Proficio by Re: discovery Software, Inc. - Profile


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This information was accurate as of December 2020. For more information or to request updated information, please contact the vendor directly.

Product names

Proficio Elements
Proficio for the Web

Vendor name

Re:discovery Software, Inc.

Vendor Overview

Website URL

Head office

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Year founded: 1988
Telephone number: 434.975.3256
Fax number: 434.975.3935
Contact person: Brandy Adams

Canadian/North American office

Re:discovery Software, Inc. also maintains a Western Regional Office in Boise, ID.

Product overview

Product description

Proficio is a comprehensive collections management database application for museums, archives and manuscript repositories, reference libraries, and archaeological sites. Proficio allows institutions to fully document current and historical information about individual items in their collections. Proficio supports workflows for collections management activities, including accessions, deaccessions, exhibitions, outgoing and incoming loans, and conservation. Among Proficio's strengths are its scalability, an intuitive user interface, Google-like searching capability, customizable user views, full imaging and multimedia support, batch updating functions, and robust reporting capabilities.

Proficio Elements is a light version of Proficio, featuring the same user interface and many of the same features as the standard Proficio version.

Locally installed or Cloud-based implementation options are available for both Proficio and Proficio Elements.

Proficio for the Web is an optional add-on product for both Proficio and Proficio Elements that provides read-only access to selected catalog records and related image and media files.

Disciplines supported

Proficio's Collections Module is best suited for history, art and natural history collections. It can also be used for cataloging accessories to the collection such as vitrines or mannequins used in exhibitions or for props used in educational programs. The Archaeology Module is tailored specifically for archaeological sites/collections. The Archives & Library Module is tailored specifically for archives & reference library collections management. One, two or all three of Proficio's Core Modules can be implemented in a single Proficio implementation. Proficio Elements includes both the Collections and Archives & Library Modules.

Product launch date

Proficio 8.0, a major overhaul of the previous FoxPro-based Visual Re:discovery version, was initially released in March 2006. Proficio version 8.22, released in September of 2020, is the current production version.

Product history

"Re:discovery" began in 1988 as a solution to manage archaeological collections for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, evolving into an application that supports a wide range of collection disciplines (history, art, natural history, archaeology, archives and library) in a single system. Originally the software was written in FoxPro and implemented as a FoxPro database application. Beginning In 2005, a major overhaul of the application was undertaken; the software was rewritten in C# and implemented in the Microsoft .NET framework with Microsoft's SQL Server database engine, resulting in the launch of Proficio in 2006.

Future development

The next major commercial update/version release (version 9) is anticipated for late 2021/early 2022. Incremental patches with small feature enhancements/additions will continue to be provided as needed in 2021. Future releases will include new functions for notifications and mapping.

Demo version

A Cloud-based trial version of Proficio or Proficio Elements is available.

To schedule a personalized demonstration of Proficio or Proficio Elements, please contact Re:discovery Software's sales team at 434.975.3256 ext. 3 or


Support methods

Clients may contact Re:discovery's Help Desk by phone, email, or fax. A comprehensive user manual is integrated into the software and a PDF version of the manual is also available. Instructional white papers are available on our website in a password protected area available to clients with a current maintenance plan. Future support tools include a searchable on-line knowledge base (in development now) also available to clients with a current maintenance plan.

Support language(s)


Support availability and hours

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Support fees

Support is provided for no cost for an initial 90-day period. Beyond the 90-day period, an on-going software maintenance and technical support plan is available on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual renewal basis.

Client support network

A Re:discovery Client Group is established as a Google Group.


Introductory training via webinar is included with purchase of the software license. On an on-going basis, introductory training and topic-specific training webinars are provided monthly for no cost to clients on a current maintenance plan. These videos are then stored in a Vimeo library to be accessed as an additional training resource at the client’s convenience. On-site client training is available as an optional purchase.

System updates and maintenance

System updates and maintenance are included with the standard software maintenance plan for Proficio and Proficio Elements. These include both patch updates to an existing version as well as new version releases. Patches are available regularly through the year. Major version releases occur about every 18 months.



