Argus by Lucidea - Profile

Note

This profile was completed by the software vendor at CHIN's request and does not reflect the views or opinions of CHIN. It is presented for information only and does not indicate approval or accreditation by CHIN. Inclusion of specific products does not mean that CHIN recommends the software, but that members of the community expressed interest in learning about these products.

This information was accurate as of January 2018. For more information or to request updated information, please contact the vendor directly.

Product name

Argus

Vendor name

Lucidea

Vendor overview

Website URL

www.lucidea.com/argus

Head office

Suite # 1115
13560 Maycrest Way
Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V6V 2W9
Year founded: 1988
Telephone number: (604) 278-6717
Fax number: (604) 278-9161
Email: sales@lucidea.com
Contact person: Mark Maslowski

Canadian/North American office

Suite # 1115
13560 Maycrest Way
Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V6V 2W9
Year opened: 1988
Telephone number: (604) 278-6717
Fax number: (604) 278-9161
Email: sales@lucidea.com
Contact person: Mark Maslowski

Product overview

Product description

Argus is a flexible Web-based collections management system platform for museums and galleries, built to enhance curation, and to significantly expand outreach and access via the Web, enriching the experience for both in-person and virtual visitors. It provides for standard museum collections management processes as well as for requirements that are unique to each institution. Unlike traditional collections management platforms, fully Web-based Argus enables museums to easily offer public portal access to objects and exhibits and provide more in-depth documentation about each artifact – delivering content in context. Clients leverage efficient purpose-built workflows with minimal training required, and rest secure in the knowledge that Argus is built on sustainable, cutting edge technology that will remain relevant as collections and requirements grow.

Access from PCs, Macs, and mobile devices

Since Argus is completely web-browser-based, users can access it from any desktop or mobile device without having to install special software. Among other things, this means that you don't have to install or update each desktop with special software, training time is reduced, and most importantly, museum staff members have the flexibility to work in the system while they do their daily work in galleries, warehouses, or other offices (e.g., doing inventories, updating the condition of objects, mounting exhibits, etc.) using the same interface they would use if they were at their own desks. And if it is more convenient to work using a tablet or a smartphone than a PC or Mac, they can do so.

A complete system

Unlike some other systems, Argus is "complete". It includes all the modules needed to describe and maintain your collection as well the search-only Portal and tools to adapt the application to your ever-changing needs.

Digital files of all types accommodated

Unlike other systems, when an image is attached to a record, Argus renders the associated derivatives (e.g., thumbnails, images for reports, images for alternative displays) on the fly. This saves on disk storage because the image is only stored once. It also saves staff time because you only have to create one image file.

In addition to adding images to catalog records to support online viewing, images can be added to process-related records (e.g., conservation, acquisition, lexicon, etc.) in support of specific processes.

When text-based documents (native digital or OCR'ed) are attached to records, the full text of those documents is searchable. This is useful for retrieving information only found in condition reports, deeds of gift, oral history transcripts, and other important documents related to the collection.

Data entry screens for various levels of authority

Argus can be implemented with "Views", which you can think of as "custom data entry screens" where you can control not only which fields are viewable and editable, but also the layout, and any help text. Our clients use this feature to provide different staff user groups with screens specific to their tasks, and also to support users who may need more restricted or guided access when working with the data, such as volunteers or interns. Custom data entry screens means less training time, greater consistency in data entry, and maximum efficiency in completing data entry tasks.

Search-only access

The read-only Portal can be implemented in multiple ways. Some customers implement it for in-house use, providing access by other departments (e.g., education; marketing and communications) so that they can do their own research; other customers implement it for public access. In either case, the Portal is highly configurable and includes features that make browsing and researching easy for users.

The Argus portal is seamlessly integrated with the backend. You specify which fields and images will be accessible online, you can highlight different collections or subsets of collections, and the best part is that there is no need to export or "publish" data online; or store your data in a separate database. Instead, Argus dynamically searches the data in your catalog and updates and filters information in real-time as you add, edit, or delete records.

Customers who use the Portal for public access have told us that the statistics they gather from the Portal help them understand what their users browse and search. They use those statistics to make decisions related to events, exhibits, and processing their collection backlog.

