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photools.com


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Vendor Details

Contact Name
Mario M. Westphal
Company Profile
Since 1998 photools.com has been developing software for managing digital images and other digital assets. IMatch has become the software of choice for amateur and professional photographers, photo agencies, librarians, archivists, graphic artists, scientists, insurance specialists, health-care, governmental and police users in over 60 countries.photools.com and IMatch are projects of Mario M. Westphal.

Contact Email
support@photools.com
Company Website
https://www.photools.com
Years Trading
16
Company Turnover Category
The turnover of the vendor can give an indication of their size. US Dollars is used as common currency to allow comparisons. Note that turnover is not necessarily any indicator of financial stability but as part of any procurement due diligence you are obliged to carry out by your organisation, any vendors who have not agreed to show their turnover here might be required to do so if subsequently appointed.
  • Up to $500k
  • Company Turnover
    This is the actual turnover of the vendor in US Dollars.
    1
    Percentage of Revenue From DAM Software
    A vendor might have a large turnover and many employees, but their DAM software division is a very small element of what they offer. If a large proportion of their revenue comes from DAM solutions (licenses, support, hosting, consulting etc) then this may mean they are more specialised, but also there are risks to their overall financial stability if there is a downturn in the DAM software market.
    50
    Number of Full-Time Employees
    Along with turnover, the number of full-time employees gives an indication of the size of the vendor. Note that although a firm might have many employees, not all of them might be dedicated to developing DAM solutions, so this cannot be relied on in isolation.
    1
    Office Locations
  • Usingen, Germany
  • Product Name
    IMatch
    Latest Version Number
    2021
    Date Of Last Release
    01/10/2021
    Documentation URL
    https://www.photools.com/help/imatch/
    User group URL
    https://www.photools.com/community/
    Trial download or sandbox link
    https://www.photools.com/download/
    Company Facebook URL
    https://www.facebook.com/photools
    Partner Network
    If the vendor operates through a sales channel they may use intermediaries who have regional focus or additional specialisms in a given vertical market.
  • No
  • Licensing

    Licensing Model
    This refers to the type of licence the DAM system software is supplied under. Proprietary means that the developer restricts access to the source code (the instructions used to generate the software). Open source means that the developer provides full access to the code so you can modify it yourself. Split model is hybrid and means they may offer both options with some restrictions removed (or added) depending on the model chosen. If split is selected, it is advisable to verify the differences with the vendor.
  • Proprietary
  • Use of Open Source Components
    Many DAM systems use freely available open source components to deliver key functionality. The products themselves may not be open source, however. This question will help to identify to what extent they are open source.
  • Some open source components used, but core product is not open source
  • Hosting

    Software Delivery Methods
  • Installed (On-Premise)
  • Technology

    Client
    Client refers to the type of hardware or software device that can be used to access or control the DAM system.
  • Web client
  • Desktop client
  • Server Operating Systems supported
    This only applies for installed or hybrid DAM systems and refers to what types of OS they can be run on. This question is less relevant for DAM systems where a third party will be hosting it for you.
  • Windows
  • Software Development Technologies Used
    This means the programming language or development technology used to implement the DAM system. This question is more important for open source software or if you have IT policy restrictions that require you to use (or not use) some technologies. It may not be relevant if you require a hosted DAM and never intend to host the system in-house.
  • .NET
  • C++
  • Database Technology
    The Database that the DAM system uses. All DAM systems require some kind of storage for asset metadata and they are usually based on an existing technology - but that may not always be a conventional database. If the DAM will be hosted by someone else (e.g. SaaS/Cloud) this question may not be relevant.
  • Proprietary
  • Search Technologies
    This refers to third party search components that the vendor uses to provide the text search features (and sometimes other related search functions).
  • Custom (developed in-house)
  • Service Oriented Architecture
    Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) means the vendor's product uses a modular architecture where each core DAM function is delivered as a service which can be separated out independently from other functions. It is important for large-scale Digital Asset Management implementations or more complex integration requirements.
  • No
  • Service Oriented Architecture Definition
    Some vendors have widely differing opinions of what Service Oriented Architecture means. Their response to this question allows you to understand if their definition concurs with your own. If you are not contemplating a large scale DAM implementation or one with many complex integration requirements, SOA may not be relevant to your needs.
    Not applicable.

