Acquia Partner Series: Acquia DAM
November 6, 2018
Axelerant has a five-plus year history of working with Acquia—on leading projects, working alongside Acquia customers, and improving Acquia products. Our solutions for agencies, domain expertise, global delivery model, and extensive work with Acquia places us in a unique position to leverage their products towards servicing partners. We extensively use Build and Launch Tool (BLT) with an effectiveness that accelerates, but beyond tools and skillsets our values and our work culture fosters symbiotic loyalty and growth. And work optimizing DAM is just one example.
DAM is a "digital asset management" system that helps to centralize the management of creative assets across an organization’s online properties. With Acquia DAM, users don’t have to store high resolution images, video, PDFs and other brand assets locally. End-users can store them on the cloud, modify and update them centrally, and access them anywhere and anytime.
In the absence of a system like Acquia DAM, in most organizations, the asset management process tends to be cumbersome and inefficient, involving various stakeholders, disparate platforms, complex communication trails and multiple media types.
With Acquia DAM, everything is brought onto one single platform, making it easy to use digital assets and keep them updated, streamlining communication and eliminating inefficiencies. This makes it easier for content creators, designers and marketers to coordinate their efforts and communicate a powerful, synchronous brand message.
How are we making DAM faster?
Our work with Acquia has been focused on helping to enhance the DAM product offering via testing, expanding functionality, and making improvements to the user experience. These are some of the aspects we’ve collaborated on.
We’ve tested Acquia DAM on the latest, stable release of Drupal.
In October 2018, Acquia requested the Axelerant team to test all functionality of the Media: Acquia DAM module on the latest, stable release of Drupal. To facilitate this, Acquia shared a document which listed the steps that needed to be performed, as well as configuration changes and assertions to be made. If anything was found to not be working as expected, the Axelerant team was expected to inform Acquia of this and provide a solution.
The Axelerant team performed this testing—starting with configuration, extending to how the module interacts with forms, and how users can select and download assets from the service—and found all features were working as expected.
Better resolution support for downloaded images and UX improvements.
To allow images to load faster in poor network conditions, image size restrictions are applied in Acquia DAM. Previously, DAM assets had a maximum image size limit of 1280 pixels. Acquia wanted this limit to be increased to 1600 pixels. Using a different API, Axelerant implemented the new resolution support, adding the ability to download an image of better quality from Acquia DAM.
Axelerant also made a major improvement to the user experience of the module. When downloading an asset from DAM, previously there was no progress bar to indicate that the system is processing the DAM asset for download, and it looked like the system has frozen. The Axelerant team added a progress bar. This progress bar now helps give users a realistic picture of the time remaining for download.
We’ve helped speed up the loading time for assets.
Previously, on clicking the Select entities button, assets would take a long time to load—sometimes as long as 30 seconds. Clicking the button would send a request to the Webdam service along with some parameters; based on this, the service would load folders and assets. Axelerant was asked to change the parameters passed to the Webdam service, which would prevent the module from downloading assets inside the folders, significantly reducing the load time.
We’ve reviewed the module and suggested further improvements.
Besides working on prescribed tasks, the Axelerant team also reviewed the module and suggested other changes that could help improve the current system. The team focused on investigating why assets were taking so long to load, and identifying where the bottleneck was through profiling.
While performing these tasks, Axelerant engineers also found a UX problem in the module and fixed it; opting for asset download without selecting any items would previously cause the module to throw up a gibberish message. Axelerant engineers resolved this issue, and now the module prompts users to make a selection first.
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