What do I need to run IMatch Anywhere?
IMatch Anywhere runs on Windows 10 and later. It can be independently installed from IMatch for Windows. The hardware and software requirements are basically the same as for IMatch. Make sure you have WIC codecs installed when you plan to use RAW files with IMatch Anywhere.
You need at least one license of IMatch for Windows 2020 or higher to create, update and maintain the database. IMatch Anywhere is an add-on for IMatch.
Why do I need IMatch for Windows in addition to IMatch Anywhere?
Currently, IMatch Anywhere is an add-on for IMatch for Windows. IMatch Anywhere makes it super-easy to publish an existing IMatch database in your network, allowing users to browse the database using their web browser from any device.
IMatch Anywhere at this time cannot create or update IMatch databases. That is the reason why you need IMatch for Windows – to create, update and maintain the IMatch database.
Which IMatch Anywhere Editions are available?
Different users have different needs. Whether you want to use IMatch Anywhere at home or in your business, one of the three available editions will make a perfect fit.
See the IMatch Anywhere Editions overview for detailed information and recommendations.
How do I install IMatch Anywhere?
If you want to try out IMatch Anywhere, download the free 30-day Trial Edition.
Tip: See the installation tutorial in the IMatch Anywhere Learning Center for more info.
If you have a license for IMatch Anywhere, download the most recent licensed version from the photools.com Customer Portal. Installing it will update previously installed trial and licensed editions of IMatch Anywhere to the most recent licensed edition.
Run the installer and follow the instructions on screen.
What if I don’t have IMatch?
IMatch is required to create and maintain the database you publish with IMatch Anywhere.
If you don’t have IMatch yet, you can download the free 30-day trial version from the download page.
IMatch, IMatch Anywhere, IMatch WebServices, IMatch WebViewer?
A powerful, flexible and robust digital asset management system (DAM) for Windows. With IMatch you create and maintain the database that manages all your digital assets.
Describes a set of technologies and products. IMatch WebServices and the IMatch WebViewer are part of IMatch Anywhere.
Makes IMatch databases accessible as a web service. Other web services, web sites or web apps can connect to IMatch WebServices via standard interfaces to access IMatch databases safely. You run IMatch WebServices on a Windows PC to publish your IMatch database.
This app enables you to access your IMatch databases remotely using a web browser, from any device. It connects to IMatch WebServices to access the IMatch database.
The IMatch Anywhere installer installs both IMatch WebServices and IMatch WebViewer. You only need to add an IMatch database.
See the Installing IMatch Anywhere video in the IMatch Anywhere Learning Center for more info.
Where can I find more information about IMatch Anywhere?
- IMatch Anywhere comes with a complete documentation. To open the IMatch Anywhere help, click on the Help button in the controller application or open it via the photools.com entry in the Windows START menu.
- The IMatch Anywhere Learning Center offers many free how-to videos and tutorials.
- The friendly IMatch community is the best place to ask questions and get support for IMatch and IMatch Anywhere.
- You can also contact us directly via our support page.
How many users does IMatch WebServices support?
The maximum number of concurrent users is limited by your edition and the installed CALs. For example, if you have a PRO edition license, a maximum of 5 users can connect to IMatch WebServices at a time. You can still have 10 or 20 different users, but only 5 can use IMatch WebServices simultaneously. The number of concurrent users for the TEAM edition can be increased by purchasing additional CAL license packs.
How many concurrent users IMatch WebServices handles from a performance standpoint depends on a variety of factors such as: size of the database (how many files are managed in the database), the structure of the database (number of categories, amount of metadata, …), the complexity of the user interaction and of course the hardware on which IMatch WebServices runs.
If you have only a few number of concurrent users or a small database, IMWS will run fine on lower-end hardware or even on a Notebook. For 10 or more concurrent users and large databases we recommend more powerful hardware.
What is the meaning of ‘concurrent users’ ?
IMatch Anywhere is licensed using a floating seat licensing model. Depending on the edition (HOME, PRO or TEAM) you have installed, 2, 5 or more users can connect at the same time (simultaneously) to IMatch WebServices. You can have any number of users, but only the number of users covered by your license can connect concurrently.
Example: You have 10 potential users who want to use IMatch WebViewer. You have installed a PRO edition of IMatch Anywhere which grants you 5 concurrent users. This means that 5 of your 10 users can use IMatch WebServices at the same time. If a sixth user wants to connect, he has to wait until one of the other users logs out. IMatch WebViewer will tell him that all licenses are currently in use.
What are ‘user accounts’ and ‘user groups’ for ?
