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Re: [ARSCLIST] Database template - Artist Instrumentation Project
In a message dated 4/16/2005 10:16:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
FileMaker can import and export just
about any data format including csv, xml, dbf, xls and can talk to SQL
databases through ODBC. That being said, any relational database
solution (including ones built in FileMaker, Access, dBase etc.) cannot
be easily migrated to another database platform
For an institution with a professional information technology staff and the
grants to fund them, this shouldn't be a problem. However for an individual or
small volunteer group, it can lead to frustration.
In the last twenty years the museum group I work with has been through three
generations of computer platforms and database attempts. Each time the
"computer expert" or curator position has changed hands, an attempt has been made to
place the museum records in a new, favorite, database. Even though the raw
data has been converted to .csv form, use was never made of this data, mostly
due to political issues over format and definitions.
The result is that after twenty years of computer technology, the museum
still doesn't have a collection database.
One solution would be to stick strictly to Microsoft products, in the hope
that their domination of the market will assure continuity. The other solution
(mine) is to avoid proprietary software altogether. I can access and edit my
files on any computer made.
Both of the above meet strong resistance. Most feel that one must use some
sort of "official" approved software. But many will insist that it must be
anything but Microsoft. I don't see that changing soon.
Perhaps helpful would be for an organization like ARSC to publish an official
list of those items of information that are of most use in identifying and
finding sound recordings, in a simple outline form, ranked in order of importanc
e or usefulness, that people can use to structure their own database
application. This might lead to enough standardization to make file conversions
Meanwhile most collectors find their records by remembering which milk crate
they are in.