training manuals aren't always clear. It has required the support of our integrator several times to figure out how to customize some functions or make triggers/actions happen. The search function doesn't work quite as well as we'd like, but we're hoping the new SOLR search will make a large difference.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This is a good "middle of the road" product. There are definitely products out there that have many more bells and whistles. There are also products with much less. This is a good product that allows for search-ability, metadata management and workflow solutions. But to get your money's worth, you must be willing to allow for an administration team to manage this product that allow for both IT support and front end user support and training (which isn't necessarily the same set of people).

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

With Xinet we have mainly solved our asset management for imagery usage rights, repetition of imagery and workflow issues. One of the largest benefits that we have resolved is the reduction of server space that we need by eliminating much duplication. Of course, that need grows regardless as time progresses. Another large benefit is the relative ease as compared to our previous processes for finding archived or older jobs, images, etc. We also have found a cost savings for our clients as all of our users can now access so many files that previously they would have to go through several steps and people to acquire.

What Digital Asset Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Xinet review by Maryellen M.
Maryellen M.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Works Much better with Customizations"

What do you like best?

The portal interface on top of Xinet allows for a lot of front end customization to make "pretty". The back end of Xinet is functional and a bit of a workhorse.

With people with the right skillsets, it integrates well with other applications and allows for workflow efficiencies. For instance, we have an integration with our Merchansie Management/Shot Management systems, that allows for a placeholder image to be created in Xinet before the shot is complete. This allows for something to be placed on an Indesign page.. Later in the workflow, thru the use of a hot folder, the Placeholder gets replaced with the real image. When the Page reopens, the image automatically updates. Saves a ton of time for a person to not have to g and fetch the image again.

What do you dislike?

Out of the box the interface is ugly and clunky.

It is not inexpensive to operate and support. You cannot purchase directly from Xinet, everything goes through a reseller, and while i do like our vendor very much, I'm at their mercy as it relates to cost.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Xinet was purchased by North Plains Software a bit ago, NP has their own DAM (Telescope) that has a lot of functionality that Xinet never had, I've been hoping some of those features would be integrated into XInet but that hasn't happened yet.

Xinet is really two pieces. Xinet which is the server piece of it -where all the 'heavy lifting' occurs. and Portal which is the pretty front end - that does allow for customization and

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Primary use is a Digital Asset Management system to support multiple clients (internal use and makes assets available to external clients.

Internally it's very easy to manage access requests via Active Directory.

Xinet review by Angelina A.
Angelina A.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"A great program for agencies with multiple clients"

What do you like best?

Helped keep assets and user permissions to access those assets organized.

What do you dislike?

I learned just enough to use the program so I never learned all the ins and out of the program. And it is a vast program. I didn't explore too much because I was afraid I might change something that was working well for our agency. So I feel like there should have been better descriptors in each section to explain what each section does.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The agency I worked for needed a way to house large amount of assets for multiple clients and control the access permissions for hundreds of users. We needed a system where users can easily search for assets by filename and keywords. We needed to control the usage of images, making sure images couldn't be downloaded if the usage expired. I was a Junior Asset Manager are the agency and learned enough to get by. But if I ever needed help, Xinet has a wealth of information online and my Studio Manager had a great relationship with the help desk at Xinet.

Xinet review by Kristine P.
Kristine P.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Review of Xinet with Portals"

What do you like best?

We have the capability to create different branded portal sites for multiple clients.

What do you dislike?

Metadata that gets inputted in from our database remains on the site, it does not follow the file around.

Recommendations to others considering the product

When you are setting up portals for different clients keep in mind their internet speed. When implementing the box and server location(s), keep in mind who will be using the system, who will be doing the uploads for your company.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Xinet has helped our company be able to archive old working files as well as be able to restore those files. It has served as a temporary solution to route new assets and approve of them by our Global clients. It has also served as a way for our marketing partners to view videos that we have created prior to downloading or asking for the high-res versions of the video.

Xinet review by John Alex C.
John Alex C.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Great Experience with Xinet DAM"

What do you like best?

Xinet and their reseller, IO Integration, were always willing to work with me regarding feature upgrades and how-to questions. In some cases, they'd walk me through the steps to solve a problem within a few hours of opening a support ticket. When I had to customize a portal site, I knew I could count on my Xinet team to see me through to success.

What do you dislike?

When it came to heavily customizing a portal site, it was unfortunate that our onsite-hosted solution would need to be rigorously checked for any possible situations once a Xinet update was released. In those cases, I would have appreciated a highly-customizable, web-based solution with look-and-feel templates to deploy.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When I was using Xinet, it was to manage digital assets for a marketing firm. Many of the benefits we realized had to do with metadata. The organization was rarely keen on actually putting metadata into the system, so we were able to use the Xinet Uploader tool to ensure that metadata was applied when the assets were entering the system. Also, we were able to provide off-site access to all of our assets through our client portal sites. This solved a lot of headaches at photoshoots when teams were willing to use the tools provided.

