iBase Trinity - digital asset management and multimedia online library
4. Configurable database
You start with a clean sheet, nothing is imposed. Choosing field types for text; number; logical yes/no; date; and memo - you build the metadata structure that you want, with as many fields as you need and pick-lists as required to validate input and ensure data integrity. The field labels (aliases) seen by users are entirely customizable.
- - Relational and configurable database structure.
- - Multiple types of item (each with its own set of fields within a single database). See Metadata for different types of things.
- - Field aliases or labels can be whatever you want.
- - New fields can be added.
- - Fields can be deleted.
- - Create parent / child / peer relationships between records.
- - Choose which fields can be seen by web or intranet users.
Note: iBase will do all of this for you if you wish, as part of our implementation service.
Metadata for different types of things
Whilst it is often possible to apply the same metadata structure and field labels to a variety of item types, such as an oil painting, a photograph, pottery etc..., there will be occasions when such an approach is insufficiently flexible. There may simply be just too many differences between some of your types for the viable use of the same metadata fields for each, especially if you need to describe each item in considerable depth.
For example, trying to use the same metadata structure for in-depth cataloguing of both scenic water colours and textile machinery might prove too challenging.
iBase deals with the requirement for in-depth cataloguing - or for that matter any other circumstance where a number of individual and unique metadata fields are needed within the overall database - by enabling, within a single overall database, the creation of a unique set of fields and labels for each type of item that requires it.
Having said all this, if only summary metadata is being written there is usually no need to cater for different item types with their own unique sets of metadata fields. It may be possible to use a single database structure and field labels that will work for just about any type of item. For example, the label 'Creator' can be used for an artist's name, or the name of the manufacturer of an item, or a photographer's name, and so on.
As a general principle we recommend keeping things as simple as possible without compromising your objectives.