User accounts are a security feature. By creating user accounts you control who is allowed to connect to IMatch WebServices and to use IMatch WebViewer. Only persons who have a user name and a matching password can access your database.
User groups manage access privileges and feature access. They enable you to control which elements (folders, categories, …) of the database a user can access, and which features of IMatch WebServices he can use.
Example: You create a user group which has only access to the files in the ‘Public’ category. If you assign user accounts to this user group, these users can access files in ‘Public’ but don’t see other database contents.
Can users edit metadata or categories?
Yes. The integrated FileLens feature allows users to add and edit metadata and categories. Which users are allowed to change data can be controlled via the integrated access control in IMatch Anywhere WebServices.
How do I activate the included CALs or CALs purchased separately?
Activating CALs is easy. Just follow the on-screen instructions of the License Manager integrated in the IMatch Anywhere WebServices Controller application. Click F1 in that application to open the help system and click on License Management (CALSs) on the right to see the instructions.
If you have any problems, please contact us so we can assist you.
My browser cannot connect to IMatch WebServices.
1. Make sure IMatch WebServices are running. Open the controller application to verify that or use the Services tab of Windows Task Manager.
2. Make sure you are using the proper URL, with a trailing backslash:
https://YOUR-PC:443/imatchviewer/ if you are connecting via SSL.
3. Check if IMatch WebServices accepts connections by opening the URL
http://YOUR-PC:Port/info in your web browser.
Replace YOUR-PC with the name of your computer and Port with the port number you have configured for IMatch WebServices. You can click on the link shown in the controller application to connect to IMatch WebServices and to retrieve a page with information:
If this does not work, your browser cannot connect to the Windows computer running IMatch WebServices.
4. Check the Windows firewall settings and make sure that IMatchWebServices.exe is allowed to accept incoming requests in your private network. See the IMatch Anywhere help in the controller for details.
5. On some devices, the DNS resolution does not work. The device (often affected: Apple devices) is unable to map the name of the computer running IMWS to its IP address.
In these cases it helps to change the imwsURL configuration option in the IMatch WebViewer
docroot\imatch\config\config.json file to use the IP address of the computer running IMWS instead of its name. You also need to use the IP address in your browser to open IMatch WebViewer: Instead of
http://YOUR-PC:8081/imatchviewer/ you use
http:://192.168.0.10:8081/imatchviewer/. Replace the IP address with the IP address of the computer running IMWS in your network.
6. If you are trying from a mobile phone or tablet: Make sure you are connecting via your Wi-Fi (WLAN) home network. If you instead use the mobile network, you are basically trying to connect from ‘the Internet’ – and Windows firewall will block access. This is important. You don’t want computers from the Internet being able to reach your PC.
Does Your Network Run a DNS Server?
A DNS server translates a compute name like YOUR-PC into the an IP address like 192.168.100.10. This allows a web browser to connect to a PC in your network by name instead of by the IP address. IP addresses may change and the computer running IMWS may get a different IP address the next time it boots.
In ‘Home’ networks, DNS functionality is usually provided by your router. You can check if a DNS server is running with these steps:
1. From the Windows START menu, open a command prompt window.
2. Copy/Paste this command:
ipconfig /all | findstr /R "DNS\ Servers"
This shows you the IP addresses of all DNS servers currently configured.
IMatch WebViewer is very slow only on some devices
If IMatch WebViewer is fast on your PC but very slow on your tablet or smart phone, the problem is often the DNS lookup. If you connect to the computer running IMatch WebServices via its Windows name (e.g. IMA-FFM-01), the browser needs to determine the IP address of that computer. This is done via something called DNS. Your router provides the DNS service in your local network.
Some users have reported that their smart phones or tablets take sometimes minutes (!) to do the DNS lookup. If they use external addresses (photools.com) the lookup is fast. But it is super-slow for computers in the local network. The problem in such cases is either a bad router configuration or an incompatibility in the smart phone / tablet. This is not an IMatch Anywhere problem.
Solution: Instead of using the computer name in the URL, use the IP address. For example, instead of
http://MA-FFM-01:8081/imatchviewer you use something like
http://192.168.100.11:8081/imatchviewer (your IP address will be different). You also need to use the IP address instead of the computer name in the config.json configuration file in that case. See Configuring IMatch WebViewer n the IMatch Anywhere help for details.
IMatch WebServices cannot open a database on another computer
IMatch WebServices runs, like most services, under the LocalSystem user account. This means it can access resources (files) on the local computer, but no network files. See the information about changing the IMWS user account below for details.