    Microservices
    Microservices are similar in nature to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with the key difference being that they can be deployed entirely independently of the platform that uses them. Microservices are usually prevalent in Digital Asset Supply Chain projects.
  • No
  • Microservices Definition
    As with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) some vendors have different opinions of what microservices are. Their response to this question allows you to understand if their definition concurs with your own. If you are not contemplating a Digital Asset Supply Chain project, large scale DAM implementation or one with many complex integration requirements, microservices may not be relevant to your needs.
    Not applicable.

    Search

    Search Features
    This describes the search strategies that can be used to find assets. If you do not understand any of them, leave the options de-selected. Most DAM systems should support at least keyword search at a minimum.
  • Keyword
  • Auto-suggest
  • Folders
  • Filters
  • Other
  • Index/Search Text Content Of Documents
    Some DAM systems can search the text content of document assets and that might be important for your DAM solution.
  • Yes
  • Metadata

    Embedded metadata support (reading)
    Embedded metadata refers to information stored within asset files which can be searched from the DAM system. There are different standards for this type of metadata. Some image cataloguing software like Adobe Lightroom will write this data to asset files and a device like a camera may capture details also such as GPRS coordinates where an photo was shot. XMP metadata is often used with other types of files such as InDesign or PDF. If you are unsure whether this applied to you, do not check any options.
  • IPTC
  • IPTC Core
  • XMP
  • EXIF
  • PLUS
  • Dublin Core
  • Other
  • Embedded metadata support (writing)
    See the reading question above for more details on what embedded metadata is. This question refers to whether embedded metadata can be written back to files if edited within the DAM system.
  • IPTC
  • IPTC Core
  • XMP
  • EXIF
  • PLUS
  • Dublin Core
  • Other
  • Embedded metadata support notes
    IMatch's metadata support is based on the renowned ExifTool libraries.

    Controlled Vocabularies
    Controlled Vocabularies are predefined lists of search terms. They can be realised in many different ways but the common factor is the user picks from a restricted selection rather than enters a keyword. Most DAM systems will usually support both controlled vocabularies and keywords.
  • Yes
  • Controlled Vocabulary Notes
    IMatch implements a 'universal thesaurus' concept which supports custom or third-party thesauri not only for keywords but also for all other reoccurring data (captions, comments, address data etc.)

    User Defined Metadata Fields
    The ability to configure metadata your own metadata fields is important for DAM systems so you can assign a dedicated field for certain items of information rather than using a generic classification method or one of the vendor's own standard fields.
  • Yes
  • Cataloguing Interface Options
    When cataloguing assets with custom fields, some metadata will be controlled selections, others will be free text. There are further choices like date fields, file attachments etc.
  • Text field
  • Radio
  • Checkbox
  • Date
  • Numbers
  • Other
  • None
  • Cataloguing Interface Notes
    Verify how the vendor has implemented a given cataloguing interface control. It is preferable if they can demonstrate with examples of how they have implemented interface options for cataloguing and metadata entry.
    IMatch implements an 'Attributes' concept which allows users to define custom metadata, organized into 'sets' and 'attributes'. This concept enables users to store custom metadata for each asset, without the restrictions of metadata standards like XMP. Attributes can be used to exchange data with backoffice systems and for easy import and export.

    Business Intelligence & Reporting

    Asset Usage Records
    To enable reports to be generated, DAM solutions must retain records of asset usage, including searching, download and editing of records. The reporting should include the user who carried out the activity and the date/time it occurred.
  • No
  • Asset Usage Notes
    Not applicable.

    Audit Trail
    A detailed audit trail that logs every user action in a central record is useful to gain insight into user behaviour. Comprehensive audit trails allow DAM system users to produce reports that address their unique needs.
  • Yes
  • Audit Trail Notes
    IMatch maintains a history for each managed asset.

    Built-In Reports
    A range of built-in reports that you can quickly generate is useful to answer common questions such as the "what is our most popular asset?".
  • Other reports (please specify)
  • Reporting Notes
    None of the above reports is of use for the typical IMatch user base (individual photographers, small agencies, amateur photographers). But the built-in reporting/charting module can be used to produce similar reports, and the 'App' panel supports the popular D3 statistics and visualization package (open source) which can be utilized to produce all kinds of reports and visualizations.

