Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database

Started Feb 20, 2013 | Questions
porterpath
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Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
Feb 20, 2013

this setup would be for a pathology lab.  There is a central server for the hospital which images are stored on.  There are two canon T3i's and 15 microscopes with digital cameras that all can save to the networked drive.  We have nothing set in stone yet, but I plan to have Lightroom on the two computers attached to the canon T3i's for 'live view' tethered photos of gross (anatomic) images.  These would be tagged with the cases number (assigned ahead of time), the date, and the tissue type (colon, breast, soft tissue).  We could just use the canon software, but the most critical part is that it do live view via tether.  The microscopes have a software I have no control of, and they are not capable of tagging photos in that software, only taking them and saving them to the shared drive.  The goal is to have a large database of gross and microscopic images that are easily tagged (organ, tissue, diagnosis, comments) and easily searched.

So I am looking for a DAM that can be installed on multiple computers and keep the database on a network drive of the hospital.  The DAM should be able to scan for files from lightroom/other software from the two canons as well as the images from the microscopes.  I would hope that the DAM would scrape the tags from lightroom, but its a moot point with the microscopes.

I guess something like extensis portfolio would be what I'm after, but its beyond my price range to recommend, as this wouldn't fall into the departments capital budget. And this is new to me, so I can't solidly recommend something I know nothing about.

Something like LR on each computer could work if only there was a central database.  An alternative would be one computer that edited tags (one computer with lightroom/other software) and then the remaining computers had search capabilities with a 2nd piece of software.  I've considered something like google Picasa (it'd be great) but I'm afraid of the bandwidth.

I'm restricted in that I'm not making the financial decisions and we have an IT department that takes 3 weeks to do anything, so 3 tiers of software to accomplish this would take the IT people more than 1 month to sort out before I'm even allowed to have the software installed and tested.  Hopefully this all makes sense.  I'd truly appreciate answers.

ty.

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Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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digital ed
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Feb 20, 2013

porterpath wrote:

this setup would be for a pathology lab. There is a central server for the hospital which images are stored on. There are two canon T3i's and 15 microscopes with digital cameras that all can save to the networked drive. We have nothing set in stone yet, but I plan to have Lightroom on the two computers attached to the canon T3i's for 'live view' tethered photos of gross (anatomic) images. These would be tagged with the cases number (assigned ahead of time), the date, and the tissue type (colon, breast, soft tissue). We could just use the canon software, but the most critical part is that it do live view via tether. The microscopes have a software I have no control of, and they are not capable of tagging photos in that software, only taking them and saving them to the shared drive. The goal is to have a large database of gross and microscopic images that are easily tagged (organ, tissue, diagnosis, comments) and easily searched.

So I am looking for a DAM that can be installed on multiple computers and keep the database on a network drive of the hospital. The DAM should be able to scan for files from lightroom/other software from the two canons as well as the images from the microscopes. I would hope that the DAM would scrape the tags from lightroom, but its a moot point with the microscopes.

I guess something like extensis portfolio would be what I'm after, but its beyond my price range to recommend, as this wouldn't fall into the departments capital budget. And this is new to me, so I can't solidly recommend something I know nothing about.

Something like LR on each computer could work if only there was a central database. An alternative would be one computer that edited tags (one computer with lightroom/other software) and then the remaining computers had search capabilities with a 2nd piece of software. I've considered something like google Picasa (it'd be great) but I'm afraid of the bandwidth.

I'm restricted in that I'm not making the financial decisions and we have an IT department that takes 3 weeks to do anything, so 3 tiers of software to accomplish this would take the IT people more than 1 month to sort out before I'm even allowed to have the software installed and tested. Hopefully this all makes sense. I'd truly appreciate answers.

ty.

Seriously consider Extensis Portfolio. I use it for all forms of assets to be managed. This is a general DAM that is also extremely useful for photos. The link is for the server version.

Extensis Portfolio

LightRoom will fall apart in your application with a central DB used by remote users.

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porterpath
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to digital ed, Feb 20, 2013

digital ed wrote:

Seriously consider Extensis Portfolio. I use it for all forms of assets to be managed. This is a general DAM that is also extremely useful for photos. The link is for the server version.

Extensis Portfolio

LightRoom will fall apart in your application with a central DB used by remote users.

Hi ed,

I don't want to use LR as a central DB, I know it will mess up , I only intend to use it or something similar to it for the tethered camera on the front end.  Most of the metadata tagging will be done later on.  Like I said, if Picasa could sync to our server instead of the web, that would be great for our use.

We may have more than 3 users accessing it.  is it all web based or does it limit it to 3 desktop client installs? We'd have 20+ people occasionally accessing it, and then we'd typically have one of the two cameras always on as we take photos regularly through the day (so preferably always accessing extensis).  That would leave two users access privileges?

