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Digital Asset Management vs Dropbox - What's the difference?

By Radmila Milenkovich on August 5, 2020

What are the differences and similarities between digital asset management and Dropbox? Sometimes Dropbox can do the job perfectly fine until it becomes a source of frustration. Why should you invest in a Digital Asset Management system when you are using Dropbox?

A digital asset management system like FotoWare is a place to store your valuable files in the cloud or your own servers, and organize them in such a way that your co-workers can find them without your help. Your files become assets as you add metadata — descriptive data about the file. With proper tagging, the assets can be found, shared, and reused when you need them again.

Dropbox delivers a storage and sharing system to individuals and businesses for exchanging data. Accessing, storing, and retrieving files using the platform powered with cloud technology can be done using any device.

An important distinguishing factor of DAM is how you can add metadata to your files to make them easier to find, both for you and those you work with. You won't have to remember filenames or precisely where you put them. 

Benefits of DAM

  1. DAM has the key benefit of easy access to digital assets. It makes it easy to find, access, retrieve, and use all digital assets from one single source. A variety of parameters, such as descriptions, tags, and taxonomies allow you to search for a file independently of its naming convention or the folder it is stored in. Metadata can be added so that files can later be searched for and retrieved easily. The DAM ensures that all files are indexed and that all file types are previewable in the browser regardless of file format.

  2. You can use FotoWare's bespoke plugin to add images or graphics to a PowerPoint presentation you're working on and rest assured that the graphics you choose are approved for use, or you can open and edit a file from FotoWare within Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for example. With plugins and an open API, you can integrate and connect with almost any other tool, including Microsoft 365!

  3. Digital Asset Management tools, like FotoWare, allow you to share and collaborate on assets. Share assets with colleagues or external parties and control their access levels easily. Share assets and let your collaboration partner make annotations (visual markup and comments) within the asset. For example, if you are working on a creative project where visuals play an important part, and you want feedback on a graphic file, such as logos or Social Media imagery.

  4. Boost efficiency with automated tasks and processes: With a DAM system, you can be more productive when being creative. In FotoWare, features such as crop and download mean you can easily find assets and quickly download them in the size and the file format you require for a certain use. You can even create presets, making it even quicker to get the assets you require.


Benefits of Dropbox

  1. The main benefit of Dropbox is the capabilities of simple storage and sharing. Hosted in the cloud, Dropbox does not require complex set up or timely installations. You can download the application on your preferred device. It is a standard setup with no customization.

  2. Teams can edit files as a group, communicate and discuss changes at minimal to no cost. Once you have decided to edit a file that is available in Dropbox, everyone with the right credentials will be able to see it and will receive an instant notification when a change has been made.

  3. Dropbox automatically backs up camera photos from your computer or mobile device. It will store all albums and images chronologically, back them up, and help you find them whenever you need them. In case you have deleted them from the system by mistake, you will always have the opportunity to re-download them from Dropbox, with a 30 day undo history.


What are the main differences between DAM and Dropbox?

  • In Dropbox, the user is the owner of a file, whereas DAM is a central, common space. This means that content created by a user remains in the DAM even if the user leaves the organisation. In DAM, content is not tied to users.

  • Using FotoWare DAM, you can add metadata to your file so that you and other teammates can find the wanted file even without knowing the precise filename. For example, you can add tags such as “nature” to your picture of a forest so that when you try to find the picture lateryou can just simply search for the words that spring to mind, and FotoWare will display the results. Needless to say, having a set of tagging conventions helps people to know how to tag content and what they can search for.

  • Dropbox supports standard image formats and is plug-and-play, while a DAM system supports a multitude of file types and can be tailored and customized to the way your organization works. 

  • With DAM, you can create public archives for the press or share individual collections externally. This way, anyone can access your files. On the other hand, Dropbox is a sharing and collaboration tool, rather than a public display.

  • In Dropbox, your information may be deleted if your account is inactive; a DAM will never delete content, as it is not tied to individual users.

  • Dropbox starts at 12 euro per month for one user, whereas FotoWare starts at 66 euro per month for 11 users. 

While Dropbox is a file storage and sharing tool, with a DAM you can create tailored workflows and automations that integrate with the way your business works with digital assets. Both FotoWare and Dropbox have free trials available.

New to Digital Asset Management? Start a 14-day free trial for FotoWare, no credit card required at sign up.