Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Johns Hopkins Deploys Digital Asset Management System to Improve Content Distribution, Sharing

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Johns Hopkins Deploys Digital Asset Management System to Improve Content Distribution, Sharing

Article excerpt

Founded in 1876, The Johns Hopkins University was the first research university in the United States. The university's emphasis on both learning and research--and on how each complements the other--transformed U.S. higher education. Today, Johns Hopkins has ventured from its home in Baltimore to countries worldwide. The university also remains a world leader in teaching, patient care and discovery.

Determined to revolutionize higher education, Johns Hopkins implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system to give itself greater control over collections of scholarly papers, graphics, audio and video recordings, and similar documents. What the university needed was a user-friendly, robust DAM system to give scholars greater access to these materials.

We sought a system to store and manage digital assets such as photos, Quark documents and other file types. A number of departments across the university wanted a system that would allow multiple scholars, department heads and other university employees to manage, share and distribute documents, videos, graphics, and other teaching materials in a safe and secure manner. Instead of using a homemade departmental solution, what was needed was a central system to archive and manage the university's assets.

Creating a Rich Media Library

Digital asset management is a category of enterprise software that allows organizations to store diverse types of content intelligently and access it easily. In essence, it enables a college or university to create a library for all of its rich media content. There were many vendors and products to choose from, but we were able to narrow down the candidates through a strict list of requirements. The application needed to be universitywide and able to manage many types of files. Because so many different users and types of users would be utilizing the system, it also had to be easy to learn and access. In addition, the system had to provide a solid security model.

The university turned to INSCI Corp. and its WebWare ActiveMedia DAM system (www.insci.com), which stores content and provides an index so information can be cataloged and quickly accessed through a Web-based interface. ActiveMedia also has the ability to scale to meet the growing needs of the university, not only in terms of the number of users, but also in its ability to integrate with other enterprise-level applications through a set of Web services APIs.

The university first invested in an ActiveMedia pilot program using INSCI's outsourced service (ASP) in April 2003 to prove the efficacy and capabilities of ActiveMedia to help speed up its search and retrieval processes. …

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