Getting started with Digital Asset Management can be tricky. This is why we prepared a list of Digital Asset Management terms to help you out. You can choose between English, German and French versions of the FotoWare dictionary.





What we call workflows at FotoWare. An action can consist of several operations that are performed on one or more assets, including e.g. image processing and transfer to a destination.


A directory service used to manage users and groups in an organization. FotoWare can connect to an existing active directory to import users and groups and offer single sign-on functionality.

Active Directory Federation Services

A software component from Microsoft which provides an interface that facilitates single sign-on using protocols that work across the internet.  ADFS integrates with Active Directory Domain Services and uses it as an identity provider (i.e. where their user account data is stored).

FotoWeb users can be authenticated against an ADFS server - FotoWeb then communicates with the ADFS server using the SAML 2.0 protocol.

A user interface that enables the creation of complex search queries without having to know how the search syntax works.


Advanced search

A collection of assets that originate in one or more archives. Albums can be easily shared and used for collaborative purposes, e.g. when working on a certain project.




Amazon Web Services - Amazon's cloud computing platform. A FotoWare server can be purchased and deployed on a virtual machine on Amazon or the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to allow you to set up a FotoWare system rusing regular on-premise licensing.


Amazon AWS

The process of adding visual markers and comments on an asset - for instance to highlight an area in a picture and a comment to what you're seeing. An important feature of Evidence management.


Application Programming Interface.

A programmatic interface to an application (a computer program) that lets programmers write software that sends data into or gets data out of the application. API's are what makes different computer programs able to speak together even if they were made by different people and may "speak" different languages.


FotoWare has an extensive API that makes it possible to integrate it with just about any other software that it would make sense to integrate with.

A container for assets. Think of Archives as the folders on your computer where you would normally store files. When you upload assets, they are stored in an archive. You can then pick out a selection of those assets and share them with someone using an album. 



Article 7 of the GDPR sets out four conditions of consent, outlining what is required by the data controller when obtaining consent, as well as how they should collect it, and what rights the data subject has. Consent must be:

(1) Demonstrable
(2) Distinguishable and Accessible
(3) Able to be withdrawn
(4) Not conditional unless necessary

Section (3) also known as the 'Right to Withdrawal' is especially important when handling images. To learn about it in more detail, read this blog post.

The Right to Access ensures that all data subjects have the right to obtain confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed, and where that is the case, access to the personal data together with additional information regarding use and storage.

This means that any user can request to get a copy of their processed personal data as well as other supplementary information upon request.

For more detailed information on Article 15 and to see how FotoWare can help you to comply with it, read this article

Sometimes also referred to as the 'Right to be Forgotten’, this is the right of a data subject to request that an organization erases all their personal data.

To learn more about Article 17 and the challenge it presents to organizations with their handling of images of employees and others, read this blog post

Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" (AI) is applied when a machine mimics "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving".

With the advent of the "Internet of Things", AI can for instance be used to control features in your car by voice commands or to play specific songs or playlists on your home stereo. Only time can tell what we'll be using AI for in the long run - it's exciting times!

When a file is added to your DAM and gets metadata associated with it, it becomes an asset.

That's because the associated metadata makes it possible to organize the file logically in such a way that users can easily find and use it. In the world of Digital Asset Management, that added value qualifies it as an asset.

Remember that the more metadata you associate with a file, the more options you have to facilitate its discovery and realizing its potential.



The process performed by an archive manager (Editor) by which uploaded assets are approved and published so that they become available to users (consumers) of the content in the archives. Before an asset is approved, it can only be seen and used by an archive manager. An approved asset can also be revoked, for example in the event that a logo is phased out in favor of a new version.


asset approval

The use of artificial intelligence to detect what's in a picture and add descriptive tags accordingly. Not 100% accurate but can be a very good supplement to manual tagging.


auto tagging



Basic info about the asset such as description, keywords, people, uploaded by and upload time. 

Use FotoWare to quickly apply or edit metadata to several fields in a single operation! When uploading a batch of files for the same project, tag them with a project code, or add basic keywords or a description that's applied to all files.



Information about the recording that the camera stores in the picture (such as flash, exposure time, aperture etc). This is often referred to as Exif data.