Search capabilities

With Argus you can search easily and quickly. There are multiple ways to search, including Google-like searching, advanced searching with Boolean operations, saved search strategies, and saved lists.

You can search across many fields, or all fields, or on a specific field. You can search precisely or broadly, and you don't have to know field names. When you retrieve more records than you want to review, you can limit the search by simply filling in a form. And you can change search options on the fly.

Saved lists are popular with customers because you can create a list of records to use for a specific purpose (e.g., candidates for an exhibit; objects that need conservation review; objects that need to be moved to a different location, etc.) and save the records in an identifiable list for future use.

Reports

Argus has an easy-to-use report writer that is used to create reports, export data in CSV format, and create ad-hoc reports. In addition, Crystal Reports are used for "forms" such as loan agreements, Deeds of Gift, and receipts. Argus comes with a set of predefined reports, and new reports can be added. There is no limit to the number of reports or forms that can be created.

Import and export capabilities

Argus also comes with an Import/Export user interface that guides you through importing data or exporting data, without IT or vendor assistance. Data can be easily imported from a spreadsheet. Standard export formats are available, including CSV and XML.

Capabilities for working efficiently

Argus has multiple capabilities that help staff save time and work efficiently. For example:

  • Data entry screens can be specific to your collection, with drop-down lists that use your vocabulary, and fields that are filtered based on collection type.
  • Authority tables and the hierarchical lexicon are used to control the terms that are used, standardizing vocabulary and reducing errors in data entry.
  • Batches of records and images can be loaded from spreadsheets in support of travelling exhibits and other intake processes.
  • Global change tools can be used to add, delete, modify, and change terms in many records (a few or hundreds) with a single operation.
  • The Update Locations Wizard helps you record the movement of many objects at once.
  • The Assign Objects Wizard helps you to create many object records at the same time and link them to an existing Activity (e.g., accession; loan; exhibit, etc.).
  • The Update Activity Wizard helps you copy data values or linked objects from one Activity (i.e., incoming loans) to another (i.e., accessions).

Integrate with other software

Argus also includes a Web Services API (application programming interface) that allows you to integrate Argus with third-party software (e.g., your website; membership software).

Social media integration

Argus' built in social media capabilities enable staff to send links to colleagues and peers, or post information about objects on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites—and empower visitors to share information about your collection with their friends.

Search engine integration

Argus can be configured to allow for descriptions of your objects to be retrieved through a third party search engine. Argus' built-in configuration tool makes it possible for Google to index your data; people who don't even know your museum exists will discover you and your collection through Google.

In summary, Argus is a highly configurable and powerful system that will enable you to meet today's challenges as well as those you will encounter in the future.

Disciplines supported

Art, History, Archaeology, and Natural History.

Library and Archives collections are supported through Argus' companion products, SydneyEnterprise and CuadraSTAR Knowledge Center for Archives.

Product launch date

Originally released in the 1980s on a DOS platform, Argus has evolved significantly. Argus was rewritten in its entirety and released in 2012 as a .NET SQL application. New features and enhancements are released every year. The current version is v4.3.3.

Product history

Argus originated as a collections management system. It began with a character-based interface, then moved to a Windows interface, and the current product is a completely Web browser-based product that can be used from PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Future development

Our downstream features list currently includes:

  • User submitted records/crowd sourcing
  • Web services API Phase II – create/update/delete
  • Search term highlighting
  • Search list anchoring
  • Image zoom for Portal
  • Search Results Designer

Demo version

We can arrange for guided (hands-on) demos.

Support

Support methods

Customers contact the Help Desk by email or by phone. When appropriate, Help Desk staff may ask to view the customer's desktop or server, to answer a question or fix a problem.

Support language(s)

English

Support availability and hours

Lucidea distinguishes itself through its emphasis on quality support and services to clients. Support is available to organizations that subscribe to our SaaS service or that have software maintenance contracts with us. Emergency support is available 24/7, and the Help Desk is staffed Monday-Friday from 3:30 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. EST, excluding major holidays. Customers are encouraged to contact our Help Desk when they have problems or need information. Unlike some of our competitors, we do not limit the number of support calls that any one customer can make, nor do we limit who within a given organization can contact the Help Desk.

