BNHM Collection Management System Evaluation, Spring–Summer, 2009
Combined Initial Scoring, version 3.1 10/15/09SpecifyArctosCollectionSpace
Specify (1.0=fully)Arctos (1.0=fully)CollectionSpace 1.0 (1.0=fully)Would this system be able to handle your institution's needs with respect to the following criteria?Scoring logicOVERALL WEIGHT 1-Low 5-HighI think this is out of scopeOur institution doesn't care about thisYes, certainlyI think so, but I'd want confirmationI think so, but I'd want it demonstratedI don't think so, but have the developers confirmNot in the way(s) we need/wantNoExplain if you answered "no"EssigMVZPAHMAUCMPHerbariaBot Garden#NotesTotal PointsPossible PointsOverall56Total PointsPossible PointsOverall63Total PointsPossible PointsOverall74
40%40%40%FUNCTIONAL CRITERIA223332672493417321634163
System currently used in …
110Entomology collection51555505
110Vertebrate Zoology (mammals, fish, birds, herps)52555505
001Anthropology and Archaeology53050555
000Botanical Garden56050505
00.51Cultural heritage collection57A: Working on U. Alaska Art Museum052.5555
Core collections management processes900
111Object Entry (the management and documentation of the receipt of objects/specimens lots that are not currently part of the collection)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections510555555
111Acquisition (documenting and managing the addition of objects/specimen lots to the permanent collections of the institution; includes accession)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections511555555
111Inventory Control (the maintenance of up-to-date information identifying all objects/specimen lots for which the institution has legal responsibility, including objects/specimen lots on loan, unaccessioned, or previously undocumented items and enquiries)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections512555555
111Location & Movement Control (the documentation and management of information concerning the current and past locations of all objects/specimen lots in the institution's care to ensure that the museum can locate any object at any time)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections513555555
111Location: Museum storage1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections514555555
111Cataloguing (the compilation and maintenance of primary information describing, formally identifying, or otherwise relating to objects/specimen lots in the collection; includes object history/provenance)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections515555555
110.5Bulk entry capability516S: Workbench. C: Migration tools.55552.55
111Dispatch (the management and documentation of objects/specimen lots leaving the institutions premises) distinct from loans and deaccession1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections517555555
111Loans (managing and documenting the borrowing of objects for which the institution is responsible for a specific period of time and for a specified purpose, such as display, research, education, or photography)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections518555555
111Loans: Client/Partner Requests1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections519A: collection-specific messaging to curator.555555
111Deaccession & Disposal (transfer, sale, exchange, or destruction of objects and of deaccession (documenting the disposal))1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections520555555
00.250.25Propagation and care of live species4521A: Attributes could be used to handle some of this. C: Condition tracking and schema extensions041414 & RFID tagging1.0=working collections with barcode readers and RFID systems; objects, storage containers, buildings.4222.843.242.44
000Event-based cataloging support423040404
0.750.750.75Conservation Management (the documentation and management of information about the conservation of objects from a curatorial and collections management perspective)..75=basic tracking of condition and care. 1.0=more specialized system for conservation management and preservation4524343434
