Axiell Collections by Axiell ALM - 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 February 2021. For more information or to request updated information, please contact the vendor directly.

Product name

Axiell Collections

Vendor name

Axiell ALM Canada Inc.

Vendor overview

Website URL

www.axiell.com/solutions/product/axiell-collections

Head office

Fältspatvägen 4
Lund 224 78
Sweden
Year founded: 1987
Telephone number: +46 (0)46 270 04 00
Email: sales-alm@axiell.com

Head office

80 Richmond St. W. Suite #600,
Toronto, ON M5H 2A4, Canada
Canada
Year founded: 1998
Telephone number: +1 (416) 238-5032
Fax number: +1 (416) 238-5022
Email: sales-alm@axiell.com / alm-staff-sales-na@axiell.com
Contact person: Laura House, Business Development Manager

Product overview

Product description

Axiell Collections is a flexible, intuitive, and web-based collections management system (CMS) for the cataloguing and management of multi-disciplinary collections and metadata

Axiell Collections is supported by the larger Axiell product suite which includes Axiell Internet Server, a public discovery portal for collections of all types, Axiell Move for tracking packing, location, and movement information, and CultureConnect, the award-winning digital engagement platform. Axiell has also established a key partnership with Piction to offer integrated management of digital assets.

Benefits of working with Axiell and Axiell Collections include:

  • Axiell has the most extensive heritage industry expertise of any organization, and a long track record of successful implementations of Axiell software throughout the world.
  • Axiell offers a proven solution with a large global client base. Our customers represent a wide range of collection types including archives, libraries, film, television, and audio collections
  • Axiell’s software technology base and configurability ensure that it can be adapted to accommodate specific requirements.
  • Axiell’s sectoral expertise and experience working with collections in a range of sizes ensures the best quality ongoing support available.

Axiell’s continuous enhancement program ensures that an investment in Axiell software not only provides immediate benefits, but many future benefits at no extra cost or risk. Our software is widely trusted to manage collections of local, national, and international significance, allowing you to be confident that we offer the continuity of service we have demonstrated over the last 30 years to our clients.

Disciplines supported

  • Archives
  • Art Collections and Galleries
  • Film Collections
  • Library Special Collections
  • Multi-discipline Collections
  • Natural History Collections
  • History Collections
  • Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology Collections
  • Private and Corporate Collections
  • Universities, Research, and Education

Product launch data

1987 (developed from Adlib XPlus, rebranded in 2016)

Product history

Axiell Collections was born out of the Adlib Collections Management System which has been at the forefront of collections management for more than three decades. Comprehensive, sustainable, and flexible, Axiell Collections can accommodate the requirements of any collecting institution and is widely acknowledged to be the pre-eminent system for multi-discipline collections including Museum, Archive, Film and Library materials.

Future development

We build long term relationships with our customers by providing collections management solutions that meet their needs and stay relevant in an ever-changing collections management environment. Ours is a proactive development strategy. It demands both an understanding of where collections management is heading and the expertise to adapt our solutions to trends in collections management and to new technologies.

We have always committed resources to research and development. As the leading provider of collections management software solutions for Archives, Libraries and Museums, this success affords us greater opportunities for R&D. Approximately 10% of Axiell’s staff are dedicated to core research, with a further 20% engaged in product development.

Our willingness to commit resources to research and development is driven by a commitment to building long term relationships with our customers. Our motto is "Close to the Customer" and we remain close to our customers by building a sustainable, scalable, and flexible tech stack to meet their current and evolving collection management needs.

While detailed product roadmaps for Axiell Collections and its add-on products are actively maintained, updated, and progressed, the specific details of our future development represent commercially sensitive information and cannot be publicly shared.

Demo version

Access a high-level demonstration video of Axiell Collections.
For more information or a more in-depth demonstration of the Axiell Collections System, please contact an Axiell representative by email at sales-alm@axiell.com or by phone at +1 (416) 238 5032.

Support

Support methods

For customers subscribed to annual maintenance and support services, Axiell provides unlimited telephone support, online support, and upgrades of the software as they are released. Axiell uses a customer support portal/ticketing system (Hornbill) for all project and post-implementation (ongoing support) related issues, alongside telephone and email. Using the portal, customers may: raise a new ticket with the Help Desk, review the status of previously reported tickets, add further information to previously reported tickets, request an update on progress, and personalize the interface to show their most used features.

Our support services are provided by our Customer Services team based in North America, which offers 1st and 2nd line support backed up by an extensive team of technical staff. The Help Desk in each Axiell office is available, at a minimum, between 09:00 and 17:00 local time Monday to Friday, excluding local public holidays, or at other times by arrangement with customers in the region

Support language(s)

English and French.

Support availability and hours

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time for phone and email support. Tickets can be logged in the online portal 24/7.

Support fees

20% of licence purchase cost annually.

Client support network

The Axiell Customer Support Network includes:

  • Axiell Collections Management User Forum – Axiell customers are given free access to an online community where customers can share details about their use of Axiell products and collaborate on innovative ways to use Axiell’s technology to meet new and unique needs. This space is also monitored by Axiell staff who regularly contribute to the conversation and answer questions as needed.
  • Axiell Ideas Portal – Axiell customers can submit product ideas or upvote other submissions to influence the direction of Axiell’s product roadmaps. In this space customers may also ask development questions.
  • User Conferences – Axiell hosts an annual global user conference and a series of smaller regional conferences with content curated specifically for our users. Customers attend these events to:
    1. Network and share best practice with hundreds of library, museum, and archive professionals.
    2. Exchange product-specific, technical and practical tips with other users of the same product.
    3. Get the latest updates on Axiell’s roadmaps, customer support and future plans.
    4. Influence Axiell’s future plans by providing input and feedback for our forward development.

