Cortex | DAM

Everyday we push the limits of what a DAM can do for our customers

We believe you you shouldn't have to choose between a powerful system and a usable one. CORTEX | DAM is versatile enough to serve any user, from the novice to the veteran library scientist, in any industry.  CORTEX | DAM is simple enough to use without training, yet it is a rabbit hole of power.

Digital Asset Management Feature List

Rapid Upload  


  • 1Gb/s connection to the Internet Backbone
    • OL servers have a 1Gb/s connection to the Internet Backbone, allowing for fast and consistent upload speed
  • No limit for Cortex on file size that can be uploaded (i.e. 50GB, 100GB or larger)
    • The available server storage space is the only limiting factor.
  • No limit on storage capacity
    • There is no limitation on how much storage Cortex can connect to. If storage is added on the server side, Cortex will utilize it.

Checksum and duplicate detection

  • Detect duplicate files (using checksum and/or visual recognition)
  • Generate checksums for files upon ingest (md5 and SHA-1 algorithms). Validate checksums upon ingest if submitted with assets.

Tracking and reporting

  • Track status of ingest (e.g. precentage complete and status bar)
  • Email user a full repot on ingest results

Supported file types

  • Images
    • Support for all common image formats, including gif, bmp, jpg, tiff, png, raw, dng, svg
  • Videos
    • Support all common video formats, including swf, flv, avi, wmv, mp4, mov.
  • Graphics
    • Support all common graphic formats, including ai, indd, psd, eps, Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch
  • Audio files
    • Support all common audio formats, including wav, aif, mp3, mp4, aac, wma
  • Documents / Printed content
    • Support printed content, including pdf, doc/x, xls/x, ppt/x, rft
  • HD files / Project files
    • Support HD files and project files such as Adobe Premier, Final Cut
  • Other file formats
    • Support other file formats such as .zip files

Ingest, extract and embed metadata

  • Metadata fields can be enforced upon ingest
  • Automatically extract and display technical metadata and file characterization/technical attribute such as encoding formats (audio/video), bitrate, color space, etc.
  • Automatically extract and display IPTC, EXIF and XMP metadata embedded in image files
  • Full control on metadata mapping to IPTC
  • Batch ingest metadata from external sources
  • Import metadata separately from assets (e.g. if you have a spreadsheet with all metadata), and let the DAM automatically reconcile with the assets
  • Batch ingest metadata
  • Configure multiple ingest workflows e.g. checks for required metadata, user approval, etc. Automatically route assets through the required workflows at the time of ingest.

Secure your assets   

Controlled Access to the DAM

  • Automatically enforce user permissions
  • Provide audit logs, including User ID, of all access to the application
  • Provide management access to specific folders/collections to partner organizations/contributors/country offices.
  • Authenticate with SSO, Active Directory, LDAP, assigning to the user the role/profile declared by the Identity Provider
  • Users are automatically disabled/deleted in the DAM when their LDAP account is disabled/deleted
  • Administrators can remove or block users instantly
  • Users are notified when denied access with the reason for denial

Assign Roles and Permissions

  • Create unlimited groups/roles with specific, granular permissions for each group
    • Example permissions: View permission (with a given link), Find (using search), Upload, Download (specify resolution), Edit, Delete, etc.
  • Assign users to one or multiple groups so they cumulate the permissions for each group
  • Configure access permissions
    • Based on users/groups and assets/containers (e.g. users can have additional or revoked permissions on selected assets/containers).
    • Lock access by asset, container, user, or user group.
  • Refine permissions for individual users
  • Access permissions can have a start and end date
    • So you can quickly grant a user temporary access for a specified time period (access is automatically revoked once the time period has expired).
  • Configure distributed administration model
    • For example: local administrators manage their office's contents.
  • Edit user profiles, including staff, clients, photo-videographers with current contact details
  • No limit to the number of Administrative Users.
  • No limit to the total number of users in the system.

Manage Assets Rights

  • Display rights clearance contact information for copyright restricted assets
  • Display descriptions of use permissions in asset record
  • Configure use permissions based on start and end dates of approval or restriction
  • Restrict availability of assets that do not have the required metadata fields
  • Restrict assets in multiple ways:
    • 1. Restrict the display or search of assets for users, groups of users, or all users
    • 2. Restrict the download of assets or users, groups of users, or all users
  • Authorize access (e.g. view and/or download etc.) to assets for a selected period of time
  • Assign permissions on assets individually or in bulk
  • Email advance expiration notice to Administrators and to users who have downloaded these assets in the past. Report on asset expiration
  • Request acceptance of Terms of Use prior download
  • Automatically restrict availability on assets when rights are expired
  • Manage multiple digital rights management workflows

Store for ever   

Manage Storage of Assets

  • Perform periodic error checks on files and report on error checks and outcomes
  • Multiple safety controls for deletion or removal of assets from the system
  • Super Admin can restore "deleted" assets
  • Hierarchical storage management - route files to appropriate storage location, e.g. automatically move assets to Cold Storage when their archive date is reached or when terms of use expire
  • Archived assets remain searchable and thumbnails remain in the DAM for display. Users can request archived assets.

