Open source digital asset management is an adaptable, software-based means of archiving and cataloging digital files such as photos, movies, and documents. Basically any electronic file can be considered a “digital asset.” As more and more work is completed and managed online, digital assets are quickly becoming valuable commodities for businesses and individuals alike. Open source software is software that is based on a common, free code. Anyone can take open source, modify it, and use it without having to purchase or license a software package.
Digital assets like photos and files are often important company assets and business assets that need to be preserved and stored. Digital files can take up a lot of space on corporate hard drives, and without an effective organizational scheme, they can quickly become difficult to locate and use. Asset management is a means through which digital files can be sorted and made available.
There is a plethora of commercial digital asset management programs available on the market, ranging from software packages to Web design suites. These programs generally come at a wide range of price points, and offer various levels of asset protection. Some simply provide an organizational scheme, while others offer both organization and file security. For valuable digital assets like copyrights and patents, more security is usually desirable.
Open source digital asset management programs give content owners more flexibility in the design and protections available. Open source programs are based on a central, freely-available code. Developers can take that code and adapt it however they want. An open source digital asset management program is thus little more than a program that is built around that free code. These types of programs are generally more unique and innovative than the programs available to the mass market, but they also take a lot more time and know-how to develop.
Some developers will create open source digital asset management software for a single use: either for one person or one company. These types of programs often contain special copyright management or patent management features, and can be optimized to enhance a specific need in business productivity. They can contain different portals for different types of assets, and can innovate new ways of storing and archiving a wide variety of intellectual property.
Other open source digital asset management systems are designed for a wider audience, and are often considered more like works in progress than finished programs. One of the most attractive features of open source is its open and free accessibility. One developer can build a program like a digital asset management program, and can share it with others. Those others can add to it and adapt it, and they can pass it on to their clients and consumers, who can also make changes. The end result is often a growing, thriving system that is constantly evolving.