MIXED

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Summary

Purpose: MIXED (Migration to Intermediate XML for Electronic Data) is a web service that converts tabular data files such as spreadsheets and databases to the Standard Data Format for Preservation (SDFP), a supplier-independent XML format. It is also able to reverse the conversion, migrating SDFP files to service-dependent formats.
Homepage: https://sites.google.com/a/datanetworkservice.nl/mixed/
Source Code: N/A
License: GNU General Public License
Cost: Free
Platform: The service is written in Java, and uses an Apache Tomcat web server. In theory, this renders it platform agnostic; the website does not advertise any browser limitations. MIXED uses Java libraries as the foundation for its plugins.

Description

MIXED (Migration to Intermediate XML for Electronic Data) is a web service that converts tabular data files such as spreadsheets and databases to the Standard Data Format for Preservation (SDFP), a supplier-independent XML format. It is also able to reverse the conversion, migrating SDFP files to service-dependent formats.

Format and batch limitations most likely make the service inappropriate for production-level use; its value is as a proof-of-concept.

Provider

Data Archiving and Network Services (DANS)

Functional notes

The software was structured as a service-oriented architecture with plug-ins for the various file types. Current plugins exist for Data Perfect (input-only), Access 2000 and 2002, dBase III and IV, and Excel 2003.

Relational databases converted to the SDFP format will lose all relations, and Excel files will lose all formatting information. There is no batch processing of files.

Documentation and user support

Documentation exists in the form of a number of project reports, and the website is very informative. The site lists contact information for a number of people involved in the project.

Standards compliance

The service converts files to the Standard Data Format for Preservation (SDFP), an XML format, incorporating the Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases (SIARD) format for databases. SDFP uses ISO 8601 for date and time representations, and ISO 6093 for number representations; it also uses DDI2 as a sub-schema for statistical data.

User Experiences and Test Data

From DCC, 8th March 2012:

Usability

The web-based user interface is extremely straightforward.

Expertise required

Users must be comfortable interpreting XML files. Those wishing to build on the current libraries must have solid knowledge of application design and technologies.

Influence and take-up

The site states that MIXED is to be used in the DANS ingest and dissemination workflow.

Sourceforge statistics indicate approximately 400 downloads for the DataPerfect Library and over 3200 for the dBase Library.

Development Activity

The MIXED version 1.0-beta service is currently available. The dBase library version beta 0.9 was released in November 2010; the DataPerfect library version 1.0.0 was released in February 2010.

The MIXED project ran from 2007-2010; no information is available about continuing support.

Labels:
format_migration format_migration Delete
normalisation normalisation Delete
research_data_management research_data_management Delete
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