Training

Axiell software is accompanied by established and proven training material, experienced trainers and comprehensive Help documentation. Axiell has extensive experience training staff in both user and administrative roles for our software. The educational approach behind Axiell-developed training courses stresses learning through doing.

Training is typically delivered onsite at the customer’s location but can be provided remotely. Our training courses and workshops have been run successfully in all implementations of our products. Courses are designed for beginners through to advanced users, volunteer staff through to collection managers, in-house API developers through to System Administrators. This type of training is developed in close co-operation with you and our training department.

Our training courses involve a series of exercises which lead trainees through all the steps required and become progressively more involved. The rationale is not to test trainees, but to teach. Please visit the Courses section of our website for a list of courses we currently offer. We are always coming up with more courses to meet the evolving needs of our client base. Additionally, if you do not see exactly what you need, we can create a custom course for you and your team with our House Call training option.

Additionally, Axiell offers a range of live or on-demand webinars that support ongoing customer success.

System updates and maintenance

Axiell software is subject to a continuous enhancement program driven by Axiell's clients and the company's own initiatives. Enhancements are released free of charge to all clients as part of their support agreement. This ensures that Axiell software remains current even through a changing landscape and ever-evolving IT environments, thus preserving the investment in Axiell software.

Cost

Pricing

Licensing for Axiell Collections is by concurrent users of the Axiell Collections database engine. Thus, Axiell Collections can be made accessible to a wide user base with the license only affecting the number of users who can run the system simultaneously. Additional licences can be purchased at any time in groups of one or more. Individual license costs decrease as the number of licenses increases. For example, the 10th license would be more cost effective than the 9th.

The Axiell Collections license applies to the server machine and so one server can service the requirements of several campuses of an institution. Alternatively, if each campus requires its own server, then separate licenses would need to be purchased. However, bulk purchase discounts are available in such cases.

Additionally, as Axiell Collections is a multi-discipline collections management system, Axiell Collections is available in different versions for different types of collections: Archive, Library (for special libraries), Museum, and Film. Select one collection type for a 'Standard' system, or you can expand your offering to a ‘Plus’ system that includes a variety of collection types, or an ‘Xplus’ system that combines every type.

Maintenance costs

Axiell’s annual maintenance package includes access to all new versions of the licensed software as well as unlimited access to Axiell's helpdesk service during the company's normal business hours. Helpdesk support is available via telephone, email, and our customer service portal (Hornbill).

The rate of the maintenance is calculated as a percentage of the total license costs. This cost will be applied annually and may be subject to the consumer price index (CPI).

Additional fees

Installation and security model configuration

As part of the implementation process, Axiell will install Axiell Collections and can configure the security settings to ensure user profiles, views, and privileges suit the preferences and roles outlined by the institution and the users of the system. Alternatively, there is an administrative tool that accompanies the platform, Axiell Designer, which allows the database administrator at the client institution to set up and configure their own security settings.

Customization

Axiell Collections is a comprehensively structured, full-featured collections management system. It includes a broad range of standard management and catalog support modules. Where possible, these conform to relevant world standards, most notably the Spectrum standard for museum documentation. Here is a list of all the standards with which Axiell Collections complies. As each institution differs, the catalogue, and supporting collections management datasets are customizable to meet the needs of the institution in order to manage their workflows effectively and efficiently.

Data migration

Most clients switching to Axiell Collections have one or more sources of legacy data in various software systems. An important component of a successful implementation of Axiell Collections is the migration of legacy data into the platform.

Based on Axiell's experience with legacy data systems, the data migration cost can range from a thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of different data sources and the complexities of each. Axiell would have to undertake a thorough investigation of a client's legacy data sources before being able to provide a more accurate figure. Alternatively, data migration can be performed on a time and materials basis. This data migration cost could be reduced if museum staff are able to prepare and export the existing data in a suitable format.

Training

Axiell offers a wide variety of courses. The length of a training course depends on the number of project team members and end users involved in the implementation. Training is typically organized on site but can be performed remotely. If the institution would like ongoing training or training for more staff, this can be arranged. Our training is very flexible, and we can work with project coordinators to tailor a curriculum that will enable you to make the most of the project. Learn about Axiell’s Training Courses.

Project management

One of Axiell's professionally trained and certified project managers will be assigned to the implementation project. Our project manager will work with both Axiell and customer project resources to efficiently manage the entire project from initiation through to go-live, ensuring a successful, smooth transition to Axiell Collections.

System specifications

Operating systems supported

Axiell Collections software runs on all Windows platforms which are currently maintained by Microsoft including Windows 2012 R2 Server and later, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Axiell recommends running the latest operating system available for best performance.

  • Server: Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.

Workstation:

In the table below, minimum and recommended system requirements for client workstations are listed. Please consult the Microsoft website for the minimum and recommended system requirements per Operating System. Apple workstations can be used for Axiell Collections or other browser-based applications. Up-to-date browser versions are recommended.

Supported browsers:

Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

To run the Axiell Designer Windows client you may need to set up remote desktop protocol for the Windows Application Server or run these clients in the local network. A fast VLAN (min 1Gbit) is required in that case.

Minimum requirements as listed below can be used when workstations are connected to an RDP server (Thin Clients).

Minimum Requirements

Part Minimum system requirements (suitable for RDP use) Recommended minimum requirements
Processor Quad Core Quad Core
RAM 4 GB 8GB
Screen resolution 1440 x 900 1920 x 1200 or higher
Network card 1Gbit 10Gbit
Operating System Windows 8 Windows 10 or later
Microsoft Office (optional) Office 2016 Office 365

Underlying database

Microsoft SQL Server.