Support fees

Support is provided to all customers that either subscribe to our SaaS service or have software maintenance contracts with us. There are no additional fees for support.

Client support network

No, although customers are encouraged to meet one another at professional meetings and we facilitate this.

Training

Training is included as part of the initial implementation package. Training is recorded and made available to customers. Customers can also order additional training sessions as needed. For additional training sessions, the cost varies based on the number of hours required.

System updates and maintenance

System updates and enhancements are available to all customers that either subscribe to the SaaS service or that subscribe to the Software Maintenance plan. Updates and enhancements are generally released twice a year. Each release includes new features/functionality, as well as any security patches or updates.

Cost

Pricing

Pricing varies based on several parameters, including the number of users supported. There is no charge for search-only users. Both subscription and perpetual license pricing is available. The cost of software maintenance (including support and updates) is included in all subscriptions.

Maintenance costs

Software maintenance is included for institutions that either subscribe to the SaaS service or that run Argus on their own servers using subscription pricing. The cost of software maintenance for perpetual license clients varies based on several parameters, including the size of the license.

Additional fees

Data conversion and implementation services (e.g., configuration, training, custom report building) vary based on the services required.

Each institution must purchase one run-time copy of Crystal Reports (supports printing features).

System specifications

Operating systems supported

See enclosed technical specifications.

Underlying database

Microsoft SQL Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, or 2016.

Platform(s)

PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones (using browsers).

Hardware requirements

LucideaCore 4.3.3 is an ASP.NET 4.5 based application that provides access to any modern browser through your Intranet or the Internet.

LucideaCore Application Server

The LucideaCore Application Server is where the main functionality of the system resides. All client operations are performed on this server.

  • Processor: 32 or 64-bit, four cores
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard Disk: 80 GB (plus storage for images if applicable)
  • Windows 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, or 2012 R2 Server
  • IIS
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • Option: Oracle client tools (including ODP.NET) to connect to Oracle databases
  • Option: Crystal Reports Server to manage reports

Database Server

The Database Server can be one of the following DBMS.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, or 2016
  • Oracle 11g (11.2/x64) or 12c (12.2/non-CDB)

Full-Text Indexing features from each DBMS are used to provide full Keyword searching. Features of each DBMS can be used to create automated backups, re-indexing, and re-keywording.

The database server configuration settings in MS-SQL Server or Oracle will allow the user to specify the collation scheme (sort order). The LucideaCore system does not require that any specific collation scheme be selected. For example, if you intend on using Chinese, German, French, or Arabic text in your database, you can choose to sort by any one of these character sets. You can also choose to have case-sensitive, accent-sensitive, kana-sensitive, or width-sensitive collation.

Note: Consult your Oracle documentation for OS version requirements.

Staff requirements

Argus does not require a dedicated member of staff to maintain it. Many of our customers subscribe to our SaaS service, in which case our staff maintains the server/operating environment. For those customers who run Argus on their own server, we recommend that a staff member with some level of experience with systems be assigned to manage the server.

Plug-ins and/or modules available

Argus Premier is sold as a complete package, with all modules included. Argus Standard excludes support for the following: barcoding, site management (archaeology), advanced conservation, search engine Integration and the Web Services API. All of these are Lucidea products.

Third-party requirements

1 Run-time copy of Crystal Reports.

Interoperability

Argus includes a RESTful API.

Accessibility

Argus's Portal is both Section 508 and WCAG compliant.

Customization

Argus is highly configurable. It comes with a Design Suite that enables you to configure the database (adding new fields, removing and/or modifying others), and change the look to match your organization's needs. During initial implementation we configure Argus for customers and train them in the use of the Design Suite. Once trained, customers can either make configuration changes themselves, or contract with Lucidea for changes to their configuration.

Web integration capabilities

Cloud functionality

Argus is 100% web-browser based. Customers can choose to either subscribe to our Software as a Service (SaaS, Cloud-based) or run it on their own servers.