I guess I'll try installing on my home computer and calling their sales team to find out more.

thanks for your input

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Tom-C
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Feb 20, 2013

Take a look at Daminion. It comes in two versions: with or without a central database. I use the standalone version and am happy with it.

Tom

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digital ed
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Feb 20, 2013

porterpath wrote:

digital ed wrote:

Seriously consider Extensis Portfolio. I use it for all forms of assets to be managed. This is a general DAM that is also extremely useful for photos. The link is for the server version.

Extensis Portfolio

LightRoom will fall apart in your application with a central DB used by remote users.

Hi ed,

I don't want to use LR as a central DB, I know it will mess up , I only intend to use it or something similar to it for the tethered camera on the front end. Most of the metadata tagging will be done later on. Like I said, if Picasa could sync to our server instead of the web, that would be great for our use.

We may have more than 3 users accessing it. is it all web based or does it limit it to 3 desktop client installs? We'd have 20+ people occasionally accessing it, and then we'd typically have one of the two cameras always on as we take photos regularly through the day (so preferably always accessing extensis). That would leave two users access privileges?

I guess I'll try installing on my home computer and calling their sales team to find out more.

thanks for your input

The link is for the server version. I use the standalone on my home network (7 online computers). I am sure the server version is set up for many simultaneous users as it is a professional DAM for large organizations. You will find it is not cheap but the support provided is right up there with the price. The best thing to do if you are interested is to contact them and have them help you decide if it is appropriate for your organization.

If you are going to try a trial version I suggest that for your home computer you try the stand alone version to get a good idea of what it can do. There is a learning curve so if it looks appropriate take some effort to understand its significant advantages for all types of digital assets.

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porterpath
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to Tom-C, Feb 20, 2013

Hi Tom, thanks for your reply. Besides the cost (wow way cheaper than portfolio), do you know of any advantages to it.  Have you got to use other DAM software?

We will need it centralized with an ability to scan folders to add to the database.  I've just installed and played with both, and they both seem equal as far as tagging capabilities.  Daminion is not even at v1.0 so definitely fledgling software, whereas extensis is on their 10th.  Not saying thats a deal breaker.  But I agree.  The standalone is very nice.

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Tom-C
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Feb 23, 2013

No, I don't have any experience with other DAM software, at least not enough to make any comparisons.

When I initially told it to scan my photo directory structure, it crashed part way through. Apparently giving it more than 60,000 files to scan at once was beyond some limit, or perhaps just a bug. So I split it up by telling it to scan a few subdirectories at a time. Once past that it now will do a rescan of everything with no problem.

As you say, it is still fairly new. They seem to be doing releases quite often to fix bugs and add features. For my limited use, I haven't seen any problems other than the inability to scan all my files at once.

Their server version certainly looks like it would be useful for your situation.

Tom

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calson
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Feb 27, 2013

Extensis is the best for what you want to do. It is not a set it and forget as you will need to train and monitor everyone to insure that they actually make the change and don't have multiple sets of files on the database and on their personal computers as well. It is not cheap but you can use the price as a hammer to help force compliance.

I would start with one department and work out the kinks before expanding it throuughout the hospital and get a key manager as the project sponsor and champion.

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FrankieJ
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Mar 3, 2013

LR4 will NOT do Live View Shooting. It WILL do tethered shooting BUT with NO live view preview BEFORE the image is shot. In LR you can ONLY view the images AFTER they are in your image folder. What you want to use for tethered shooting is the free EOS utilities software included on the software CD that comes with every Canon DSLR purchase.

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K-Murat
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to porterpath, Mar 28, 2013

Greetings,

Sorry for the late response. I am co-founder of the Daminion company. Inspite the fact that Daminion doesn't have a release version yet I must argue that:

  • We are on the photo management software market since 2002. Our PicaJet was the first standalone photo organizer with 3D acceleration support and non-destructive editing.
  • We are developing Daminion Server since 2008 (started 5 years ago) and it publicly available on the marker since April, 2010 (3 years ago).
  • Daminion 1.0 RC1 version is now available for download and testing in our forum and will be available publicly on the next week.
  • I'd be glad to answer to all your questions here or on our forum and highlight you Daminion's benefits. Some of them are:
  • Daminion Server is TRUE multi-user server-based photo management software at an affordable price.
  • Focus in cataloging without fancy editing or publishing capabilities.
  • No administrator skills are required to install and start using Daminion.
  • Thanks to IPTC/XMP metadata support, existing image annotations are imported automatically into Daminion.
  • Support for more than 100 media formats (including vector images, Microsoft Office formats, audio, etc...)
  • Can write and update metadata even in Camera RAW images
  • Support a lot of hierarchical tags, not keywords only
  • Can be used in conjuction with Lightroom (LR for editing, Daminion for image cataloging with multi-user access)
  • etc...

