The challenge when developing the VAM database application was to handle all digital assets in a straight forward way. Main assets are: maps, drawings and satellite images for overall orientation, still photos, full spherical images and videos for detailed visual representation, written documents in different formats (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, handwriting etc.), 3D models, record lists and important links to other software applications or e.g. a live stream from a web cam.
Other than known DAM (Digital asset management) systems the VAM extends the sorting criteria by visually linking the assets one to another hence referencing them to certain locations.
Based on the long experience of Weiss AG in the field of visual asset management, we were approached by the Shell Inc. Company to develop a database application to visually manage all their digital assets related to the documentation of gas and oil platforms. The success of Google services like Google Street-view, Google earth and Google documents show that visual linking of information is a very straight forward and user friendly method. The VAM extends these functionalities by combining them in one application without the need to host the data on Google servers, but on the users own server or even on stand-alone computers.
VAM Design Goals
VAM as a cloud platform is having goals including:
1. Supports all digital data formats
2. Stores the original unmodified data
3. Allows fast data provision on low bandwidth
4. Allow visual linking of all assets
5. Contains a comprehensive user rights management
6. Adds security to digital data with full audit control facilities
7. Allows database access without installing additional software on the user PC
8. Supports unlimited file or project size
9. Allows the publishing of project for online and offline viewing
10. Allows automated report generation for print
11. Can be interfaced with 3rd party software
12. Can be operated on local machines or on a client serve setup.