It’s very intuitive to think of your media collection as being “in” a piece of DAM software, but I think it’s important to understand it a different way. The software that you use to view and organize your collection is really pointing to a set of files and hosting some information about the media.
While I may do my organizational work in a particular software environment, the images and much of the organizational work I do should be able to live independently from the software I’m using at the present time. This can include the files themselves and all the information and curation that the metadata represents.
Some data may be easily exported to a new hosting application. Some may be exportable, but hard to replicate elsewhere, and some information may be effectively locked in an application forever.
The relationships that are created by sharing, integrating, embedding and linking may be very difficult to migrate from one application to another. As you consider what applications and services to make use of – and especially how to integrate one with another – you’ll want to consider the limitations you might be making for yourself and the extent of your “partnership” with any particular piece of software.
One of our fundamental principles at Tandem Vault is to provide a way for you to export all work you do in our system. It’s your material and your data, and you should be able to take it with you if and when you decide to leave.