This is primarily one of the strange side effects of our business model up until now. Essentially, we give away all our projects and their related resources under open licenses. As a company, we stay afloat and garner the resources necessary to maintain our projects by offering paid additional services (hosting, training, remote tecnical support, consultation, theming, and of course custom development). While we reserve time to add bug fixes, security patches, and minor enhancements to each release, we rely on community support for feature development - either in the form of code contributions, or through paid development contracts. We work with sponsoring institutions to find a way to implement their development requests in a way that will meet their needs, but also be useful to the broader community and follow relevant standards where applicable, and then we bundle all that development into the next public release, so that the entire community benefits from any contribution. You can find more on this, and the history of the AtoM project, on our wiki here:
One of the side effects of this is that it's been difficult to make long-term roadmaps to support the enhancements and integrations we'd really like to see - even between the projects we maintain. For a long time, AtoM's highest user base was in Canada, where uptake of production-level digital preservation was low. Meanwhile, most of our Archivematica users for a long time were based in the US - where AtoM did not have a lot of uptake. Consequently, integrations in Archivematica, sponsored primarily by US institutions, did not focus on enhancing the AtoM integration as often.
This dynamic is now changing in several ways. First of all, we've seen a significant increase in AtoM adoption in the US in the last couple of years; meanwhile, more and more Canadian institutions are reaching the point where they are implementing digital preservation into their production workflows. AtoM and Archivematica both also have increasing international adoption, and more companies are beginning to offer services related to the projects. We hope this might lead to increased AtoM-Archivematica integration sponsorship in the future. Already, I know of at least one project scheduled that will improve the amount of technical information displayed in AtoM when Archivematica DIPs are uploaded, that will be included in a future AtoM release (likely 2.7 at this point, since we are now aiming for a 2.6 release in early July).
Additionally, project governance and community collaboration is shifting, which will hopefully allow for more long-term roadmapping. The Archivematica project recently announced the formation of the Product Support Program
, while the AtoM Foundation
has been created to help prepare for and govern AtoM3. Each of these initiatives hopes to provide members with a more holistic view of the long-term development priorities for their respective projects. While this doesn't necessarily guarantee increased integration, it does allow for more long-range thinking and planning.
Finally, Artefactual itself has been undergoing an internal reorganization, part of which includes the creation of a dedicated team focused exclusively on the health and maintenance of our open source projects, completely separate from Artefactual as a business. We're dedicating time to trying to solve long-term technical debt issues in each project that have previously been difficult to work on due to our business model - people tend to want to fund new features, while getting development support for upgrading libraries and tools is much more difficult. This is a cross-project team that hopes to start roadmapping across both projects - so while our focus for now is on maintenance and project health, our hope long-term is to be able to start dedicating internal time to integration development in the future that will benefit both projects.
All this to say: you're not mistaken. However, we hope in the future to see better integration between Archivematica and AtoM. We (and our community) have a lot of great ideas for this, all of which haven't previously happened only due to available resources. Hopefully that might change in the future!