0.750.75Rights and Reproductions (documenting and managing the preparation of images, casts, and models)..5=basic tracking of reproductions; 1.0=As in Art, refers to e.g. requests for reproductions + tracking copyright, publication rights, citations425A: Casts and models treated as parts03434 Management (the management and documentation of information relating to potential threats to an institution's collections and the objects for which it is temporarily responsible. Includespreventative measures, disaster planning)3260.7530.7530.753 Management & Valuation Control (documenting and managing the insurance needs of objects and valuation control -- the management of information relating to the valuations placed on individual objects, or groups of objects)1.0=e.g., tracking original value, replacement value, insurance needs.427S: Appraisals included. A: Will be used more for Art (U. Alaska).242434 Management (the management and documentation of temporary exhibitions and permanent displays, including the processes of developing, co-ordinating, and implementing an exhibition and display program)1.0=system used in planning exhibitions, tracking didactic materials associated with exhibitions428A: Exhibit treated as internal loan0.842424 Balance of trade tracking429A: Could do ad hoc report0.840.840.84
110.75Collecting events1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections53255553.755
110.75Permits1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections53355553.755
111Collection location management1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections534555555
111Geographic coordinates1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections535555555
110.75Stratigraphic1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections45536444434
000Sensor data and environmental monitoring437040404
111Observations1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections540555555
111Lab measurements1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections541555555
111ID, annotation history1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections542555555
111Bibliography1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections543555555
110.75GUID support1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections544S: UUID. C: Flexible IDs55553.755
0.750.50.25Genetics1.0=built-in to data model; what else here (LIMS integration?)455545S: in schema. A: integrates with Genbank. C: Link to Genbank or file342414
000Integration with lab systems (LIMS) and/or field systems (FIMS)455546040404
Taxonomy and Semantics48000
111Vocabulary1.0=basic controlled vocabulary function549555555
110.75Taxonomy1.0=basic taxonomy and identification55055553.755
000.25Ontology maintenance, semantic indexing1.0=full use of ontologies for discoverability4551040414
Data Sharing53000
110.75Data export in specific formats554C: Flexible template-driven export55553.755
110.75Data import from necessary formats555A: Templates, headers. C: Flexible template-driven import55553.755
00.750.5Data accessible via APIs and web services1.0=data exposed through multiple methods with appropriate permissions and security556A: DiGIR, ColdFusion API's. C: Services layer REST calls053.7552.55
Media58000 files of different type can be associated with objects and sets (image, audio, video)1.0=beyond associating file types, includes digital/content management functions, versioning.559A: various formats; zoom via browser only. C: Will do some content mgmt e.g., versioning.3.553.5545
0.750.750.5Document management including field notebooks and correspondence1.0=scanned documents and files, associations between specimens and sections of text, full text search5603.7553.7552.55
00.250.25Advanced media file functionality (e.g., image zoom, time-indexed video/audio)1.0=embedded viewers for all file types with advanced capabilities; metadata harvesting from files461A: various formats; zoom via browser only.041414, copyright management for associated media1.0=copyright, title, publication rights and citations462A: Copyright message on media.242424
Temporal Data Support64000 support for the temporal placement of specimens1.0=geological and political eras; fuzzy dates; administrative boundary changes465A: Geological eras242424
Administration, Other67000
111Audit Reports (audit reports on data, user access profiles, deletion of records, etc.)568555555
000Business resumption/disaster recovery569050505
000Parties, events370030303
000Membership & donations (money & objects)372030303
000Outreach, public services, tours373030303
000Calendar and scheduling374030303
000Resource scheduling (include facilities rentals)375030303
User Interface77000
0.750.750.75Help Features1.0=online help for all functions; available via menu, icon, context-sensitive5783.7553.7553.755
0.750.750.75Date Formats (date formats for entry, searching, display and output)1.0=Includes handling fuzzy dates, "circa", "mid-Jurassic" in search, entry and display.5793.7553.7553.755