Platform(s)

Axiell Collections is a client/server application. The client side runs natively under Windows, and on a Mac using a Windows emulator. Because it is a Windows-based application it can automatically invoke any Windows-based applications such as word and image processors and exchange data directly with such applications.

Axiell Collections also offers a browser-based interface that gives browser access to many of the core functions of the software. With this browser-based platform, users can access the collections management system from any modern browser, on a PC or Mac such as, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari.

Hardware requirements

Part Minimum system requirements Recommended minimum requirements
Processor 4 (v)CPU 8 (v)CPU
RAM 8 GB 16 GB
Network card 1 Gbit 10 Gbit
Database Version11 SQL Server (Express) 2017 SQL Server 2019 or later
Disk space 50GB, but depending on collection size Fast I/O disks recommended, 3 separate disks 100GB per disk

Staff requirements

It is recommended that a minimum of one staff member be assigned the role of application administrator.

Plug-ins and/or modules available

Axiell Ingest

Axiell Ingest is a bulk ingest tool that monitors and tracks the progress of files as they are dropped into a specified folder. This allows for efficient and accurate ingest of files for large digitization projects for users who may not have experience in Axiell Collections.

Axiell Internet Server

Axiell Internet Server is a web publishing platform that is used to make library catalogues and museum collections accessible through the internet, for interested visitors from all over the world. Through this web application the visitor can perform simple or advanced searches for publications or objects in the collection, in the language of choice if so desired.

Axiell Move

Axiell Move is an iOS app that supports the logistic process of movements of (packed or bare) museological objects. Ensure the highest level of accuracy for your locations data with the minimum amount of manual data entry by using your device as a barcode scanner to update object locations in Axiell Collections in real time.

Axiell Move is available at two levels, Standard and Premium. The addition of the Premium package allows you to take a more workflow-based approach to movement and location tracking through use of our “missions” functionality to track tasks.

Reading Room module

Reading Room provides all the functionality you need to efficiently manage requests from researchers or others who wish to make use of your collections in a reading room environment.

CultureConnect

CultureConnect is Axiell’s digital engagement platform that empowers cultural institutions to easily create beautiful and dynamic digital experiences that broaden audience engagement onsite and online. Customers can easily build mobile guides, in-gallery interactives, online exhibitions, virtual programming, and distance learning tools by directly accessing the media and data in their collection management system. Additionally, the cloud-based solution seamlessly integrates with diverse enterprise software tools to maximize revenue generation, data collection, and workflows.

Piction

Axiell and Piction have partnered to establish a sustainable path for museums and archives to manage, preserve, and distribute their digital assets. Metadata management, digital workflows, support for advanced ingestion of data, and content distribution are all part of the enterprise solution. The integration of Axiell’s collection management software with Piction’s DAMS enables institutions to thoroughly document the life cycle and use of their digitized and born-digital materials and enhances their ability to create digital experiences across all their collections.

Saved Search scheduling - Available as an Axiell Internet Server add on

Allows you to set a selective dissemination of information schedule using saved searches. This schedule will automatically re-run specific saved searches at predefined intervals and print or e-mail the result of the search to specific individuals. Your application manager must set up an SDI server for this functionality to work.

Third-party requirements

None

Interoperability

Axiell Collections API

The Axiell Collections API is a powerful tool for providing fast access to the Axiell Collections database for any selected 3rd party system (e.g. discovery layer) as well as for Axiell Collections and its modules. The API can be configured on any part of the system. Features include comprehensive search functions, using and creating persistent sets (saved searches/sets), creating/editing records in the database, and multimedia functions (image handling functions). The API fully respects the access rights configuration, meaning external systems will only have the type of access that is granted to them. Access can be granted or restricted to individual records, fields and sections of the database, etc

The API is available in multiple ways, including RESTful web services, jQuery and data DLLs. Axiell can implement trigger services to proactively push updates of metadata or record changes in general to other systems as soon as a change occurs.

The Axiell API supports standards for exchange of data such as OAI-PMH and SRU/SRW. Data can be automatically represented in other standard data formats such as SPECTRUM, EAD, MARCXML, Dublin Core, EAC, LIDO, SKOS and other RDF and Linked Open Data standards. Any custom data format can also be configured. Transformation can be configured using XSLT stylesheets which can be automatically or optionally linked to an API call. The API can be used for harvesting protocols as well as real-time access. Axiell DAMS models closely to the OAIS standard.

The Axiell API requires the Microsoft .Net MVC framework and runs on the Microsoft IIS Platform. The amount of resources needed for running these applications depends on the usage and the number of applications. Please also consult the Microsoft webpage for hardware requirements regarding the usage of IIS.

Accessibility

Axiell is committed to accessibility and we have developed our applications to suit the diverse needs of different users. The Level AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 of the W3C proscribe extensive options for accessibility, and these guidelines are important facets of our design and development for web-based applications.

Axiell Collections is accessed through any modern web browser and applications optimized for mobile devices. The CMS’ main interface is HTML5-based, WCAG compliant, and does not require any browser plugins. We also have an active development program focused on mobile device optimization out of which we have developed apps for iOS devices.

Common accessibility tools work with Axiell Collections:

Auditory Support

  • Microsoft Windows comes with a basic screen reader called Narrator, which reads text on the screen aloud and describes events (such as an error message appearing) that occur while using the computer. You can find more information on how to use Narrator on the Microsoft website.
  • For Mac users, the Mac operating system also has a built-in speech to text function, which you can access by going to 'System Preferences' and selecting 'Universal Access'.

