Tuesday, May 24, 2005

ArchivalWare

I spent part of this morning seeing a demo of ArchivalWare by PTFS. ArchivalWare allows organizations to store, access, and manage digital archive collections. The software can handle various types of digital assets (e.g., MP3, PDF, etc.) and seems quite flexible. The search feature is powerful, giving lots of options to the user. Thankfully, you can customize the user view and limit what a user can do. You might do that to give a group of users only the functionality that they can handle or to inhibit them from doing something (like e-mailing images).

From looking at products such as ArchivalWare and CONTENTdm, I know that doing a true comparison cannot occur without long exposure to both products. In my past life in information technology, I could do software evaluations quickly but that was back in packages focused on one thing and didn't manage a broad range of processes (thinking of content management systems). I wonder how many organizations have the time to do that? Can an organization really evaluate multiple products or does it go with the product that someone else (someone reputable) has selected? Are organizations turning en masse to outside consultants to do product comparison? Do many organizations regret their selection decisions because they didn't take time to do a full evaluation?

4 comments:

dkemper said...

Interesting product. I'm wondering if the ArchivalWare product (or similiar products such DigiTool, ContentDM) can form the basis of an electronic records archives--that is, a place where electronic records (institutional documents in various digital formats) are stored over time and retrieved? David

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

I think the answer is "yes." (Or perhaps the answer should be "why not?") Not only can we use them to build large repositories of our various digital formats, but then we can do cross-searching of materials in similar repositories. It becomes very valuable.

BTW I'm meeting with PTFS' CEO on June 6 (SLA conference) and will learn more about their products/services then. (Look for a follow-up post soon after the conference ends and life is back to normal.) I'm actually looking at several products (including CONTENTdm) for a project, so there will be more posted on this type of software over the coming weeks.

dkemper said...

Good point. If these tools can manage our digital collections, perhaps they can manage electronic records as well.

I spoke with someone from Florida State University Libraries about DigiTool, and he offered the same logic.

I'll stay tuned to your blog. Thanks. David

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