Technical Outline


Key features

  • Works with a range of CMSs (e.g. Adlib, MimsyXG) and DAMs, or can be used without a CMS at all.
  • Runs independent of the CMS to provide security and mitigation of load
  • Models and presents your data as you want it
  • Re-purpose records without affecting curatorial data.
  • Optimised for data retrieval and presentation.
  • Open Data standards throughout
  • Modular, scalable and fully customisable; options range from full website to data only.


Modular design

Collections Connect is a flexible middleware solution for museums and other cultural sector institutions. It is based on a series of modules centred on the core CIIM (Collections Information Integration Module).

All modules are optional. In practice, all deployments will include the core CIIM, at least one data extraction module and one presentation or sharing module.


Collections Connect Modular Diagram


Description of Modules


This is the central module and includes data handling and validation processes, media handling rules, workflow configuration and the SOLR search index.

Extract Modules
These include generic modules already developed to handle standard implementations of key collections management systems, facilities for extracting data via harvesting (e.g. OAI-PMH), other dqta extract modules based on standardised query languages and custom modules designed to meet the customers own requirements. Custom modules include tools to extract data from sources other than Collections Management Systems, including Spreadsheets, Access databases and data dumps in XML, RDF and MARC formats.

Processing Modules
These modules allow institutions to customise the way data is augmented (including automated and manual augmentation) and include specialised modules for processing data originating from, or linking to, a range of external systems such as library management systems, archival systems and digital asset management systems. Processing rules vary from the very simple (e.g. resize all images to these dimensions) to the complex.

Contact us to discuss your requirements
Sharing Modules
These modules are primarily concerned with open and linked data and provide a variety of mechanisms to allow your data to be accessed and used by third party applications. These include an XML site map with static pages for each resource, which can be used by search engines such as Google, and oai-pmh target which allows data to be supplied to aggregators such as culture grid and Europeana, an OpenSearch target which allows third party sites to easily search your content and a fully featured linked data application including RDF triple store and SPARQL endpoint for institutions who wish to engage with the growing linked data community within the sector.

Presentation Modules
The presentation modules are about the way the information within collections connect is made available to end users and, indeed, the entire end user experience. At the most basic level this consists of a fully featured search application combined with a simple content management system which can be styled to take on the look and feel of your existing web presence. For institutions who wish to have more control over the user experience, custom user interface modules can easily be developed and integrated into the collections connect framework. It is increasingly important to ensure that users feel fully engaged with cultural sector institutions, with users increasingly expecting the experience to involve a two way exchange of information. The user generated data module provides facilities for users to provide feedback, connect & ratings and allows them to organise content into their own groups and share these with others. There are even facilities for users to help, in a controlled way, with the data augmentation process by adding to the metadata within the system.