Customize Metadata, Taxonomy / Thesaurus, Controlled Vocabulary

  • Unlimited number of customizable metadata fields for assets and containers (text fields, dates, checkboxes, controlled values, etc.)
  • Multiple metadata sets can be defined for different asset/container types
  • Administrators can pre­define field values
  • Import taxonomies/thesaurus from external sources
  • Customizable controlled vocabulary
    • Manage your thesaurus through the UI : create new terms (including usage instructions/scope notes, etc.), hierarchical relationships between terms, preferred/non-preferred terms (synonyms), etc.
  • Multilingual controlled vocabularies
  • Share some thesaurus with all users, restrict others to specific users or roles/groups
  • Real-time updates to taxonomy/controlled vocabulary through the UI
  • Automatically update asset metadata following updates to a vocabulary term

Transform from anything to anything 

Transform, Edit, and Transcode Assets

  • Generate proxies on ingest (for viewing/playback and download)
  • Segment audiovisual assets (using in and out points)
  • Create virtual segments (through pointers to the original file)
  • Crop images in the context of a specific display (e.g. album cover) without affecting the original asset
  • Change the representative image/image placeholder for videos:
    • 1. Selecting a frame from the video
    • 2. Selecting an existing image asset in the DAM
    • 3. Uploading a new representative image
  • Create video Story boards
  • Bulk automated file transformation/transcoding (e.g. resize, file conversion etc)

Download Assets

  • Preset transcode formats are suggested to users on download.
    • Examples for images: social media, web quality, print/press quality, original file, etc.
    • Examples for videos: web low, streaming format, original file, etc.
  • Custom Transcode Specifications for Images
    • Users can specify custom transcode specifications on download. For example, Format: jpg, tif, bmp, png, jp2, etc. ; Quality ; Colorspace (sRGB, Adobe RGB (1998), Apple RGB, DonRGB etc.) ; Resolution (dpi) ; Dimensions width/height (px)
  • Custom Transcode Specifications for Videos
    • On-the-fly conversion of video files to user requirements. For example: Container (MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV etc.) ; Video Codec ; Video Bitrate , Resolution ; Audio Codec and Audio Bitrate.
  • Download multiple sizes/formats of assets in a batch
  • Authorized users can prioritize system processes in a queue, e.g. high priority request for transcode/download manually moved before a large import job or export process
  • Display download queue and status of download process (status bar/percentage complete) in user dashboard
  • Download and transcode multiple assets at once. Download starts immediately.
  • Embed IPTC metadata into files upon download
  • Metadata fields such as credit, permission, title are associated with assets when distributed to 3rd parties
  • Download metadata via text files. Bulk download metadata for a selection of images.

Enrich  your assets  

Enrich assets through the extension of metadata

  • Powerful interface for batch editing metadata (individual or multiple fields) and keywords on selected assets
  • Efficient cataloging/tagging with existing vocabulary terms (e.g. autocomplete)
  • Generate time-based annotations through the ingest of time-stamped text files (e.g. closed caption files, transcript)
  • Manual time-based annotations through user-defined in/out points
  • No limit on the custom metadata fields and custom asset types you can create
  • Attach business rules to metadata, e.g. controlled entry of dates, values in authority list, etc.
  • Save time and ensure consistency through inheritance of selected metadata from hierarchical relationships (e.g. parent folder to child)
  • Provide key metadata in multiple languages (including Asian languages)
  • 3rd party agencies can upload final video content and enter required metadata
  • Tag content with your choice of metadata such as: creation date, author/owner, credit, keywords, rights, etc.