Murat

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LongTimeNikonUser
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to K-Murat, 11 months ago

K-Murat wrote:

Greetings,

Sorry for the late response. I am co-founder of the Daminion company. Inspite the fact that Daminion doesn't have a release version yet I must argue that:

  • Thanks to IPTC/XMP metadata support, existing image annotations are imported automatically into Daminion.
  • Support for more than 100 media formats (including vector images, Microsoft Office formats, audio, etc...)
  • Can write and update metadata even in Camera RAW images
  • Support a lot of hierarchical tags, not keywords only

Murat

Murat,

I'm searching for a single-user DAM that can support XMP custom panel extensions.  At one time, I was going to use IDImager, but that product has been discontinued.  Can your product support extensions?  Create?  Edit?  Sort?  Any important limits?

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LongTimeNikonUser

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rbl
rbl
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to LongTimeNikonUser, 11 months ago

You might like to look at Photo Supreme...  It evolved from Idimager, and the creator has just come out with a SQL version that should fit the multiuser application requested by the OP.

Dick

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Cliff Fujii
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to K-Murat, 11 months ago

Murat,

I didn't notice support for the Nikon D800 and D600.  Are you saying that the software will pick the data from IPTC and EXIF and place it in the DB?

Is there a migration path from the standalone version to the server version?

Whose DB do you use (SQL Server, Oracle, Pervasive, etc)?

Can it be queried by externals tools like Toad?

Does the standalone and server version have face recognition ability?

Does your server version run on Windows 2008R2?

Will it work with Nikon Capture NX2?  Photoshop CS6? Nikon View NX2?

Will that standalone version allow the images to be stored on a server share?

Will the software allow the storage of the primary Nikon RAW file to be stored on the local workstation while the backup Nikon RAW file to be stored on the server?

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Cliff

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K-Murat
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Re: Can anyone recommend a DAM with a centralized database
In reply to Cliff Fujii, 7 months ago

Hi Cliff,

I am sorry for the delay with answer, I didn't receive notification about replies to this thread so didn't have a chance to post my response here. Please find my answers to your questions below:

I didn't notice support for the Nikon D800 and D600. Are you saying that the software will pick the data from IPTC and EXIF and place it in the DB?

Yep, exactly. During the import Daminion extracts metadata from EXIF/IPTC/XMP and native format specific metadata from different other formats like PDF, Audio, MSOffice, sort, group and put them into the database (local or shared catalogs)

Is there a migration path from the standalone version to the server version?

It's easy to migrate from the Daminion Standalone to the Daminion Server catalogs. You can do this by two ways:

1. Via metadata. Turn On the "Auto-Sync" option, and all your tags will be saved into the image metadata.

All your tags will be automatically retrieved from images after their importing to a Daminion Server catalog. This works for JPEG, TIFF, PNGm, Camera RAW images and some other formats that supports storing metadata

2. Via "Item > Move To" option. Open Standalone and Shared catalogs as two separate tabs. Select images in the Standalone catalog tab, right click and navigate to the Move To > "Your Shared Catalog" option. Works for all media formats.

Whose DB do you use (SQL Server, Oracle, Pervasive, etc)?

We use SQLite for local catalog and PostgreSQL for server-based catalogs. Both are free, open-source, well-known, widely adopted, fast and very reliably SQL engines.

Can it be queried by externals tools like Toad?

Yep. But you need to manually handle the query results. However Daminion Server allows you to retrieve information via REST API.

Does the standalone and server version have face recognition ability?

Not yet, but we can import faces from XMP/MWG Regions in the latest Daminion 3.0 version. For example, you can use Picasa to assign faces to your images and then invoke "Help > Experimental > Write Tags to XMP" option and then Daminion can retrieve faces from your images automatically or manually.

Does your server version run on Windows 2008R2?

Yep. Daminion runs on Windows 2008R2.

Will it work with Nikon Capture NX2? Photoshop CS6? Nikon View NX2?

You can easily exchange tags between Capture/View NX and Daminion, including Color Labels and Rating. Even in spite the fact that Nikon developers store Rating in IPTC:Urgently!

Will that standalone version allow the images to be stored on a server share?

Yep. Your images can be stored on a network locations or a NAS, while actual local catalog will be stored on your local PC.

Will the software allow the storage of the primary Nikon RAW file to be stored on the local workstation while the backup Nikon RAW file to be stored on the server?

In the next major Daminion update we'll add an option to automatically backup imported images.

But we don't plan to establish connection between the original and RAW backup versions, because the last one will not be indexed. But probably we could store the backup path to a special tag of the original file. Why not?

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