I'm looking for some advice on a simple, hosted web-based digital file management system. We have a design team that creates a lot of assets needed by engineering, marketing, and many other people in the company. However, we already manage timelines, feedback, etc in a ticketing system. Dropbox/git may be possible, but these solutions require checking out/syncing everything which could be a lot.

What I'd like is a hosted system where a designer can upload their digital assets, associate them with a ticket (perhaps via folders), and track file changes. Ideally, non designers could log into the system and obtain the files too.

So far, I've found http://www.brandregard.com and http://www.mediasilo.com, but both seem to be focused on specific types of digital files.

  • One thought I had was Google Docs. Not sure if that would meet your needs, but at least now it has been mentioned. – Joonas Feb 28 '12 at 9:16
  • We use Google Docs for all of our Word/Spreadsheet/etc files. Google Drive may be useful one day too. – sigre Feb 28 '12 at 22:12

What you're asking for sounds tailor-made for Gridiron Flow. It has versioning and collaboration tools, time management and asset management tools specifically for design workflows. It knows about graphics files (even tracks the names of layers inside a PSD) and the relationships among files (e.g., it will keep track of all the assets you've brought into a Photoshop or After Effects composition and can even show the relationships in a map). Since it automatically (and instantly) saves versions, Flow can be a lifesaver.

It may also be that Filetrek is what you need. I've not used it myself, but since it looks like it's by the same folks, I expect it's very robust.

Adobe will be releasing the Creative Cloud shortly, which may be another solution. Since it comes complete with the entire Creative Suite, it may well be the most cost-effective solution.

I'd be willing to bet that at least one of these would fit your situation, but you'd have to check out the details yourself.

  • Flow looks interesting, but the download button seems to be broken. – Lèse majesté Mar 2 '12 at 0:40
  • That's kinda weird. I sent them an email (and cc'd the CEO -- I suspect that will ginger things up!). I was on the early beta tests for Flow 1, and later v2, so I developed some good contacts. – Alan Gilbertson Mar 2 '12 at 2:15
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    Update: It looks like Flow is actually in the process of being superseded by Filetrek. It uses technology developed for Flow, but honed to what the market needs. – Alan Gilbertson Mar 3 '12 at 23:42
  • Thanks! Filetrek looks the most promising right now, and I plan to continue playing with it. – sigre Mar 12 '12 at 19:01

If you are talking about image files (PSD files, JPGs, AI files, etc.) Then most file management and version control systems won't be of much use. The challenge with hosting versions of image files is storage capacity and the challenge of using versioning software is figuring out and tracking actual changes to non-ascii/non-text files. (Side note: This is where SVG could be really useful...)

You probably need to be researching "Digital Asset Management".

As such, the one option you hear mentioned with these types of files is Adobe's own Bridge product:


I don't know if anyone offers that as a hosted solution, however.

  • For an agency/corporate setup, you probably need to pair Bridge with Version Cue. I haven't tried Version Cue personally, but it'd be great having a VCS that intelligently supports images. – Lèse majesté Feb 28 '12 at 0:22
  • conversely, svg and git would only need to touch the changed files, so syncing absolutely does NOT mean a full download of the entire repository. This is assuming that they can't handle incremental (arbitrary) changes within binary files (which I frankly don't know). – horatio Feb 28 '12 at 18:39
  • I'm pretty sure most versioning control systems like SVN don't handle versioning of binary files. – DA01 Feb 28 '12 at 19:24
  • Thanks, I've been looking through DAM solutions but they are generally very enterprise-y. Also, it looks like Version Cue has been discontinued: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Version_Cue – sigre Feb 28 '12 at 22:10
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    subversion.apache.org/faq.html#binary-files ( "For storage and transmission purposes, Subversion uses a diffing method that works equally well on binary and text files;" ). however for binary files svn will "Not attempt to automatically merge received changes with local changes during svn update or svn merge". I have no idea what the distinction is between these two statements. I have been playing with svn recently, but I have not used it in production (yet) – horatio Mar 1 '12 at 16:33

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