Digital Asset Management for the Adventist Church

Digital Asset Management April 19, 2018

Every communicator uses pictures, whether they come from a phone, a high-end DSLR camera system or something in between. But what happens to the pictures that you shoot? For many people, a few get used and the rest never see the light of day. For some, they go on to a photo gallery website that others can enjoy and use as well. When it comes to covering news, pictures are critical, but in the Adventist church, news related pictures can be hard to find.

The Adventist church is in the process of procuring a Digital Asset Management system, but we would like to get wider feedback before moving forward. This system would be a centrally managed service that would collect photos of news-worthy events, organization’s leaders, pictures of church buildings. Really, any kind of photography that is needed to communicate the work and mission of the church.

What is a Digital Asset Management system?

A Digital Asset Management system, or DAM for short, is software that indexes and helps to manage and organize a collection of digital assets. This includes photography, but can also include video, audio, illustrations, logos, and PDFs. In our informal survey of what is used in the church, we found a variety of systems in use, from fully implemented DAM systems like the Adventist Digital Asset Management System (ADAMS) in Norway, to Flickr accounts, to Dropbox folders. While all of these are filling a need, we feel it would be useful to find something that could serve all our organization’s needs.

Moving Forward

For the past several months, we have been meeting with several departments and organizations at the General Conference to assess the needs and find a solution that will work for us. At this point, we felt it was time to bring in feedback from a wider group of people. A few more details will be coming below, but to start with, here is our proposed schedule:

  • May 21, 2018: Public feedback and product recommendation deadline. Evaluation begins.
  • May 28, 2018: Committee will publish a report of the feedback received and a comparison of the available products.
  • June 2018: Schedule demos for the top 3-5 products. Each demo will be recorded for future review.
  • July 2018: During the month of July, we will set up trials of the top two options, as well as review the technology and API’s of the top products. We will be actively soliciting feedback on the products during this month.
  • August, 2018: Final decision made.

The Details

Over the last few months, we have collected a list of features that we feel are important in the system. Please fill out the survey to rate their importance to you.

While there are many features that any selected system will need to have, there are a few that rate fairly high for this selection process.

  • Cost-per-user: Any system that we choose to adopt as a church will need to be something that can scale globally. While there are many amazing software packages available, the user licensing costs can be prohibitive on some of them.
  • API: Part of the reason that a system like this is so powerful is being able to integrate it into our existing software for content management. Without a good API (Application Programming Interface) this won’t be useful.

Software We Have Reviewed

We have started looking at and reviewing some existing software products that we are aware of that might fit the feature list.

We have also been reviewing some software products that we are aware of. Those include the following:

Do you know of a product we that is missing from our list? Please use this form to help us match that product to our feature list.

Please Share This!

We would love as much feedback and input as possible. Know someone who cares about this? Please send this post to them and encourage them to share their feedback.


  • | April 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I am happy for this. Been checking on this myself. Someone recently suggested Laserfiche as an option. Though it mainly used for documents, it can be extended for media content.

  • | April 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Some other options to consider:

  • | April 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Brent, it’s a great development for our church. Shared and will add it to my website home page later today!

  • | April 19, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    If I understand this correctly, can this service be used are an Archive for historical data in the church… pics of ecumenical events throughout the years of a church’s life?

    • | April 19, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      Yes, Shilda. It could certainly that way.

  • | April 20, 2018 at 3:32 am

    How do you ensure people have obtained approval of those people in the pics?

    • | April 20, 2018 at 6:48 am

      That’s a good question. In many cases it’s no different then how there is any proof of approval on a place like Flickr or even Facebook. With a centralized platform, there are ways to deal with photographers, and the pictures, if there is a problem.

    • | April 20, 2018 at 6:52 am

      I would say quite a few churches don’t have any procedures in place for it. So as part of this, it would be helpful to have some guidelines for getting clearance of people for their photos. Printing a statement in their bulletins, on their websites, etc … then perhaps a check-box for people that upload to say they have permission to share the pictures of people.

  • | June 4, 2018 at 4:42 am

    Quality control is also important. One of the issues I have is the plethora of poor quality photos that people expect us to gratefully publish! On some websites I use they will automatically scan a photo and reject it if it does not fit some criteria. You may want to consider this as well.

    • | June 12, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Great thoughts to consider, Victor. Definitely something we are keeping in mind.

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