These functions can be accessed manually or automatically, and some systems even allow access by third parties. This mainly concerns external service providers who can exchange data more easily by accessing the system, thus enabling faster project implementation. In most cases, a DAM system is equated with an image database. However, this approach is not correct, as a DAM system can interact with all types of data - including digital assets of all kinds, such as program codes, music files, graphics and others.
The configuration of a DAM system can be arbitrary, so that individual components, complete systems or storage systems can be combined. Classically, such a system consists of a database or indexer and local application software. Graphical web interfaces have also become established as an alternative, and most software manufacturers now rely on relational databases and web front-ends. In addition, manufacturers classically offer DAM systems as software-as-a-service in a private or public cloud. To meet the holistic IT approach, modern DAM systems can also be integrated into the existing IT system landscape. Thus, these systems can interact directly with web store systems, product information management systems or content management systems and make the archived assets available there. The newer systems in particular enable the production of media files by means of installable add-ons. The files to be edited are usually checked out for this purpose and thus excluded from further use. After final editing, they are re-imported and checked in.