Server location
British Columbia, Canada and Massachusetts, USA.
Security protocols
US Data Center is SOC II compliant.
Typical or average uptime
Over 99.7%.
Back-end maintenance procedures and downtime
Daily and weekly backups.

Browsers supported

  • Chrome 52 or later
  • Safari 6.x
  • Firefox 47 or later
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11

Web-based access for data entry

Yes. Everything is done using a browser.

Web publishing platform

Argus includes a public Portal. Customers decide which records and which fields within records are included in the Portal. They also determine the format of the displays and reports that are available from the Portal.

A Web services API is also available.

Linked open data functionality

This is not currently available.

User groups and security

User profiles

Each user with data entry privileges or application management privileges has a login. Users can be assigned to as many or few groups as needed. The system is designed to support multi-user access, so multiple users can be logged in at once and can be editing at the same time.

User groups

Yes, you can define security/access restrictions for users by groups and create as many groups as needed.

Visitor profiles

Yes

Installations

For self-hosted sites we recommend a database server and an application server. However, if necessary, a single server can be used for both. Argus is accessed by multiple users at the same time. Access is not restricted by workstation.

Audit trails and/or edit history

The program tracks who entered the record and when. It also tracks the last person to edit the record and when the record was last edited.

Offline access

While the system doesn't include features for offline access, it does include easy ways to import and export data. Thus, for example, if a staff member is planning to inventory in a warehouse that doesn't have Wi-Fi, they can export a spreadsheet of data out of Argus, add data to the spreadsheet while inventorying, and then import the spreadsheet data back into Argus, with a batch load that will match and merge the new data into the database.

Privacy features

Record views can be set up to control what can be seen and/or edited by specific users or groups. In addition, the Portal can be configured so that only specific records and specific fields of data are accessible from it.

Data migration and stability

Import formats

Data and images can be imported from spreadsheets in CSV format. Customers can perform imports through the data mapping interface without help from IT or the vendor. Data import services are also available as a service from the vendor. Data imports of legacy data are part of the Argus implementation package. During the data migration, museum staff can decide whether data should have new field types (i.e., changing a text field to a vocabulary controlled or date field), and whether the field will be active or a read-only field.

Export formats

Argus provides exporting capabilities into standard formats such as CSV and XML through the export tool, or additional formats such as Excel through Crystal Reports. Both data and images can be easily exported by museum staff without assistance from IT or the vendor.

Backups

Argus is available as a SaaS (vendor-hosted) solution or as a locally installed (self-hosted) on premise solution. For customers using our SaaS solution, data is backed up daily and weekly. We have data centers in both the United States and Canada. Customers can choose which center they would prefer.

Standards and schemas

Metadata schemas

Argus has a configurable database that enables customer to have exactly the fields they need. As such, customers may have any fields needed in order to meet any metadata schema requirements. Fields are configured as part of the implementation package, and moving forward, museum staff have access to the Design Suite tools which allow adding, editing or deleting fields in the database to ensure the database always matches the customer's requirements.

Data content standards (cataloguing rules)

As above, customers may have any fields they want in order to meet any required standards. In addition, Argus provides flexible workflows configured to meet the requirements of each institution, including configurable data entry screens and help text, and control over tasks and vocabulary terms.

Vocabulary standards

Part of the Argus implementation package includes migrating any vocabulary standard used by the customer in their previous database. New vocabularies can also be imported into Argus. The customer is responsible for any fees for acquiring a new vocabulary or thesaurus. Multiple vocabularies can be used in Argus, including locally developed vocabularies.

Local terminology lists

Yes, local terminology lists are supported. There is no limit to the number that can be created. Fields can be set to draw from specific controlled vocabularies. Argus is fully Unicode Compliant, so it supports any language and character set.

Accreditation

Not applicable.

Data entry and content

Media upload/linking

Media files can be uploaded or linked from an external source. Text-based files become full text searchable when uploaded. Argus handles images in a special way, creating derived images of multiple sizes from a single linked or uploaded image.

Media formats supported

There is no limit on the number of files nor the type of files that can be uploaded or linked in the database. There is also no limit on the number of files or images that can be attached to a single record.

Data entry features

Data entry can be performed through original cataloging, importing records, batch updates, and copying and pasting records. All relevant documentation, images, and media files can be attached to the record.