Visual Support

  • All recent versions of Microsoft Windows include magnification software. This allows users to greatly increase text size. To use Windows magnifier, click on 'Start' then select 'Programmes' followed by 'Accessories' and 'Magnifier'. You can then select the amount of magnification you want from the dialog box that will appear on screen
  • For Mac users, you can select the screen magnifier option by going to 'System Preferences' and selecting 'Universal Access'.

In addition, Axiell Collections implements many keyboard shortcuts to provide access to data entry and searching functions for users that have difficulty using a mouse.

Customization

Axiell Collections is a comprehensively structured, full-featured collections management system and so rarely requires customization. It includes a broad range of standard management and catalog support modules. Where possible, these conform to relevant world standards, most notably the Spectrum standard for museum documentation.

Axiell Collections is geared towards the end user and for that reason the interface is customizable. The user interface can be customized by changing any number of settings (such as which screen tabs are hidden, or which field columns will be displayed in the Result set or in search forms). Most of these settings are associated with a user's account and recalled when they log in to Collections.

Axiell Collections’ data model is completely flexible and can be adapted to incorporate different schemas via Axiell Designer. Customization of the catalog, or other modules, can be performed by Axiell on a time and materials basis or can be undertaken for a fixed price. In the latter case, Axiell requires a comprehensive specification of those customizations before this price can be determined.

Web integration capabilities

Cloud Functionality:

We can provide and manage the infrastructure to run your system securely, reducing infrastructure and staffing costs on your end, leaving you to do what you do best: managing collections.

When we host your CMS, we:

  • Manage the back-up of your data.
  • Take care of upgrades, ensuring that your system is always up to date.
  • Run professional grade hardware in a secure data centre.
  • Provide secure access to your CMS from any web connection.
  • Ensure you always have enough storage space.

Operation of the hosted CMS is covered by a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Server location

Negotiated with customer as part of hosting SLA

Security protocols

Negotiated with customer as part of hosting SLA

Typical or average uptime

Negotiated with customer as part of hosting SLA

Back-end maintenance procedures and downtime

Negotiated with customer as part of hosting SLA

Browsers Supported:

Axiell Collections and associated products are compatible with any modern web browser including: Internet Explorer version 8 and later, Safari Version 5 and later, Firefox version 29 and later, and Google Chrome Version 18 and later.

Web-based Access for Data Entry

Web-based access for collections management

Work with your collections data anytime, anywhere through a web browser. Enable even inexperienced users to access data through an easy to use, modern interface. Facilitate data entry directly into your CMS from anywhere in the world.

  • Work with your data anytime, anywhere through a web browser.
  • Axiell Collections Web UI works on PCs, Macs and Tablets.
  • Check and edit object information in real time
  • Access insights and information when you need it.
  • Work remotely and access your data.

Web Publishing Platform

Axiell Internet Server is a complete package to make library catalogues and museum collections accessible through the internet, for interested visitors from all over the world. Through this web application the visitor can perform simple or advanced searches for publications or objects in the collection, in the language of choice if so desired. Step by step, you easily move from the search tab to the results of a search, to the detailed presentation of one or more records, to making your own selection, and finally, to printing it for example, or to make a reservation.

Aside from the ease of use that the Axiell Internet Server web application already offers, there are many possibilities to customize the application, so that the web site properly represents the character of the institution. An Intranet is also available for staff read-only access.

Linked Open Data Functionality

The latest version of the Axiell Collections application includes persistent identifier management functionality. The application contains PID fields for all entities in the Axiell Collections database. PID management in Axiell Collections is flexible and easy to use and is now available to any organization that wishes to use it. Axiell has also created and standardized templates for the publication of data in Linked Open formats (e.g. EDM-Europeana Data Model and DC-Dublin Core). To learn more about Linked Open Data in Axiell Collections please contact an Axiell rep at sales-alm@axiell.com.

User groups security

User Profiles

Axiell Collections software employs a role-based security system. Roles may have the following rights: None, Read, Read/Write or All for any part of the application (e.g. screens, reports) or Axiell Collections database (datasets and fields). Access rights can also be applied to individual records.

User Groups

Pre-determined access rights are assigned to roles and these roles are assigned to individual users or user groups, which can be associated with users or groups defined in Microsoft Active Directory. This offers efficient protection against unauthorized access to data or application functionality. At the same time, the processes of user authentication and access management are simplified as administration tasks, such as managing and enforcing password policies, may be carried out within Active Directory while application-specific access rights are managed in Axiell Designer.

Visitor Profiles

Axiell Collections has an extensive and sophisticated access management system that provides Administrators with the ability to control access to nearly every facet of Axiell Collections by user. A user account with a "visitor profile" can be created and maintained by the application administrator with appropriate access, both to data and functions, as is required. Many institutions utilize the public interface for visitor access.

Installations

Axiell Collections is a browser-based platform and users can access the collections management system from any modern browser, on a PC or Mac such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

For clients implementing Axiell Collections who wish to store their data locally, the application will be installed remotely on your servers. Alternatively, Axiell provides managed cloud hosting services to streamline infrastructure management. In this case your application will be installed in our data centre.

Audit Trails/Edit History

Axiell Collections has a comprehensive Auditing System. It allows organizations to record and manage information pertaining to the entire lifecycle of a field or record.

Each modification of a field or record (for any entity type) adds to the audit trail such that the audit trail automatically holds versions of a field or record (this includes relations/links to other records). The time stamp and username can be used to view multiple versions of the record/field. All modifications to any part of the database are logged in the database modification history. This is recorded at the very detailed field level. This means that for each field content change the log includes the content of the field, the username, date, and time of the change. The change log for any field can be viewed read-only).