Payment arrangements may be offered on a case by case basis. There are no annual licensing costs. Proficio may be licensed to support any number of concurrent user logins (the number of named users is unlimited), and the one-time license fee corresponds directly to the number of concurrent users. Proficio Elements may be licensed to support up to five (5) concurrent users.

Maintenance costs

For commercial customers, the monthly maintenance costs for Proficio are determined by the number of concurrent users. For Proficio Elements, maintenance costs are fixed according to the number of concurrent users.

Additional fees

Costs for data migration, custom configuration and Cloud hosting vary from client to client, if required and/or desired. Fixed price quotes are provided.

System specifications

Operating systems supported

Proficio is a Windows application. For locally installed network implementations, Windows Server 2012 R2 or later is supported. For desktop computers running Proficio on a network or as a standalone installation, Windows 7, 8, and 10 are supported.

Proficio and Proficio Elements may also be implemented in the Cloud, hosted by Re:discovery Software. Access to the Cloud implementation is via a web browser, so Windows is not required on the local client computer.

Underlying database

Proficio is built on Microsoft SQL Server. There are no additional fees for the supplied Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Express Edition. Clients may also implement Proficio or Proficio Elements with their own installation of SQL Server (versions 2012 through 2017 are supported).


Proficio Mobile provides access to data stored in a Proficio database using mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Proficio Mobile supports the following functions:

  • Location and condition verify/update: Verify the location and condition of items and update these as necessary.
  • Container location change: Update groups of records that are in the same container/location with a new container location.
  • Inventory: Inventory your collections and update locations if necessary.
  • Modify a record: Modify selected fields for records in a directory. You can select the fields that are available in the Mobile configuration options in the main Proficio system.
  • Add a new record: Add a new record to the selected directory. You can select the fields that are available in the Mobile configuration options in the main Proficio system.
  • Docent/researcher view: Allows read-only access to selected fields. A researcher or docent can look up information on an object from their mobile device.

Hardware requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system
Workstation Windows 7 or above Footnote 1 Windows 10 or abovefootnote 1
Server Windows 2012 R2 Server or abovefootnote 1 Windows 2016 Server or abovefootnote 1
Workstation CPU: Intel i3 Series, 1 GHz or better
RAM: 1 GB footnote 2
Monitor: 17 inch super VGA
Video: 1920 x 1080 or higher
CPU: Intel Quad Core, 3.0 GHz or better
RAM: 6 GB footnote 2or more
Monitor: 20" widescreen
Video: 1024 x 768 x 32 bit
Server CPU: Pentium IV or compatible
CPU: Intel Quad Core, 4.0 GHz or better
RAM: 12 GB or more
Disk storage
Workstation 500 MB available (use server specs if a stand-alone installation) 1 GB available (use server specs if a stand-alone installation)
Server 1.5 GB available (plus 25-100 KB per record, figure does not include storage of attached images and multimedia files) footnote 3 15 GB available (plus 25-100 KB per record, figure does not include storage of attached images and multimedia files)
.Net Framework Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8 (included on installation DVD) Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8 (included on installation DVD)
Web Browser Internet Explorer 6 SP 1 or above (required for SQL Server 2012 installation) Internet Explorer 7 or above (required for SQL Server 2012 installation)
SQL Server SQL Server 2012 Express Edition. (SQL Server 2017 Express is included in the installation package). For large network installations, we recommend SQL Server Standard Edition or above.footnote 5 SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition or above footnote 4
(Purchased separately by client. Recommended for large network installations.)
Windows PowerShell Depends on versions of Windows Management Framework & .NET Framework Depends on versions of Windows Management Framework & .NET Framework
Network (for multi-user installations)
LAN Speed: 10 Mbps
File Sharing: Standard Windows file sharing (SMB)
Speed: 100 Mbps or better
File Sharing: Standard Windows file sharing (SMB)
WAN Low-bandwidth environments (<10 Mbps) require the use of a remote application delivery system such as Remote Desktop Connection, Microsoft Terminal Server, or Citrix MetaFrame. Low-bandwidth environments (<10 Mbps) require the use of a remote application delivery system such as Remote Desktop Connection, Microsoft Terminal Server, or Citrix MetaFrame.
Proficio for the Web or Public Search
Any workstation running Proficio for the Web or
Public Search
  • Intel i3 Series, 3.0 GHz with 6 GB of memory or better is recommended.
  • .NET Framework, version dependent on operating system/SQL Server
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), version dependent on operating system

