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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Designing and Implementing a Database-Driven Image Gallery
Sarah Fazenbaker, Florida Museum of Natural History, USA
William Paine, Florida Museum of Natural History, USA

Demonstration: Demonstrations - Session 1

Most museums and cultural institutions are interested in getting their collections accessible on-line. However, many may feel that purchasing a software package or content management system (CMS) is their only avenue to get large amounts of content up on the Web, despite the fact that they may have to modify their practices to fit the CMS system and will likely spend large amounts of money to do so. The idea of producing something like this in-house may seem beyond some institutions but it doesn't have to be. After receiving multiple proposals for collection image galleries at the Florida Museum of Natural History, we designed a flexible database-driven image gallery system to facilitate the rapid development of dynamic galleries for a range of disciplines. Our goal for this system was to make as many things on the back end as standardized as possible while still allowing modifications. Included are the basic database structure, general stored procedures and views. The display pages are built on templates and are dynamically loaded each time they are called, resulting in a consistent look and feel. In addition, the code that processes the queries was written using the same structure. The content is added through an application specifically designed for non-technical employees and students. This application goes beyond text data entry and incorporates real-time image processing. Database security was also considered and implemented across the board in similar fashion. We have developed this gallery system using standard server software - Microsoft SQL Server, IIS, Access and Active Server Pages. However, the methods used could be adapted to any language or platform.