BNHM Collection Management System Evaluation, Spring–Summer, 2009
Score (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#Notes
System currently used in …
Entomology collection51
Vertebrate Zoology (mammals, fish, birds, herps)52
Anthropology and Archaeology53
Botanical Garden56
Cultural heritage collection57
Core collections management processes9
Object 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 collections510
Acquisition (documenting and managing the addition of objects/specimen lots to the permanent collections of the institution; includes accession)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections511
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)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections512
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)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections513
Location: Museum storage1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections514
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)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections515
Bulk entry capability516
Dispatch (the management and documentation of objects/specimen lots leaving the institutions premises) distinct from loans and deaccession1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections517
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)1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections518
Loans: Client/Partner Requests1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections519
Deaccession & Disposal (transfer, sale, exchange, or destruction of objects and of deaccession (documenting the disposal))1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections520
Propagation and care of live species4521
Barcoding & RFID tagging1.0=working collections with barcode readers and RFID systems; objects, storage containers, buildings.422
Event-based cataloging support423
Conservation 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 management4524
Rights 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, citations425
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)426
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)1.0=e.g., tracking original value, replacement value, insurance needs.427
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)1.0=system used in planning exhibitions, tracking didactic materials associated with exhibitions428
Loans: Balance of trade tracking429
Collecting events1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections532
Permits1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections533
Collection location management1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections534
Geographic coordinates1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections535
Stratigraphic1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections45536
Sensor data and environmental monitoring437
Observations1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections540
Lab measurements1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections541
ID, annotation history1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections542
Bibliography1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections543
GUID support1.0=basic functionality for biodiversity collections544
Genetics1.0=built-in to data model; what else here (LIMS integration?)455545
Integration with lab systems (LIMS) and/or field systems (FIMS)455546
Taxonomy and Semantics48
Vocabulary1.0=basic controlled vocabulary function549
Taxonomy1.0=basic taxonomy and identification550
Ontology maintenance, semantic indexing1.0=full use of ontologies for discoverability4551
Data Sharing53
Data export in specific formats554
Data import from necessary formats555
Data accessible via APIs and web services1.0=data exposed through multiple methods with appropriate permissions and security556
Media 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.559
Document management including field notebooks and correspondence1.0=scanned documents and files, associations between specimens and sections of text, full text search560
Advanced 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 files461
IP, copyright management for associated media1.0=copyright, title, publication rights and citations462
Temporal Data Support64
Robust support for the temporal placement of specimens1.0=geological and political eras; fuzzy dates; administrative boundary changes465
Administration, Other67
Audit Reports (audit reports on data, user access profiles, deletion of records, etc.)568
Business resumption/disaster recovery569
Parties, events370
Membership & donations (money & objects)372
Outreach, public services, tours373
Calendar and scheduling374
Resource scheduling (include facilities rentals)375
User Interface77
Help Features1.0=online help for all functions; available via menu, icon, context-sensitive578
Date Formats (date formats for entry, searching, display and output)1.0=Includes handling fuzzy dates, "circa", "mid-Jurassic" in search, entry and display.579
Character Codes/Languages (Latin 1, UNICODE, etc.)580
Public Access (public access via the Internet, searching, displaying, printing, etc.)581
User Customization (customization of screens)1.0=User can create custom layout screens484
Multilingualism (system function in an alternate language)1.0=Menus, field labels, and help can display in foreign language 485
General Requirements (query language, boolean searching)588
Range Searches (range searching on numeric fields, attribution dates and date fields)589
Wildcard Searching (character substitution for wildcard searching)590
Query Results (query results browsing, sorting results, query refinement, search within results)591
Advanced query capabilities1.0=Supports phonetic/soundex searching, proximity searches492
Pre-defined Reports (report layout formats, reports that come with a collections management system)595
User Defined Reports (allows the user to define reports, labels, generate forms, sorting, calculating, printing and saving reports)596
Data Management98
Batch Update and Data Correction1.0=Changes can be applied across ad hoc or existing sets, by user, maintaining all history of changes599
Collections Publishing and Public Access101
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.5102
