Using external Media Library (DAM/CDN) with Strapi?


in my company I have inherited a system that consists of Strapi as a central CMS for various websites and Canto for a Digital Asset Management (DAM). I would not call myself a Strapi expert, which is why I’m reaching out to the Strapi community for my question.

We’re currently living with a pretty hacky solution developed by an external company. This solution kind of duplicates the Canto Media Library into the Strapi Media Library but this currently requires a lot of manual labour. Also it forks the original Upload plugin and replaces a lot of its files, so we do not get any updates without manually merging them into our fork.

We’re currently migrating from v3 to v4 and because the architecture has changed so much, migrating this hacky solution is very tricky for us. So we’re thinking about coming up with better solutions.

One idea would be to use Strapi basically as a client to browse through Canto. We would want to not have a table for assets known to Strapi.

Instead, when a content manager i.e. wants to define a featureImage for an article, we would like to present him/her a dialog where they can browse through the assets stored in Canto, select one and then the selected asset’s ID would be stored in the article.featureImage field.

So much for the context, now my question to you guys:

I do not expect a technical implementation from you, but what would be the key principles that I would have to research to come up with a more precise technical vision?

I have a feeling that the upcoming Custom Fields feature might come in handy, does this sound right?

Or if not, does Strapi v4 allow me to write a custom plugin that contains admin UI code and backend logic which realize my requirements?

Thanks a lot for your help!

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In case somebody is interested:
We ended up creating a plugin which registers a custom field. Custom fields are currently in beta, but we are not live with v4 yet. When we’re ready to go live, hopefully custom fields will be stable.