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Digital asset management

4 ways digital asset management is better with Brightspot CMS

digital asset management CMS screenshot

When you think of a content management system, you'd imagine that it can handle images—their management, their delivery, metadata extraction, etc. And most do, including Brightspot; however, Brightspot handles images a little differently than the rest, specifically in a way that gives businesses more freedom and flexibility with how they want to work with images. In this way, forget your notions of a CMS and a digital asset manager. With its robust capabilities and integration-ready flexibility, Brightspot is the only digital-asset management platform you'll ever need.

Dynamic digital asset management with powerful image editing and delivery

Most CMSs can flip images, crop images, apply filters, etc., and then deliver those images to the front-end audience. Where Brightspot does it a little differently is that any changes or edits made to an image are non-destructive.

how digital asset management is better with brightspot: image editing

What this means is that, if you flip an image, apply additional contrast to it, and crop it by 300x300, Brightspot doesn't re-save over that image (which is to say, destroy the original); instead, Brightspot associates metadata pertaining to those edits to the image while leaving the original image intact. At any point, a user can click reset, and the image "reverts" back to the original file.

Older CMSs may do the opposite. Let's say a business needs three different crops of an image—a square, a portrait and a landscape. A user goes into their CMS, makes the crops, and then those crops get stored on their content delivery network (CDN). This becomes problematic because if the business needs a fourth crop size (or any different style of the image at all), the CMS has to go back and re-process the image in the database because the first three have already been pre-processed.

In contrast, with Brightspot, everything is done "on the fly." A crop is, again, nothing more than metadata, and Brightspot dynamically re-sizes images on the front end. If you need a new crop, then, you can make one without any additional processing.

This also can save money. If your organization has thousands of images (or more) that get stored on the CDN, then there's going to be some money involved with that storage. To be clear, Brightspot also stores images on our CDN, but only "on demand." Whereas other CMSs would create multiple versions of the image and store each, Brightspot only stores an image on the CDN if a request is made for it on the front end.

Maintain control and increase efficiencies across all your digital assets, including re-use, version control, rights management and user access.

One thing that allows Brightspot to handle images so effectively is a service it utilizes called the Dynamic Image Re-sizing Service (DIMS), which coincidentally was created by Brightspot CTO, Jeremy Collins. DIMS is an open-source service, available to other systems, but whereas other systems can adopt DIMS, Brightspot has been using it for well over a decade.

This isn't to say that a business is stuck with DIMS if they use Brightspot—on the contrary; if DIMS isn't your speed, it doesn't need to be—other popular image re-sizing services, like Cloudinary, are still compatible with Brightspot, and at no cost to the editorial experience.

In fact, DIMS isn't even the default image re-sizing service in Brightspot—it's just what's been used over the years due to its power and efficacy across most use cases. Brightspot's default re-sizing service is actually a Java implementation. It might be easy to install and use DIMS in Brightspot, but a business is in no way forced to do so.

This is particularly handy if a business wants to use Brightspot, but wants to deploy it on premise and doesn't want to deal with hosting. At that point, they could stick with the default Java implementation, and then there's no additional installation necessary. Brightspot is flexible no matter what's preferred.

Seamless metadata extraction for your digital assets with AI-powered integrations

how digital asset management is better with brightspot: image metadata

Much like image management and delivery, the idea of metadata extraction isn't revolutionary. The idea here is that an editor can upload an image to their CMS, and the CMS has image recognition capabilities that extract key elements found within the image, like pets, humans, and other elements for the sake of smarter and more automated tagging. Brightspot, like many CMSs, offers these capabilities out of the box.

Where Brightspot does it a little differently, though, again goes back to flexibility. Similar to image re-sizing, businesses are not forced to use Amazon Web Services for their image recognition needs. Brightspot also has an integration with Google Vision, for example, but above all else, Brightspot is also flexible enough to integrate with any recognition service. So long it has an API, the integration can be built.

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Integrated search makes any digital asset from external libraries accessible in the CMS

In addition to uploaded images, businesses that use Brightspot can also leverage a number of different third-party libraries via Brightspot's many integrated search integrations. Out-of-the-box integrations include Adobe Stock, AP Images, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Vimeo and YouTube. All a business needs is an account with the provider, and then they're up and running. Editors can search and use these third-party images in the exact same way as they would an image they uploaded themselves, no difference. See this powerful tool in action here with the video below.

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Video Companion
Brightspot CMS image search screenshot
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Inside Brightspot: Integrated search

Not minding the gap with Brightspot Dari and a bridge to all your digital asset management needs

Dari Database Query Tool.png

For those unfamiliar, Dari is a data abstraction layer upon which Brightspot CMS is built, but it's more than that—it's also a methodology by which Brightspot operates. "Dari" means "bridge" in Korean, and indeed, this methodology seeks to bridge the gap between underlying technology powering the back end and the editors using it.

The Dari methodology permeates Brightspot's approach to image management and delivery. Remember that, though Brightspot uses DIMS with great success, a business isn't required to follow suit—they can use the default Java implementation or another service. And the editorial experience for one is the exact same as it is for another. After all, why should an editor care if they are re-sizing images using DIMS versus the default Java implementation? They shouldn't, so Brightspot "bridges the gap."

For metadata extraction, again, businesses can use Amazon Web Services, Google Vision, or another image recognition service. The editorial experience remains the same regardless of the installation, and it should. Brightspot "bridges the gap."

For integrated search, an editor can again search for and use third-party images in the same exact way they already do with images they upload personally. And that experience should be the same. And so, Brightspot "bridges the gap."

In summary

So, truly, Brightspot handles images as a business would expect a CMS to handle images; however, the flexibility that Brightspot offers to these businesses is unmatched, especially considering how editorial teams are enabled the same no matter which pieces a business may pick and choose for their Brightspot implementation. Would you rather be forced to part ways with a solution that has fit your use case effectively for years and adjust to the way your CMS does it... or would you like your CMS to adjust the way you do it? Brightspot stands up as the latter.

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About the Author
Mark is Director, Digital Content at Brightspot. When he's not gleaning insights from various developers from the company, he spends his time cooking new dishes at home with his wife and two hyperactive cats.