How dotCMS Supports Digital Asset Management

Jason Smith

For most enterprises, the cost of creating digital assets is enormous, and it’s even more expensive to migrate them to a new platform. But for many organizations, managing vast amounts of digital media is becoming a necessity. That’s because 88% of marketers are already using video content, and 74% of marketers not currently using video are planning to start in 2020.

Digital assets may be expensive, but marketers realize that they’re vital for compelling digital experiences. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a CMS with robust digital asset management features, or the ability to easily integrate with an external system that has the necessary capabilities.

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into digital asset management, how it differs from content management, and the ways dotCMS handles digital assets.

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management (DAM) is a method for storing, organizing, and retrieving media like photos, videos, and audio files. A DAM system helps enterprises collaborate over the creation and distribution of digital assets from a centralized location so that marketing teams can craft consistent and engaging digital experiences with ease.

In addition, DAM includes the control of permissions and digital rights to specific media assets. Permissions are crucial because DAM systems are used across organizations from sales teams to product management and public relations departments, and companies need to ensure their internal data remains secure and compliant. In most cases, however, marketing teams take primary ownership over maintaining the DAM system for the organization and gain the most value from its capabilities.

Why You Need Integrated CMS and DAM Capabilities

While CMS and DAM systems may seem similar — and there is some overlap in functionality — both types of software are crucial for enterprise organizations. CMSs are built from the ground up for creating and publishing content, while DAMs focus more on organizing and retrieving digital assets. But that doesn’t mean CMSs can’t incorporate the most critical DAM processes out of the box as well.

The DAM features to look for include robust asset search, custom metadata options, version control, full asset histories, and many other advanced library capabilities. These features enable enterprises to create and manage digital assets more easily, but the CMS will always have the upper hand when it comes to delivering digital assets and content to a multitude of devices.

How dotCMS Supports Digital Asset Management

dotCMS has native features for the most crucial DAM processes but also understands that many organizations have existing systems that make interoperability a better option. Enterprises, therefore, can use dotCMS as their primary DAM system or integrate external DAM software without the hassle and expense of migrating their digital assets.

Here’s how dotCMS streamlines the process of digital asset management.

Bulk Asset Processing

One of the most significant challenges many enterprises face is getting digital assets into another system. That’s why dotCMS has a flexible bulk asset processing tool for uploading digital assets into the CMS repository fast. Large sets of assets can be uploaded at once, and dotCMS will automatically extract the metadata and index the files. dotCMS is built for scalability, so there’s no limitation on the number of assets enterprises choose to upload.


One way to quickly upload files is through WebDAV — web-based distributed authoring and versioning. This allows users to create a connection between their local computer and the server running dotCMS to transfer files. If this is too technical, marketers can also use the Site Browser to upload multiple digital assets at one time. During the upload process, users can use a CSV file to automatically add the appropriate information — from descriptions and metadata to specific workflow actions —  to the assets for a highly efficient import workflow.

Image Processing

Using images with content requires the ability to edit images to fit the right context, especially for organizations that have an omnichannel digital marketing strategy. That’s why dotCMS provides flexible image processing directly within the authoring environment. Content authors can modify a wide range of image properties and copy the modified image to the WYSIWYG editor for placement in content without leaving the dotCMS interface.


Having tools like these that content creators need readily available keeps content velocity high. It also eliminates the need to upload multiple versions of the same image for different use-cases. That’s why dotCMS continues to improve the image editor in each release. dotCMS 5.2, for example, included additional support for WebP and animated GIFs.

Integration With External DAM Systems

The ability to leverage external assets within dotCMS is critical to avoiding data silos — lost or hidden digital assets. Many digital experience platforms struggle to share data amongst different systems, and this makes it challenging for marketers to find the content and media they need. A seamless digital experience platform is crucial for maximizing the ROI of content, digital assets, and the overall digital marketing effort.

That’s why dotCMS has put a tremendous focus on interoperability and the best of breed approach to building a DXP. The CMS can easily integrate with a variety of DAM systems using APIs or OSGi so marketers can gain a holistic view of their digital assets and content from a single interface. dotCMS users have already had successful integrations with Widen, Bynder, Nuxeo, and many other DAM solutions. Marketers, therefore, are able to work with and manipulate external digital assets the same as if the files were stored within the dotCMS repository itself.

Digital Assets Fuel Digital Experiences

There’s no question that publishing audiovisual content drives engagement and conversions. The problem is that digital assets like videos and images are often expensive to create and maintain. That’s why enterprises should leverage the DAM capabilities of dotCMS to deliver highly compelling digital experiences to their customers at a lower cost. Improve the ROI of your organizations' digital marketing efforts by combining digital asset and content management within one seamless platform.

If you want to learn more about digital asset management with dotCMS, see our DAM product brief.

Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer
January 08, 2020

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