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Documentation and installation

Documentation for CollectionSpace version 3.3, including downloading and installation instructions.



CollectionSpace Release 3.3 was originally named Release 3.2.3; its version designation was changed to 3.3 due to the magnitude of the feature enhancements and bugfixes included in this release.

CollectionSpace's version 3.3 release includes various feature enhancements and bugfixes, building on the previous release, 3.2.2. The major features of this release to date are:

  • The addition of a Citation Authority, to cite published works that refer to or depict the objects in your collection.
  • Two new buttons to make it easier to work with the set of objects related to your current object or procedural record:
    • When viewing an object or procedural record, a Show button allows you to display related objects as a list of Advanced Search results.
    • When on an Advanced Search results page, an Add to Record button lets you add the currently displayed items to another record. You can use this, for instance, to add related objects to a Group record, and then run reports or batch jobs on those objects.
  • The option to use wildcards and anchor characters when typing partial term matches into autocomplete fields, helping you more quickly match just the term or terms you're seeking.
  • Various bugfixes, including an important fix for a serious bug that prevented a variety of authority term searches from working under some circumstances, until CollectionSpace's Application layer was re-initialized.

Release date and schedule

CollectionSpace version 3.3 was released on July 9, 2013.

April 17, 2013: Development Begins
July 2, 2013: Development Ends
July 3, 2013: QA Testing Begins
July 8, 2013: QA Testing Ends
July 9, 2013: Release

Release notes

New functionality

Citation Authority (CSPACE-6006)

A new Citation Authority is now available. This authority allows you to create controlled vocabularies for terms referring to specific books, journal and magazine articles, and the like, typically with the intention of citing published works that refer to or depict the objects in your collection. By default, there are ten fields, spread across seven types of records, into which you can enter citation terms; however, if the default choices are not to your liking, you can readily configure which fields should draw from citation vocabularies.

The Citation authority is a community contribution, contributed by the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK): National Gallery of Denmark. It joins CollectionSpace's existing authorities: Person, Organization, Storage Location, Concept, Place, and Taxon.

Show Related Objects button (CODE-29)

A new Show button has been added to the Cataloging area of the right sidebar, whenever an object or procedural record has one or more related Cataloging records. Clicking this button will display the current record's related Cataloging records on an Advanced Search results page. From there, you can relate those Cataloging records to a record of your choice using an Add to record button, below.

Add to Record button on Advanced Search results (CODE-29)

A new Add to record button has been added to Advanced Search results. Clicking this button will display a dialog, within which you can relate (associate) all of the records shown on the current page of Advanced Search results, to another record of your choosing.

This can be used, for example, to conveniently create a Group containing all or some of the Cataloging records related to a specific record. From that group, in turn, you might run reports on those Cataloging records, or perform batch operations on those records. Some representative use cases include running reports on all Cataloging records associated with a specific Loan, or all Cataloging records related to a Move.

Autocomplete enhancements: wildcards and anchor characters (CSPACE-6000 and CSPACE-6001)

Partial term matching - where, as you type into an 'autocomplete' field, terms dynamically appear in a dropdown menu below that field - now incorporates these enhancements:

  • Internal wildcards, which match zero or more characters within your search expression.
  • Anchor characters, to tie matches to the beginning and/or end of your search expression.

These options give you more tools to find the term or set of terms you're looking for.

For examples of how these work, please see Proposed autocomplete enhancements for Release 3.3.

Enhanced ability to run custom SQL scripts at startup (CSPACE-5978)

Starting with version 3.2.1, multiple custom SQL scripts could be associated with a particular tenant and service (and hence, a particular record type) and could be run at each system startup. To do this, you would add declarations to a tenant bindings configuration file and run a standard Services layer build procedure.

This addition enhances that functionality to allow you to simply 'drop in' SQL scripts into a server directory, where those scripts will also be run at each subsequent system startup, without any configuration or build procedure required. This is a convenience feature that is primarily intended to facilitate testing/development, although it can also be used for anything from ad hoc, temporary script running (such as a script that, for a limited time, might perform specific cleanup or other tasks at each startup), to long-term uses.

Please see this comment on CSPACE-5978 for an overview of these two complementary mechanisms, and for details how and where to add SQL scripts that you wish to have run at every system startup. In particular, please note that any scripts 'dropped into' the aforementioned server directory will be run for all tenants in the system, not just your own tenant.

User interface improvements

The contents of read-only fields are more legible (CSPACE-6040)

The data values of read-only fields are now significantly easier to read, displayed with darker text against a lighter background. As an additional change, the cursor will change to a 'not allowed' style when hovering over user interface elements that cannot be selected.

Performance-related changes

Adding relationships between Cataloging and Location/Movement/Inventory records is significantly faster under worst-case conditions (CSPACE-5984)

A bug was fixed that made it slow - sometimes taking one minute or longer - to add a relationship between Cataloging record and a Movement record, under worst-case conditions where the Location/Movement/Inventory record already had relationships to hundreds or even thousands of other Cataloging records. Now, adding that new relationship typically takes under one second. (This bug resided in an 'event handler' that keeps the Cataloging record's current location field updated, to reflect object movements.)

Page loading of authority term records is faster under some circumstances (CSPACE-5998)

A bug was fixed where, when loading a page for an authority term used by six or more other records, the CollectionSpace UI would initiate an unnecessary, duplicate call to CollectionSpace's back-end, to populate the "Used By" list in the right sidebar.