Note: If using Proficio on a stand-alone computer (not as a workstation on a server installation), the following Windows operating systems are compatible with Public Search†:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8, 8.1
  • Windows 10

If using Proficio on a workstation accessing a server installation, the server portion of Proficio must be installed on a computer running one of the following Windows Server operating systems:

  • Windows 2008 Server
  • Windows 2008 R2 Server
  • Windows 2012 Server
  • Windows 2012 R2 Server
  • Windows 2016 Server
  • Windows 2019 Server

† The Browse by Images feature within Public Search cannot be used on a stand-alone desktop computer due to the limited number of internet connections allowed by the operating system. Browse by Images feature within Public Search can only be used from a workstation that points to Proficio that is installed on a true server operating system such as Windows 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 or 2019 Server.

Staff requirements

Proficio can be managed by existing museum employees and does not require a high level of technical expertise. We recommend designating a Proficio administrator for managing individual user permissions and other routine administrative tasks, but a dedicated staff member is not required to maintain it.

Plug-ins and/or modules available

  • Nomenclature 4 (developed by third party, no additional cost)
  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus (developed by third party, no additional cost)
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (developed by third party, no additional cost)
  • Proficio Mobile (developed by Re:discovery Software, no additional cost)

Third-party requirements

For a locally installed implementation, Microsoft .Net framework (version 4.8) and Internet Explorer (version 7 or higher) are required. Adobe Reader and/or Microsoft Word are required for reading the supporting documentation for the product, such as white papers and manuals. These are also needed to read reports saved by users as an external file from the application.


Proficio is compatible with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, Microsoft Office products, and website development tools that use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) framework to query SQL databases.


Proficio for the Web (the public-facing, read-only interface) meets WCAG guidelines.


A variety of customization options are available with Proficio. Proficio users with appropriate permissions can rename most fields and related field properties (with some exceptions), define new fields on the Extended Information tab, and customize reports. In addition, users are able to select preferred fields to include in Proficio's List View, with the option to change the fields at any time without impacting other Proficio users.

Customization that includes changing the layout of fields requires Re:discovery staff. A defined set of services for configuration changes is provided for a fixed price. Additional configuration changes and/or custom programming are available on a fixed price quote basis.

Some customization options are only available in Proficio and not Proficio Elements.

Web integration capabilities

Cloud functionality

Re:discovery Software offers a hosted Cloud implementation option for both Proficio and Proficio Elements, allowing users to run the application entirely through a web browser and maintain their database in the Cloud.

Server location
Security protocols
Authentication and authorization takes place at two levels: first at a secure Web Portal, using standard Windows authentication, then at the application (Proficio/Proficio Elements) level.
Typical/average uptime
Back-end maintenance procedures and downtime
Clients are informed in advance of any software updates and or maintenance tasks, which are performed in off-hours when necessary.

Browsers supported

  • Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Firefox

Web-based access for data entry

Yes, with the Cloud option, staff/volunteers can enter data through a web browser interface without having Proficio installed on their device. There are no restrictions on functionality for this type of access.

Web publishing platform

Proficio for the Web supports publishing data, images and multimedia files from the Catalog Records in Proficio and Proficio Elements. The intention is to provide read-only access to selected information from the Proficio database. Proficio for the Web supports the creation and display of Virtual Exhibits, as well as robust searching and browsing capability. An API is included with the Proficio for the Web license (not open source) that clients can use to create custom designed websites.

Linked open data functionality

Proficio supports linked data URIs for authority references.

User groups and security

User profiles

Proficio's User Security interface allows profiles/permissions to be established for each user. Multiple users can be logged in simultaneously, as defined by the user license for Proficio, and multiple users can be editing records at the same time.

