Digital Asset Management (DAM)

The DAM is a TYPO3 extension that allows you to manage digital assets such as documents and multimedia resources. This extension let you organize and categorize files and retrieve and/or enhance associated meta-data such as the author or copyright information.

I created a TYPO3 website for a non-profit organization some time ago and their requirements in term of document management. But as every system, it growed up and the standard FileList module was not sufficiant anymore and editors wanted to be able to “go a bit further”. This is where the  DAM extension may be use.

This article shows you how I managed to use this nice extension as a document management system for the  Unité Pastorale Sainte-Claire, canton Fribourg, in Switzerland.

Installing Extensions

Here are the mandatory and/or recommended extensions:

  • dam: useless to say that you need it...
  • dam_catedit: allows management of document categories
  • dam_index: used to index documents
    • cc_metaexif: extracts  EXIF and  IPTC data from images (requires external tool exiftags)
    • cc_meta_xmp: extracts  XMP data from JPEG images
    • cc_metaexec: extracts metadata from PDF files (requires external tool pdfinfo)
    • kyak_metaaudio: extracts metadata from WAV, MP3 and OGG audio files
    • cc_txtextexec: extracts content from PDF, DOC and XLS files (requires external tools pdftotext, catdoc and xls2csv)
    • cc_txtextphp: extracts content from text files such as TXT, HTML, XML and SGML

Once all these extensions are installed, it is wise ensuring that the DAM environment is working (particularly content and metadata extraction).

Let’s open menu Media > File, tab Indexing, and in the list below the tab, let’s choose topic Services Info. You should get the following summary:

If external tools are not available, typically if you get such rows in the service summary table:

then double check that you have authorized executing programs:

$TYPO3_CONF_VARS['BE']['disable_exec_function'] = '0';

If this does not work, perhaps you have got a hardened PHP configuration. I got a problem with symbolic links in a directory listed in the open_basedir configuration parameter of php.ini ( read my bug report). If you get this bug, I suggest you apply my patch  class.t3lib_exec.php.patch (both compatible with TYPO3 4.1.6 and 4.2.0).

Indexing a Document

In order to be able to test that indexing a document is actually working and extracting metadata, I created a file  dam_test.pdf (35 KB) in LaTeX:

\def\doctitle{Using DAM to manage documents}
\def\docauthor{Xavier Perseguers}
  pdfsubject={How to use TYPO3's DAM to index documents},
  pdfkeywords={TYPO3 DAM}
\section{Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet}
Consectetuer adipiscing elit...

Source:  dam_test.tex.

So, we have got a file containing multiple metata (title, author, keywords, page size, number of pages, …):

The only thing left to do is to upload a file in DAM to see that its metadata are well extracted:

Sample Files to be Indexed

Here are a few files containing lots of metadata. You may use them to test that all indexing services you installed are working properly: