The Extensis Portfolio 4.0 user interface
provides different views of the information stored to
locate resources, manage the content, and input data easily
Yes, when you can't
find that file, and you forget the file name, don't just get angry,
and voice an expletive, put the latest computer acronym in your vocabulary.
DAM stands for Digital Asset Management, and is one of the hottest software
topics this season. It doesn't take long collecting image files
once you start doing digital photography to develop a need for DAM.
The old business of storing snapshots in a shoe box doesn't work,
because the "appearance" of the picture is not what you
see when you go looking for a digital image, all you have is a bunch
of file names on a digital storage media, or listed in a folder on your
hard drive. What DAM does is connect a visual likeness and the file
names, as well as a record of its location, and whatever other information
you want to associate with the image to make it easy to find.
Extensis Portfolio 4.0 is a computer application which makes organizing,
associating a thumbnail image, and associating keyword classification
with computer files easy and efficient. In this latest edition, Portfolio
has a long history of development and use as a thumbnail database utility
providing the computer user with the means to organize and easily locate
not just image files, but all of the related files one might use to
create and service a web site, for instance. Some of the features which
make Extensis Portfolio attractive to serious digital photographers
· It has support for the Windows PC platforms as well as the Macintosh.
· There are both server and web editions so the organization and
search functions can be accessible and shared over networks.
· It has scripting which supports automating functions for ease
of use and efficiency.
· It can extract keyword and other text information attached to
· It has an extremely inclusive support for all media and file
· It includes web publishing support so resource information can
be made available through a web site.
· The database has unlimited support for custom fields, making
any kind of criteria search possible.
· It has an import function to acquire data from other sources
· Multiple views of stored information are provided.
· Export and create custom galleries in HTML for use in web pages.
· You can customize thumbnail appearance.
· Building slide shows is fully supported.
Working With Extensis Portfolio 4.0. In the past I
have had several opportunities to use and work with Portfolio and its
predecessor Fetch. I never adopted it for my own use because I found
it demanded too great an investment in setup and learning, as well as
regular, complex, data entry to justify its advantages. In this latest
version however, the initial setup is easy and data entry is drag and
drop simple. Once the application is installed which is a quick and
simple procedure, starting a gallery to create thumbnails and store
information involves just a few clicks of the mouse. For instance if
you're storing image files on CDR discs, you can have the gallery
preset to record the file name, folder name, and CDR disc name (volume
title), automatically. Then to put a CDR's content into a portfolio
gallery just put the CD in your computer, and once it is showing on
the desktop click and drag the entire content onto the open gallery.
Portfolio automatically generates thumbnails and files the location
identification information. The essentials are done. You can add keywords,
classes, and image related data immediately or later.
Evaluation And Recommendation. There are many thumbnail
utilities that are often included with applications bundled with many
hardware products and imaging applications. So, why not use these? Unfortunately,
most have very limited database support, and cannot readily organize
and store a large, complex library of images--something that is increasingly
easy to acquire with just a little activity in digital photography.
Portfolio 4.0 has the ability to start simple and is sufficiently flexible,
powerful, and has the depth to grow with you. Regardless of where your
digital photography and computer darkroom takes you, Portfolio has the
capacity to keep up and provide your growing need for organization.
Although at $199 the initial cost may seem steep for the single user
edition, I believe from long experience over time it will be found worthwhile.
It is one of the few things in computing these days which has an enduring
value, and through regular upgrades Extensis will keep Portfolio current.
For more information on Portfolio 4.0, contact Extensis at (800) 796-9798,
or visit their web site at: www.extensis.com.