Copy and paste
Yes, Argus' copy and paste feature enables staff to copy and paste any portion of an Activity, Object or Party record. Museum staff choose which record they would like to copy as well as which specific fields should be included in the copied record.
Search and replace
Yes, Argus has a search and replace feature that enables staff to make updates to individual records, groups of records or across the full database.
Spellcheck
While Argus does not provide spellcheck directly, as a fully browser based system, museum staff can take advantage of browser spellcheck tools of their preferred browser in any language supported by that browser's spellcheck feature.
Bulk cataloguing
Yes, Argus has an import tool that enables museum staff to import sets of records from CSV, batch update tools to create new records based on other records (such as creating an Accession record from a Temporary Loan record), and a copy/paste record function for creating records.
Batch edit
Yes, Argus' batch update tools allow multiple records to be edited at once (such as Update Locations, Update Activity, Search and Replace, etc.)
Batch location change
Yes, Argus' Update Locations tool allows museum staff to move a group of objects to one location or to multiple locations. If you are returning objects to their permanent location, the system can look to the last previous permanent location to auto-populate this data for you. In addition to adding detailed location data for the new location, and preserving the history of previous locations, this update tool will mark the updated location as 'current'.
Duplicate record search
Yes, during imports of data the system will check for duplicate records based on pre-defined unique identifiers. If a record already exists, staff can choose whether the imported data will add to or replace existing data in that record.
Template record
Yes, there are different templates available for different record types, and all templates are can be configured to match customer's requirements.
Date selection and formats
Yes, museum staff can choose which date format is followed. Multiple options are supported. Dates may be typed in or selected from a calendar picker. Additionally, Argus supports named dates, date ranges, and calculated dates (i.e., World War II, 1900-1950, -3 months).
Mandatory fields
Yes, Argus supports mandatory fields, which are defined by the museum staff and can be edited anytime. Unique identifiers (such as Object ID) are recommended as mandatory, but staff may make as many fields as they choose 'mandatory'. Mandatory fields must be filled in before exiting/saving a record or an error message will be received.
Others
Any native digital text based file or OCR scanned files will become full text searchable upon being uploaded to the database.

Spreadsheet editing view

Argus provides the ability to design and modify the layout of the editing view, as well as the display view of a record in order to maximize efficiency for editing and viewing. Within certain batch update tools, the default edit design is similar to a spreadsheet. It is also possible to export data to a spreadsheet, edit it, and import it back in to add to or replace data in existing records.

Geographic mapping

In Argus, a site record can be configured to use Google Maps in order to display geographic information relating to the site. The coordinates for a Site Figure can be configured to represent a point, a line, or a polygon when being drawn on the map. The boundary for a site consists of one or more site figures. If multiple site figures are defined for a single site then each figure will be rendered on a single map.

Multilingual fields

Yes, Argus is fully Unicode compliant, so it supports any character set. This is true both of data entry text as well as for the labels of the fields for both the backend as well as the online collections portal. Multiple languages may be entered into one field if desired, and/or duplicate fields in multiple languages can be available.

Barcoding

Yes, Argus supports barcoding, QR codes and RFID. Argus can generate barcodes based on the pattern museum staff define, or Argus can accept existing barcodes (which can be typed in, scanned in, or imported in). Argus has barcode reports that can be used to print barcode labels. Customer is responsible for acquiring barcoding hardware for scanning.

Labelling

Yes, Argus supports label printing through Crystal Reports. Staff can choose what fields they would like to have as part of their labels, and the report can match to print those fields onto a label.

Search and reporting

Types of search supported

Argus provides five categories of searching: basic, command, advanced, Boolean, saved searching. These types include Google-like keyword, exact, exists, phrase, range, starts with, ends with, greater or equal, greater than, less or equal, less than. Argus can search on 'named dates', for example, searching on a time period such as World War II. Through "Not exists" searches, museum staff can find records that have fields that do not contain data, to support data clean up initiatives.

