BNHM Collection Management System Evaluation, Spring–Summer, 2009
Scoring spreadsheet, 10/6/2009
Score (1.0=fully)Would this system be able to handle your institution's needs with respect to the following criteria?OVERALL 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#Notes
System currently used in …
Entomology collection5
Vertebrate Zoology (mammals, fish, birds, herps)5
Anthropology and Archaeology5
Botanical Gardens5
Core collections management processes
Object Entry (the management and documentation of the receipt of objects/specimens lots that are not currently part of the collection)51
Acquisition (documenting and managing the addition of objects/specimen lots to the permanent collections of the institution; includes accession)52
Inventory 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)53
Location & 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)54
Location: Museum storage55
Barcoding & RFID tagging46
Cataloguing (the compilation and maintenance of primary information describing, formally identifying, or otherwise relating to objects/specimen lots in the collection; includes object history/provenance)57
Event-based cataloging support48
Bulk entry capability59
Conservation Management (the documentation and management of information about the conservation of objects from a curatorial and collections management perspective)4510
Propagation and care of live species4511
Rights and Reproductions (documenting and managing the preparation of images, casts, and models)412
Risk 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)413
Insurance 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)414
Exhibition 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)415
Dispatch (the management and documentation of objects/specimen lots leaving the institutions premises) distinct from loans and deaccession516
Loans (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)517
Loans: Client/Partner Requests518
Loans: Balance of trade tracking419
Deaccession & Disposal (transfer, sale, exchange, or destruction of objects and of deaccession (documenting the disposal))520
Collecting events521
Collection location management523
Geographic coordinates524
Sensor data and environmental monitoring426
Lab measurements528
ID, annotation history529
GUID support532
Integration with lab systems (LIMS) and/or field systems (FIMS)455533
Taxonomy and Semantics
Ontology maintenance, semantic indexing4536
Data Sharing
Data export in specific formats537
Data import from necessary formats538
Data accessible via APIs and web services539
Media files of different type can be associated with objects and sets (image, audio, video)540
Advanced media file functionality (e.g., image zoom, time-indexed video/audio)441
IP, copyright management442
Document management including field notebooks and correspondence543
Temporal Data Support
Robust support for the temporal placement of specimens (geological eras and years; administrative boundary changes)444
Administration, Other46
Audit Reports (audit reports on data, user access profiles, deletion of records, etc.)547
Membership & donations (money & objects)349
Outreach, public services, tours350
Calendar and scheduling351
Business resumption/disaster recovery552
Resource scheduling (include facilities rentals)354
User Interface
Help Features (menu, command and icon driven, on-line help, tutorial, etc.)555
Date Formats (date formats for entry, searching, display and output)556
User Customization (customization of screens)457
Multilingualism (system function in an alternate language)458
Character Codes/Languages (Latin 1, UNICODE, etc.)559
Public Access (public access via the Internet, searching, displaying, printing, etc.)560
Multimedia Files (audio/video, 3-D imaging, zoom, image files, management of digital files, etc.)561
Metadata (standards for metadata (NISO, MPEG-7, DIG35), import and exporting (EXIF), etc.)562
General Requirements (query language, boolean searching)563
Range Searches (range searching on numeric fields, attribution dates and date fields)564
Wildcard Searching (character substitution for wildcard searching)565
Query Results (query results browsing, sorting results, etc.)566
Features (phonetic and proximity searching, narrowing the search scope, etc.)567
Pre-defined Reports (report layout formats, reports that come with a collections management system)568
User Defined Reports (allows the user to define reports, labels, generate forms, sorting, calculating, printing and saving reports)569
Data Management
Batch Update and Data Correction570
Collections Publishing and Public Access
Collections 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.571
Community 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.4572
Financial support and sustainability5
Project has a multi-year funding model that is comprehensive and sustainable, that considers a diverse community of partners, and strategy for ongoing funding.73
Based on that plan, what 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 solution77
Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for deployments are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.74
Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for ongoing maintenance are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.75
Does the supplier/community have a clear sustainability plan?76
Are there other funded projects that cooperate or are complimentary to this one?76
Is there a plan for funding solutions built on this platform to enhance research?77
How fundable is future development of the application, or deployments? • Also speaks to how widely attractive the solution is across Museums supporting different disciplines78
Governance and Leadership5
Project has clear sponsorship and a working governance model. 79
Project has clear process and criteria for decision-making and priority-setting.80
Does UCB have significant influence in the direction of the project?81
Several institutions have proven that they will provide leadership in the ongoing development of the software.82
