Before we start with the description of features and use cases, I should introduce you to why we suggest using SharePoint. On one hand, companies usually use it, because of internal communication and collaboration (yes, I mean also Microsoft Teams), so it is not a new tool for them.
But there are certain reasons and advantages to using SharePoint. Microsoft builds a huge architecture around it, so you can easily synchronize files with local folders, use Power Automate, and easily exchange the content via CDN (Content Delivery Network). All of these features are helpful in Digital Asset Management. Last but not least are the most visible features of SharePoint like permissions, versioning, metadata management, and organization of your digital assets.
Where do you store the digital assets?
This is the first typical question. Let's take a look at the details. We don't want to save the binary data into Business Central, because easily it is too big (just imagine a thousand TIF files with a size of tens of MB) and can break other processes in our ERP or PIM. But still, users should work with one solution and the best. For that reason, all digital assets are saved outside of Business Central, and the Pimics module contains only thumbnails to show to users for their better understanding of products.
So I have files in one tile and other product data in another tile. It means data needs to be synchronized. Pimics supports reading files from SharePoint and also pushing files to SharePoint.
When we implement Pimics and a customer has files somewhere on a local storage, the easiest way for users to configure the OneDrive application is to synchronize all files into SharePoint and configure the integration to read the new library with all the existing content.
But usually, implementation of PIM is the right time to also clean up the data and digital assets included. In that case, we talk about organization and processes regarding this aspect and offer the best approach. So they can use the native Pimics organization of files in SharePoint, which means uploading all of them via Business Central or we build up a structure in SharePoint and read metadata and thumbnails into Pimics.
Sharing of digital assets
It doesn't matter if it is a PDF prepared as an output from PIM or media attached to a product. In all cases, this content needs to be accessible to the right persons. As I said at the beginning we use Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can easily publish all the files.
But as usual, it is not enough, because we have been asked for a solution to have different names per different channels, etc. We can generate a public link with the customer name or format of the file and this link is shared to channels. In the end, it reads data from SharePoint, with or without CDN.
From my point of view, this is one key feature of DAM solutions. Why? Because you have so many pictures in different formats and these pictures need to be published in different channels. One day you want to put it into a PDF Brochure, another day it needs to be presented on e-commerce. All of these channels have different requirements that need to be met.
Our suggestion is to save a picture of the best quality into DAM and then we can convert it into another format in real-time. So usually we have a picture in print quality in DAM and e-Commerce asks DAM to get it in jpeg with watermark for example. Some of these processes can be managed by SharePoint itself, and for some of them we have our own web service.