Ein Herausforderung vieler Unternehmen ist, dass immer wieder die gleichen Medien an den unterschiedlichsten Stellen benötigt werden.

Using a media library as a portal


Why a media library as a portal?

A challenge for many companies is that the same media are needed again and again in the most diverse places. In many cases, this is a subset of the media that is provided in an optimized way for a specific target group.

The effort for maintaining and updating these "isolated applications" is enormous, especially for larger companies. Different systems are often used there, which must be maintained and updated by different users. Apart from the danger that updates are forgotten, this also means a much greater expenditure of time and money.

The problem can be solved relatively easily - at least for websites - by means of portals.

Mediathek als Portal

What are the advantages of using portals?

The advantages for the use of a Mediathek as a portal are versatile. Since, in addition to the actual media, associated metadata, such as descriptions and copyright notices, only need to be maintained and kept up-to-date in one system, central maintenance means a significant time saving in the operation of the portal.

Easily provide different output formats

Even with media libraries where users are provided with image data, the wish to provide the data in different sizes, qualities and file formats usually comes at short notice. Whether it is a matter of preview graphics in different resolutions or different download formats, the possibilities are great.

Such actions can usually only be carried out insufficiently on a normal web server. The advantage of a portal in this case is that the portal can have this work done by a central DAM - taking color spaces and color management into account. The result is then delivered to the user. This ensures a consistently high quality for all output channels.

Seamless integration into the corporate design

Due to their adaptability, portals can practically always be completely adapted to the corporate design and integrated into the respective user interface. The visual transition between the surrounding application and the portal is thus fluid and no longer perceptible to the user.


Flexible functionality and powerful search functions

Depending on the purpose of the portal, different functionalities can be provided. One of the simplest possibilities is, for example, the provision of a navigation, which may only represent a subtree of the central navigation due to the data required in this portal.

More flexibility can be achieved by using faceted navigation/facetted search. With this type of navigation, a structure with search terms is created on the basis of the object metadata, which enables multidimensional navigation.

The fact that search terms can be specified for the user gives him or her the opportunity to refine the search result without having to know the possible search terms in advance. This helps the user to orientate himself very quickly and to narrow down his search result in a sensible way. Due to its advantages, this technique is now widely used by Amazon and Ebay. 

What are the system requirements for such portals?

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The hardware and software requirements vary depending on the desired functionality and the technology used to implement these portals. To minimize the hardware and software requirements of the portal system, more complex requirements can be processed by the central system and then delivered by the portal system. The response times for the following requests are reduced by the fact that the portal system caches the generated data of the central system. This offers the additional advantage that the load on the central system is reduced.

From practice: The KfW media library

A media library of this kind was realized in 2014 by the company Pixelboxx GmbH, e.g. for the KfW-Bankengruppe KfW. In this case, special requirements applied, because it was desired that the faceting is mapped by the existing search engine.

For the realisation, this meant that the meta data for the faceting had to be transferred from the Pixelboxx Digital Asset Management (DAM) system into the search engine. The search engine now takes over the faceting and displays the search result. The FrameworkIntermedia Fotoficient is used for the scaling of the different preview images, the retrieval of the meta data, the shopping cart, the different download formats and the caching of these data. Pixelboxx DAM 2.1 is used as the central system for the administration of the image data of the image archive.

Another special feature of this media library is that an access check is done before the images are delivered. This ensures that a direct access is not possible - without agreement of the terms of use.

The described image archive is available under https://bildarchiv.kfw.de accessible.

Low cost and easy setup

There are many reasons to implement a media library in form of a portal. Particularly from a cost perspective, due to the short implementation times, the low set-up costs and the time savings in ongoing maintenance, such an implementation is often a long-term solution that is able to grow with the requirements.