Boolean queries
Yes
Query any field
Yes
Sort query results
Yes, single or multilevel as per museum staff preference.
Saving search results
Yes, Argus provides Saved Searches which include saving static lists or search results (and compiled search results lists from multiple queries), as well as saving search queries which provide dynamic results as the collection grows and changes. Security can be set on saved searches to restrict access to relevant staff members.
Filter search results
Yes
SQL-based search
Not provided through the application. However the application does support a command line search as well as an API for retrieval or records/data.
Export search results
Yes, search results can be exported using any of the available Crystal Reports or Report Writer reports in formats such as PDF, CSV, Excel, Word, etc.
Free-text (Google) searches
Yes, keyword search is available on single or aggregate fields.
Search result views
Yes, multiple views of search results are available, and all are configurable to meet museum staff preferences. There are three general layouts of search results currently available: grid, columns of data, or stacked record by record.

Multilingual searching

Yes, search terms can be in any language (however, only terms that are in the database will be found – no auto-translation of search terms is available).

Report styles included

Yes, Argus has two reporting tools: Crystal Reports and Report Writer. These two tools print to CSV, PDF, Word, Excel and more. Crystal Reports facilitates complex reports with many options for formatting. The Report Writer prints simple reports to CSV or PDF, with minimal formatting options. Images and data from any field in the database can be included reports.

Report customization

Yes, museum staff can customize reports and easily create new reports. The Report Writer tool is very easy to use – museum staff can create or modify reports with no assistance from IT or the vendor. To create or modify Crystal Reports some training is required – many clients request assistance from IT or the vendor to create or modify Crystal Reports. This is available as a service. Please note, during implementation, part of the implementation package is to create and modify any Crystal Reports that are needed.

Report program

Argus has two reporting tools: Crystal Reports is a third party tool and the Report Writer is a built-in tool in the application.

Museum functions

Collections management function overview

Argus is a comprehensive collections management system that is designed to enable museum staff to manage all processes and aspects of their collections. From accessioning to exhibitions, conservation to shipping, research to inventory, Argus provides fields, templates and workflows to ensure efficiency and accuracy.

Registration

Argus enables museum staff to track provenance, description, location, valuation, conservation, copyright information, and many other details about each object. The fields are configured to match requirements, and any relevant documentation and other media files can be attached. Further, relationships between objects, activities, and individuals or institutions (parties) can be tracked to ensure data is always present in its full context.

Acquisitions

Yes, museum staff can track acquisitions in Argus with as much detail as is desired. Descriptive information, dates, individuals or institutions involved, costs, purchase or deeds of gift information can all be tracked and more.

Inventory management

Yes, Argus support inventory management. Searches and reports can be run on any criteria, such as based on locations, valuations, conditions, etc. In addition, since Argus is compatible with mobile devices, inventory tasks can be performed on the fly from warehouses or any location; staff can access from anywhere, not only from their desks.

Internal tracking

Argus can track locations with as much detail as the customer prefers (prefix and suffix patterns are defined by staff). Location histories are stored, permanent locations can be designated and updated, and searching and reporting is easily performed on current locations of objects. Batch update tools, such as the Update Locations Wizard, facilitates updating the locations or a batch of objects or boxes moving to one location, multiple locations, or back to permanent locations.

External shipments

Yes, you can track shipping with Argus. You can track the parties or institutions involved, the dates, costs, objects and/or boxes, locations, and any other data you would like to track.

Cataloguing

Yes, Argus supports multidisciplinary cataloging. When cataloging a new record, once the record type is selected Argus will filter the available fields to show only the fields relevant to that collection. For customers with a wide variety of collections (e.g., paleontology, fine art, historical collections) this ensures they have all the fields they need as they catalog, without having to scroll past fields not relevant for that collection type. Further, Argus supports multiple controlled vocabularies and museum staff can control to which fields they should apply.

Conservation

Yes, Argus allows museum staff to track information about conservation, including condition reporting and treatment reports, costs, locations, and descriptions in as much detail as desired.

Curatorial research

Yes, Argus allows for supporting and tracking in-house research. The many search options and tracking of relationships between objects, activities and parties supports viewing the full context of an object, activity or party. Research can be added to records, documents can be attached, and metadata about the research can be tracked such as the author, dates, and any other desired details.

