Server-based alternative to Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by jallen, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. jallen

    jallen TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm a student at a university that could really use your ideas. I work in an office that is in the business of digitizing the university's assets and information (yearbooks, projects, faculty vitae, etc.). For now, we're using software called Telescope (not sure if that would be familiar to photographers) to host a lot of the images from various offices here. But the costs on that are super high (~$30,000/year just for maintenance) and the university is broke. So when the maintenance contract runs out at the end of the calendar year, we need another way to host the images.

    Adobe Lightroom seems like a great solution, except that it doesn't seem to be server-based at all. We need multiple people from all around campus to have access to the images. So is there a photo storage software out there (even open-source) that may be able to accomplish that? Something web-based would work well, too. Microsoft Sharepoint was brought up, but I haven't researched it yet. Any ideas would be sweet. Thanks so much in advance. Also, I'm an accounting major with just a little photography experience, but the information will eventually get filtered through to people who are also photographers. Thanks in advance.

    Justin
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'll start by saying that I'm no IT expert.
    So basically, you need a way to archive the photos while having them accessible to your network.
    For the most part, digital images are going to be read-only files. (they are not spread sheets that might be edited by multiple users, for example). So all you should need, is a place to host them, and a way for the users to see them. That sounds fairly simple. The hosting shouldn't be a problem (although the size of the archive could pose back-up issues). Then you just need a way for the users to find & see the images. There are many programs that might fit the bill...even free ones.
    Off the top of my head...check out Google's Picasa or Irfanview.
    Making it easy to use might be an issue...so someone could keyword the images to facilitate easy searching. Also, the general structure of the archive may be a factor. They could be organized by capture date, or department or anything.
    Or do you need a more complex system for searching images?
     
  3. jallen

    jallen TPF Noob!

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    Yep.

    Actually, yes. Thanks for bringing that up. I think that's what rules out most of the simpler, cheaper programs. And there's the fact that it needs to handle a few hundred thousand images. A big part of assessing Lightroom was how easily we could manage metadata. If someone calls wanting a very specific type of photo, they want to be able to search effectively rather than look through a ton of photos. They also want to be able to edit the metadata fields instead of making due with picking and choosing from what the program provides. That's something that Lightroom didn't provide, as far as I could tell.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. Shutter_to_think

    Shutter_to_think TPF Noob!

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