What are Integrations?

Some preliminary information on integrations.

What are Integrations?

This page contains some preliminary information about integrations, including a definition of integrations within the context of ArchivesSpace and descriptions of various methods and types of integration.

Integrations Defined

A functional coupling between ArchivesSpace and another software application to act as a coordinated whole. Regardless of the method or type of a particular integration (see Methods and Types below), a defining characteristic of all integrations is communication, or seamless data flow--without a manual, intermediary step--between systems. In our experience, widely generalizable and adoptable integrations attempt to fill a use case that other members of the ArchivesSpace community agree upon.

Methods and Types

ArchivesSpace lends itself to numerous methods and types of integration. For our purposes, the “method” of integration refers to the technical method by which a functional coupling between ArchivesSpace and another software application is achieved, and the “type” of integration refers to the form of the communication, or seamless data flow.


Please note that these examples may not be exhaustive, and that the methods and types are not mutually exclusive to any given integration.

Methods

ArchivesSpace API

In this method, a functional coupling between systems is achieved by using the existing ArchivesSpace API to read and/or write data. This method of integration requires no changes to the ArchivesSpace application.


ArchivesSpace Plugin/Extension

This method of integration is achieved by extending existing ArchivesSpace functionality by adding and initializing a plugin in an institution’s local ArchivesSpace instance that modifies the application in some way (e.g., adding new API endpoints, communicating with an external system’s API, etc.). This method does not require changes to the ArchivesSpace core code and would not impact users who do not want to use the integration. An example of this method can be found in the LNCAF plugin that ships with ArchivesSpace.


ArchivesSpace Core Modification

This method of integration requires making changes to the ArchivesSpace core code, including a potential change in the ArchivesSpace data model or a significant migration of legacy data existing in the system. This method would impact all users of the application, requiring that the changes be generalizable to the broadest possible set of the ArchivesSpace community.

Types

Two Way Data Transfer

In this type of integration, data flows into and out of the integrated systems, including transferring data to ArchivesSpace from another system and from ArchivesSpace to another system.


One Way Data Transfer

In this type of integration, data is transferred to ArchivesSpace from another system or from ArchivesSpace to another system, but does not flow back and forth between them.


Read Only Data Transfer

In this type of integration, data is merely pulled from ArchivesSpace for use in another system or from another system for display in ArchivesSpace. No information is created, updated, or deleted from either system in this type of integration.


Read/Write Data Transfer

In this type of integration, information is created, updated, or deleted in at least one of, or both, the integrated systems.