Additionally, in each record, across all datasets within Axiell Collections there is a tab designated to track and document all changes that occur within the record and can be displayed to users in read-only format.

Offline Access

With Axiell Move users can work without a WIFI connection when managing object movements. Changes can be logged in the user’s device without an internet connection, and when connection resumes the correct time stamps and information will be sent to the CMS.

Privacy Features

All interactions with the SQL Database are performed in the Data API in conjunction with firewalls. Traffic is limited to only a certain port. Data stored in the Database can be encrypted and Axiell Collections has a granular access rights management system. It is based on Roles (i.e. Groups) and they can be linked at the database level (i.e. fields and records) and to the Axiell Collections functions (like record manipulation, reporting, etc.).

Data migration and stability

Import formats

Axiell Collections is built to be as open and interoperable as possible. Data can be imported into the CMS by users in multiple formats, including spreadsheets, using the import tool. These formats include XML, CSV, ASCII delimited (CSV), fixed length, and tagged text. Templates for data import can be created to meet specific requirements, e.g. XLST stylesheets for XML data. Templates can be applied to the system for re-use.

Importing and more advanced exporting can be achieved through the system administration tool which allows the creation of import/export routines and formats, mapping of fields, setting of parameters for data exchange and automation of processes.

Axiell Collections can convert (import) databases from the following exchange file formats to the Axiell Collections database format:

  • Axiell Collections tagged
  • dBase III/IV (*.dbf)
  • ASCII delimited (*.csv)
  • ASCII fixed length
  • PICA III
  • XML
  • Image directory
  • Modes

Export formats

Axiell makes sure your information is not locked into the CMS. Integrated reporting capabilities allow users to share a variety of information about the collection, using both pre-defined reports or by creating templates that can be saved for future use. Rich XML-based export capabilities allow you to interchange information with any contemporary system. The flexible API also allows data to be harvested by external sources.

Standard exports can be achieved directly from the cataloguing user interface, by selecting the records and fields to export, the format, and then saving the file to the user’s workstation. More advanced exporting can be achieved via the system administration tool which allows the creation of import/export routines and formats, mapping of fields, setting of parameters for data exchange and automation of processes.

Backups

Axiell Collections requires no special backup software and does not use raw partitions. Any standard backup and restore software provided with an operating system or third-party product (e.g. Arcserve) may be used. Axiell provides backup options for our hosted service.

Standards and schemas

The Axiell API supports standards for exchange of data such as OAI-PMH and SRU/SRW. Data can be automatically represented in other standard data formats such as SPECTRUM, EAD, Dublin Core, EAC, LIDO, SKOS and other RDF and Linked Open Data standards. Transformation can be configured using XSLT stylesheets which can be automatically or optionally linked to an API call. A list of standards we have worked with before is included below however any custom data format can also be configured.

Metadata schemas

  • Dublin Core
  • RDA
  • RDF
  • LIDO
  • EN-15907
  • Linked-Art
  • Schema.org

Data content standards (cataloguing rules)

  • Spectrum
  • ISAD G
  • CIDOC CRM Core
  • MIDAS
  • ICOM Documentation Guidelines
  • CDWA
  • LIDO
  • CCO
  • VRA Core
  • CHIN Data Dictionaries
  • Object ID
  • EDM

Vocabulary standards

Axiell Collections has the functionality to link subject and name headings to collection records. This is done using controlled vocabulary, for example, the Thesaurus dataset. Fields can be automatically validated against the thesaurus dataset to ensure fluid and accurate data entry. Many thesauri can be ingested into Axiell Collections (Getty AAT, LCSH), or thesauri such as Chenhall and CHIN Data dictionaries. Axiell Collections can be configured so that any field can be subject to thesaural control.

Local terminology lists

Axiell Collections is able to maintain Local Terminology Lists in addition to standard vocabulary lists.

Accreditation

Collections Trust – Spectrum compliance.

Data entry and content

Media upload/linking

Digital assets can be ingested into the Axiell Collections in many ways, including:

  • Individual asset upload to a particular dataset within the application.
  • Through bulk upload through the batch import utility available in Axiell Designer.
  • Using the bulk upload utility, Axiell Ingest, which enables users to create Axiell Collections records and store their Digital Assets safely by dragging and dropping these into a "hot" folder.

In Axiell Collections you can link images or other media files to an object or title record. A reproduction record can be manually or automatically created in the Multimedia Documentation data source for the relevant image.

Media formats supported

Image, video, and audio types that are supported by browsers in HTML are supported in Axiell Collections as well as files and other image formats that are IIIF compliant. The range of media formats which can be displayed by the Media Viewer in Axiell Collections is only limited by browser support or HTML video/audio player support.

  • Image formats which are supported include: .jpeg, .tiff, .bmp, .gif, .svg and .png.
  • For audio, HTML5 only supports mp3, wav, .opus and .ogg extensions.
  • For video, HTML5 only supports mp4 (H.264), wm (VP8/VP9) and ogg (Daala).

For more advanced support of media formats, Axiell’s integration with Piction’s digital asset management system enables management of over 100 different file types including images, video, audio, and documents.

Data entry features

Axiell Collections provides a suite of powerful data entry tools as well as a variety of web-based add-on applications useable across a wide range of functions and roles.

Copy and paste

Yes

Search and replace

Yes

Spellcheck

Yes

Bulk cataloguing

Yes

Batch edit

Yes

Batch location change

Yes

Duplicate record search

Yes, upon import – Axiell Collections can identify if a record already exists and merge/update data in the record.