    Asset Processing

    Dedicated/Scalable Proxy or Derivative Asset Generation
    Nearly all DAM systems will generate thumbnails and previews of media, including more dynamic types like video or audio. Some products use a separate server to do this which usually makes them more suitable for large scale asset ingestion and processing.
  • Yes
  • Dedicated/Scalable Proxy or Derivative Asset Generation Notes
    IMatch automatically generates thumbnails and cache images for most of the supported file formats. Derivative images can be generated via the built-in batch processing features.

    Multi-Page Document Asset Previews
    If you deal with document oriented assets, having a solution which can generate multi-page previews (and also zoom in on them) can save the hassle of downloading a file only to discover it is not the one you need. For assets with very similar content, this can be a useful feature.
  • Yes
  • Multi-Page Document Asset Preview Notes
    For PDF files.

    Asset Manipulation

    Image Manipulation
    Many DAM systems allow users to manipulate images by resizing, cropping etc. Choose any features which are important to your users.
  • Image re-sizing
  • Image cropping
  • Format conversion
  • Flip images
  • Rotate image
  • Change colorspace
  • Effects & filters
  • Batch manipulate groups of assets
  • Video Manipulation
    Some DAM systems may allow video assets to be converted or modified. If that is a potential requirement for you, specify those features which are likely to be needed. EDL = Edit Decision List and refers to providing in/out points when editing video footage.
  • No video manipulation features
  • Data Import/Export

    Importing Metadata
    Importing metadata is an important feature if you have either legacy assets or metadata is generated using some other tools (for example a spreadsheet). Not all systems offer this, but usually if the feature is not available, the vendor will be able to carry out batch importing for you via professional services (note: this will usually incur a cost, unlike a built-in capability).
  • Yes
  • Metadata Import Formats
    This question only applies if the vendor has features to import metadata. There are common formats like CSV, XML and Excel which DAM solutions may support. If this is a requirement you are likely to make frequent use of, it is essential to verify whether the product supports the formats you typically work with.
  • CSV (or any delimited file)
  • Exporting Metadata
    As well as importing metadata, sometimes it is important to be able to export sections of it to conduct further analysis in third party applications. Not all products support this, but usually it will be possible to request the vendor provides an export via professional services (although a fee may be charged).
  • Yes
  • Metadata Export Formats
    This question only applies if the vendor has features to export metadata. There are common formats like CSV, XML and Excel which DAM solutions may support. If this is a requirement you are likely to make frequent use of, it is essential to verify whether the product supports the formats you typically work with.
  • CSV (or other delimited file)
  • Integration

    API
    API means Application Programming Interface and allows third party software to control a DAM system. If you intend to integrate your DAM with another existing solution then you need to choose the API protocol that is compatible with that.
  • Other
  • API Notes
    IMatch includes IMatch Anywhere WebServices™, a REST-based web server also used by the IMatch Anywhere™ product line. The endpoints of IMWS are open and documented and used for many integrated features in IMatch and also for many apps written in JavaScript, Python or other programming languages.

    API-First Architecture
    API-First means that anything the user can do via the graphical interface is possible via the API. If a DAM has an API-First architecture it is far more likely to be easier to integrate with other solutions than one that does not.
  • No
  • API-First Notes
    If the vendor claims an API-First architecture then they should be able to provide a definition of it. In addition, documentation which describes their support for it will typically be available. Implementing API-First is a complex undertaking so vendor development teams will definitely know whether they have this attribute or do not.
    Not applicable.

    Hooks
    Hooks are related to APIs but are initiated by the application rather than by an external application making the request. Hooks allow other actions to be initiated based on events, for example if a user downloads an asset, an action can be commenced to notify another application that this has taken place (along with the ID number of the asset, date/time etc).
  • Yes
  • Hooks Targets Supported
    In most DAM applications that support them, hooks are initiated as web requests, so the system will call a given external URL and provide some parameters. Some solutions also support initiating scripts or applications which can run on the server where the system is hosted.
  • Scripts (using an existing scripting feature, if it exists)
  • Hooks Definition
    If the vendor claims support for hooks, check how they define them and see if their interpretation concurs with your own. A reasonably detailed explanation along with citations/links should be given here.
    Apps and service apps can register to receive events from IMatch Anywhere WebServices™ and perform any kind of action - inside IMatch or externally.

