File Sharing/Publishing

Deep Access (First Look Review)

31 Jul, 2008 By: Ron LaFon

Highly Recommended software helps deliver searchable 2D, 3D, and related media assets and metadata.

Deep Access, from Pleasanton, California–based Right Hemisphere, is Internet-based digital-media asset management software that works with the company's Deep Server process-automation system to deliver a unified repository of searchable 2D, 3D, and related media assets and metadata. Together, these two products provide a scalable and secure information-management solution that can generate graphics derivatives and documents from product data for collaborative use in development, production, marketing, and support.

Today, the individual bits of information involved with a given company or product often are scattered around the country or the globe, so obtaining access for collaboration and publishing can be fraught with complexity.

At one time, for every 3D CAD part or assembly, graphic design teams had to recreate content for use in technical documentation, training, illustration, marketing materials, and parts catalogs. Right Hemisphere's Deep Access software helps automate the generation of these derivative assets and final documents from simple thumbnail image representations of parts or assemblies to produce complete multiple-page 2D/3D documents with data merged from a company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) or product lifecycle management (PLM) system.

It's difficult to streamline a discussion of this application and still give a sense of how it might be used in the real world, so perhaps the best approach is to give three examples of scenarios that illustrate usage.

 Deep Access
Deep Access

For Scenario Number One, let's assume that a computer-generated imagery (CGI) artist needs the latest Maya file of a car to use for a high-end animation or rendering. A certified partner (such as an automotive company's advertising or media partner) could be granted controlled access from IT to its Deep Access/Deep Server environment to allow it to connect directly with engineering, without actually pulling an engineer from an important task. Deep Access will also ensure that the artist is working with only the most up-to-date engineering content. Deep Access associates all related images, so users can see everything that's been created on the same part or assembly, as well as who created each individual image.

Scenario Number 2 is similar to the preceding example and assumes someone in sourcing is working on a new request for quotation (RFQ) to send to suppliers. The sourcing professional can pull the relevant product images from Deep Access, combine them with text information, and publish all in a secure PDF file to be passed along to prospective suppliers or partners who want to participate in the bidding process.

In Right Hemisphere s Deep Access you can visually locate assets by project, manage folders, upload and download assets and assemblies, and switch projects by browsing tree-view hierarchies of folders, assemblies, and categories.
In Right Hemisphere s Deep Access you can visually locate assets by project, manage folders, upload and download assets and assemblies, and switch projects by browsing tree-view hierarchies of folders, assemblies, and categories.

Scenario Number Three involves technical publications, which are a significant case area for Right Hemisphere software. A designer could, for example, take the original engineering content and automatically create derivative 2D files for the production of manufacturing assembly sheets, training manuals, or service manuals. He or she could go into Deep Access and output 2D images per the specific requirements of the technical publication directly from an Internet-based application interface. Users can get an annotated bill of materials diagram in Adobe Illustrator format, for example, without having the actual model or the Illustrator application resident on their client desktop system. That image may already be positioned and scaled the way the technical publication producer needs for his or her document.

The system requirements for Deep Access fall into two categories. On the server side, you'll need a server running Microsoft Windows Server 2000 and later, Microsoft IIs, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Right Hemisphere Deep Server 5, and Deep Access. On the client side, the base requirements are a system with Internet Explorer 6+ and Microsoft .NET 2.0. You likely will need to install an ActiveX control on the client side to make everything work as expected. Right Hemisphere's Deep Access is priced as part of an enterprise solution and starts at $995 per server-connected user for the Deep Access software only.

Although it's difficult to adequately convey the essence or even a significant portion of the features of a product like Deep Access, if you're interested in an efficient way to manage, collaborate, and publish digital media at the corporate level, then Right Hemisphere's Deep Access is well worth investigating. Highly Recommended.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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