Axiell Collections FAQ

General information
What is Axiell Collections?

Axiell Collections is web-based Collections management software that you can access through a browser.

What kinds of organizations use Axiell Collections?

A wide variety of institutions use Axiell Collections including museums, archives, film institutes, galleries, heritage sites, corporate archives, universities, religious institutions schools and private collectors. Anyone who is managing a collection of historical, cultural or scientific significance can benefit from Axiell Collections.


We have different packages to suit smaller institutions as well as experience working with some of the largest and most complex customers in the world.

What standards does Axiell Collections comply with?


SPECTRUM Spectrum is the UK Collections Trust’s standard that is also used around the world. SPECTRUM is recognized internationally as the industry standard for Collections Management in museums. SPECTRUM has initially been developed in partnership with over 100 museum professionals including Axiell (through acquired companies such as Adlib Information Systems).


ISAD(G) ISAD(G) (General International Standard Archival Description) provides general guidance for the preparation of archival descriptions. It is to be used in conjunction with existing national standards or as the basis for the development of national standards.


ISAAR(CPF) ISAAR(CPF) (International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families) provides guidance for preparing archival authority records which provide descriptions of entities (corporate bodies, persons and families) associated with the creation and maintenance of archives.


EAD EAD (Encoded Archival Description) is a standard for encoding archival finding aids using Extensible Markup Language (XML). The standard is maintained in the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress (LC) in partnership with the Society of American Archivists.


DACS ‘Describing Archives: A Content Standard’ is a standard used for describing materials in an archive.


MAD Manual of Archival Description.


EAC-CPF Encoded Archival Context – Corporate bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF) is an XML standard for encoding information about the creators of archival materials — i.e., a corporate body, person or family — including their relationships to (a) resources (books, collections, papers, etc.) and (b) other corporate bodies, persons and families.


AACR2 AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules), Second Edition. It is published jointly by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (in the UK). AACR2 is designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all sizes. The rules cover the description of, and the provision of access points for, all library materials commonly collected at the present time.


ISBD ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description) is a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to describe a wide range of library materials within the context of a catalog. The consolidated edition of the ISBD was published in 2007. It superseded earlier separate ISBDs that were published for monographs, older monographic publications, cartographic materials, serials and other continuing resources, electronic resources, non-book materials, and printed music. IFLA’s ISBD Review Group is responsible for maintaining the ISBD.


RDA RDA (Resource Description and Access) is a standard for descriptive cataloging, providing instructions and guidelines on formulating bibliographic data. Intended for use by libraries and other cultural organizations such as museums and archives, RDA is the successor to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2).


EN 15907 Film identification – Enhancing interoperability of metadata – Element sets and structures. EN 15907 defines a metadata set for the comprehensive description of cinematographic works including the various incarnations it can assume during its lifecycle.


SRU Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU) is a standard search protocol for Internet search queries, utilizing CQL Common Query Language (CQL), a standard query syntax for representing queries.


OAI-PMH The OAI-PMH technical infrastructure, specified in the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) defines a mechanism for data providers to expose their metadata. This protocol mandates that individual institutions map their metadata to the Dublin Core, a simple and common metadata set for this purpose. Other metadata standards can also be used, as well as propriety models.


Dublin Core / ISO 15836 The Dublin Core Schema is a small set of vocabulary terms that can be used to describe digital resources (video, images, web pages, etc.), as well as physical resources such as books or CDs, and objects like artworks.


LIDO Lightweight Information Describing Objects. XML Schema for Contributing Content to Cultural Heritage Repositories. LIDO, specified as XML Schema, is the result of a joint effort of the CDWA Lite, museumdat, SPECTRUM and CIDOC CRM communities. The schema combines the CDWA Lite and museumdat schemas and is informed by SPECTRUM. Being CIDOC-CRM compliant, it aims at contributing information of all kinds of museum objects for resource discovery.


CHIN Guide to Museum Standards Department of Canadian Heritage –Canadian Heritage Information Network.


ISSN An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is especially helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, cataloguing, interlibrary loans, and other practices in connection with serial literature.


ISBN The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique commercial book identifier.

Since January 1, 2007, ISBNs are of 13 digits, compatible with Bookland EAN-13s.


EXIF Exchangeable image file format (Exif) is a specification for the image file format used by digital cameras. The specification uses the existing JPEG, TIFF Rev. 6.0, and RIFF WAV file formats, with the addition of specific metadata tags.


