Atom's ability for interoperability

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Feb 10, 2020, 11:04:44 AM2/10/20
to AtoM Users
Please I would like to know what capabilities Atom has to interoperate with other electronic systems that are open source and other owners?

Dan Gillean

Feb 10, 2020, 5:29:48 PM2/10/20
to ICA-AtoM Users
Hi there, 

Other than Archivematica, AtoM's sibling open source project for digital preservation workflows, AtoM does not have built-in integrations with other tools and platforms, open source or otherwise. 

However, it really depends on what you want to do - there may be many cases where integration is possible without development. 

For example, AtoM can upload digital objects via URL, provided they meet several criteria: 
  • They must be publicly available on the web (no firewalls, password prompts, VPN requirements, etc)
  • They must be HTTP or HTTPS links (FTP links will not work)
  • They must be links directly to the object that end in a file extension - links to a landing page on which the object appears won't work.
If you are using a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) for managing images and other digital content, and it can provide object links that meet these criteria, then you can store your master digital objects in the DAMS, and use the URL to link them in AtoM - AtoM will generate some local derivatives (a reference display copy for use on view pages; a thumbnail for search and browse results), but instead of duplicating the master, it will just store the URL and point to the master in the DAMS. 

In the 2.6 release, the Clipboard will have the ability to send data in JSON format to an external system using either GET or POST - we developed this as a generic way that institutions could integrate with a third-party reference request management system. 

AtoM also supports a number of formats for import and export (such as CSV, EAD 2002 XML, MODS XML, DC XML, EAC-CPF XML, SKOS, etc) which could be used as a way to send or receive data to or from other systems - though depending on your needs, you may need an intermediary step to transform the data a bit to meet either AtoM's expectations, or those of the target system. See: 
AtoM can also expose data via OAI-PMH (using either DC XML or EAD 2002 XML), and the application has a basic REST-like API interface for read requests as another way to expose data to another system. Neither of these modes support writing, so they can't be used to ingest new data into AtoM currently. 

These methods might all be ways to configure data exchange and sharing with another system, though they are not true integrations. 

Finally, as an open source application it is always possible to undertake development work and add new integration functionality directly to AtoM. We have some resources to help developers get started  - you'll find some initial ones here: 

You will find an overview of the elements that make up AtoM, and a tour of the AtoM code, in the following resources:

AtoM was originally developed using the Symfony 1.x framework, and the Propel 1.x ORM. You might want to familiarize yourself with Symfony before beginning:

AtoM also currently uses Elasticsearch 5.6 (in the 2.5 version and later - if you are developing new features we strongly recommend you work against our qa/2.6.x branch) for its search index, Twitter Bootstrap 2.3.2 for theming, and several other libraries. MySQL (5.7) is used for data storage in 2.5, though we have upgraded this to MySQL v8.0 in the upcoming 2.6 release. We keep all our code in a git repository, so being comfortable with git or other distributed version control systems will also help you. There are a lot of resources out there on all of these!

We also have a slide deck that introduces developers to major feature development, here:

In terms of understanding AtoM's database and working with SQL, we keep copies of Entity Relationship Diagrams for AtoM's database on the wiki here: 

And we have a slide deck that introduces users to performing SQL queries against an AtoM database here: 


Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
he / him

On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 11:04 AM <> wrote:
Please I would like to know what capabilities Atom has to interoperate with other electronic systems that are open source and other owners?

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