Getting Started With Arches
Arches is an open-source software platform developed for cultural heritage data management. This enterprise-level system is freely available for organizations worldwide to install, configure, and extend in accordance with their individual needs and without restrictions. The following are information resources oriented toward those who are new to Arches and wish to learn more about the platform, its evaluation or implementation, and how to participate in the open source community.
Learning and Discovery:
The following resources are available on the ArchesProject.org website to learn about Arches and to discover its many robust features.
- Review the Arches Fact Sheet for an overview of key information about Arches.
- Check out the Arches v5 Demo Site to get a hands-on experience with the platform.
- Learn about Arches Collector, the mobile companion app for data collection efforts in the field to sync with your existing Arches instance.
- Explore featured Arches implementations to get an idea of how organizations and projects deploy Arches.
- Watch previously recorded Webinar Videos to get deeper explanation of the platform features.
- Consult and participate in the Arches Community Forum for technical and community-based support for installing and maintaining an Arches implementation.
This section will help guide organizations or projects evaluating or planning to implement Arches. For a detailed overview of requirements and considerations for an Arches implementation, please review the Arches Implementation Considerations.
Arches is a powerful enterprise-level platform designed to be used at an organizational or project level and not as an individual desktop application. Each Arches instance is meant to be deployed independently on a server so that it can be accessed by end users using web browsers. As a result, adopters will need to identify a server to host the Arches platform and, as with any enterprise-level system, should expect to engage the services of an appropriate IT specialist to set up and maintain it.
- Consider the list of service providers who offer a wide range of Arches-related services.
An implementation of Arches will require consideration of the best ways to load and manage data, whether legacy data to be imported or new data to enter into an Arches database. Some of these considerations include:
- Legacy data: understand how and where these data are stored and how best to conceptually organize these data to import into Arches
- Data Modeling: create Arches Resource Models to organize the data within your Arches implementation and optimize data performance
- Controlled Vocabularies: ensure consistent terminology to help ensure valid and consistent data entry and search
- Data Migration: follow best practices to convert and migrate legacy data into Arches
Installation and Configuration:
After reviewing and installing the required list of system requirements and software dependencies, you are now able to begin an Arches installation. Below are several resources to guide and support this process:
- Connect on GitHub to access the Arches code repository.
- Review the Installing Arches documentation to guide installation and configuration of Arches for your organization or project.
- Utilize the Arches Community Forum for community-based support during the installation phase of your Arches implementation.
- Learn how to configure Arches settings unique to your organization without changing the core Arches code.
- Read Arches Modeling Documentation to learn more about creating and using Arches Resource Models.
- Use the Arches Package Library to find ready-made Arches packages to load into your Arches implementation.
- Check out the Customizing and Extending Arches documentation to tailor your Arches implementation beyond any out-of-the-box configurations.
- Engage with the Arches Community to contribute your time, experience, and knowledge to help make Arches even better for the community.
Participate in the Community
Join the Arches community and interact with users, implementers, and developers. Before becoming involved with the Arches community, be sure to read and abide by the Arches Open Source Community Code of Conduct.
The Arches Project has a thriving open source community with opportunities for involvement by Arches implementers, developers, and service providers. We encourage participation within our growing community through a number of activities, including:
- Join the Arches Community Forum and collaborate with Arches community members
- Contribute to core software code through the GitHub repository
- Participate in the Arches Resource Model Working Group (ARM-WG) and share Arches Resource Models and packages
- Extend and edit existing documentation
- Write blogs and articles about your Arches experience
- Localize software components and translate documentation for region-specific preferences
- Provide mentorship for other implementers and community members
If you have any questions or feedback about this Getting Started with Arches page, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revised: February 2021