Logs / Metrics / Reporting

  • Track and display assets use and download history
  • Track and display assets revision history
  • Track who assets were sent to, when (date/time) and why (purpose/usage)
  • Record past approvals of assets, including date/time and who approved
  • Log all system processes at the asset level (ingest, versioning, checksum validation, etc.)
  • Extensive suite of reports based on vast choice of criteria and exportable in XML, CSV and HTML formats.
  • Produce customizable reports on popular search terms/queries ; upload ; download ; usage ; assets by photographer/cameraman/contributor, etc.
  • Record workflow processes, outcomes, associated users, and internal correspondence available

Link assets together  

Create Relationships between Assets

  • Automated and manual creation of relationships between assets, e.g. parent/child, versions, derivative assets
  • Group assets into multiple types of containers (folders, virtual folders - for curated or repurposed content, lightboxes).
  • Create empty containers if you want.
  • Create sub-containers within containers (unlimited number of levels in the hierarchy)
  • Create as many containers as you want, each with unique ID and metadata. Assets can belong to an unlimited number of containers.
  • Relate contracts, correspondence, transcripts, notes, and other relevant documentation to assets
  • Associate and display hierarchical (parent/child, sibling, and derivative) and non-hierarchical relationships between assets. See all containers an asset belongs to.
  • Create audio/video playlists
  • Display assets and events on a timeline/calendar

Version Control

  • Maintain all versions of assets and track all version history including time/date of version and upload user

Unique ID Codes

  • Each piece of information in the DAM has unique ID code (asset, container, user record, keyword, photographer record, etc.) to guarantee the integrity of the system

Collaborate inhouse and externally  

Commenting & Sharing

  • Users can comment on assets, annotate assets, and be notified on new comments on assets they are assigned to
  • Collaborate on shared projects/containers/lightboxes with specific users
  • Users can comment/review/approve assets and projects simultaneously (no check in/check out requirements)
  • Establish "ownership" of assets
  • Dedicated interface for users to review assets for accuracy before approval (i.e. credits, date, time, place)
  • Publish content in real­-time
  • 3rd party agencies can upload rough video cuts for multiple users to review
  • See log of communications relating to assets and projects
  • Users can send comments or questions to the asset owner
  • Display project production and approval status to users
  • Allow 3rd party users to approve or reject assets for use
  • Search based on approval status

Workflows for maximum efficiency   

Manage Workflows & Notifications

  • Automatically alert users when assets or projects are assigned to them for approval or receive approval
  • Automatically alert users on changes to folders they are watching (e.g. new assets are uploaded, assets are altered, approval tasks are assigned, etc.)
  • Automatically alert users when assets are flagged with incomplete required metadata or need review
  • Notifications through email and user dashboard in DAM
  • Configure workflows, including assignment of tasks to specific users, status, and conditions
    • Example status: To do / Done ; To be decided / Approved / Rejected ; etc.
    • Example conditions: the Title field is empty ; the color profile of the image is different than Adobe RGB (1998) ; the video bitrate is below 240 kbit/s, etc.
  • Configure alerts based on specific users, and frequency of reminders when tasks remain pending.
  • Automatically re-route workflows depending on user availability and response
  • Customize distribution workflows based on specific tag in the asset and on required approval process milestones
  • Users can create, edit, and assign workflows on assets they own or on which they have appropriate permissions
  • Schedule the publication of assets with publication date

Find instantly   

Search Assets

  • Quick search with autocomplete based on existing vocabulary terms
  • Search on all IPTC Core fields of the metadata
  • Advanced Search
    • Users can search the DAM on criteria such as: file name, date (created and/or last modified), topic, category, author name, project name, rights duration, usage rights, i.e. print, web, mobile, etc., territory/country, campaign name, asset attributes, keywords, people, country, etc.
  • Search for audiovisual segments based on specific time tags and annotations
  • Users can save their preferred searches
  • Index and return search results based on preferred and non-preferred vocabulary terms (synonyms, stems)

Public-facing Web Interface

  • Customizable DAM homepage
    • Easy-to-manage, customizable homepage to promote content (e.g. Latest upload, Most popular, Editor’s pick etc.), or to present content based on user location or login (e.g. country-specific homepage, content-specific homepage, etc.)
  • Public-facing, intuitive, web interface for 3rd party/public users to search for, and retrieve approved assets
  • Branded interface with your preferred design, corporate colors, logo, etc.
  • Users can choose their preferred language and search in multiple languages (including Asian characters)
  • You can have multiple sites with different URLs (e.g. based on country/language, based on type of content, etc.) - all your sites' content is driven by a single, central, DAM system
  • Include pages, forms and widgets - e.g. About, Contact, Help, Feedback form, Live Chat, Subscribe to Newsletter, etc.
  • Customizable user self-registration forms

Presentation of Search Results

  • Search and refine search results by asset type, e.g. Images, Videos, Folders, etc.
  • Faceted search and browsing/navigation of assets. Facets/filters are configured by the Administrator.
  • See the number of results returned in a search and the number of results associated with each facet in the current search.
  • Select/Deselect multiple facets to narrow search results dynamically (no need to make a new search)
  • Multiple display modes for search results: small, medium, or large thumbnails, with or without metadata, list view, text only search results - for low bandwidth countries, etc.
  • Change the sorting of results by relevance, date (create or edit date), alphabetical, etc.
  • Change the number of results displayed per page in the interface (e.g. 30, 60 or 120 assets per page)
  • Enlarge image thumbnail on mouse over

Suggestions for Related Results

  • Give related results based on fuzzy search of similar terms
  • Give related results based on conceptually similar assets (based on algorithm across metadata)
  • Give related results based on similar color tones
  • Navigate assets by keywords
  • Navigate assets by photographer
  • Navigate assets through folders and virtual folders they belong to ("see more")
  • Browse assets by Categories / by Year, etc.

