Looks like the 5.6 release of Nuxeo has some promising ui/usability improvements. No doubt there will be improvements in other areas as well. Hopefully I will have some time in the not too distant future to investigate.
I'm looking beyond 5.6, specifically with my new DAM goggles on. There is demand for industrial strength DAM across most verticals. In some verticals, digital asset management underpins the business itself, and in these situations industrial strength DAM is critical. I would like to see a stronger focus on improving the DAM product (and underlying CAP/imaging components).
I think it's time for Nuxeo to step up efforts to improve DAM over and under the covers - to get it on a level playing field with commercially available DAM solutions.
What do i think are the most important areas on which to focus?
1. Format agnosticism.
Whether it's a raw image from a Nikon camera, a multi-layer PSD, or one of a myriad of other formats the DAM solution needs to be able to handle it,
2. Size agnosticism.
Industrial strength DAM products must handle 1.5GB Tiff files just as eloquently as they handle a 5MB Jpeg. While processors, RAM, and disk speed will determine overall performance, the solution should have workarounds for any reasonably sized hardware or virtual machine. This also means finding and eradicating all software-based limitations for handling files > 2GB in size.
3. Metadata - all of it.
Filtering and finding images is one of the most important functions (in my opinion) of a digital asset system. Using image metadata for searching and filtering requires efficient automated extraction. And, it means that every type of common metadata must be easily extracted from supported image types. This includes, but is not limited to, XMP, IPTC, and EXIF.
4. Performance Profiling data and Sizing Charts
The challenges with moving and processing multi-GB files are much different than those of smaller files (where transaction times - even aggregrated - or not all that significant). It would be extremely useful if Nuxeo published recommended configurations for all Nuxeo applications, but DAM specifically. The recommendations could include JVM sizing, Database configuration, OS configuration, Imaging component tweaks, RAM, disk usage, etc. This is a big complex area, but some base level of recommendations would be helpful as a starting point.
5. Speed, Speed, Speed
With big images, and lots of them, processing speed is critical. I have seen a number of opportunities in the core Nuxeo imaging code to improve overall transaction speed. One of the biggest areas for possible improvement is the imaging library - especially when spinning off multiple Jpeg versions of the original image. Lots of opportunity here.
6. Third party Library Updates - More Frequent/Alternates/Plugins
Libraries that support third party image processing (ImageMagick, metadata-extractor, etc.) have to be kept up-to-date, preferably as part of point releases. This ensures that newer image formats can be handled with minimal fuss. Maybe it's time to look at alternatives to some of the image processing components. Is Google's OiiO a possible alternative to ImageMagick? Is there a way to abstract the third party image library in such a way that OSX users could take advantage of the CoreImage library for image processing (which is far faster than ImageMagick equivlents)?
[Added May 28 2012:
7. Parameter driven functionality
An example... When an asset is ingested into the DAM repository three images are generated - an original size JPEG, a Medium size JPEG, and a thumbnail. The number of images generated and their sizes are hard-coded in the application. It would be nice if the configuration of this functionality were exposed in a configuration document, allowing additional renditions, lower resolution renditions, different formats, etc. In my opinion this would greatly improve the flexiblity and applicability of DAM.]
What else can Nuxeo improve in the current DAM product to make it more industrial strength?