0.90.9Character Codes/Languages (Latin 1, UNICODE, etc.)580A: Unicode. C: Unicode04.554.55
0.2511Public Access (public access via the Internet, searching, displaying, printing, etc.)581S: ITP in process. A: UI is expert driven1.2555555
0.750.50.75User Customization (customization of screens)1.0=User can create custom layout screens484S: Significant user prefs342434
0.7500.5Multilingualism (system function in an alternate language)1.0=Menus, field labels, and help can display in foreign language 485S: Built for other languages, but none added yet. C: Architecture supports but not planned.340424
111General Requirements (query language, boolean searching)588555555
111Range Searches (range searching on numeric fields, attribution dates and date fields)589555555
111Wildcard Searching (character substitution for wildcard searching)590555555
111Query Results (query results browsing, sorting results, query refinement, search within results)591555555 query capabilities1.0=Supports phonetic/soundex searching, proximity searches492A: Search within search242424
110.5Pre-defined Reports (report layout formats, reports that come with a collections management system)59555552.55
110.5User Defined Reports (allows the user to define reports, labels, generate forms, sorting, calculating, printing and saving reports)596S: iReport3. A: ColdFusion55552.55
Data Management98000
0.510.5Batch Update and Data Correction1.0=Changes can be applied across ad hoc or existing sets, by user, maintaining all history of changes599A: Significant capabilities in user-driven batch. S: via Workbench only?2.55552.55
Collections Publishing and Public Access101000
010.75Collections Publishing Module. The system should allow the user to publish collections information contained in the system on the web, either for public or password-protected use.510205553.755
00.70.3Community Cataloging and Curating. (a) a user registration and accounts; (b) tagging (keyword-based); (c) custom collections/playlists; (d) annotate at the item or list level; (e) assignment of rights to add to, alter, or view the contents of user-created lists/collections.45103A: User can message curator about ID, etc.042.841.24
30%30%30%BUSINESS CRITERIA10518.389583333552.5416666720.729464293559.2270408226.767202383576.47772109
0.460.640.63Financial support and sustainability51062.2812553.2187553.156255 has a multi-year funding model that is comprehensive and sustainable, that considers a diverse community of partners, and strategy for ongoing funding.107 on that plan, resources/financial commitments are actually in place for the next 2 years to cover • Operations of the community, e.g. governance, engagement, communications • Support of the product • Development of the product • Further deployments of the solution108
0.40.750.75Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for deployments are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.109
0.40.750.75Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for ongoing maintenance are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.110
00.50.5The supplier/community has a clear sustainability plan111
0.750.750.75Other funded projects cooperate or are complimentary to this one112
0.750.750.5There is a plan for funding solutions built on this platform to enhance research113
0.750.750.8Future development of the application, or deployments, is fundable • Also speaks to how widely attractive the solution is across Museums supporting different disciplines114C: Broader potential base
0.480.780.86Governance and Leadership5116S: Need to look closer2.37553.87554.2916666675
0.50.750.9Project has clear sponsorship and a working governance model. 117
0.50.750.9Project has clear process and criteria for decision-making and priority-setting.118 UCB have significant influence in the direction of the project?119
0.50.750.9Several institutions have proven that they will provide leadership in the ongoing development of the software.120
0.40.750.75There is a clear process by which the community can influence the direction of the project, rather than the vendor model121
0.750.750.8The project has a roadmap for ongoing development and priorities. (including function and sustainability)122
0.580.750.74Solution, Provider and Community Maturity51242.88333333353.73571428653.7142857145
110.2Project/community has been in existence for multiple years125
0.7510.25System has been in use in production environments and has a good track record. (the more, the better)126S: Because Specify 6 is so new.