Publications and printed material

Yes, Argus allows you to link publications and printed materials to object records, including bibliography tracking, lists of archival materials, etc. The Portal also facilitates searching of additional databases, since the external search feature allows a search to be passed through to any selected databases that museum staff think might have relevance to their portal users.

Rights management and reproduction

Yes, Argus provides rights and reproduction management so that museum staff can track copyright, intellectual property rights, right to reproduce, etc. Through the Portal, visitors can submit requests to museum staff regarding rights and reproduction requests (or other requests).

Risk management and valuation

Yes, Argus allows for tracking of valuation, appraisals, insurance policies and other risk management data. Like all fields, this data is subject to security permissions so it can be restricted to be viewed or editable by only certain staff members.

Exhibitions

Yes, Argus can track data and tasks related to Exhibitions. Exhibitions are managed with their own record, and then linked to the objects that are part of that exhibition. An individual object may be part of many exhibitions and that history can be accessed from the object record. Working lists for creating exhibitions is available through the Saved Lists feature.

Loan management

Yes, Argus offers loan management, including generating forms and contracts, as well as tracking any data and tasks related to incoming or outgoing loans.

Deaccessions

Yes, it is possible to track deaccessions in Argus, including data about the parties or institutions involved, linking objects that are part of the deaccession, legal steps and any other data that is required.

Digital asset management

Argus has an API that allows the customer to work with any Digital Asset Management System. By the end of 2017 the Argus API (Web Services API) will offer two-way CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) functionality. The API gives access to any field in the database, and the Argus Design Suite tools allow for creation of new fields in the database or modification of fields in the database to meet any integration requirements with a DAMS.

Additional features and functions

As mentioned in the product description, Argus comes with a Portal which can be used for internal read-only access, and/or for public access. The Portal comes with functionality that supports search and discovery for users unfamiliar with the collection (browse, facets for narrowing/broadening search, display based on query). The Portal is also designed to facilitate a dynamic, up-to-date reflection of the collection, without requiring staff time or effort to maintain it. As such, once parameters are set as to which records and which fields are permitted to be shared on the Portal, the Portal is updated in real-time with any records that match that criteria. In addition, portions of the collection can be highlighted through query-based filters—such as what has been added to the collection recently, what is currently on exhibition, previous exhibitions, etc. The Portal can be a separate website, embedded into an existing website, or be a pop-up Portal or tab from a link or search box. The Portal comes with a design tool that enables museum staff to make changes without assistance from IT or the vendor.

In addition to the Argus Portal, data from the Argus database can also be utilized through the API in any non-Argus website or application.

Updated information (July 2018)

Argus Enhancements – Post-January 2018

There are 4 enhancements: Audit Trial, Image Zoom, Crowdsourcing, and a Mobile App.

Now Available:

Audit Trail: Allows auditing of changes to records (edits, additions, deletions, linked/unlinked) and changes to user privileges. Audit information will only be accessible to permissioned/authorized users.

The audit trail provides a complete history of the record lifecycle from creation to deletion. In addition, there is a complete history of all changes to user privileges.

Image Zoom: Allows users to zoom and pan images, even low resolution, within both the Portal and the Data Entry screens.

Image zoom allows users to get up close and detailed with zooming or panning for photos, drawings, and fine text that would otherwise be illegible. It enables them to inspect images in much greater detail, including expanding them to full screen.

Crowdsourcing: Argus administrators and museum staff can interact with users from within the collections management system or Portal, and augment content with reviews, opinion, and feedback - while keeping control of permissions and security.

Crowdsourcing enriches curation by capturing knowledge in people's heads as it is exchanged, offering it in context with "documented" knowledge, both internal and external—enriching the visitor experience and increasing visitor engagement.

Coming 2019:

Mobile Location Update Tool: Museum staff can update the location of collection items from a mobile device (iPhone or iPad) while working with/moving items. Capabilities include barcode scanning (location and object), metadata display, location information display, queue up a batch of objects for location change.

Mobile functionality allows staff to easily update location information on the fly without needing to be at the desktop. This tool is purpose-built with a focus on streamlined workflow for moving objects and updating locations.

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