Adlib - Portfolio integration development notes

Last update: 06Oct13

In September 2013 a first version of integration with Extensis Portfolio was built into the Adlib API. This leveraged the existing functionality and model of Adlib's imaging API by allowing it to communicate natively with Portfolio's API.

This was a jointly resourced project supported by Adlib, Extensis & The Fitzwilliam Museum. Development to include this functionailty in the Adlib API module was undertaken by Adlib's Christ Hagenaars.

The notes here come with the normal caveats and disclaimers: these are my notes and are not intended to, and do not, represent the views of Adlib or Extensis

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The September 2013 development rationale

Primary need: to be able to ingest and reference images in a Portfolio catalog via the Adlib windows client


Some Observations

Using this integration opens a rich seam of possibilities. Although the primary integration purpose is to allow users to seamlessly ingest and view images within adlwin.exe client, bringing all the implied benefits of DAMS to the user/organisation, the extended possibilities come when considering what functionality is now available for web applications leveraging these two systems in concert.

Before expanding on that, it's worth noting that the principle of not imposing an integration model (in terms of, say field mappings) on any implementation is important. Exact integration details are always site specific. A simple example of this is to ask the question "where shall we store the copyright and IPR information for an image?" - in the CMS, the DAMS, or both, or a bit in both? - and those with experience in the field will know that the 'definitive' answer to this is 'it depends..' :-)

If, as an organisation, you are going to bring two systems together like this (and then build services atop them) there is much thought needed to how your data models and data flows are going to work - you simply cannot have the technical integration machinery imposing anything but the most basic requirements on you (in this case the only requirement is Adlib and Portfolio must have access to a reference, FN/RID/assetID, they can share).
Hence this point is made as an assumption in the above sections.
The astute amongst you will be disagreeing with me by now.. 'but there are restrictions, there's no update or data sync'ing capability'. And you are right, or you would be right if this was a data integration module, but it's not, its a digital asset integration module - it's designed to do the 'heavy lifting' of ingesting and accessing digital assets between these two systems.

Our environment (The Fitzwilliam Museum, 20Sep2013)

Extensis Portfolio 11 Enterprise

Adlib Museum+Archive+Internet server (Win version 7.0.0 build 471, API 3.6)

preferred development/integration technologies - PHP, HTTP transport, JSON data

Adlib API tests (The Fitzwilliam Museum, 20Sep2013)

Our initial testing was successful and encompassed the following:

To be done (21Sep2013) at the Fitzwilliam:

Adlib API tests - PHP examples

These rely on Adlib API 3.6.13263 or higher

Basic image ingest test through Adlib API - ingesttest.php.txt


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