Our technology

v2.0 is here!

If you are responsible for ensuring that solutions are a suitable technology fit for your museum you have to worry about many things that some of your colleagues don’t.

Perhaps one of them sent you here to check out yet another service they are interested in using and to evaluate if it’s a good fit for you, your museum and your over-stretched team (if you’re lucky enough to have one). This page aims to give you the information you need to assess The Museum Platform from an IT perspective.

So here’s what you need to know:

  • You can relax. This is software as a service, so we take care of the hosting. We aren’t silly enough to run our own hardware though: we use Digital Ocean and Amazon Web Services to run our infrastructure (in European Union or UK data centres). They handle hardware and all low-level maintenance and backups. We look after everything else above the operating system.
  • Your exit strategy is built in: you can export your data and content at any time, including exporting WordPress posts for use in an alternative WordPress site
  • We won’t mess with your security. You do not need to poke holes in your firewall, unless you want TMP to import collections by accessing an internal system (we are just as happy to receive a spreadsheet and a zip of image files).

That all being said, whilst you don’t need to run any of this, you do need to know that TMP is built and hosted on super-solid foundations, so here you can read about the software architecture 8.0and roles along with the full stack and the hosting arrangements for both the website and the back-end systems.

Our website stack and hosting

The Museum Platform is built in WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, which we keep up to date via daily updates, along with a set of plugins and themes that we have built ourselves or carefully chosen and tested. The other key parts of the stack are:

  • OS: Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Language: PHP 8+
  • Database: MySQL
  • Web server: Apache 2.3
  • Hosting: Digital Ocean. We use Digital Ocean as our host for its flexibility and simple containerisation, so that we can always be sure of its reliability and have the flexibility we need to scale as demand requires.

Although the authoring environment is WordPress, and the front-end can (and often does!) end up being WordPress as well, we have what is effectively a technology-agnostic approach. This means that your front end can be headless or whatever else is required. We’ve got solutions for 3rd party WordPress sites available and are working on extensions and plugins for other environments including Drupal, Umbraco, flat file, JAMStack and more. If in doubt, please ask!

Collections infrastructure: the CIIM technology stack and hosting

The true power behind the Collections module comes from Knowledge Integration’s CIIM software. CIIM is widely used to organise, manipulate and enrich varied museum and archive data and media. It is enterprise-level software, highly customised to each client, which can bring together data from many sources, align and enrich it and prepare it for many end uses.

The CIIM is a mature Java application, built on established open source technology, which mainly sits behind the scenes, talking with WordPress. However it also supports various public APIs (you can choose whether or not to include your content in these).

  • OS: Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Language:Java
  • Database: MySQL
  • Search index: ElasticSearch
  • Enrichment: GATE. The “General Architecture for Text Enrichment” is a framework we use to co-ordinate machine learning and enrichment tasks. These include a number of third-party APIs from Google, Amazon and others, as well as self-hosted NLP libraries.
  • Web server: Apache 2.3
  • Hosting: AWS. We host the whole CIIM stack on AWS for unlimited scalability and rock-solid reliability

Still got questions?

Help us to make this page more useful: if you still have questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to answer (and to improve the information here).