MARC XML MARC XML is an XML schema based on the common MARC21 standards. MARCXML was developed by the US Library of Congress and adopted by it and others as a means of easy sharing of, and networked access to, bibliographic information.


ISO 2788 Thesaurus management standard – ISO 2788 is an ISO international standard intended to ensure consistent practice within a single indexing agency, or between different agencies. The official title of the standard is “Guidelines for the establishment and development of monolingual thesauri.”


ISO 10646 / UNICODE UNICODE – The Universal Character Set (UCS) is defined by the ISO/IEC 10646 International Standard as a character set on which many encodings are based. It contains nearly a hundred thousand abstract characters, each identified by an unambiguous name and an integer number called its code point.


Characters (letters, numbers, symbols, ideograms, logograms, etc.) from the many languages, scripts, and traditions of the world are represented in the UCS with unique code points. The inclusiveness of the UCS is continually improving as characters from previously unrepresented writing systems are added.

Adlib support UTF-8.


ISO 8601 ISO 8601 is an international standard for date and time representations issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Specifically, the standard is titled, “Data elements and interchange formats — Information interchange — Representation of dates and times.” The signature feature of ISO 8601 date and time representations is the ordering of date and time values from the most to the least significant or, in plain terms, from the largest (the year) to the smallest (the second).


URI A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a string of characters that unambiguously identifies a particular resource. To guarantee uniformity, all URIs follow a predefined set of syntax rules, but also maintain extensibility through a separately defined hierarchical naming scheme.


XML The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own elements. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data.


XSLT XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents or other formats such as HTML.


CSV The comma-separated values (or CSV; also known as a comma-separated list or comma-separated variables) file format is a file type that stores tabular data. The format dates back to the early days of business computing. For this reason, CSV files are common on all computer platforms.


ISO 15693 RFID – Icode


1D and 2D Barcodes standards A host of barcode standards is supported such as Code 39, Code 128, EAN 2, EAN 5, EAN 8, EAN 13, PDF417, QR code, SPARQCode, ShotCode.


PID A persistent identifier (PID) is a long-lasting reference to a document, file, web page, object or metadata record.


GUID / UUID A universally unique identifier (UUID) is a 128-bit number used to identify information in computer systems. The term globally unique identifier (GUID) is also used.




Standards can also be configured on request, for instance:


IPTC The IPTC defined a set of metadata properties that can be applied to images.


XMP The Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is a standard for processing and storing standardized and proprietary metadata, created by Adobe Systems Inc.


XMP standardizes the definition, creation, and processing of extensible metadata. Serialized XMP can be embedded into a significant number of popular file formats, without breaking their readability by non-XMP-aware applications. Embedding metadata (“the truth is in the file”) avoids many problems that occur when metadata is stored separately. XMP is used in PDF, photography and photo editing applications.


Australian Series System The Australian Series System is an archival control or metadata system, used primarily to describe records in the custody of archival institutions.


SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) is a family of formal languages designed for representation of thesauriclassification schemestaxonomiessubject-heading systems, or any other type of structured controlled vocabulary. SKOS is built upon RDF and RDFS, and its main objective is to enable easy publication of controlled structured vocabularies for the Semantic Web. SKOS is currently developed within the W3C framework.


SIP2 SIP / SIP2 (Standard Interchange Protocol)

A protocol to allow self-service machines in the library to exchange data with the library automation system.


RDF The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications originally designed as a metadata data model. It has come to be used as a general method for conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented in web resources, using a variety of syntax notations and data serialization formats.



What devices does Axiell Collections work on?

Axiell Collections works through a web browser. This means that it can be used on devices with an up-to-date browser and internet connection – but it is best used on desktops and laptops.

How much does Axiell Collections cost?

The cost varies on a number of factors including the functionality you need, the number of users you have and the hosting service you select. You can view our standard packages here to understand your options and then request a quote for a tailored price.

Do I need any particular hardware or software to run Axiell Collections?

You can find the technical requirements for Axiell Collections here.

What database management system ("DBMS") is Axiell Collections based on?

Axiell Collections uses MS SQL Server.

Will Axiell Collections allow us to publish our collections online?

Axiell Collections integrates with a product called Axiell Internet Server which allows you to publish collections directly from your CMS to your website. You can also use the open WebAPI to publish to your website if you prefer.


It’s also possible to harvest data from Axiell Collections using OAI-PMH.

Can an institution define which fields Internet and Intranet users search?

Yes, you are in control of what data gets published to the public and staff.

Which other Axiell products integrate with Axiell Collections?

