The Tridion Content Manager gives the user two "official" options when storing multimedia content. Either they can upload it (storing it in the Tridion Content Manager database) or reference is as an external link. The other "unofficial" option would be to use a normal component and provide the multimedia location as a url.

Say you had a fresh installation of Tridion 2011/2013 and knew the client had a lot of multimedia content (say 500Gb video, 50Gb audio, 50Gb image, 50Gb other), what would be considered the best way to store these files in Tridion?

2 Answers 2


If it is SDL Tridion 2011, in your scenario (huge number of digital assets), I would recommend using a separate Digital Asset Management (DAM) system instead of storing them in SDL Tridion. To be noted, SDL Tridion is a Web Content Management system with few capabilities of a DAM system. and then accessing these assets using external URL. Primarily streaming through a typical good DAM system is much more efficient, fast and smooth as compared to accessing it over a File System/DB. For example: You may have your Videos on a DAM called OOYALA and you are referencing it through an external URL, in all aspect the experience would be much better as compared to if you have stored the video in SDL Tridion and accessing it from File System after publishing.

If it is SDL Tridion 2013, in your scenario, I would highly recommend using a separate DAM system and referencing them using external URLs (or may be you may choose to write a Provider for ECL). This way it also provide you to manage the content from Tridion

In both cases, you always have a flexibility to scale out your solution, and if these digital assets are to be used by any other solution like a CRM tool or any other marketing tool, you need not to worry about their integration with SDL Tridion

Please note, generally the Digital Assets are common to many solutions and you should respect the scalability here.

  • So I would use a regular component rather than a multimedia component? Related ... tridion.stackexchange.com/questions/925/… Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 10:40
  • +1 for ECL, but it depends on where the customer currently is storing all the multimedia content (most likely it is some type of MAM system already, which makes it a strong case for ECL) Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 11:03
  • Kevin: Yes you should. Bart: Ofcourse Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 13:06

The binary content of an external Multimedia Component will not be stored in the CM database, but upon Publishing the content will be loaded from the external link and published as a regular multimedia component. So it will end up on your presentation server in your Broker storage (file system or database depending on storage configuration).

This means that you will be publishing the large files, so it most of the time is not a nice solution (better than also storing it in teh CM database as a regular Multimedia Component, but still).

Also most of the time you will see that the customer already has some kind of Media Asset Management system (MAM or maybe even DAM) in use which might even be able to provide a direct link to the item (publicly available on a CDN). IN that case your best option is to use External Content Libraries (ECL) on 2013 (if still on 2011, this will be one of your reasons for the upgrade).

Even if the multimedia content is not externally available, using ECL might still be your best option, because you only have to write a provider which can fetch the content upon publishing (Tridion can handle the publishing normally through my ECL TBB) and it means you don't need to create a Multimedia Component for every new item (ECL does that for you upon usage).

  • yvw, you now also see what David tried to say, he probably meant the Broker database rather than the CM one. Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 11:40
  • Indeed, I was a little confused about that answer. Now it makes sense! I'll mark Pankaj as the answer because he got there first. Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 11:44
  • 1
    sure fair enough, his answer does explain it all, I just wanted to clarify the external mm comp a bit more. Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 11:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.