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.45103
Financial support and sustainability5106
Project has a multi-year funding model that is comprehensive and sustainable, that considers a diverse community of partners, and strategy for ongoing funding.107
Based 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
Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for deployments are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.109
Hardware, software, and staffing requirements and costs (TCO) for ongoing maintenance are known, can be modeled and are acceptable.110
The supplier/community has a clear sustainability plan111
Other funded projects cooperate or are complimentary to this one112
There is a plan for funding solutions built on this platform to enhance research113
Future development of the application, or deployments, is fundable • Also speaks to how widely attractive the solution is across Museums supporting different disciplines114
Governance and Leadership5116
Project has clear sponsorship and a working governance model. 117
Project has clear process and criteria for decision-making and priority-setting.118
Does UCB have significant influence in the direction of the project?119
Several institutions have proven that they will provide leadership in the ongoing development of the software.120
There is a clear process by which the community can influence the direction of the project, rather than the vendor model121
The project has a roadmap for ongoing development and priorities. (including function and sustainability)122
Solution, Provider and Community Maturity5124
Project/community has been in existence for multiple years125
System has been in use in production environments and has a good track record. (the more, the better)126
Solution is being actively developed and/or updated, and bugs are being fixed.127
Development is occurring at multiple sites, and there is sufficient open and transparent communication and coordination to enable reuse and deployment planning.128
Project has a stated process/infrastructure for source code control, using a professional development/design methodogy.129
Project has a stated QA process and uses tools for automated testing.130
Community 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
For Hosted Solutions/SaaS4134
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
Provider, Service and Support 4137
Institution or other entity has stepped up to provide services such as training, support, and consulting.138
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)139
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)140
An established transparent process with supporting infrastructure is available for registering, prioritizing and tracking support requests. 141
Predictable release cycles with adequate communication.142
Documentation for users and programmers is thorough and current.143
Quality of relationship with and between supplier and the community144
Responsiveness 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
Source packaging4148
Installation and configuration of software is documented and straightforward. 149
Licensing & Copyright 4155
Open source license 1.0=allows for flexible development, but community has committed to avoiding forking of the source code.156
Rights 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
Skills and staffing4160
Skills for the solution set (including application and underlying technologies) are readily available in the market 161
Skills rampup is easily achievable for core underlying technologies (languages, modeling tools, middleware, databases, web servers, unique infrastructure, etc.)162
Level of effort / investment necessary to train core support staff163
Level of effort / investment necessary to train core museum staff164
Level of effort / investment necessary to train developer/researcher staff165
Can scale horizontally and vertically5169
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.).170
Shared services: Has flexible, well documented APIs/ SPIs5172
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.173
Shared services: Interoperability5175
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
Is easily customizable and extensible5178
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/collection179
Supports Multi-tenancy5181
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. 182
Has permissions-based access controls5184
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
Server platform uses common technology stack5187
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. Runs on Linux/Unix, Windows, and Mac servers.188
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.189
Client platform is agnostic and web-based5191
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. 192
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.193
Complete data revision history5197
Audit trails exist that document data changes, times and by whom. E.g. Security assignments and changes.198
Usability is core to design principles.201
Accessibility is core to design principles. E.g. meets ADA guidelines.202
Have any security audits been applied to the solution (application with underlying infrastructure). Can this be demonstrated?205
Platform reusability4207
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
Independent of Proprietary Systems (and Open Source)4213
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.).214
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 provider215
Open source principles should be applied also to the underlying technology stack, as much as is practical and possible.216
Avoidability for vendor or technology lock-in?217
Is well documented4219
Any application must be well documented, from the architecture, to system requirements, to end-user documentation and training, to the actual software.220
Quality of end-user documentation 221
Quality of developer documentation 222
Quality of operations documentation 223
Quality of architectural/system documentation 224
Supplier vs. community contributions - both need to be evident225
Both CAS & external user authentication4227
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
Workflow enforcement3236
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