Digital Asset Management in dotCMS

Jason Smith

With the myriad of functionalities modern CMSs have, it’s not a surprise that digital asset management, one of the most essential features of a CMS, goes unnoticed by most users.

But efficient digital asset management can make or break your business operations. At its most basic, digital asset management gives you a place to store and organize assets like documents, images, videos and more.

Yet, most content management systems also include version control, workflows, access permissions, backup, and data protection in their solution.

Despite the innovations CMS and DXPs have included in their offerings, digital asset management is still the backbone of their operations.

This has resulted in content management steadily tracking up, as it shows in the graph below, provided by Statista. The image shows the growth of document and asset management over the years.

DAM Market Size

dotCMS comes with robust digital asset management features to help businesses and organizations across the globe reduce the time spent in administrative tasks, all while providing a sturdy foundation for your content. In this article, we will take a dive into the world of digital asset management in dotCMS.

Digital Asset Management 101

Digital asset management is one of the precursor technologies to content and digital experience management, and is available as a standalone system.

Yet, nowadays, most digital asset management systems are part of a full-suite CMS. At its core, digital asset management involves giving content editors a centralized place to store and manage assets like documents, images, and videos. They also have workflow management and archiving capabilities and enable users to manage these assets.

Modern digital asset management systems today range in size and scope. From small, standalone systems to large scale, enterprise configurations that serve global audiences. No matter the size, digital asset management tools today tend to include the following functionalities:

  • Simultaneous editing of documents without one person’s changes overwriting another’s

  • Version control so you can keep tabs on how the document came to be

  • Rollbacks and version recording

  • Audit trails to reconstruct the editing process

  • Document annotation

Digital Asset Management in dotCMS

Digital asset management systems are for storing and managing media, be it images, text, video, or audio.

A digital asset management system helps teams collaborate on the creation and distribution of documents and assets in a cloud-based environment and from a centralized location, which gives marketers the autonomy to plan and deploy digital experiences right from the CMS.

In the era of headless CMSs and omni-channel digital experiences, creating something that truly sticks with your audience requires more than just plain text. It requires rich assets in the form of images, videos, GIFs, and PDFs. dotCMS doesn’t have any limitation when it comes to handling digital assets and documents.

In our platform, content is stored in a repository that’s not limited to a single presentation layer and can be arranged to fit many different channels.

Similarly, regardless of where the images are stored in dotCMS, editors have access to tools to edit and process images in the authoring environment. This simplifies authoring and gives editors the tools to deliver content quickly.

Read More: How dotCMS Supports Digital Asset Management

Why dotCMS Should Be Your Next Lightweight Digital Asset Management System

Everybody knows that content should be at the heart of everything. It is your content that drives engagement and results in conversions. However, videos are usually expensive to create and maintain, especially if you don’t have the infrastructure in place.

When a CMS comes with enhanced digital asset management capabilities like dotCMS you gain the right tools to create, manage, and deliver the best content at the lowest possible cost.

Here are some of the features that make dotCMS the best choice.

Metadata Indexing

When you upload a file to your dotCMS installation, the CMS automatically fetches and stores the file’s metadata in the content as an additional field.

Image Editing and Rendition Creation

dotCMS offers out-of-the-box image editing capabilities, enabling users to modify every uploaded image. With this feature, users can do both basic and advanced editing such as resizing, rotating, focal-point cropping, adjusting brightness, compressing, and changing images to different formats. Using our transformation API, we make it possible for users to transform images on the fly. You can crop, resize, flip or optimize images with a single query parameter. No need to worry about costs, limits or performance.

Individual, Granular Permission

dotCMS’ permission system gives administrators the ability to control who can access what content and backend functionality using individual permissions associated with the role admins assigned to that particular user. That way, users can only access the content they have been given explicit access to.

Preview of Common File Types

In dotCMS you can access your content through a ‘preview’ user key. However, if another user has permissions, this person will also be able to access your content. To counter this, dotCMS also has an API key facade for a private preview that’s not embedded in the digital experience you’re creating.


Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is an extension of the HTTP protocol that enables users to connect a local computer and a server to transfer files easily between different machines. With WebDAV, transferring files from one place to another becomes easy as all these files get stored in easily accessible local directories.


With REST APIs, users can access and fetch content easily and push it across devices. In dotCMS, all REST endpoints are integrated with the permissions, which means that users can only access what they would have access to normally. Also, the REST APIs allow users to use CRUD cycles to gain more control over the content.

Auto-Tagging and Labeling

Tags enable users to label content with one or more terms so that a piece of content can be found and extracted dynamically for display on a page. dotCMS auto-tags content and then gives users the tools to edit the tags, create new ones, and delete them.


Versioning helps users keep track of the evolution of a content item as it gets edited, published, or moved. Thanks to content versioning, users gain instant rollback capabilities. With versioning, you can keep all the content under your control, preventing faulty, incomplete, or inadequate content from hindering your website and online presence.

dotCMS: Going Beyond Digital Asset Management

While asset management solutions can help, they can only do so much. In fact, most DAMs fall short when it comes to delivering a unified solution that takes care of your assets for you.

With dotCMS, you not only get a CMS; you gain a companion in your journey towards digital transformation.

dotCMS not only incorporates out-of-the-box most of the tools standalone DAMs have, but it also enables you to integrate other tools to do the heavy lifting, achieving an actual best of breed strategy.

With a DXP like dotCMS, you empower content editors and marketing teams to take control of every customer touch-point and piece of information across every channel and application, gaining visibility over the content creation process and the way content is used.

If you want to learn more about dotCMS and how it goes beyond digital asset management and document management, read our report: Digital Asset Management - DAM Capabilities in a CMS

Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer
September 14, 2021

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