I have years of museum experience, a copy of Filemaker Pro with self written databases but know nothing about Developer. There is nothing on the market [small end of town] for small museums except some very clunky Windows / Access type dbs.
I believe Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK uses FileMaker for their catalogue. Are you wanting assistance developing something, or are you wanting to find and purchase something already written (like, perhaps, the system that Gilcrease is using?)
- Gary Amstutz
Thanks for your response Gary.
My aim is to produce a museums database in Filemaker that is easy to
use and handles all the requirements of museums and galleries. I have
developed 8 relational databases to meet the needs of a museum in
Sydney where I was the collection manager. What is needed is to
expand on that experience and construct a database set that is
intuitive in operation. I do not have any resources to contribute to
a project other than my 20+ years experience. I am semi-retired and
would be very happy to assist in the development of a suitable package
to help sma;ll community museums.
The only commercial museum dbs available in Australia are based on
Windows and or Access - and they are very clunky. I have used all but
one of those available here.
Sorry, I think I misunderstood your original post. So for clarification, you're thinking about building a commercial museum cataloguing system, and are wondering if any readers might be interested in purchasing such a system (or perhaps knows of a regional museum that could use it if you build it?)
Sounds like you might have the perfect career experience to design and build such a system that could be valuable for many museums that want something other than a Windows-only solution. If you decide to build it, let me know if you need any help with the user interface, especially on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). I might be interested in helping you on that project!
iOS Development Solutions
To clear up my poor communication - I was seeking two answers to two
questions really - 1. whether anyone was developing a museums package
2. whether anyone was interested in developing a museums package.
There is no money for the project and a small chance of breaking into
a market that is growing slowly.
Thank you for your offer of assistance. There has one other reply to
the post, from a person who seems interested in the development
project. How do you feel about me connecting the two of you?
+61 2 4942 3514
There used to be a product called virtual collection, from GCI in Canada.
Their original product was written in FM but I don't know what their current development status is.
I looked into developing a more modern packet around 7 years ago but then learned that my market at the time thought Filemaker was to expensive for the project.
They planned to use a much cheaper solution doing this in MySQL and PHP etc.
Coming to think of it, I haven't heard of a finished product yet. ;-)
Hans, Thank you for the info. I was not aware of the product you have
Seven years ago FM would have been too expensive for the community
museums market but in Australia today the starting price for the most
popular museum catalogue program is $2,500. Filemaker cost less that
$1,000 here, so a reasonably priced museum solution in FM would get a
go. I expect that is the case in other countries.
I believe that it is possible to create a FM solution that can also
compete with the upper end of the market which starts about $45,000 in
the same package.
Please keep me in the loop if you come across anything further.
I think perhaps what Hans was trying to say was that it might be considered too expensive per license for many smaller museums. If the museum has, say 10 computers that they need to use to access their FM collection, that would be up to $3000 for just the 10 licenses of FileMaker, and if they also want to use a FileMaker server, that could bring the total Filemaker portion of the bill up to $4000-6000. On top of that cost, they'd have to buy the custom museum software (unless the makers made it a standalone application, not requiring s FM license). There are many lower cost solutions that could be built using MySQL (or even using Objective-C and Core Data) that wouldn't require the FM licensing on top of the cost of the museum software. However, with the free FM Go now available, if museums wanted to standardize on iPads, a museum software database built in FileMaker might make a lot more sense financially. One relatively low cost FM Pro license to host the database, and a lot of iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones would indeed make a very handy systerm for a museum today, built using the ultra-fast FM dev environment. I'd certainly be interested in helping with that.
Please, point to http://www.filemaker.fr/solutions/customers/stories/musee_louvre.html (in french language) ...
Thinking about this a bit further might give the following options:
Runtime versions for single computer appliances.
FM server and web access using PHP in one wants to keep the cost on the development side rather than on the software side.
FM server and FM Go for iPad - iPhone access.
FM server and FM Pro for people that have more money along with a FM subscription program.
Due to shorter development times FM might make sense especially as one can create a rudimentary system in a few days.
My SQL and Postgres can of course be cheaper but then you will probably see a longer development time.
But then again, depending on what you are doing, you can see long development times in FM as well.
However if you move to the commercial version of these environments I suspect that you could be looking at quite some expenses as well.
Tell me Bill, do you own FM PRO, version 8 or newer?
I have a now 10 year old gallery management system which is designed for a boutique gallery in Brisbane. It was designed to be portable as the gallery specialises in Aboriginal art. The portable system also allows the user to maintain their online gallery web site which is also a FileMaker solution and is hosted by FileMaker Server..
If you would like to have a look, please contact me privately.
My apologies for the delay. I've had a couple of bad weeks with
convalescence after some surgery. I have some thoughts to add about
why developing a software package would be useful.
Also attached is a better framed analysis of the fields required for
the database. This list will need fine tuning and relationships
Potential market for Museum Collection db
This assessment is based on Australian conditions only, but I think
could well apply in other markets.
Most large institutions used propriety software managed by their own
IT departments. Some, including Smithsonian, use commercial software
such as KE Software’s EMu with a server and many
licences. Smaller museums use single licence [or up to six in some
Local Government organisations] such as Mosaic , Vernon
, AdLib and others. This software is
all exclusively Windows based.
There are over 1500 small museums [all volunteer or less than 4 paid
staff] in Australia. About one-half of these use one of the above
collection management systems. The remainder have not yet adopted an
IT solution, but pressure is being applied by various government based
agencies for them to do so, and to develop web presence. One state
is trialling a centrally based on-line server with
collection management software for small museums and Vernon offers a
commercial on-line server option.
Most of these smaller institutions have or need a single collection
management solution only. The idea of servers and multiple access is
beyond their resources at present and in the near future so the cost
of multiple licences is not a major issue now.
I'm Sydney-based but read TechNet much less regularly than I used to - sorry for not seeing your post until now. I do have galleries and collection software that is used by a number of galleries, collectors/ collections and art centres across the country (and a few overseas). I'll give you a call tomorrow or you can email me directly.
All the best,
Mob: 0409 394 525
I'll call you tomorrow Friday to discuss further if you wish. Some
others have responded about this subjects. I have attached a Word
document that lists the fields I believe are required, although
relationships are still to be determined. I have also have outlined
of the market. It is necessary to include art museums input for
further development of the db, however, I wouild like that the initial
target be volunteer social history museums where possible.
Where have you attached a word doc?
I thought it was attached to my previous email to you. Here it is
the attachment is still missing. You must attach it via the advanced editor in the technet forum web platform.
Would be interesting for me to see what your thoughts are about the structure of a museum DB.
I had once created an internal museum FM database (with about museum 10'000 objects) for the various pharmaceutical and chemical collections of the Chemistry and Applied Biosciences Department, and went for the general datastructure and fields along the guidelines of the book by Harald Krämer, "Museumsinformatik". I'm sure that there are similar books that describe national or international standards or guidelines, which you should consider.
Usually, information is grouped into object, producer (e.g. artist, scientist, ...), collection, and administrative information.
Unfortunately, the database is in German. It was and is intended only for internal use.
Retrieving data ...