Import Export Utility for the Museum Archive software project

This utility has 3 main functions:

  • Import and export the entire database using XML files;
  • Import CSV (comma delimited file) data into the database;
  • Automatically create a web site from the data.

There is a PDF file included that describes the basic functions of the utility. To see an example of the automatically generated web site, click here.

Here is some background info on the XML portion of the utility:

This utility lets you export the entire database by writing a xml file. You can use this xml file for any purpose, but it was designed to provide you with a method of combining individual installations of the Museum Archive software into a single database. This is useful if you have the software installed in several locations and now want to bring all locations together - a group of small museums might want to provide a complete collection of all objects in the group.

Once you have exported the data to the xml file, you can send that xml file to another Museum Archive installation and they can combine your data with their own by simply running the import function. The best strategy to use when combining two or more databases is to copy one installation to a new folder and then import all of the other data to this copy. You are left with all of the installations untouched plus a new installation with everyone's data.

To export the data, drop this utility into the installation folder, run it, and select the Data... Export menu choice.

To import the data, drop this utility and the previously exported xml file into the target's installation folder, run it, and select the Data... Import menu choice. It will look for the xml file in that folder.

Things to consider:

Backup your data. If you are using a copy of your database as a target, this is not critical, because you will be writing to the copy and not the original.

The import utility will attempt to combine supporting table names. If all of the databases have a Category named Audio - General, the combined database will have a single Category with that name. Before exporting, check to see that your supporting table names are unique where they need to be. For example, if each installation has a location named XYZ, the combined database will have Objects pointing at location XYZ no matter which database installation they came from. If necessary, change the supporting table names to make them less confusing (for example, change XYZ to XYZ - Metuchen).

If you have duplicate names in a single installation, the import will add a random number to the duplicated name to make it unique. This should really never happen, since having a duplicate name in a single installation is merely confusing. For example, having two categories both named Audio - General is not helpful - which one do you use? Nevertheless, it happens, and the imported data will be slightly modified to distinguish between two identical supporting table names.

The utility will not export or import internally stored images - you'll need to transfer the image files manually.

Thanks to Connie Marks for his valuable input.

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