Sorry to take so long to reply:
>Peter asked: Glad to hear that's working. What kind of business is this in?
I work in a museum. They have a huge database for their artifacts but only images of the artifacts themselves are stored in this database. They resist the idea of calling an image an artifact in its own right. Therefor all other images such as those of exhibits, field trips, brochure and poster shots, production documentation, special events etc. are cataloged in xMedia. This is for two reasons:
1) There is no funding for another expensive database (it's amazing how much money can be sunk into one of those enterprise size databases, especially when you factor in all the training, consulting, database management and IT upkeep they involve)
2) No-one on staff wants to learn more operating procedures of another complicated asset management program. The interface and ease of use of a program, especially for people who will not be working with it every minute of the day and for that matter maybe only once a month, is of crucial importance. We've already gone through one other enterprise style database that was eventually turfed because it was so obtuse that everyone was just spending their time finding ways to not use it.
>Peter asked: The other drawback is that as individual users look through catalogs, they can't add their organizational information back.
This would have been great but often it can actually be a benefit that they can't. Not everyone thinks about the information the same way and people sometimes write in the weirdest things (going back to an earlier database where you wrote things into fields). It depends on what they think is important and often they do not look at it from the point of view of a person doing the searching. This can make search results very inconsistent.
>Chip asked: Aniemann, do I understand correctly that you maintain two copies of each file? One in the locked folder and one in the distribution folder?
Yes. Two copies of the database file. The data entry person works with the unlocked version and the rest of the staff always view the locked version. Because the editted file is automatically copied it doesn't feel complicated. However this can be a nuisance when someone else that's an expert in their field should also be editting the info and have to be given write access.
What we are doing with xMedia is definately a workaround but I don't see a better solution for us for now. My ideal would fit the following criteria:
- a centralized server style database that was as easy to use as iView/xMedia,
- did not need speciallized IT skills to install and manage,
- did not cost such an exorbitant amount,
- was produced by a company that has a good chance of being around for a while
- had as large an information/user base as iview/xMedia so we wouldn't need to always hire expensive consultants to come figure things out for us.
....I don't want much, Andy