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ACDSee Pro 8 Database - Exporting to other programs/Archiving for long term retrieval

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  • ACDSee Pro 8 Database - Exporting to other programs/Archiving for long term retrieval

    I am an archivist and have an extensive ACDSee database of historical photographs, including .xmp sidecar files with Pro 8 metadata attached to .pdf files.

    In various media, I read of concern over the longevity of digitized documents/photographs -- not because of file "degradation" over time, but because of constant format upgrading. For example, if an institution digitizes its collection of documents and photographs to make them more widely available, but then that institution for whatever reason, ceases operation, how can their work be preserved for future generations?

    Such a situation implies:
    - that no one will be present to "escort" the data through continuous viewing/managing software upgrades (such as ACDSee Pro)
    - that important historical data could be lost "forever", or at a minimum have to be re-digitized, assuming that original hard copies still exist

    Another scenario: Few companies last forever, and many are bought out, with the new owner sometimes making critical format/usability changes. Though none of us expects nor wants it, this could happen to ACDSee, too.

    A Legacy Question:

    What might ACDSee plan/do/recommend in the way of ensuring that its generally excellent database/file management capabilities could "live on" beyond any of ours or its own lifetime?

    Big question, I know.

    Andrew Waldo

  • #2
    I think the general feeling here is that all data should be embedded into the file. And that copying your ACDSee metadata such as keywords, Captions, Notes, etc to IPTC data fields is a further safety net to retain file information into the future.

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    • #3
      Prior to retirement, I was a Teradata DBA. Not getting fired because I lost a big chunk of data was an important part of my job! I was good enough at that task that I was able to retire early! Please note that I am NOT an ACDSee employee. This topic is the subject of many volumes of books and white papers. It is complex, to say the least, and a single post can not begin to cover what you need to know.

      I think the first thing that needs to be done is to make the organization understand that their collection is not only a part of their overall mission, but that the data is ALSO a valuable asset historically, culturally, and financially. If you can't make the organization see the value in protecting this data (and it IS data), then you have absolutely no hope of protecting this asset, short of asking them if they don't want it, can you take it home with you! Making sure this data is part of their endgame plan is essential; and making sure they commit current ongoing resources to protect it and continue it is also essential. It might not hurt to have an expert in your field place a dollar value on your collection. Many managers who see a big fat number at the bottom of the page will often see the collection in a much different light from that point forward.

      From a business perspective, I see ACDSee as operational software, it is NOT archival software in my opinion. (ACDSee is how you store and retrieve your data, it isn't how you make sure it continues to exist - at least it shouldn't be)

      You can not reasonably expect your operational software to function as your archive. You need a plan. You need to understand the relationship between your photographic data, your textual data, other physical parts of the collection, and how they are currently linked in your day to day operation. For instance is EVERYTHING photographed and stored in ACDSee? Embedding as much info as you can within the photo file format is well and good, but I bet there is a card catalogue somewhere or a database somewhere that links these things together? You need to worry about those connections as well if you want to protect everything.

      Maybe I'm over complicating this question, maybe all you need to do is develop a plan to export your ACDSee database to a text file on an external hard drive via the ACDSee database wizard. And then copy the photos to that same external hard drive and then store that HD in an off site lock box. But my years in dealing with data, disaster recovery, and contingency planning tells me MANY businesses and other institutions rarely have any idea how extensive and deeply rooted their data collections are in their day to day operations. They often don't know completely what is in it and They often don't understand how much they rely on it. And what a potential unrecoverable disaster is lurking around the corner.

      OK! I'm off my soap box now! I'll go take my medication, LOL!
      Last edited by Glen Barrington; 02-11-2015, 10:52 PM.

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