Camera Details

A (typically virtual) server that runs in a data center somewhere in the world (See "Data Center"). A single instance can run several FotoWare tenants (=sites - see Tenant).


Cloud Instance

Cloud-sync products are centered around users, and their collections of files. By default, when you save something into your sync folder, it stays private. You can choose to put it into a shared folder, or sending individual share emails to that file when you want to override the system's default.

A unique FotoWare site (such as yours). A Cloud Instance can power several tenants, and each tenant has its own host name and unique configuration.


Cloud Tenant

Content Management System - a fancy name for the software that typically powers a website. WordPress, Drupal, and EPiServer are examples of Content Management Systems.

A color space is a model that describes the range of colors as tuples of numbers, typically as 3 or 4 values or color components (e.g. RGB). A computer screen use Red Green and Blue to render content, while material that is printed, has to be reproduced using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. FotoWare lets users convert color spaces so that the reproduction on print accurately represents what the user saw on the screen in a different color space.


Color Space

One of the user roles in FotoWare, a consumer is a user who needs to find and use content that is stored in FotoWare. Unlike editors and managers, they're not able to change how content is organized, labelled or tagged, but have the ability to navigate and search to find, download or othewise use the content that's been approved for use by the DAM Editors.



A Contributor is a Consumer who has been given additional access to upload new content to FotoWare, adding basic descriptive metadata in the process. Typically an Editor will have to approve the uploaded assets before they're made available to all consumers on the site.



Cascading Style Sheets - Code to style your site, so that it can be made to match your corporate profile. With the right level of access you can modify the CSS of your site to incorporate colors and elements that distinctly identify your FotoWare as part of your overall brand. 


Find out why making use of customizations can have such a crucial impact for your brand and ensure a comfortable and trustworthy user experience.
Top 5 Digital Asset Management Customizations... and Why it's Important for Your Brand!

Top 5 Customizations blog post (3)


The process of reducing a large number of assets to a smaller by removing (culling) the ones that aren't up to the mark. Similar to how a photographer used a light table in the past, where he kept his best shots and discarded the bad ones.

A feature that lets a user export a picture or a video from the DAM to a CMS. The process often involves cropping the asset and choosing a new size, and upon export, a permalink is created from which the CMS obtains it.



Someone else's server room, so you don't have to have your own. FotoWare can run in a data center of your choice, in Europe, in the US or in Asia.


Data Center

Deprecation is the discouragement of use of some terminology, feature, design, or practice, typically because it has been superseded or is no longer considered efficient or safe, without completely removing it or prohibiting its use.

At FotoWare, we give notice of deprecated features when new technology is available that is safer, faster and more reliable. For example, we may deprecate certain methods in our API - that does not mean that you have to stop using them straight away, but that you should consider migrating your projects to use the newer methods. So a deprecation notice is a way of saying "Hey, this is old-school, you should be using this new technology instead". The old methods will still work, we're just saying there's a better way to get the job done that's future-proof.

A digital asset is any file that has value to people in your business. It can be a document, a logo, a picture, a spreadsheet or any other file that adds value to the business. In FotoWare we like to think that you add value to your assets by adding metadata to them in such a way that they can be organized and found easily by anyone in the company that needs the information in the assets.

The business process of organizing, storing and retrieving rich media and managing digital rights and permissions.

OK, we know that sounds awfully dry, so how about this:

Digital Asset Management gives you a single place to store your valuable files and organize them in such a way that your coworkers don't need your help to find them. By adding metadata to the files, you make them assets – their value increases since they can be found and reused when you need them again.

You can share important files, such as logos and graphics that you frequently need access to, and control which users have access to the system. By employing a set of metadata rules, you can make sure that all assets have sufficient information in them to be found and used later.

Remember: A file without metadata is just a file. A file with metadata has intrinsic value: it becomes an asset!

A key feature of DAM is the ability to integrate with other systems to allow convenient repurposing of the assets: for instance, an integration with a CMS to allow you to use your content on your corporate website, while the assets themselves reside safely in your DAM.

Software that offers emergency services (typically police) the tools they need to securely store and manage digital assets used in crime investigation and by prosecution services.