Note: Using a database on a remote computer with IMWS is not recommended. Accessing a database over a network can be 100 times slower than accessing a database stored on a local disk. We recommend to use a copy of your IMatch database with IMWS, and to store this database on the same computer running IMWS for optimal performance. This is especially important if your database is large or IMWS serves many concurrent users.
IMatch WebServices complains about inaccessible files
If you run IMatch WebServices (IMWS) on a different computer than IMatch, make sure it can access the files managed in the database. IMatch WebServices creates cache files on-demand and needs to access the original files for that purpose.
If you copy the files to the computer running IMatch WebServices, relocate the folders in the database so they point to the computer running IMWS and not on the original computer. You can let IMatch do this automatically by setting up the relocation once under Edit > Preferences > Database > Portability Options. See the IMatch Anywhere help for instructions.
IMatch WebServices is a Windows service. It can be configured to start automatically when Windows starts, runs in the background and works whether or not a user is logged in. IMWS runs under the LOCAL SERVICE user account by default. Like all Windows services running under the LOCAL SERVICE user account, IMatch WebServices has no access to drive mappings and files on other computers.
Don’t use drive mappings
A drive mapping maps a drive letter like X: to a network folder like \\server\share\folder. If you have indexed files on mapped drives in your database, you need to relocate them to the original share to allow IMWS to access them. In the example above, relocating folders like X:\pictures back to \\server\share\pictures will do the trick. See the IMatch Anywhere help for more information about drive mappings.
Configure a different user account
If your database indexes files on a remote computer, you need configure IMatch WebServices to run under a user account that has access to the remote files. The default LOCAL SERVICE user account has no access to files on other computers.
If you use IMWS in your home network, you can run it under your own user account (the same you use to log into Windows). If you use IMWS in a company network, you should setup a dedicated user account with access to the files and folders indexed in your database and then configure IMWS to run under this user account.
The easiest way to achieve this is to enter a user account name and password in the Advanced Options in the WebService Controller application.
In this example, we run the service under the user account Mario. It can now access all resources Mario has access to. In secure environments you usually setup a dedicated user account for IMatch WebServices and grant access privileges as needed.
See the IMatch Anywhere documentation for details and ask your system administrator for support.
WebViewer takes a long time to load images
IMatch WebServices creates cache images on-demand, when they are first requested. Once the cache files have been generated, they can be delivered in almost no time.
If a user performs an operation in IMatch WebViewer that causes it to request 20, 30 or 100 image files from IMatch WebServices and IMWS first has to create the cache images for some or all of these files first, it will be slower to respond.
You can configure IMatch WebServices to create cache images automatically and to keep them up-to-date using the cache settings in the controller application. You can pre-cache all files or pre-cache only selected folders. See the IMatch Anywhere help for more information.
No cache images for RAW images
IMatch WebServices requires WIC codecs to process RAW formats. See the WIC Codecs article in the knowledge base for details and download links.
How can I reduce the cache size / purge the cache
You can either just delete the cache folder on your disk (for the name of the folder, see the Cache Options in IMatch WebViewer Controller) or you use the Purge command available in the same dialog. You can purge files not used for a specified number of days. IMatch WebServices re-creates them automatically as needed.
Images appear too small in WebViewer
1. The size of the cache images created by IMatch WebServices can be configured in the cache settings on the server. To save network bandwidth and processing on the server, the Administrator may configure the largest cache images to be only 2000 or less pixels.
2. The size of the cache images used for the Viewer in IMatch WebViewer can be configured in the IMatch WebViewer options ( button in the toolbar). Make sure you have selected the largest available size.
Can I install IMatch WebViewer also on a separate web server, like Apache or IIS?
Sure. Just copy the contents of the imatchviewer folder created during the installation / update of IMatch WebServices to the document root of your web server. Then configure your web server to publish the site to make IMatch WebViewer available for your users. Make sure that your web server has access to the computer running IMatch WebServices and update the config.json file in the webviewer/imatch/config folder to point at the IMWS computer.
Can I install IMatch Anywhere in a Virtual Machine?
Yes. If you run Windows in a virtual machine you can install IMatch Anywhere in that machine. It works great.
Mind the number of IMatch Anywhere licenses you have. If you have one license, you can run IMatch Anywhere on one computer – virtual or physical.
Can I install IMatch WebServices behind a ‘proxy’ to protect it?
Yes. See the corresponding topic in the IMatch Anywhere help for more info and some common deployment scenarios. You can easily proxy IMatch WebServices through Apache or similar.