Is there a clear process by which the community can influence the direction of the project, rather than the vendor model?83
The project has a roadmap for ongoing development and priorities. (including function and sustainability)84
Solution, Provider and Community Maturity4
How long has the project/community been in existence85
System has been in use in production environments and has a good track record. (the more, the better)86
Solution is being actively developed and/or updated, and bugs are being fixed.87
Development is occurring at multiple sites, and there is sufficient open and transparent communication and coordination to enable reuse and deployment planning.88
Project has a stated process/infrastructure for source code control, using a professional development/design methodogy.89
Project has a stated QA process and uses tools for automated testing.90
Community supporting the project is robust; with no single point of failure.91
Have there been quality, reliability or availability issues or security concerns with the project over the past year???92
Provider, Service and Support 4
Institution or other entity has stepped up to provide services such as training, support, and consulting.93
Consulting 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)94
Training / 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)95
An established transparent process with supporting infrastructure is available for registering, prioritizing and tracking support requests. 96
Predictable release cycles with adequate communication.97
Documentation for users and programmers is thorough and current.98
Quality of relationship with and between supplier and the community99
Responsiveness of supplier and community to UCB needs99
Metric: • How long to get and provision a deployment (e.g. a new collection) from initial point of interest?100
For Hosted Solutions5
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.101
Source packaging4
Installation and configuration of software is documented and straightforward. 102
Supported platforms4
Software can run on required platforms • Server-side • Client103
Platforms are aligned with established architecture/ infrastructure roadmap 104
Licensing & Copyright 4
Open source license allows for flexible development, but community has committed to avoiding forking of the source code.105
It is clear where rights are held, and rights are held in an entity that the community trusts. 106
Is there some form of legal recourse that needs to be available / considered regarding the quality/function of the solution?107
Skills and staffing3
Skills for the solution set (including application and underlying technologies) are readily available in the market 108
Skills rampup is easily achievable for core underlying technologies (languages, modeling tools, middleware, databases, web servers, unique infrastructure, etc.)109
Level of effort / investment necessary to train core support staff110
Level of effort / investment necessary to train core museum staff110
Level of effort / investment necessary to train developer/researcher staff111
Can scale horizontally and vertically5
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.).112
Supports Multi-tenancy5
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. 113
Is easily customizable and extensible5y
For each deployed collection - the data model, associated system software and user interface (UI) for the system must easily accommodate local customization, including but 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/collection114
Platform reusability3
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).115
Support for SaaS (Software as a Service)4
System must support lightweight deployments, 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.116
Uses common technology stack5
System must use common and broadly deployed technology stack, libraries, languages, and architecture & design principles. This means: no obscure databases, operating systems, programming languages, etc. 117
It 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.118
Independent of Proprietary Systems (and Open Source)4
System 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.).119
Ideally, 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 provider119
Open source principles should be applied also to the underlying technology stack, as much as is practical and possible.120
Avoidability for vendor or technology lock-in?121
Platform agnostic5
System 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. 122
Web-based clients5
Ideally, 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.123
Is well documented4y
Any application must be well documented, from the architecture, to system requirements, to end-user documentation and training, to the actual software.124
Quality of end-user documentation 125
Quality of developer documentation 126
Quality of operations documentation 127
Quality of architectural/system documentation 128
Supplier vs. community contributions - both need to be evident129
Has permissions-based access controls5
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).130
Both CAS & external user authentication4
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.131
Has flexible, well documented APIs/ SPIs5
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. 132
Workflow enforcement3
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.133
Complete data revision history5
Audit trails exist that document data changes, times and by whom. E.g. Security assignments and changes.134
Usability is core to design principles.135
Accessibility is core to design principles. E.g. meets ADA guidelines.136
Can features be turned on or off based on configuration? • Ideally at runtime rather than compile time137
How well architected is the solution to interoperate with other systems and tools?138
Supports well known and adopted standards as part of key design principles. E.g. OAI-PMH.139
Have any security audits been applied to the solution (application with underlying infrastructure). Can this be demonstrated?140