A user role in FotoWare. Editors can manage archives, add and edit metadata, run approval workflows and otherwise manage content in the system.



Assets that have been exported for use in an external system, such as a CMS. Technically speaking, it's a cached copy of the original asset that the CMS can obtain via a permalink.





A technique allowing users to explore a collection of information by applying multiple filters. FotoWare doesn't offer true faceted search, but taxonomies get you a long way.


Taxonomy - Faceted search-1

A file is any data entity you add to your DAM.

Explained simply, the term "file" is used about a container of data. It could be a document, a spreadsheet, a video clip, and so on.

Information about an asset - its creation date, modification time, size, etc.


file attribute

Another name for taxonomies - see Taxonomies.



FotoStation is a complete image management workstation for Windows/Mac. It can dramatically advance your workflows for organizing and processing large collections of photos. With FotoStation, you can quickly find what you’re looking for with selection and culling, easily tag and share your favorite files.

A FotoWare app for Episerver CMS that lets you insert media on your website directly from FotoWare. Crop and insert on the go, always have one correct version of a file and be confident that you are using approved assets only.

A suite of plugins that offers the following: 1) Plugin for searching for and placing content from FotoWare in Word and PowerPoint, 2) Extension to place content in InDesign layouts, 3) Mac and Windows utility for uploading new assets to your FotoWare, 4) Checkout/in functionality to let you work with assets in an associated application on your local Windows or Mac computer.



fotoweb desktop

An acronym for FotoWare Protocol - an IP-based communications protocol that enables our software components to speak with each other across the internet. FWPS is the encrypted version of FWP.





GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is an EU Regulation to enhance the protection of the personal data and increase the obligations on organizations who collect or process personal data. Being GDPR compliant means empowering individuals and giving them control over their personal data.

GDPR is all about ensuring that your personal data remain just that - yours! We take privacy seriously at FotoWare, and we build our systems with privacy in mind, so you don't have to worry.





A file system folder that is monitored by software so that files arriving in it can be processed. In the FotoWare ecosystem, hot folders are used extensively to power your workflows.

The stuff that makes integrators love FotoWare. Food for Code Ninjas!


hypermedia api



IaaS is a cloud-based service that provides servers, storage and networking resources. Major IaaS providers include Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Compute Engine. This service is great for IT administrators and those with the technical knowledge but don’t want to have to worry about the hardware. 

In simple terms, integration is about getting different systems to talk to each other.
It involves using industry-standard authentication and authorization mechanisms and API's so that the systems can "speak" the same language. This way, data can be shared between the systems. A typical integration in the case of FotoWare DAM is one that links it to a Content Management System.

See also: API, OAuth, CMS 

Information about a picture - its pixel size, resolution, print size, and more.


Image attributes

Photographers want to get paid for their work. Image Rights deals with how this is imposed. Several methods exist to add the photographer's copyright information and usage terms in the image and prevent unauthorized use: Images can be watermarked, digitally signed, or have a usage license applied, and/or copyright-related metadata can be added using industry standards.

Read more about why image rights and metadata are becoming mainstream, and what this means for you!

 Google IPTC article Cover

International Press Telecommunications Council. 

IPTC refers both to a consortium of press and media companies and the metadata standard that they defined in the early 1990's.
The IPTC metadata standard has since been superseded by XMP, but the properties of the IPTC Core specification are now translated to corresponding namespaces in the newer XMP standard.



Joint Photographic Experts Group

Probably the most ubiquitous format around today, and for good reason. Chances are if you're downloading pictures from an online source, they will be in JPEG format. They'll often show with the extension JPG, but this is for historical reasons - they first saw the light of day in the DOS era when files could only have a three-letter extension, hence JPG.

JPEG is a great format for many uses, but one thing that is often ignored is that it uses lossy compression to save space. While this has put some people off from using JPEG altogether, there's really no need to shy away from it: The JPEG format saves lots of space compared to uncompressed formats, and by choosing a medium to low level of compression you can easily find a good compromise between the spaced required to store it and the quality required to produce anything you'd like in the future.


Is a symbolic link to a directory that acts as an alias of that directory. For example, if you'd like to change the location of audio and video proxy files you can do that with Windows Server Junction points.



