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Hi John,
I agree with the other contributors on this it is probably the only way you can go if you want to / need to retain cogent movement history, a correct (trustworthy) current location to the individual item plus the multitude of other physical activities which may occur to them; conservation, display, loan etc. Though it is more desirable to have the reg number as unique to prevent errors down the track it is something you can choose to remove as a strict rule.
This might help with your consideration of Parts records creation overall. Here we additionally manage 2 types of Parent categories as well.
Conceptual , or Physical Parent.
The Conceptual Parent acts as an umbrella record for groups of material that may not have a defined physical Parent component. This Conceptual Parent itself doesn't have the requirement for a location – it is a concept - so when a Parent is flagged as ‘Conceptual’ the Location Tab is hidden from view to reinforce this. The location for each Part though is maintained with movement history and exact association of part to location intact, additionally the particular association (why are they related) for the physical parts maintained under the conceptual parent record. The same is of course the case for the Physical type of Parent except that the Physical Parent also has its own physical location.
Another development along the principle for linking parts to create relationships is an additional relationship we use (developed in-house – I can put you onto who) called Physically Attached. It helps with the managing of groups of material that by their unique physical association need to be stored together – they’re attached in some way - this allows for the updating of one Part record to update the group, helpful if you have lots as part of the group, minimising repetition.
There is a lot of flexibility in using Parts and reliable predictable outcomes for your collection management so do encourage you to investigate ways for using the existing Parts function that could help you manage your particular situation.
Museum Victoria

Hi Janeen,
I would reiterate Will's comments and just checking with you on whether it is still worth sending you some feedback to your Survey attachment?
I think I could make some more comments there - though it could be out of date for you now to consider.

Hi Will,
I totally agree and thought it was just me.
Perhaps there is a technical barrier was my conclusion as to the displaying of the associated records via view Attachments or reverse link tabs out of Audit Trails? I think Column Name and the others you suggest as a query fields from the Audit Trails tabs would work for us from our perspective but I can understand why this might seem a bit kooky to the programmers if they considered it and disregarded it. There could be issues for how these fields work outside of AT for such a purpose?
I and another user worked out that all we could really do is search in AT first then report out the IRN's from the AT IRN field (having kept the search module specific of course), then run a search useing these IRN's in the Catalogue or what ever module we were examining. Something you've no doubt used.
Lee-Anne Raymond
Museum Victoria

Hi Nancy,
Consistent with the way EMu works currently for Parties currently is to record two individual Parties records then link them with a Collaboration Party which is then used as your 'couples' Party record to link accordingly.
Sometimes this doesn't always sit well with our users who have argued that the context of the relationship is not that well represented by a collaboration Party persay. It is a fair argument but the alternative, which is to doctor one Parties record to display the same context is more unsatisfactory. I think a fair addition further to the, long standing, one about Parties 'Histories' this might be how to properly record relationship/s eg: where, though married, the individuals have different surnames; or there is no 'formal' marriage but a defacto relationship stands; where an individual has a new relationship though the former one still requires acknowledgement, and so on. At MV we have managed this aspect (though not to elaborate on couple's status just yet) by creating a Narratives record that then links to an individual's Parties record/s. You may want to investigate this angle too. At MV we display the Narratives (link display) tab into Parties now so that there is a cue for search and insert. The Parties link display tab will display into the Narrative record too. You can still do this sort of linking but for convenience and user friendliness we included the reciprocol link display tabs.
Hope this is of some help.
Lee-Anne Raymond
Museum Victoria

04-Jul-08 09:00:00
Category: EMu Administration
Forum: EMu Admin

Hi Jill,

...what Simon wrote and for Lookup List field types do this


as the case may be.


30-May-08 09:00:00
Category: Using EMu

Hi Tracy,

David Zhang helped us work on a similar issue last year. It is important that once the Notification is recieved it be stopped by the user performing one of the following actions in the module where the notification has been set up.

I've attached a version of our internal help doc on it - these are the two main things to note in it for your immediate issue. You must "act" on the notification. Just because the database has sent a notification does not mean it then stops. It will keep sending the notification until an action the user performs stops it.

3. What to do now that you have been notified? Either,

(a) Update the Notification Date
(b) Close the Loan
(c) Update the Date field for the Task
(d) Complete the Task

>The first thing this help doc points out to MV users of the feature is the following so they first think about who they are notifying and why. The person they notify may actually not even be an EMu user to be able to perform any of the above actions so users need to understand this from the outset.