Preview & Request  

Preview Assets

  • Play audiovisual assets in a popup frame, directly from the browsing and search results interface
  • Storyboarding preview for video (timecodes with corresponding thumbnail images)
  • Audio scrubbing / Video fast forward
  • Asset preview specific to asset type - includes larger preview, metadata relevant to asset type, etc.
  • Advanced viewing tools: zoom in images, rotate, comparison, tooltips
  • View paginated assets within the application (e.g. multi-pages PDF)
  • Automated watermarked assets preview for non-authorized users
  • View assets in the context of a project or campaign
  • Show asset usage / statistic

Group and Share Assets with Lightboxes

  • "Bookmark" assets by adding them to lightboxes. Create as many lightboxes as you want.
  • Users can favorite or rate assets
  • Email or share lightbox with other users
  • Share comments on a lightbox

Request Assets

  • Users can request download authorization from the system
  • Users can request access to restricted assets
  • Alert specified users immediately of any request, and provide monthly reports on request based on user name, date of request, assets requested, and declared usage
  • Users can specify image parameters (e.g., print size, border, matte/glossy) when requesting a print job
  • Users can provide separate Bill To and Ship To (delivery information) addresses for physical prints requested
  • Requests can be sent to multiple users simultaneously (e.g. Administrators, Legal, etc.) for review and approval
  • Exclusive usage: files can be “checked out” when authorized for a specific usage, and no longer available for download until the usage project has ended

Other User Functionality

  • User can drag and drop assets into email
  • Users can personalize their profile and preferences (display options, download format, favorites)
  • User can print multiple assets with metadata as a Contact Sheet (PDF, JPG or PNG format)
  • Users have their own dashboard

Share in a controlled manner   

Modules, Integrations and Plugins

  • Export module: export all system tables including assets and metadata (with hierarchical relationships), contacts, etc.
  • Export all thesaurus/vocabularies, preserving hierarchy and term relationships
  • Consume APIs to query databases of other applications and acquire content automatically.
  • Native APIs to push or pull assets and metadata to and from DAM and other systems in your environment
  • Enable external applications to write to the DAM database in order to create containers and write metadata
  • Resolve and display identifiers from integrated external systems
  • Integrate with Adobe products (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Bridge, Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro)
  • Integrate with Google Analytics
    • Integrate with Google Analytics for metrics such as number of views, average unique viewers, referrals, social traffic, demographics/location, device viewed from, OS/browser, etc.
  • Integrate with CRM: Salesforce CRM, Sugar CRM
  • Integrate with Sharepoint 2013/SharePoint Online
  • Integrate with Accounting Systems: SAP

Share, Publish and Embed assets outside the DAM

  • Email single asset or container with multiple assets
  • Share assets or containers with external users through secure, fixed-term (expirable) links. Share as read-only or provide download options in selected download formats.
  • Specify preview or download permissions of assets sent to external users
  • Provide direct links to streaming video for preview by external users
  • Permalinks (persistent URLs to all assets)
  • Secure links can be revoked at any time
  • Publish assets and metadata to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Brightcove, etc.
  • Preset formats for distribution to specific web platforms (e.g. specific file format, size, resolution, watermark)
    • For example: Watermarked assets for distribution to social media
  • Auto-generated embed code for images and videos with player
    • For embedding assets in other websites, such as corporate website or blogs.
  • Create and share newsletters/information bulletins to promote new assets / curated content

Universal Access    

24/7 remote access to a web-based centralized DAM system

  • Remote, global access to the DAM system. All users and offices worldwide can collaborate on the system.
  • One central DAM system - no need for duplicates or local versions
  • Internet / web based browser solution
  • No downtime: in case of problem with the primary server, immediate and transparent switch to the live backup server (Disaster Recovery architecture)

Compatible MAC/PC and all main browsers

  • Compatible with all mainstream browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Mac and PC compatible


  • Compatible with mobile and tablets - Responsive interface / mobile-friendly searching, browsing, uploading, approving assets / mobile asset integration, i.e. streaming for mobile play