A standard metadata field in FotoWare that lets you add descriptive words to your assets. Most metadata-compliant software make use of the same keywords field so that they're interchangeable.





The last time someone edited the file or its info.

The boring stuff. You typically need a license to use a piece of software. And in the world of Digital Asset Management, we're no strangers to applying licences to our creative works that control how others may use them.



"Teaching" computers how to improve their performance on a specific task by feeding them algorithms and statistical models. As computers are able to process more data within a practical time frame, they can better make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to perform the task.

An example is chess computers that "learn" by being fed data from previous chess matches. With a large data set of historical matches and a purpose built processor, they can effectively "look miles ahead" and find the statistically best move.

Clever metadata operations that can be used to switch the state of one or more fields, for example to control access to assets. Macros can be triggered using Actions or by interactive (clickable) Markers.

Visual indicators on thumbnails and previews in FotoWare. Can be used to indicate an approval state (any metadata state in fact), and can be made interactive so that when a user clicks it the state can be changed.



A collective term for all the information about the assets in FotoWare.

Some metadata is extracted automatically from files (creation date, size etc) while other metadata is added by users, such as Title, Description and Keywords. 

If you want to learn more about the magic behind Metadata, watch this two-minute video!


A field that contains a specific type of metadata. Title, Description and Keywords are examples of standard fields that are included in the FotoWare system.


metadata field


A collection of metadata fields that can be assigned to an archive. That way, different archives can expose and allow users to edit different metadata fields.


metadata set


Microsoft's cloud computing platform. FotoWare uses technology in Microsoft Azure for our cloud offering, and with time we will be introducing lots of cool features based on what this platform can offer.


Microsoft Azure

Microsoft's cloud marketplace where you can purchase and deploy a FotoWare server and configure it as you see fit, using regular on-premise licensing. Similar to FotoWare on AWS.


Microsoft Azure Marketplace

An action that can be added for easy approval of use of images of employees or other people that shall represent your brand. 



 A standardized method for authorizing applications, such as an integration, to work with another system. So when building a third-party integration with FotoWare you would use OAuth.

OAuth logo stolen from Wikipedia



A link (URL) to an object in the FotoWare system. Assets have permalinks, as do albums and other objects in the system. Accessing a permalink may require the user to authenticate.



Product Information Management (PIM) integrates product data and information into one centralized system to optimize the product’s distribution across sales and marketing channels. All the product related data required to market and sell products are handled within the PIM system. If you have a variety of SKUs with a dynamic product range that is updated frequently, a PIM can help you to keep track of all the information to manage the products effectively.


Learn more about how DAM and PIM are different from each other! 

PIM vs DAM fb image-1

Just another word for favorites. FotoWare lets you pin favorite assets, favorite albums, favorite archives, favorite workflows - these are typically shown first in list views to make them more easily accessible.



An extension to a product. FotoWare makes plugins for Office that let you open a side panel in Word and PowerPoint to search for and place pictures directly onto a page or in a presentation, and an InDesign extension that lets you place assets in an InDesign layout.



A large rendition of an asset that's suitable for viewing on a screen, as opposed to a thumbnail, which is smaller and offers less detail.



Some of the content in your DAM may be intended for public use - a press archive, for example. Many of our customers use metadata and access control mechanisms in FotoWare to make part of their asset library available to the public this way - a public library, if you like.

The PNG format is a relatively new kid on the block, but with its support for transparency it's become a favorite among web publishers. Unlike JPEG it does not include compression, which makes file sizes somewhat larger, but this is rarely an issue with small web graphics in the high-speed broadband era.

Pros: Well suited for web use due to support for transparency.

Cons: No compression - larger file size than a JPEG of same size.



These can be assigned to an archive and allow a user to quickly request a predefined resized version of a picture with a single click.



Stars added to an asset to indicate its rating or usefulness. Users can perform a search and filter by top-rated assets to get more relevant content. The rating is a number stored in the rating metadata field.

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 12.42.16 (1)


A reproduction of an asset in another size or color mode that the original - FotoWare can e.g. deliver a smaller, web-friendly rendition of an asset to a CMS, while a user who downloads the asset gets a higher-quality rendition.