    Storage Integration
    Many DAM solutions will now allow assets to be stored on the server of Cloud storage providers. This allows asset files to be distributed and/or integrated with other solutions. Some third party services use generic protocols like FTP, others are proprietary.
  • None
  • AI Component Integration
    A number of DAMs integrate with multiple third party AI image recognition components. This question allows you to see which ones they use.
  • ClarifAI
  • Google Cloud Vision
  • Microsoft Computer Vision
  • Other (please specify on the notes)
  • AI Notes
    This question seek to find out how vendors have implemented their support for AI image recognition components. A number of vendors may have also developed custom-built AI solutions entirely in-house and this question gives them an opportunity to present those.
    IMatch has a powerful built-in face recognition. In addition it supports automatic tagging (keywording) using cloud-based AI services from Google, Microsoft, Clarifai and imagga. We believe in offering users a choice.

    Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Integration
    Content Delivery Networks allow digital assets to be distributed across a wide geographic area to improve performance and reduce the pressure on the DAM system for in-demand assets.
  • None
  • Content Management Systems (CMS) Integration
    Many DAM solutions now provide specific integration modules that allow users to select assets from their Content Management System of choice without leaving the CMS application in order to do so.
  • None
  • Creative Tools Integration
    Some DAMs will integrate directly with specific creative tools so designers and creatives do not need to leave them in order to use assets from the DAM.
  • None
  • E-commerce Integration
    A number of DAMs integrate with e-commerce systems so that product catalogues can be updated automatically from the DAM. There might also be features like tracking of asset usage and conversion ratios for product images etc.
  • None
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Integration
  • None
  • Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
  • None
  • Marketing Operations & Project Management Integration
  • None
  • Master Data Management (MDM) Integration
  • None
  • Mobile Apps Integration
  • None
  • Office & Productivity Integration
  • None
  • Product Information Management (PIM) Integration
  • None
  • Rights Management Integration
  • None
  • Sales & Marketing Integration
  • None
  • Social Media Integration
  • None
  • Stock Media Providers Integration
  • None
  • Templating & Print On-Demand Integration
  • None
  • Video Integration
  • None
  • Web Analytics Integration
  • None
  • Scripting & Plug-Ins

    Scripting Capabilities
    Some advanced DAM solutions have a scripting capability that allows users or third parties to add functionality which the vendor did not originally envisage. Usually programming skills will be required to use this, but some tools have visual interfaces also.
  • Yes
  • Scripting Capability Notes
    IMatch integrates the IMatch Anywhere Webservices™ technology. These REST-based service provide public and documented endpoints for accessing and modifying IMatch database contents and the IMatch user interface. The endpoints are accessible for all programming languages support REST (JavaScript, Java, .NET, Python, ...) Apps which integrate seamlessly into the IMatch user interface can be written in JavaScript and HTML.

    Plug-In Support
    In addition to scripting (or sometimes instead of), some DAM solutions will have a plug-in architecture that allows third party developers to extend the core platform.
  • Yes
  • Plug-In Capability Notes
    Plug-ins can be written in any language supporting REST and have full access to the IMatch database system and the user interface. Major features of IMatch have been implemented as plug-ins/apps.

    Authentication

    Authentication Support
    If you need to integrate with an existing corporate authentication service then this option will be important for you.
  • None
  • Multi-Lingual Options

    Multilingual Application Interface Support
    The interface means the controls to use the DAM system. This is different from the metadata support which is usually entered by end users when cataloguing assets.
  • English
  • German
  • Dutch
  • Multilingual Metadata Support
    See previous question. Most DAM systems with multi-lingual support will provide it for metadata.
  • Yes
  • Multilingual Support Notes
    IMatch is shipped with English (US) and German user interface. Volunteers translate IMatch into other languages like Portuguese or Dutch.

    Version Control

    File versioning
    File versioning refers to the digital media associated with an asset record. This is usually the minimum requirement for a DAM system to claim support for versioning assets. See also responses to the related question about metadata versioning below.
  • No
  • Metadata versioning
    Metadata versioning is separate from the files associated with assets. Many DAM solutions will track updated digital assets but only retain a single current version of the metadata. Since metadata is likely to be edited many more times than assets get replaced, this can be an important point to check.
  • No
  • Independent Metadata And File Versioning
    This questions assesses whether the solution allows versions of either the file or metadata to be reverted independently or if both are linked to a single shared version instance.
  • No
  • Version Control Notes
    IMatch manages digital assets 'where they are', it does not import digital images or other assets into any kind of digital store. Keeping multiple versions of files is supported via the unique 'file relations' concept in IMatch, including metadata propagation from master files to versions.