If you’re looking into digital asset management (DAM) for your company, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter all kinds of jargon. ‘Metadata’, ‘taxonomy’ and even ‘asset’ – they’re all very useful terms, but they’re absolutely useless if you don’t know what they mean.

At iBase, we don’t want you to miss out on the benefits of DAM because you’ve been alienated by a few nonsensical terms. Read on for our jargon-busting glossary of key DAM terminology.


A digital asset is any file that has specific rights with regards to who can use it. It could be a graphic file, such as a logo, that’s used exclusively by your company; an image you have bought shared rights to use; or a ‘how to’ text file that’s reserved for a specific team in your business, for example.


A cloud-based DAM system is hosted on external servers – either those of your provider, or their own external servers from a third-party provider. It means you get everything you need in one package, with no internal requirements on your end.


This is the process of introducing the DAM system to your business and day-to-day operations. It requires some planning to get all of your assets over from the old system while maintaining effective organisation that will be crucial going forward.


A lightbox is a group of assets which can be shared or downloaded as one. They’re often compared to a ‘shopping cart’ for your DAM system, allowing you to create specific sets of assets for a given project.


Metadata is the information that’s tagged to each digital asset to describe it and categorise it within your DAM system. Metadata tags can be anything from the creator of the file and its type to a description of the file and its purpose. That also includes keywords which could be used to search for the files.


In contrast to cloud-based DAM systems, on-premises DAM is hosted on your own internal servers. It provides the same software you get with a DAM but requires you to manage set up and maintain servers with enough storage space for your business.


A taxonomy is a hierarchical structure of categories and metadata which organise your DAM. It’s needs to be well planned, making it easier for users to retrieve the files they need and store new assets in line with the taxonomy.


This is a popular feature of DAM, given the nature of the system. It allows you to add a translucent logo to your assets, protecting them from reuse by other companies. That way, you can share mock-up assets with other companies during the creation process with zero risk.

Need any more help?

Hopefully, our guide to DAM jargon will make it much easier to find the right DAM system for you. However, if you need any more help, the team at iBase are always on hand. Get in touch for a more in-depth chat about your requirements.

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