Template record

Yes

Date selection and formats

Yes

Mandatory fields

Yes. Application Administrators can set desired fields as mandatory.

Others

Not applicable

Spreadsheet editing view

Yes, the browser-based interface of Axiell Collections allows users to edit single records or groups of records through a spreadsheet editing view type called List View.

Geographic mapping

The browser-based interface of Axiell Collections offers a geographic mapping view. The view is meant to display locations (as registered in different fields in your records) on a world map for a quick visual overview. For example, you can use it to easily track down main locations of storage; the geographical distribution of production places of a certain record selection; or the range of objects manufactured by a single creator. Any field which contains geographical places may be set up for the geographical map functionality.

Multilingual fields

Axiell Collections supports multiple languages at both the system and data level. All prompts, menus and buttons can be displayed in the language selected by the user and data can be stored and displayed in multiple languages. Switching between languages can be performed dynamically at any time. Compliant with Unicode, Axiell Collections can display a vast range of characters, as well as support right-to-left languages, including Arabic and Hebrew. Again, dynamic switching between RTL and LTR languages is supported.

Barcoding

Axiell Collections supports the creation of unique barcode strings, printing of barcode labels, and retrieval of data through a variety of interfaces and devices via barcode technology

Additional support for tracking objects and locations through barcodes is provided with the Axiell Move add-on product. Axiell Move is an iOS app that supports the logistic process of movements of (packed or bare) museological objects. Ensure the highest level of accuracy for your locations data with the minimum amount of manual data entry by using your device as a barcode scanner to update object locations in Axiell Collections in real time.

Axiell Move is available at two levels, Standard and Premium. The addition of the Premium package allows you to take a more workflow-based approach to movement and location tracking through use of our “missions” functionality to track tasks.

Labelling

Axiell Collections supports the creation and printing of label information through its various printing formats. A word template can be used to support the creation and printing of labels for use in exhibitions, etc.

Search and reporting

Types of search supported

The Axiell Collections Standard Search tool is easy to use and allows the user to select from a list of the most regularly searched fields. Advanced Search can be used to combine search queries and search multiple fields simultaneously. A powerful search language makes it possible to query every field in the database. You can compose your own queries and include operators such as 'equal to' or 'less than'. Logical operators (such as 'and' and 'or') are also supported. Both queries and their results can be stored for future re-use as a "saved search".

Boolean queries

Yes

Query any field

Yes

Sort query results

Yes

Saving search results

Yes, search criteria can be saved as a ‘saved search’ for future use.

Filter search results

Yes

SQL-based search

No

Export search results

Yes

Free-text (Google) searches

Yes – simple search is built into the list view to be able to keyword search on records.

Search result views

Search results can be displayed in a list or form view.

Multilingual searching

Yes

Report styles included

Axiell Collections comes with a selection of pre-defined reports. The reports available differ according to which part of the system is being used. For example, in the Archive Catalogue, extended or hierarchical record listings can be created whereas in the Accessions dataset Accessions lists can be created.

Through Axiell Designer the system manager may create further 'pre-defined' report definitions and insert them into the appropriate menu to become available for other users. In this way the customer has full control over what 'standard' reports are available to system users.

Report customization

Axiell Collections is equipped with a very flexible report generating tool. It can write reports to Microsoft Word templates, or by outputting in the preferred format of the client. Alternatively, Word Templates can be created to facilitate several report requirements and can be created in-house to meet the reporting needs of the institution.

Standard productivity reports (record creation/modification over time, numbers of processes started/completed, etc.) can be created.

For creating advanced reports, for which some pre-processing of data is necessary, the Axiell Collections programming language ADAPL or XSLT will be required. Complex calculations, manipulations of field contents, etc., will be managed by ADAPL procedures (output formats) or XSLT stylesheets

Using the API, external visualization tools such as MS Power BI can also be harnessed for creating productivity reports.

Report program

Axiell Collections comes with a series of tools to generate new and customized reports in numerous formats using a wide range of report writers, including XML, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Museum functions

Collections management function overview

Spectrum procedures:

  • Object Entry (primary)
  • Loans In (primary)
  • Pre-entry
  • Inventory
  • Location and Movement (primary)
  • Transport
  • Cataloguing (primary)
  • Condition Checking
  • Conservation
  • Risk Management
  • Insurance
  • Valuation
  • Audit
  • Rights Management
  • Use of Collections
  • Object Exit (primary)
  • Loans Out (primary)
  • Loss and Damage
  • Deaccession
  • Retrospective Documentation (primary)
  • Acquisition (primary)

Registration

A primary obligation for a museum is the duty of care for its collections. Amongst other responsibilities this requires the museum to manage its collections, keep track of its objects, ensure they are well maintained, securely stored, properly insured and appropriately accessible. Axiell Collections facilitates this duty of care through collection management processes and tools designed in compliance with the Collections Trust's Spectrum standard for museum documentation.

The Spectrum standard is recognized internationally as the industry standard for Collections Management. Spectrum is a guide to good practice for museum documentation and contains procedures for documenting objects and the processes they undergo. Axiell Collections is fully compliant with the latest version of this standard.

Acquisitions

The Axiell Collections Acquisitions database is designed to handle both accessioned and unaccessioned materials in a way that reduces redundant data entry. Acquisitions contains typical acquisitions fields - dates, source, responsibility, suitability, description of material (bulk and itemized), status, processing, and priority - as well as possibilities to link to several databases (donors, collections, media/documentation, location, etc.). The database can also be configured with local fields (date/numeric/text/linking) as required.All fields relating to Acquisitions can be captured, searched and reported on.