0.611Solution is being actively developed and/or updated, and bugs are being fixed.127
0.20.661Development is occurring at multiple sites, and there is sufficient open and transparent communication and coordination to enable reuse and deployment planning.1.0=multiple developers with overlapping responsibilities at multiple sites128
0.660.661Project has a stated process/infrastructure for source code control, using a professional development/design methodogy.129
0.661Project has a stated QA process and uses tools for automated testing.130 supporting the project is robust; with no single point of failure.131
Clean record over the past year for quality, reliability or availability issues or security concerns132
133 Hosted Solutions/SaaS41340.841.243.64
System must support lightweight deployments, service offerings appropriate to scale of need, ideally with multiple clients on a given installation, without compromising the security policies or deployment-specific customizations of any of the individual clients. This is often known as support for Software as a Service, or SaaS.For any SaaS (externally hosted offerings), service levels must be transparent clearly understood throughout all levels of the service chain in terms of • Availability/performance • data ownership and end-of-term transfer • intellectual property • disaster recovery • security • pricing assurances • penalties (e.g. what incentives are in place to enforce a service level agreement) • etc., etc.135
0.480.630.63Provider, Service and Support 41371.9342.542.5254
0.660.750.75Institution or other entity has stepped up to provide services such as training, support, and consulting.138S: help desk
00.250.25Consulting and support services are available from a 3rd party • Is there a plan to do so? (speaks to scalability, future adoption levels/market share/sustainability)139A: AlasConnect? C: Planned / resources for deployment, extension is available from the community or a 3rd party • Is there a plan to do so? (speaks to scalability, future adoption levels/market share/sustainability)140
0.50.750.75An established transparent process with supporting infrastructure is available for registering, prioritizing and tracking support requests. 141
0.50.750.75Predictable release cycles with adequate communication.142
0.750.50.5Documentation for users and programmers is thorough and current.143
0.750.750.75Quality of relationship with and between supplier and the community144
0.20.750.8Responsiveness of supplier and community to UCB needs145
??Metric: • How long to get and provision a deployment (e.g. a new collection) from initial point of interest?146
147 packaging41482.840.843.24
Installation and configuration of software is documented and straightforward. 149
0.750.750.9Licensing & Copyright 415534343.64
111Open source license 1.0=allows for flexible development, but community has committed to avoiding forking of the source code.156GNU GPL and copyright1.0=It is clear where rights are held, and rights are held in an entity that the community trusts. 157
???Is there some form of legal recourse that needs to be available / considered regarding the quality/function of the solution?158
0.580.60.67Skills and staffing41602.3242.442.684
0.750.750.75Skills for the solution set (including application and underlying technologies) are readily available in the market 161
0.750.750.5Skills rampup is easily achievable for core underlying technologies (languages, modeling tools, middleware, databases, web servers, unique infrastructure, etc.)162 of effort / investment necessary to train core support staff163Client install of effort / investment necessary to train core museum staff164Expert database is what they expect of effort / investment necessary to train developer/researcher staff165Expert database is what they expect
30%30%30%TECHNICAL CRITERIA16734.287744.5194805243.228252.7073170768.858283.96341463
0.20.330.8Can scale horizontally and vertically5169151.65545
System must scale easily, and horizontally versus just vertically. This means it should not require a bigger computer to handle a large load, but that components can be separated onto different machines. It also means that the application must be written in a manner that can reasonably accommodate changes in the underlying technology stack (e.g., changes to database, content repository, web server, etc.).170S: Client-server model limitations
00.750.8Shared services: Has flexible, well documented APIs/ SPIs5172053.75545
The system should expose flexible Application- and/or Service-Programming Interfaces to facilitate extension, customization and integration with complementary systems. Ideally exposed with light-weight API's such as REST. These must be well documented. 1.0=query specimens and procedures (e.g., loans) via REST; complex searches as well.173A: APIs at
174 services: Interoperability51751.2552.554.55
System is well architected to interoperate with other systems and tools1.0=Can interoperate with other systems that store related data (e.g., GenBank); also exposes functionality as well as services via integration.176
0.70.330.8Is easily customizable and extensible51783.551.65545
For each deployed collection - the data model, associated system software and user interface (UI) for the system must easily accommodate local customization1.0 not limited to: • Addition of fields/properties on core entities • Deletion or hiding of existing fields/properties on core entities • Custom validation for all fields/properties • Setting local, custom labels for all fields/properties • Customizing the general look and feel of any web-based elements. • Customizing the layout and pageflow/workflow for common operations • Vocabularies, with multiple variations per tenant/collection179S: Schema Configuration allows config at the discipline level (e.g., hide tables, fields; make required fields; attach fields to user-defined pick lists). A: Philosophy/approach regarding normalization and standards reduces need for customization. C: Enables customization at domain and museum levels while pushing standards-based approach.
180 Multi-tenancy5181252.5545
Allows the addition of new collections and customers without the overhead of separate duplicated instances of the core application and underlying platform. Dimensions of multi-tenancy would include UI, security, data model, vocabulary, etc. Refer to customizablity issues below. 182S: Useful organization model but not true multi-tenancy. A: Arctos is designed to handle multiple collection types and multiple institutions in a single instance of the database, app and underlying platform. C: Designing nearly full multi-tenant capabilities.
