3 thoughts on “Selecting a Catalog Management System

  1. Reblogged this on Trimbathcreative's Blog (Tom Trimbath) and commented:

    As many have asked, “What is it you do, again?” Here’s an example of some work I enjoyed – that also potentially saves a client $300,000 and several months of development time. A case study in a make versus buy software development project for a small museum (that’s tackling big ideas.)

  2. The universal catalog is a continual problem for data management applications. The unique nature of the business determines the shape of the model, which is why it is so hard to just adopt something “close enough.” The similarities are always on the bottom and mid rungs of the tree model where the top is tied to business strategy and is not that convertible. What needs to be defined early on the is core nature of the business, which in this case is virtual artifacts connected across digital platforms to a set of digital users. Most applications are built to manage material artifacts which are immutable.

    DCAC was an effort to manage engineering designs through the development process and onto the physical build. That database project (which was really a catalog of parts, people, assemblies, processes and a load of other detail that advanced with scope creep, bloating up the price of the product to more than ten times its estimated cost) delivered a quagmire of data but was unweildy and difficult to get one’s hands around.

    The catalog question is why are you building this thing and what do you need to have it do VERSUS gosh we’ve got all this data and yeah, we can built it for X but since we have X we can add a piece of this and that to also get Y, and later add another spice to get Z. Instead of a museum catalog, you end up with a knot of data (Zachman used to call spaghetti code) from which users will begin extracting lines of data and download into private databases with parochial uses that themselves grow into unweildy knots.

    …Just a gut level response to the material you posted here. There are no silver bullets, of course, but neither are there canned solutions. The best hope for BUY is to match mission statements and stick with the program. If you BUILD, design to collect and store for diverse usage. And I am sure you have many more brilliant data people working on this than I am.

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