Smithsonian turns to FileMaker to store image archives

Posted by Justin Hesser on February 23, 2012

Museums are the ultimate database of the world's history, but keeping a record of all of the material requires a database of its own. So when the largest museum and research complex in the world needed a way to keep a detailed and easy accessible archive of all its images, it turned to FileMaker Pro for a solution.

The Smithsonian Institution's Office of Photographic Services generates hundreds of images each day, John Jones, the office's Chief of Image and Photographic Collections, explained for an article featured on the FileMaker website.

With FileMaker Pro, Jones said that he and his team log orders, keep track of customer information, archive images and organize their extensive film library. Continuing advances in the software's functionality and stability have made archiving incredibly easy, he said.

"Our photographers deposit their finished images in them and an AppleScript then processes the Web derivatives used for FileMaker's search display and uploads the full size images to our image archive," Jones said for the story. "During the upload process, information about each image including, file size, creation and modification dates, pixel dimensions, etc. are loaded into FileMaker via AppleScript."

In doing that, he explained, the process of archiving and updating the databases is automated. With just a single click, he can find any image in the database with the program's search feature.

Businesses that are interested in experiencing the same efficiency and organization improvements that Jones and the Smithsonian were able to benefit from should talk to a FileMaker developer. Using custom database software, these programmers can build an application for storing any information from financial figures to images that are specific to any individual business's needs.