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Definition and Purpose of a Profile

A CollectiveAccess installation profile is an XML document that tells the software how to set up various aspects of Providence at the time of its installation. The profile enables you to configure nearly every aspect of the various cataloging interfaces in CollectiveAccess before you begin using the system. After installation, you can easily make additional changes using the tools in the “Manage” menu, but it’s usually more efficient to set up your installation in such a way that it meets your requirements from the start. Installation profiles:

  • Generate and define controlled vocabularies
  • Create standards-compliant set-ups
  • Define and label metadata fields, including the allowable kinds of values for each (e.g. a numerical versus a time-based metadata value)
  • Bundle the fields together for easy metadata entry
  • Specify the method of metadata entry (e.g. a text entry field or a drop-down menu)
  • Combine metadata elements on different screens for workflow management
  • Delineate and describe the relationships between all of the various types of objects, entities, occurrences, lots, sets, etc. in your system
  • Set the logins for different user types
  • Establish what screens appear according to what you’re cataloging, and
  • Configure the display of search results and data exports.

The out-of-the-box version of CollectiveAccess comes with several profiles already included, although most CollectiveAccess users generate a custom installation profile using a pre-existing one as a model. The CollectiveAccess website also features many custom installation profiles in the configuration library, which you can use as is, or modify to meet your needs.

Installation profiles “live” in the install/profiles/xml folder located in the directory where you loaded the software on your computer or server. When you first log in after installing CollectiveAccess, you’ll be asked to select one of the saved installation profiles in the “XML” folder, which will then be used to complete the installation process. In Providence 1.3, several pre-defined profiles are available, most of which are based on standards ranging from PBCore to CDWA Lite.


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