Please excuse our bloglessness! Many good intentions and some wonderful ideas, but short on ink to paper (or pixels to screen). Truth be told, we’ve been busy working on v3.0 and it is so much more than a mere update.

Now that we are getting ready for the first testing cycle of the new and improved Arches (v3.0), it’s important to let everyone know how very fired up we all are about the new version and what you can look forward to.

Simply stated: Arches v3.0 will be awesome! No, really!

Check out the updated Roadmap for details on the many new features and get a sneak peek at initial screenshots for the new UI.

Here are a few highlights of v3.0:

THE NEW USER INTERFACE (UI) is now fully-responsive (for use on tablets and phones) and it is beautiful—elegant and user-friendly. No one could possibly imagine that by effortlessly entering data into fields in this clean, attractive interface they are, in fact, invisibly mapping their data (via the graphs) to the notoriously complex but rich ontology for cultural heritage that is the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM). The CRM is wholly integrated within Arches and provides the backbone for the data structure. And, the new UI now provides a slick interactive graph view of resource relationships and will likely empower and entice users to explore the data further.

THE REFERENCE DATA MANAGER (RDM) is a brand new and very significant feature of v3.0. The name probably doesn’t do it justice and we may need to change that. Among other things, it will allow users to manage all kinds of controlled vocabularies (thesauri, index terms, and so on) from within Arches. For example, users will be able to customize the values that show up on dropdowns within the data-entry forms or import a complex thesaurus such as the Getty’s AAT (Art and Architecture Thesaurus), create their own thesaurus, or even build a hybrid and manage everything dynamically from within the Arches interface.

A streamlined INSTALLATION PROCESS, which I’m sure is welcome news to the many brave souls who figured out the various idiosyncrasies and dependencies that were required to install v1.0 and v2.0. Anyone following the forum will have seen that a good number of the questions so far are related to installation. Well, v3.0 may change that! But note that even though the installation process has been made as straightforward as it can possibly be, Arches is an enterprise system and, as such, simply cannot ever be as easy to install as an app. Rest assured that if you have questions about the installation of Arches (or any other questions), help is definitely available on the forum. That is, our colleagues on the forum are happy to help and have shown that they won’t give up until every issue is addressed.

Other updates include drag-and-drop file upload, improved advanced search capabilities, including the ability to search across all Arches resource types, more flexibility to customize reports, new field- or node-level security, and expanded data import/export, including the ability to import/export shapefiles.

We also plan a comprehensive documentation effort that will begin shortly.

And please remember that if you have any questions at all the forum is the place to ask them for the quickest response.

Development of Arches v3.0 will be completed in January 2015. Its first implementation will be for the City of Los Angeles and their system, to be named HistoricPlacesLA, will be launched on February 24, 2015.

We can’t wait!!!

Alison, for the Arches Team