Release Notes for Providence 1.5

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Release date: June 11, 2015

New features

As befits a release that took way too long to reach version 1.5 includes an overhauled user interface, lots of bug fixes and many new features, including:

PDF output

Output of PDFs for labels, summaries and reports has been completely revamped in 1.5. By default domPDF is now used to generate PDF output, replacing an older error-prone library that was the source of the dreaded "cannot render PDF" error. If domPDF is too slow or doesn't support the advanced formatting you need, 1.5 also supports rendering using wkpdftohtml and PhantomJS. Other highlights include a simpler and more capable template format for output, support for local templates and QRCode support.

Expanded support for external web services and linked open data

CollectiveAccess now works with several additional data sources including OCLC WorldCat, the new linked open data versions of the Getty ULAN, TGN and AAT vocabularies and Wikipedia open data. Data from these services can be used interactively while cataloguing or imported into records in your system via the data importer.


  1. Adjustable image center for cropping


Many bugs in the native SQL-based search engine have been fixed, and some useful features added including:

  1. Did you mean? spell correction
  2. Ability to limit searches to specific relationship types
  3. Ability to index "self" relationships (eg. object-to-object relationships) for search

New metadata element types

A set of new metadata elements recording references to records in authority tables are now available. Distinct from relationships, which link to authority records via a full record (with "interstitial" metadata), authority metadata elements let you create an authority entry as a simple metadata value or mix it in containers will other element types.

Search, browse and display of authority elements are all supported.

Cataloguing and administrative metadata tools

  1. Support for references to authority tables as metadata elements (PROV-902)

Object-level processes Formal deaccessioning procedure Formal location tracking procedure Object components (lightweight sub-objects)

Data and media importer

Various improvements to the data importer have been made, including:

  1. Can now import media as part of a data set
  2. Ability to batch import folders of files as data (eg. a folder full or Excel files)
  3. Ability to create media annotations during import
  4. Option to import all worksheets of an Excel file
  5. Can now use column numbers and letters interchangeably for Excel documents
  6. Support for "environment" values taken from a location in a data set and applied to all imported rows
  7. Can now tag rows with row number and data file name
  8. Added reader for RDF and PBCore files
  9. New options for skipping mappings, groups and rows
  10. Additional merge options
  11. Support for specification of arbitrary XPath expressions when pulling data from XML formats

Circulation module Improved/enhanced library-style check in/check out feature Relationship metadata attribute types Add object, place, occurrence, collection, storage location, loan?, movement?, lots? (entities already implemented) Add indexing, search and browse support

Bug fixes

See the bug tracker]


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