User groups

Proficio supports the individually defined security/access restrictions. Several user types are available: Administrator, Data Entry, Research and Custom. Each of these user types include specific functional rights by default, which can be adjusted as needed by the Proficio administrator.

Visitor profiles

A Proficio user can be defined as a read-only user.


Within a single network, Proficio and Proficio Elements can be installed on as many workstations as desired. The number of users that can login to the application is determined by the user license. Proficio can be licensed for any number of concurrent users, while Proficio Elements is limited to a maximum of 5 concurrent users.

Audit trails and/or edit history

Proficio's Audit Trail provides three levels of tracking changes to a record, with the most robust level providing before and after tracking of changes to individual fields. A history of changes to catalog records is maintained with the catalog record. History tracking is also available for over 20 categories of information, including location history, exhibit history, loan history and appraisal history.

Offline access

Locally installed implementations of Proficio and Proficio Elements do not require an Internet connection. Proficio's Cloud option requires an Internet connection.

Privacy features

Logging into Proficio and Proficio Elements requires a user name and password.

Data migration and stability

Import formats

Supported import formats include tab delimited text, .csv, XML, and MARC. Both Proficio and Proficio Elements include an interface that clients can use to import data on their own. In certain circumstances, RSI staff provides data migration services for a fixed price, based on a review of a client's legacy data.

Export formats

Supported export formats include tab delimited text, .csv, XML, and MARC.


Proficio includes an integrated backup system with options for creating a Complete System Backup or backups of Selected Directories. Multiple catalogs may be backed up in a single process. Backups may be scheduled to run at defined times or run manually. Clients may select where backups are stored on their local system or network.

Standards and schemas

Metadata schemas

Proficio supports the export (as well as import) of MARC records in the native MARC format. Proficio provides a variety of options to export specific fields to a variety of file formats, including XML. Since the fields exported are selected by the user (when they create the export template), there is no one specific schema available.

Data content standards (cataloguing rules)

  • Spectrum 5.0
  • MARC

Vocabulary standards

  • Nomenclature 4.0 for Museum Cataloging
  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)

All of the above are integrated into Proficio for no additional cost.

Local terminology lists

Clients can import terminology lists of unrelated terms (into Proficio's Authority Tables). Users can manually enter their own terms into the Lexicon and create relationships between terms in a hierarchy. Multi-lingual terms are supported.


Proficio is Spectrum 5.0 compliant.

Data entry and content

Media upload/linking

Media can be uploaded into Proficio, as well as linked to from an external source. There are multiple methods available. There is an Import Image and Import Multimedia function in the application where the user can browse to and select one or multiple images or media files to associate with records. The user can drag and drop images from Windows Explorer to the image box for an individual record. There is also a Batch Image Import and Batch Multimedia Import where the user can create an Excel spreadsheet of catalog numbers and file paths to images or media files and load that into the application to associate multiple images or media files to multiple records within a table at the same time. A user can also use a field in a record to document a URL to an image or media file on the network and use the application's "Launch to Windows" function to view the image/media file using the registered program for the specific file type.

Media formats supported

Proficio supports any type of media format that can be launched on a user's computer.

Data entry features

Copy and paste
Search and replace
Yes, supported both within a record and between records.
Yes. Proficio's dictionary includes English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish words. Words can be added to the dictionary.
Bulk cataloguing
Batch edit
Batch location change
Duplicate record search
Template record
Yes, standard record templates are provided.
Date selection and formats
Proficio includes both true date (MM/DD/YYYY) and flexible date fields. Flexible data fields support the use of circa dates, incomplete dates and date ranges.
Mandatory fields
The Proficio administrator (or other user with appropriate permissions) can define which fields are mandatory.
Users can copy an entire record and change only the fields necessary to catalog similar objects, as well as paste the contents of a field from the previous record.

Spreadsheet editing view

Proficio's Quick Entry interface provides a spreadsheet-like view for easy viewing or editing of records.

Geographic mapping

A prototype of a Geographic Mapping feature has been developed and will be available in version 9 of Proficio.

Multilingual fields

Proficio is currently only available in English. Unicode is supported, but non-Latin characters are not. Multiple languages may be entered into a field, but there are not duplicate fields for multiple languages.


