Use talented ImageAXS Pro to create database of images

Use talented ImageAXS Pro to create database of images

By Jason Byrne

GCN Staff

Many software packages can catalog images on the hard drive, presenting thumbnail views of large photo collections. Most of them aim at general consumers. A package needs a little more to bring meaningful search capability into enterprise workgroups.

ImageAXS Pro bridges the gap. Desktop users can still compile thumbnail galleries, but the product's real strength lies in creating a database of images.

Certain tasks are easier when images can be handled as database objects. ImageAXS Pro deals not just with still images but also with multimedia content. Its database can handle just about any file format associated with a PC application.

Box Score '' ' ' '''''

ImageAXS Pro

Multimedia database for graphics

Caere Corp.; Los Gatos, Calif.;

tel. 800-535-7226

Price: $200 downloadable from Caere's online store

+Database for image management

+Easy to use and customize

'Problems with some common file formats

'Would benefit from direct support of TWAIN devices

Real-life requirements:

Windows 9x or NT 4.0, 166-MHz or faster Pentium PC, 32M of RAM, 20M of free storage, Microsoft Access 97 or later version to customize database; Mac OS version available

The package supports multimedia in about 40 common file formats. The only really notable lack was for .tif files saved with Lempel-Ziv-Welch compression, a common format for Adobe Photoshop and other graphics packages.

Caere Corp., which bought publishing rights to the software from the Digital Arts and Sciences Corp. of Berkeley, Calif., promises a forthcoming patch for LZW-compressed .tif files.

Although the documentation and the company's Web site said the package could handle Encapsulated PostScript files, in my tests it simply showed an icon for Photoshop, the application with which .eps files were associated on my test machine, rather than previewing the .eps images.

Except for these glitches, you can count on keeping track of pretty much any multimedia and graphics files on a PC or shared network drive. From the database back end, you define fields to hold information about the files, enter keywords, and provide detailed notes and descriptions.

Get it quick

All the information is searchable for quick access to relevant photos. Be aware, though, that setting up so much behind-the-scenes information is no easy task. A database is only as good as the information inside it, and a database of multimedia files has a great deal of information to keep straight.

Caere also sells ImageAXS, which is similar to ImageAXS Pro in the gallery and database features. What ImageAXS Pro offers in addition is what makes it useful for a workgroup. It can export Hypertext Markup Language with modifiable templates'a simple way to post image galleries on the Web.

Users can keep multiple collections of files to control grouping of multimedia files. The same file can exist in more than one collection.

What raises ImageAXS Pro above the pack of image gallery software is its customizable back-end database with up to 100 fields per record.

One surprising drawback was the package's inability to access images directly from image sources, such as digital cameras and scanners.

Despite the shortcomings, ImageAXS Pro is one of the finest image management packages I've seen.


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