Storage area. For instance, in FotoWare each POOL is such a repository.



Software as a Service - the concept of delivering a software package as an internet-based service where the vendor takes care of infrastructure and software updates while the customer simply pays to use the service.

Security Assertion Markup Language

An open standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between parties, often referred to as the Identity Provider and the Service Provider.

With a FotoWare system set up to use SAML, FotoWare acts as the service provider that sends users' authentication data via the SAML 2.0 protocol to e.g. an ADFS server, which acts as the identity provider. When the identity of the user is validated, the user is logged in.

Search in a Directory is a search performed in metadata fields attached to the assets.

A system integrator works with connecting different systems to ensure that those systems function together.
FotoWare can be integrated with other systems using our API, and we have a network of partners who can assist in connecting FotoWare to pretty much any type of third party system.

Cropping of pictures based on artificial intelligence that will pick out the main object in the picture and crop it accordingly. No brain, no pain!


Smart cropping

A FotoWare feature that allows users to create clickable folders that execute an advanced custom search. This way, regular users can be given easy access to complex queries without having to understand how the search syntax works.


Smart folder

Single Sign-on. A combination of technologies that allows a user to sign on to his computer or web browser just once and gain access to a number of connected services that use the same authentication mechanism.



A piece of metadata. If you're an Instagram user, you're probably familiar with the concept of tags already, through the hashtags they use to identify concepts.
Typically, tags are short, descriptive keywords that are stored as metadata to describe an asset.
A picture of a dog, for example, may have descriptive tags such as furry, fluffy, cuddly, etc.

A FotoWare system supports both these short tags and longer descriptive metadata. So when you search for a particular word or phrase, FotoWare will search all the metadata that is stored in your entire collection of assets, even if that collection consists of millions of files.

Taxonomies, sometimes called filters, are classifications that help users find the content they're looking for visually. Instead of searching for content (search syntax can be hard to understand), users are presented with a navigable, structured list of terms that reflect the content of the archives.



A small representation of an asset in FotoWare. Thumbnails are useful for getting an overview of the content in an archive, and by clickking on it you can bring up a larger preview that offers greater detail.





The process by which a user who tries to get access to the system proves that he or she really is who he or she claims to be. Typically, this is accomplished with a username and password.
The process of creating or importing user accounts, assigning them to groups and assigning permissions to them.



A feature by which conceivably any number of iterations of an asset is stored, allowing a user to view and compare the different versions of an asset and, as necessary, restore a previous version.

Stills that are extracted from a video clip.


Video Key frames 



Simply put, a webhook is a clever way to be notified of system events. Here's how they work:

In FotoWare, several system and asset events can issue a webhook, a notification, which is sent via HTTP to a target system that you define.
That way, you can for example be notified when someone signs up for an account on your system, or when a new file is uploaded, modified, or deleted, and so on.

The webhook itself contains JSON data that is sent via HTTP to the receiving application, which can parse the information it receives and then do something with it. Several "middleware" web services exist that can be used to receive the webhook and send the pertinent information to a user system without requiring you to write a single line of code.

A ready-made HTML (web) interface created by FotoWare that can be called up from a system that integrates with FotoWare. For example, the Selection Widget is used to place pictures and videos from FotoWare into a CMS.

A workflow is a set of actions that can simplify tasks you regularly execute in your DAM system. For instance, with workflows you can:

  • identify the consent status and usage rights of assets
  • notify users about assets with missing metadata
  • send a request for an asset to be approved by specific users, and more!

Use Case: workflows can help you to stay GDPR compliant by using visual markers to show the consent status of images. For more information, read How Two of Norway’s Largest Enterprises Solved GDPR Challenges with Images.



The name of the format that's used to store metadata in your assets. It stands for Extensible Metadata Platform, but there's no reason you need to remember that...
Color Management is what makes pictures appear the same on your screen when you're working with them as they do on print.



Make FotoWare your own by branding it with your artwork, your logos, your privacy policy and terms of service so it all fits your corporate profile!


Lindex FotoWare



A web service that allows you to connect FotoWare to any number of cool web services and make amazing integrations. And you don't have to be a developer to use it!