183 permissions-based access controls51844.554.554.55
The system must support permissions and role-based access controls on data and operations in the system. A role/permission model is preferred that is coupled with flexible authentication and authorization tools. Associated admin tools must allow for definition of local groups/roles, and assignment of privileges/ permissions of different areas of the system (down to the field level).185
0.450.650.85Server platform uses common technology stack51872.2553.2554.255 must use common and broadly deployed technology stack, libraries, languages, and architecture & design principles. This means: no obscure databases, operating systems, programming languages, etc. Runs on Linux/Unix, Windows, and Mac servers.188A: ColdFusion. C: SOA is new in domain. also means adhering to accepted practices of data modeling (e.g., normalized, relational forms), and of application design (e.g., the Model-View-Controller paradigm, and the separation of content and presentation). This is important both for managing deployment costs, but as well to ensure reasonable software maintenance costs.189A: ColdFusion and Oracle Stored Procedures create tight binding
0.250.650.95Client platform is agnostic and web-based51911.2553.2554.755 must run well (and equivalently) across a range of widely deployed client platforms. At a minimum, it must run well on MSFT Windows XP and later, and on Mac OSX and later. 192
00.81Ideally, client should access the applciation with a web-client and adhere to general web portability and accessibility standards. The web-client should operate on broadly accepted web browsers.193
111Complete data revision history5197555555
Audit trails exist that document data changes, times and by whom. E.g. Security assignments and changes.198
0.250.251Usability is core to design principles.201
0.250.251Accessibility is core to design principles. E.g. meets ADA guidelines.202
0.30.5Security5204A: reviewed by team.01.552.55
Have any security audits been applied to the solution (application with underlying infrastructure). Can this be demonstrated?205
0.20.330.8Platform reusability42070.841.3243.24
Core parts of the platform used (e.g. repositories for digital assets, workflow engines, etc.) can be leveraged for other uses and customers. (Thereby providing greater/wider opportunity for cost recovery).208
0.6250.40.925Independent of Proprietary Systems (and Open Source)42132.541.643.74
10.31System should not depend upon costly, proprietary, licenses. This does not mean that it *must* be open source, so long as the required components do not have high-cost licenses. It does mean that the architecture should avoid dependence on specific proprietary features of a given system (like platform specific libraries, stored-procedure mechanisms, etc.).214
0.60.61Ideally, the application itself should be open source, although this may not be an absolute requirement. If the system is not open-source, additional consideration must be given to mitigate the risks of the vendor going out of business, or changing license terms to make the deployment much less cost-effective. Allow for these tradeoffs with a SaaS provider215
0.50.51Open source principles should be applied also to the underlying technology stack, as much as is practical and possible.216 for vendor or technology lock-in?217
0.670.50.8Is well documented42192.684243.24
0.750.50.8Any application must be well documented, from the architecture, to system requirements, to end-user documentation and training, to the actual software.220 of end-user documentation 221 of developer documentation 222 of operations documentation 223 of architectural/system documentation 224
Supplier vs. community contributions - both need to be evident225
226 CAS & external user authentication42270.44143.24
The system should integrate with the existing UCB Single-Sign-On authentication system (CAS) deployed here on campus for CalNet authentication, but should support access from external users as well.228
Can features be turned on or off based on configuration? • Ideally at runtime rather than compile time231
Supports well known and adopted standards as part of key design principles. E.g. OAI-PMH.234
235 enforcement3236S: "Interactions". A: e.g., student data entry has to be approved.0.931.532.253
The system should support the grouping of multiple procedures into workflows, fully customizable by the user, that can accommodate restrictions, limits, and ticklers. These can be used, for instance, to require that an accession number be assigned before an object name is given, or that out-loans cannot be finalized without the approval of a curator or qualified staff member.237