Acquisitions can be linked to one or more records in the Collections database and vice versa. Documentation and media related to the acquisition or donation/purchase/transfer can be attached to Acquisitions records via standard file-picking methods. The system can be configured to point to a centralized storage location. Email notifications can be configured based on requirements, e.g. when a new item is added to an acquisition or for other events.

Inventory management

Axiell Collections contains the fields and functionality required for managing all processes related to inventories within the same integrated system. With specific regard to inventory management in Axiell Collections, the following functionality is highlighted:

  • Retention Schedules: The system contains a Retention Schedule module where retention schedules can be created. This is used to record information about the schedule which can then be linked to records in the catalogue. Information that can be recorded includes a title, description, material type, action (e.g. destroy, transfer, review), Period (e.g. 5 years), and Authorizer.
  • Locations and Movements: The system contains a Locations and Containers dataset where details of locations and containers can be recorded, for example, name, barcode, description, and address details. Locations and containers can be linked together in a hierarchical way as defined by the user, for example in a Building – Room - Bay - Shelf hierarchy. Each catalogue record contains fields for recording the normal and current location of the record. These fields link to the Locations and Containers dataset enabling the catalogue record to be linked to a location or container record. The system contains a change location procedure where one or multiple items can be moved and details about the move can be recorded. When a movement takes place, details of the previous location are stored in a location history set of fields, keeping a full audit trail of movements. Within each catalogue record there is also a Future Movements set of fields which can be used to plan future location moves. Information including movement method, date, new location name, contact details and notes can be recorded here. This set of fields can be appended to allow multiple tasks to be allocated and managed.
  • Loans: For records that are involved in a Loan activity, the system contains a Loans module for managing the requesting and booking of items. This includes the ability to record contact details, shipping and venue information, task management and the generation and linking of documentation to loan records including contracts, request letters, and extension letters. Records in the catalogue are linked to the loan record and the status of each record can be managed independently of other items in the loan, for example, the status of the item, details of authorization, conditions, insurance information and transport details.

Each catalogue record also contains fields for recording Disposal/Conversion information for when records are destroyed, including Authorizer, Notes and Date.

Internal tracking

This is standard functionality in Axiell Collections. Every movement can be recorded at all levels of the catalogue. Future movements can also be planned and the system automatically keeps a full audit trail of previous location movements, including details of time, date and authorizer, etc.

Information relating to loans, exhibitions etc. are recorded in their specific datasets and can also be used to check an item's location. Additional fields not included in the standard application can be added using Axiell Designer.

As an additional feature, Axiell offers a barcode movement add-on, Axiell Move, which can update the database location of items by scanning them. This includes functionality for packing, moving and unpacking containers holding several items, the individual locations of each is tracked by the system.

External shipments

The Transport dataset tracks all information pertaining to objects and materials that are physically leaving from or coming into the institution. A new entry record should be created for every time an object or unit of description enters the institution. An entry record can be linked to one or more objects or units of description. Also, an object or unit of description can be linked to multiple entry records, for example, one entry record can cover the moment when the object was acquired by the organization and another can cover the return from a loan to an external organization. In addition to documenting the entry of objects and units of description, the transport dataset can also track exit procedures and information in a similar fashion to the Entry record described above.

Cataloguing

The Axiell Collections platform is centred on the catalogue, and here the emphasis is on clear, logical structure. Although very comprehensive in scope, the degree of detail to be entered into each catalogue entry can be determined by each institution.

Axiell Collections is broken out into categories to accommodate different types of collection information and standards; Archives (Accessions/Catalogue), Library, Museum (Internal/External Objects), and Film are standard, but the data model is flexible and can be tailored to suit any organization’s data structure.

Archive

The archive version of the system is designed specifically for archivists and should be used by people who are managing archive collections including documents, multi-media, maps, historical books as well as digital-born materials.

This application supports the creation of multi-level hierarchical descriptions in accordance with the ISAD G and DACS standards. An on-screen ‘tree structure’ display enables you to readily browse through all the levels of the catalogue, however complex, and simply insert records as needed.

Library

The special library version of the system enables features that special libraries may need and should be used by any library that is looking for library management made easy. Axiell Collections for Libraries is flexible enough to deal with all kinds of publications, including digital and multimedia files. The standard catalogue includes templates for several different types of material including books, audiovisual materials, journals, loose-leafs and articles.

Museum

The museum version of the system is most suitable for anyone managing art, historical or scientific collections with a variety of item types. The system has been designed for a range of collections types including arts, natural history, industrial, archaeological, and mixed collections.

Film

Our off-the-shelf film archive solution ensures your collection is catalogued to international film standard EN 15907 as well as key archival and museum standards. Axiell Collections is the only accredited film archive collections management system.

Learn more about Axiell Collections categories and associated key standards.

Axiell Collections offers many tools to empower efficient cataloguing. To name a few this includes bulk relocation, bulk adding objects to loans, bulk create records, the derive functionality (referenced below), and the ability to edit in list view.

Conservation

The Assessments and treatments dataset documents and tracks the condition and conservation activities related to the collection. Conservation work on objects can be scheduled and monitored, capturing examination details, a description of the damage or other reasons for conservation treatment, details of the treatment performed, the results of those treatments, and any associated costs.

Assessments and treatments records make extensive use of the multimedia repository to record images and video of objects before and after conservation work, as well as audio and written documents describing treatments. Conservation information is retained in perpetuity to give a comprehensive history of the treatments applied to an object and provide a knowledge base to improve the effectiveness of future conservation activities.