Page loading now limits the number of related media objects retrieved (CSPACE-5896)

Formerly, when records with related media were loaded, there was no upper boundary on the number of related media objects that would be retrieved, for display in the right sidebar. Under some circumstances, this could substantially slow page load. Now, there is a configurable limit (by default, 40 items) for the number of media items retrieved on a page load.


Occasional, ongoing failures when searching for authority terms should no longer occur (CSPACE-5988)

A significant concurrency bug in CollectionSpace's Application layer was fixed that occasionally resulted in searches for authority terms failing - and continuing to fail thereafter. It was triggered when two or more records were opened roughly simultaneously, with at least one of those records being an authority term that was used in many other records, and hence produced a long list of links of records that referred to this term, within the Used By section of the right sidebar.

When this bug occurred, keyword searches for authority terms (in the Search box) and searches on the Advanced Search pages for authority records would both continually result in an error message appearing in the Message Bar at the bottom of the page: We've encountered an error retrieving search results. Please try again:error. When typing a partial match for a term into an autocomplete field, the 'spinner' icon would always spin continuously, and no results would be returned.

Until this bug was fixed, you could temporarily resolve these search failures - until the issue reoccurred, that is - by visiting a specific URL to re-initialize CollectionSpace's application layer or, alternately, by restarting the CollectionSpace server.

Top-level Boolean fields can now be set to true when updating records (CSPACE-5982)

A bug was fixed that prevented values in top-level Boolean fields from being set to true when records were being updated, under a particular scenario. If the record was originally created using some mechanism other than CollectionSpace's user interface, such as via import, the Services REST APIs, a batch job or event handler or the like and one or more top-level Boolean fields - not nested under any other parent fields - were omitted from the creation payload at creation time, those fields would be given a null value in the database when stored. This ultimately prevented those fields from being treated as holding Boolean values. If a user set a Boolean field to true by clicking a checkbox when modifying a record in the UI, that change would disappear when the record was reloaded following a save. Now, CollectionSpace's UI layer automatically converts missing or undefined values in Boolean fields to false, working around this problem.

Multiple bugfixes related to the top-right Search box on Advanced Search pages (CSPACE-5265)

This bugfix addresses three bugs related to the use of the top-right Search box, when on Advanced Search pages:

  • Contrary to usual search behavior, when on an Advanced Search page, a search performed in the top-right Search box does not redirect the user to the Find and Edit page, from which they can then view search results. Instead, the results of this search are displayed at the bottom of the current page, below the Advanced Search form, visible only by scrolling far down the page. To a casual observer, it appears as though the current page has simply been refreshed, without the search having been performed.
  • Performing any Advanced Search, followed by an "All Record Types" search in the top-right Search box, displays an error message in the Message Bar: We've encountered an error retrieving search results. Please try again:error
  • Performing any Advanced Search; then, from the resultant search results page, performing any search (other than an "All Record Types" search) in the top-right Search box, returns the same results that were previously returned from the Advanced Search, rather than returning the expected results of the new search.

Date and decimal fields can now be used as summary fields in All Record Types searches (CSPACE-5763)

A bug was fixed that prevented date and decimal (currency or otherwise) fields from appearing in ID Number or Summary fields in All Record Types searches. Previously, if those fields were configured as summary fields, All Record Types searches would fail with an error message.

Published items no longer appear in All Record Types searches (CSPACE-5892)

Publicly published items (introduced via the Publicitem service in in Release 3.2.1), such as reports or media, no longer appear in "All Records Types" search results. Before this bug was fixed, these items would appear in results with record type "UNKNOWN"; clicking one of their links would bring you to an empty page.

Items appearing in autocomplete results now use case-insensitive ordering (CSPACE-5997)

Partial term matching - where, as you type into an 'autocomplete' field, terms dynamically appear in a dropdown menu below that field, now uses case-insensitive ordering of results. Previously, items starting with uppercase letters were grouped separately from those starting with lowercase letters.

(There is still a known issue with terms from different vocabularies being grouped separately, CSPACE-6054.)

Pivoting between authority term records now uniformly works (CSPACE-5684)

A bug was fixed that would cause "pivoting" between certain types of authority term records via links in the Terms Used area of the right sidebar - such as from a Person record to a Place record - to fail. In earlier versions, issues related to pivoting had been resolved by code changes, such as (CSPACE-5681). The current bug fix involved adding several configuration changes that still needed to be made, as a follow-up to those code changes.

Schema additions


Field configuration and behavior changes

The configuration of ten fields was changed, to autocomplete fields tied to the Citation Authority from simple text fields, as part of the introduction of that authority in CSPACE-6006:

  • Cataloging / CollectionObject
    • reference
  • Citation
    • termSource
  • Concept
    • termSource
  • Organization
    • termSource
  • Person
    • termSource
  • Place
    • termSource
  • Storage Location
    • termSource
  • Taxon
    • termSource
    • taxonCitation
    • commonNameSource

If you have any existing data in these fields, and are migrating an earlier CollectionSpace installation to version 3.3 or later, you will need to either:

  • Convert existing data in those fields into refName format, representing terms in a Citation authority; or
  • Via 'delta' configuration files in the Application and Services layers, override the default behavior to leave those fields configured as plain text fields, rather than as autocomplete fields tied to the Citation authority.

If you'd like assistance with respect to either option above, please write to the project Talk mailing list.

System requirements changes



Note: there are significant compatibility issues with Internet Explorer 10, and possibly one or more older versions of IE, that remains to be addressed, as per CSPACE-6076. While first identified during version 3.3 testing, these issues may have been present in earlier releases.

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome remain supported Tier 1 browsers, and Safari (for Mac OS X) remains a supported Tier 2 browser.