As well as Axiell Internet Server for publishing collections online, Axiell Collections also integrates with Axiell Move, which helps you manage item locations using handheld devices, Axiell DAMS for managing your digital assets. For most customers (except those on the Basis and Cloud packages), Axiell Collections also comes with a tool called Axiell Designer which enables you to customise your system when needed.

Will Axiell Collections integrate with other software?

Axiell Collections has an open API which means it can be developed to integrate with 3rd party software.

Installation and getting started
How much does Axiell Collections cost?

The cost varies on a number of factors including the functionality you need, the number of users you have and the hosting service you select. You can view our standard packages here to understand your options and then request a quote for a tailored price.

How do I install Axiell Collections?

We install Axiell Collections for you based on your requirements as part of your initial implementation.

How long does a typical Axiell Collections implementation take?

This can vary significantly based on your requirements. A simple installation can take 1-2 days, but if you require large amounts of custom development or data migration then we will discuss bespoke timescales for your project with you.

I'm considering upgrading from Adlib - what's involved?

You can find lots of information about what to expect when upgrading from Adlib to Axiell Collections on this page here including a summary video and upgrading FAQ.

What can be customized or configured within Axiell Collections and who performs the work?

In an initial implementation, Axiell usually performs the agreed customization for you. The tool we use for that is Axiell Designer and it is included in the package (except Basis and Collections in the Cloud). This means that you can also do customizations yourself after having been trained in Axiell Designer.

With Axiell Designer you can basically change everything in the application: add fields, remove fields, change field properties, add databases/datasets, configure search forms, configure tasks, automated procedures/scripts, input/edit/display forms/screens, access rights configuration, reports and more.

What training will be needed to learn to use Axiell Collections?

We always recommend taking at least 1-2 days of initial system training, you can have these sessions online, at your institution, or you can join a class with other institutions. You can see the training available here.


You can always sign up to new courses to top up your skills at any time.


Depending on your needs, we can plan specific training at your organization, you’ll just need to speak to us about your needs.

How and where is Axiell Collections hosted?

We recommend hosting your solution with Axiell so we can ensure the smooth running of your software. Our managed hosting service takes care of all your hosting and infrastructure needs, and software is usually hosted in one of our secure data centers in the USA, Netherlands, New Zealand or Sweden. We can sometimes accommodate different location requirements on a case by case basis.


If your institution has a requirement for on premise solutions, we can accommodate that requirement. We will also take requests if you have specific requirements for storing your data in a specific geography and will look at these on a case by case basis.

How do I get my existing collections data into Axiell Collections?

Initially, it’s best that we perform a data mapping for you. We have performed thousands of migrations of data from a range of other CMS systems, as well as a variety of formats such as Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server, FileMaker, Access, XML, CSV, Excel. If you have a large amount of historical data and/or multiple sources, we recommend that we take care that this data displays correctly in your new system to ensure you get the best experience when using the software.


You can also import data in CSV format into Axiell Collections using the standard import functionality.

Support and maintenance
Will I have to sign a contract and for how long?

Yes, all our customers sign support and maintenance contracts – these are usually for about a 3 year duration. You can find a standard copy of a contract here.

What support is available and how do I get help when I need it?

Depending on the software package you purchase, there are different levels of support. Every customer gets access to our online help and documentation , and you will also be set up with an account in our customer support portal. There you will be able to log in and request support whenever you need help.


You can also sign up to our online community to gain help and support from other users.

How will my software be kept up to date?

New versions of the software are being released frequently and these are part of your support and maintenance contract. We always provide instructions for performing an upgrade, but if you would prefer for us to do the work for you, we can do that work at our standard day rate. Upgrading to a new version does not affect your license fees.

Will I have the opportunity to interact with other Axiell customers?

All our customers are invited to our free annual user conferences and events, where you can meet and network with other customers while receiving software training, updates and contribute to future development.


You can also sign up to our online community to gain help and support from other users.

How will I be kept up to date with information about my software and services?

There are regular monthly newsletters for customers which include availability of new software versions, as well as event and webinar invitations, community news, tips and blogs and more.


Software updates and manuals are regularly updated and can be accessed from the support page.


You can attend any of our regular webinars and events, or take part in our online community to stay informed.

How can I contribute to the development of the software?

Our customers are given access to a portal where users can submit ideas for development of the software. Other users, can vote for existing ideas and add new ones, and you can watch the status of the idea to see if it has been moved forwards onto our software roadmap or ready for release. This allows our community to drive the development of the things they care most about.

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