Curatorial research

The Research/Use dataset documents the use of collections which are relevant for the archive or museum. These include education/handling collections, the operation of objects, research, enquiries, and the commercial use of objects and associated documentary archives. Users include staff, volunteers, or the public – whether in person, by letter, telephone or any other means of communication.

Publications and printed material

General bibliographic references, including books, journals, articles, papers and theses are recorded in Axiell Collections in the datasets related to the Library. Additionally, there is a Copies dataset that allows the institution to track copies of materials and manage the activities related to copies individually, while still maintaining the relationship to the primary record.

Rights management and reproduction

This is standard functionality built into the Catalogue module. Axiell Collections allows for detailed copyright and other rights data to be recorded in each catalogue record. For example, in the archive catalogue there are fields in the Conditions of Access and Use (ISAD) tab which includes fields for recording conditions governing access and reproduction. In the museum catalogue the Rights tab, which is Spectrum compliant, is included out of the box and allows the user to record information about Rights Type (i.e. assigned externally, or incoming); Reference; Holder; Consent status; Requester; Authorizer; Start and end dates; and Notes.

Risk management and valuation

The value of an object, the date of its valuation, the valuing authority and the next scheduled valuation are documented in Axiell Collections, with a history of valuation information automatically maintained. It is possible to:

  • Set a regular valuation interval frequency (in years or months).
  • Set a specific date for the next valuation.
  • Using the Scheduled Search functionality, users can receive a notification report when the next valuation is due.

It is common for security reasons to restrict access to an object's valuation details to valuation staff and management.

Exhibitions

Axiell Collections offers an Exhibitions module which includes tabs for Exhibition Details, Related exhibitions, Documentation, Linked objects, Loans, Reproductions and Management details. It is a friendly database with the Internal and External Catalogue.

Exhibits information can be recorded and tracked, including exhibition details, itinerary, venue/contact information, digital media and much more. Items are linked to the relevant exhibition and a full audit trail is kept of all exhibitions in which an item has been involved.

Loan management

Axiell Collections manages your incoming and outgoing loans using the Incoming Loans and Outgoing Loans datasets. From the Incoming and Outgoing Loans datasets users can document and track all loans and related information while maintaining that relationship to the objects or units of description which are a part of that loan. They capture details such as the borrower, objects loaned, start and end dates, approvals, and associated costs.

Loan documentation, including a loan agreement form, can be generated from within Axiell Collections and can even be scanned and attached to the loan record as a permanent soft copy of the signed agreement. These datasets also store the Loan History of a particular object or unit of description over the lifespan of that item in the collection.

Deaccessions

Each item contains fields for recording deaccession information including deaccession date, disposal method, price, date, reasons, and the ability to attach documentation related to the deaccession.

Deaccessioning an object results in the object's logical removal from the collection. For most users, the object will appear to have been removed from the Internal Object Catalog. Authorized users, however, can search for and retrieve deaccessioned object records, enabling audits of deaccessioned objects. Deaccession details include the date of deaccession, reason for deaccession (lost, stolen, destroyed, etc.), terms and conditions of the deaccession, and authorization details.

Digital asset management

Axiell Collections includes an IIIF Media Viewer which displays image(s) linked to the record currently displayed in detail. If more than one image is linked to the current record, their thumbnails will be listed next to each other. Users can click a thumbnail to display the relevant image enlarged in the main area of the view. Media formats which can be displayed by the Media Viewer is limited by either browser support or HTML5 video/audio player support. See the profile section entitled Media Formats Supported for more detail. Nearly all areas of the system allow for attaching digital assets to enhance the details of a record. When a digital asset is added throughout Collections, it is also added to the Media Module where the digital assets themselves can be catalogued and cared for.

For more advanced digital asset management functionality, Axiell and Piction have partnered to establish a sustainable path for museums and archives to manage, preserve, and distribute their digital assets. Metadata management, digital workflows, support for advanced ingestion of data, and content distribution are all part of the enterprise solution. The integration of Axiell’s collection management software with Piction’s DAMS enables institutions to thoroughly document the life cycle and use of their digitized and born-digital materials and enhances their ability to create digital experiences across all their collections.

Additional features and functions

Derive functionality

Moving or coping records from one data source to another similar one, like from the External object catalogue to the Internal object catalogue or from Archives (accessions) to Archives (catalogue) for example is completed using the derive functionality. Derive can also be used with external sources to validate against an external thesaurus. Once you select the term, you can save the record you are currently working in, and a record for this term will be created in your own Thesaurus and all relevant information from the external thesaurus record will have been copied along, including any scope notes and Linked Open Data IDs. This record is now your own and can be updated accordingly.

The following add-ons are available:
  • Axiell Ingest: A bulk ingest tool that monitors and tracks the progress of files as they are dropped into a specified folder.
  • Axiell Internet Server: A web publishing platform that is used to make library catalogues and museum collections accessible through the internet, for interested visitors from all over the world.
  • Axiell Move: An iOS app that supports the logistic process of movements of (packed or bare) museological objects.
  • Reading Room module: This option provides all the functionality you need to deal efficiently with requests from researchers or others who wish to use your collections in a reading room environment.
  • SDI (Selective dissemination of information) alerting – Available as an Axiell Internet Server add-on: Makes it possible to deliver custom-made services. Your users can register an interest profile, so that the system can automatically inform them about relevant information and new acquisitions.
  • CultureConnect: A digital engagement platform that empowers cultural institutions to easily create beautiful and dynamic digital experiences that broaden audience engagement onsite and online.
  • Piction: Axiell and Piction have partnered to establish a sustainable path for museums and archives to manage, preserve, and distribute their digital assets. Metadata management, digital workflows, support for advanced ingestion of data, and content distribution are all part of the enterprise solution.
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