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4. A personalisation module for acquiring and recalling visitor-related information
in the form of a visitor profile, including factors such as age and education,
preferences, payment details, and so on;
5. A security and virtual shop module, protecting the system and the data held within
it from being compromised, erased or stolen;
6. An exhibition creator, enabling Web designers and museum experts to create the
layout of an exhibition.
Prior to the design and implementation phases, the project team performed an identi-
fication of the requirements of both the participating museums and the expected visitors,
together with hardware requirements and standards for the future tool. Coupled with a
critical analysis of the existing tools, this meant the team had a solid foundation and
shared perception on which to build.The four maritime museums created a dedicated
museum group to develop and conduct an exchange mechanism to identify best practice,
exploit the project results, and reach out to other similar museums. During the project, the
museum group used the eMarCon system to create a common demonstration exhibition
entitled `Ships from Wood, Ships from Steel', illustrating some of the interesting aspects of
the history and tradition of European shipbuilding. A number of exhibits, including
many original scale ships, were presented publicly here for the first time in a common
context.
One of the most important tasks of the project was the initial workpackage `system
requirements' and `system architecture'. Over
the course of these two workpackages, the
detailed functionality of the system was
specified and the appropriate tools and tech-
nologies were evaluated and decided upon.
Some of these decisions were based on what
the partners had already. Sybase Adaptive
Server
316
, for example, was selected because
this database was already in use at eMarCon
project partner Marum, and the staff there
were comfortable and competent with it.
However, the system design is open, and test installations on Microsoft SQL Server
worked without any problems. It uses Active Server Pages to create the user front-ends.
This was based on the fact that most partners defined themselves as being `Microsoft
orientated', thus, the skills of the people involved influenced the technology decisions.
The compromise towards an open, OS-independent system was embodies in the choice
of Chilisoft (now part of Sun Microsystems
317
) for the ASP platform.The system
currently runs on a Sun server, but will also work in a Windows environment.
With the project now up and running, the eMarCon museum group considers itself
to be the core of a larger future community of maritime museums, and plans outreach
strategies to encourage other, small and often volunteer-run organisations to cooperate.
By using the eMarCon tools, museums can open their archives, some of which contain
huge amount of exhibits, to the general public, thus boosting the profile of maritime
heritage across the greater cultural heritage community. By doing this, eMarCon aims to
Collaborative Mechanisms
and Technologies
170
eMarCon
A record from an eMarCon virtual exhibition
316 http://www.sybase.com/products/databaseservers/ase
317 http://wwws.sun.com/software/chilisoft/index.html
TWR2004_01_layout#62 14.04.2004 14:07 Uhr Seite 170