Proficio supports the use of barcode scanning devices and includes standard reports for generating barcode labels. No specific plug-ins or brand of additional equipment is required.


Proficio supports generating printable labels (including barcode labels) from database records.

Search and reporting

Types of search supported

Proficio provides robust searching and filtering capabilities. Word Search is the fastest, most powerful search option in the program, providing a Google-like search to find any word, anywhere in the database. Users can search for a single word or phrase, limit the search to one or more designated fields, limit the search to a user defined subset of records, or search all fields. Boolean, wildcard and proximity searching is supported, as are searches across alphabetic ranges or a range of years. Users can search hierarchical lexicons to search for related, broader, narrower or proper terms. Searches can include more than one directory or type of record (catalog records, exhibit records, loan records, artist records, etc.) at a time.

Boolean queries
Query any field
Sort query results
Saving search results
Filter search results
SQL-based search
Export search results
Free-text (Google) searches
Search result views

Multilingual searching

Multi-lingual searching works with the exception of non-Latin alphabets such as Greek or Russian. Diacritics, such as a grave (`) or tilde (~) are ignored for searching purposes.

Report styles included

Over 125 reports are included with the software, including a variety of forms and reports that support the range of collections management processes, including forms and reports for catalog records, accessions, deaccessions, conservation, loans, and exhibits.

Report customization

Users may customize reports using either of Proficio's report writing tools, Quick Report and Proficio Reports.

Report program

Quick Report and Proficio Reports were developed by Re:discovery Software using Microsoft's DevExpress development tools.

Museum functions

Collections management function overview

Proficio is a complete collections management system, supporting workflows for standard museum functions including accessions, deaccessions, outgoing and incoming loans, conservation, exhibits, as well as tracking information about artist/makers and constituents.


Proficio users can create a separate Registration directory for documenting incoming collection items. These items can be transferred to a permanent collections directory once the decision is made to accession the items.


The Accessions submodule is a standard component for documenting proposed and approved acquisitions and automatically links individual catalog records to the related Accession record.

Inventory management

Proficio includes fields for managing inventories and tracking inventory history. Proficio Mobile includes an inventory function for use on a tablet or other mobile device that updates the Proficio database during collection inventories.

Internal tracking

Changes to catalog records are tracked in Proficio.

External shipments

Proficio includes a Shipping submodule for tracking external shipments. Catalog records can be attached and viewed from the Shipping submodule.


Proficio provides an extensive array of industry-standard fields for cataloging individual items that are tailored to various collection types, including history, art, natural history, archaeology, archives and library.


Proficio includes a Conservation submodule as a standard component for documenting conservation activities. Users can link an individual catalog record to one or more Conservation Records to records in the Conservation submodule, and Proficio maintains a record of conservation treatments completed or proposed.

Curatorial research

Yes. Proficio includes powerful tools for searching and filtering database records. Curators may group records of interest as tag sets and run reports on those specific sets of records.

Publications and printed material

Yes. Proficio users may record information about publications or other documentation related to individual items in the collection.

Rights management and reproduction

Proficio includes a Restrictions submodule for managing the use of individual items or groups of items in the collection.

Risk management and valuation

Proficio tracks appraisal and insurance history for items in the collection.


Proficio includes an Exhibits submodule as a standard component for documenting exhibitions. Users can link one or more catalog records to an Exhibit Record and maintain a record of exhibits in which an object has appeared.

Loan management

Proficio includes both Incoming and Outgoing Loan submodules for documenting loans. Users can link one or more catalog records to a Loan Record and maintain a record of past loans.


Proficio includes a Deaccessions submodule as a standard component for managing proposed and approved deaccessions. Users can link one or more catalog records to a Deaccession Record.

Digital asset management

Proficio supports the acquisition, storage, viewing and printing of digital assets.

Additional features and functions

Proficio supports the cataloging of archival material in a hierarchical manner allowing the user to break down an archival collection into smaller components (sub-collection, series, sub-series, file unit, and item). Proficio supports the cataloging of archeology collections in a hierarchical manner allowing the user to track the archeological process and physical site in addition to the artifacts.

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