In addition, he noted, the company realized that there was a significant amount of Advanced Revelation code that would remain intact in OpenInsight. “We found that Basic+ was still a good language for working with and manipulating data.”
Recently, Vernon has also put Revelation’s software to work as part of a new initiative. The Vernon CMS has been integrated with a radio frequency identification (RFID) system for tracking the movements of the collection. An RFID tag is attached to each object. Fixed RFID readers located at various points about the museum track collection item movement through the museum. When a reader detects the signal from a tag, details regarding the item and its location are automatically updated in the museum’s Vernon Collection Management System.
Revelation Helps Vernon Systems Address Customers’ Specialized Needs
The use of Revelation technology has helped Vernon Systems address its customers’ specialized and evolving needs. “The ease with which the system can be extended without affecting existing data is a huge bonus. Fields and indexes can be added without having to rebuild the database in an upgrade, for instance,” noted Crozier. “We allow for a certain degree of customization in the standard product, particularly with custom built data entry windows. These are very quick to develop and easy to maintain using our standard toolset. These can be incorporated into the standard product in a modular way that will not affect other customers, and are easy to deploy.”
Vernon Systems prides itself on its customer support. “We find it very easy to diagnose and interact with problems that customers may have. We are able to send them an update if they require one and it is very easy to apply. And, of course OpenInsight has deployment tools built in to be able to do that,” said Crozier.
In addition, as Vernon Systems’ customer base has grown to include institutions with different types of collections, the company has been able to address their needs, according to Crozier. “We have been able to expand the dictionary for different types of museums and collections. You can just add a dictionary item and it does not change your existing data at all. It just tacks on at the end of a record. That was one of the main reasons we went for the software in the first place and it continues to be very beneficial.”
OpenInsight’s Expanding Product Features
Revelation continues to expand its product features for customers. For example, Crozier said that in the future, O4W (OpenInsight for Web) would be useful for developing small web-based applications that support the main Collections Management System, particularly for use on tablets. An application about a museum’s storage areas and inventory and location control needs to be mobile, simple and quick.
At the same time, Revelation has continued the philosophy behind the 4GL paradigm, maintaining a development environment where systems analysts can build sophisticated applications without requiring extensive programming and technical knowledge, noted Crozier. “The world has moved on to internet-based applications, and typical web development environments still require a good deal of varied technical skill. OpenInsight's O4W tool is designed as a framework for Revelation developers to build web apps without having to learn a variety of other languages.”
Looking back over the years, Crozier says, Revelation Software has been core to Vernon Systems’ business and Vernon stays on top of the latest updates to the product to provide the best services and technology to its own customers. “We have developed very strong expertise in this environment, and are often able to assist others in the Revelation community. It is important for us to keep abreast of the direction that Revelation is going in, as that ultimately affects the direction we take on our product. We regularly monitor the user forums, and attend Revelation conferences and roadshows where we can.”