April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Workshops: Description

Remote Data Strategies with Drupal: Integrating and Extending Your Collection On-line - FULL

Tiffany Farriss,, USA
Larry Garfield,, USA

This workshop is full.

Web-based content management systems typically offer flexibility for manipulation and display of data housed within the CMS itself (local data). However, there is a wide disparity in their capabilities for dealing with data that cannot and should not be authoritatively stored within the CMS (remote data).

Drupal is an open source Web content management system and framework that is gaining popularity as a solution for museums seeking to present their collections on-line. A key component to Drupal's growth in the market is the framework's flexibility to integrate remote data from a variety of sources, including digital asset management systems.

This session will cite practical examples and lessons learned from several museum Web sites that feature digital asset management system integration with Drupal: The Indianapolis Museum of Art (Drupal 5), the Art Institute of Chicago (Drupal 5) and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (Drupal 6). A key focus will be on how the different technical and cultural needs of each institution dictated the approach taken for each solution.

We will cover a variety of approaches for integrating remote data, including both lazy-instantiation and SOAP requests using RPC-style queries processed by an object-relational mapper (ORM).

This is a technical session that will assume attendees have a basic technical understanding of how digital asset management systems store and share data. While a working knowledge of Drupal will be helpful, it is not essential. The intended audience for this session includes both Web project managers who will gain a strategic understanding of Drupal's role in the institutional enterprise as well as technical developers responsible for implementing the museum's Web solutions.

The goal of this session is to provide attendees with a clear understanding of the capabilities of Drupal, and the ways it can be used to work with a variety of third-party digital asset management systems to not only present a museum's collection via the Web, but also allow visitors to interact with the collection online in new and different ways. Once the remote data has been successfully integrated, the site can then leverage the social publishing capabilities of Drupal for commenting, social tagging, personalized collections, mashups and a wide variety of other Web 2.0 features.

Additional background:

Workshop: Drupal and Remote Data [Afternoon]

Keywords: Drupal, collections management, CMS, XML, SOAP, remote data