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Standard Review
Last Updated April 2019

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Standard Review

Cloudinary is a software–as-a-service (SaaS) solution for managing web or mobile application’s media assets in the cloud. Functionality covers the media supply chain from upload & store, manage & organize, search & browse, share & collaborate, manipulate & optimize, to delivery. As a cloud-based service, with seemingly no integrations to on-premise systems and limited configurability, this solution has limited applications within the media supply chain and we would say is more of a point solution. Cloudinary widgets can be integrated into clients’ CMS and portals. This includes media library widget, product gadget, and a video player.

ARCHITECTURE: Cloudinary is a multi-tenanted software–as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based solution deployed on AWS or Google. It is not deployable on-premise. The media assets are delivered from high-performance servers through Content Delivery Networks (CDN). A range of security features are included. Cloudinary supports a SDK library that wraps Cloudinary's APIs. No mention is made of the underlying architecture or database(s) used.

INTEGRATION: Cloudinary offers certified integration using modular add-ons with cloud-based services from a variety of vendors. This includes CMS and eCommerce platforms (Salesforce, Mgento, Wordpress and Zapier) and vision and image processing partners (for transformations, auto-tagging, protection and analysis). No integration with on-premise resources is supported. No mention of resource status monitoring.

AUTOMATION: Cloudinary seems to offer no built-in graphical workflow design tool, nor any real-time workflow monitoring capability. Instead it proposes clients build their own management console using Cloudinary APIs to build workflows.

METADATA: Cloudinary enables the extraction and storage of existing metadata from media assets and add or modify custom metadata. The metadata tab enables fields to be added to the schema for that asset type. The analysis tab enables the viewing of the AI generated metadata (including auto-tagging, face and celebrity detection, OCR and color analysis) and manually entered metadata (spatial areas of interest). There is no mention of more advanced metadata.

USER EXPERIENCE: Cloudinary user interfaces are very simple and easy to use, but lack advanced media functionality. The UIs have some nice built-in automated tools such as object aware cropping and remove the background functionality.

ANALYTICS: Cloudinary provides graphical and numerical reporting on transformations performed, images and videos imported, storage (broken down to originals, derived and backup assets) and bandwidth. Each of these has a limit according to the type of plan. Asset usage analytics are also available. No mention of user activity reporting or audit trails.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Cloudinary has plugins for integration with auto tagging tools (Amazon Rekognition, Google, Imagga) and video analysis tools (Google AI, Microsoft Video Indexer, Neural Artwork) are supported to make searching for assets more efficient.