Xinet review by Administrator in Retail
Administrator in Retail
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Xinet for Prepress"

What do you like best?

This is a great DAM system for prepress departments. Many years ago, I first used this enterprise software at an ad agency as an internal-facing repository for storing high res assets. This company dealt mainly with print catalog development. Currently Xinet is used by a color house I work with for a large retailer. They use this system to manage campaign photography. We have the ability to admin the site remotely and customize for our user groups who need 24-hour access.

What do you dislike?

This isn't the most advanced DAM system I've used and the interface seems a little dated. This software is geared primarily for prepress use and therefore not well-suited for enterprise level global asset distribution.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would highly recommend to those in the prepress industry. Though the parent company, North Plains, has two other products that could help scale a DAM platform enterprise wide.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We need a location to store photography assets in various stages of retouching. This has greatly helped us streamline the number of locations assets are located within our organization.

Xinet review by Rich C.
Rich C.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"industry standard WIP DAM solution"

What do you like best?

Xinet allows work in progress assets to be managed seamlessly for production departments. Since it generally functions as a file server to that community, they don't need to do anything more complex than save their files to the server.

What do you dislike?

The interface needs to be reworked to get current with modern UX standards

Recommendations to others considering the product

it's the default choice for any marketing or creative department that has more than 5 users.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Easy management of assets and easy distribution of those assets extenally

Xinet review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"A bit complicated but gets the job done"

What do you like best?

Xinet worked well for integrating with existing systems and workflows. It seemed configurable enough to be able to work around or with current processes. Although I wasn't part of the deployment, as a key administrator, I felt that it worked well with other tools. There were several pieces to our workflow of creating, delivering and repurposing content, and Xinet was able to handle the workload. The underlying logic, from my perspective, was very straight forward i.e. If A, then B. Setting up workflows and automation was very detailed and could be time consuming, but the end result was a clear cut solution that allowed for easy troubleshooting.

What do you dislike?

Xinet isn't an ideal stand-alone DAM. That is, the user interface and search capabilities are very clunky and not intuitive. General users always had difficulty with on-boarding, and that required a lot of extra training and effort on the administrative side. So many people who needed it as a DAM came in thinking it was Google, and their single word search wouldn't retrieve their expected results. It was of no fault of the system, it was user error. Getting all of our users to understand and appreciate the tool for what it could and could not do was a large time commitment. And the UI has limited customization.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you don't have existing workflows and content, and you're just looking for your first central image repository, Xinet may be more than you need or are ready to handle. I would consider Xinet a good DAM for the more experience DAMers with more technical background. Although it could very well solve your basic needs, it could prove very time consuming on the on-boarding and configuration side up front.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Its original purpose was for soft-proofing, and Xinet excelled in that area. A follow-up use for Xinet was as the central digital asset management tool. It was to be the central truth for all digital assets enterprise wide. Those assets and our users varied to great extents, and the search interface has limited customizability. We spent a lot of time documenting best practices, communicating training, tips and tricks and serving as a reference desk for hundreds of regular users who simply couldn't figure out how to conduct a search. Once they knew, they were set, but it's not intuitive for general users.

Xinet review by Executive Sponsor in Marketing and Advertising
Executive Sponsor in Marketing and Advertising
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Solid print production and DAM solution"

What do you like best?

I appreciate the seamless flow of the entire suite of the Xinet offering in that it is a solid underlying production workflow system (with add-ons) as well as a clean client facing DAM. This reduces the moving and duplication of assets which is great.

What do you dislike?

The slowness of the updates. It seems there is a bit of a longer lag time between updates than other systems. Also the license is a bit on the high side.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure you partner with the correct integrator that understands your business case. Ie. if they have extensive experience in implementing in corporate marketing environments and none in creative agency environments, you might want to keep looking.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Managing development, production and delivery of globally created campaigns across multiple offices with ease. This has reduced some inconsistency in production of master assets and eliminated the sheer panic when someone needs to find something that another office delivered and they are closed for some non-US holiday.

Xinet review by User in Printing
User in Printing
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Xinet image management provides stability."

What do you like best?

The search ability using metadata is incredibly powerful when managing a database of thousands of images. You are able to sort and select those which match the criteria you seek. Cross platform of course, the ability to access and store a clients images to them to use remotely off site in incredibly easy.

What do you dislike?

The preview system for images with clipping paths is sometimes unreliable and at times the client cannot zoom in to an image to which the user and manipulators have done.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Great database handeling of large masses of images once keywords submitted.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Faster delivery to client and the ability to do online proofing based on xinet previews is a valuable costly time saving alternative.

Kate from G2 Crowd

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