Before setting up a Notification check:

1. Do you have the authority to set up a Notification that will go to someone else?
Does the person you are notifying know what is happening? Do they need to know?

2. Should you be notifying yourself so you may notify others of tasks which require their follow-up
Your processes are not necessarily another’s.

3. Will the notification reflect the true process involved and integrate logically?
Unnecessary notifications will likely hinder a process than help it and annoy you to boot.

Once a Date or other trigger for the email notification is reached the email notifications will continue daily until the criteria for stopping them is met.

Hope this helps,
Lee-Anne and David

Attachment: EMu - How to set up E-mail Notifications - 22 Apri

This is really useful Tom, the displaying of lists like this to one line has been one of just a few challenges with learning crystal. Great to see it work so neatly. Many Thanks,

Hi Will,
I'd like to see your report too would you mind sending it to me too? Or just post it.


Hi Janeen,

Thanks for doing such great work on this redevelopment.

I have a question on the way the author citation aspect works.

I'm not clear on exactly how the Authors tab and Author String/Citation String field sets will operate.
(Just as an aside: In the power point display the Author tab does not look like it sits in Bibliography (?). But I am assuming this is the case.)

Essentially I do get that the new Authors (Author/Contributors) tab in Bibliography will receive the Party links that will display to the Author String/Citation String fields in much the same way that Taxonomy Author String does. Within Taxonomy, linked Authors & year are sent to an Author String which combines with other data to form Scientific Name Author display field. Upon linking to the Catalogue this combined value then displays into Qualified Name field. None of these display fields being editable at any point by the user.

For the Bibliography redesign the operation of the Authors and Author String/Author Citation fields appear to mirror this behaviour with the added flexibility of the string being editable by the user upon selecting the Automatic No trigger.

There is a set of these fields in Catalogue: References; Bibliography: Authors, Article and Chapter tabs. The field in each has the ability to be editable upon setting the “Automatic?” “No” trigger.

Is there any point at which the choice the user makes triggers a mechanism creating an ‘either’ ‘or’ protection for the data selection made? Either to be flexible or not?

I would see it as necessary at some point to establish with clarity an Author String lock preventing users making an edit to one of these Author Strings which would then flow on to potentially mess with the Author String context for other contexts?

Hopefully I am asking this question clearly and please let me know if I’ve missed why this is not an issue or has been addressed.


23-Nov-07 11:00:00
Category: Using EMu

I obviously haven't attempted to attach files for a while so thought I'd need to email it directly.

Here is what we do at MV in a nutshell.

We do similarly manage via Parent/Child as well Barry, I've included our tabs specific to the area as well.

Hope this is of some additional assistance.

Attachment: Management of Tissue and DNA Material in EMu at Mu

22-Nov-07 11:00:00
Category: Using EMu

Hi Linda,

sure we can send you some further reading would you like to email me direct and I'll send you samples and brief explaination that way.


21-Nov-07 11:00:00
Category: Using EMu

Hi Linda,

We manage tissues in EMu now and use a Parent Child method to do so with the externally acquired material and that from voucher specimens.
The voucher specimen becomes the parent for the tissue and DNA material.
The external material will either be neither type or Parent and Child should subsequent samples/tests be run.

We've gone with the out of the catalogue model for each tissue to better manage the location tracking and other data we're legally bound to record (Quarantine regulations).

Other storage processes inherent to the Lab contribute to the location tracking but it is assumed the material will not leave the lab to a large degree unless it is being returned.

The material is tracked using the Locations module down to the tissue vial in the freezer but we still face issues with this in terms of integration with the WISE system due to concerns for use of scanners in labs. The barcodes on the vials are integrated with the WISE system so it will simply be a matter of time to wait for the go ahead for scanners.

We manage the specific data via Catalogue partitioning to break up Tissue and DNA onto Tissue tab and Genetics tabs.
DNA sequencing data is recorded via nested tables and the Multimedia file attached and number recorded.

You might like to see the tabs created to support this?

The DNA Lab use of EMu is still in it's infancy but I think our experiences may be helpful to you.

If you would like more detail let me know and I can send it through.


Hi there,

thanks for the neat code Tom, I'll use that.

As to controlling duplication like this, the best way is via a supreport.
Try also to group your measurement fields initially in the EMu form, the subreport then controls the behaviour of your grouped info.

See the .rpt file I've attached and let me know if you have any questions. I've saved some data with it. Check out the linking of the tables intially via Left Outer Join and the linking of the Subreport proper. Just let me know if the file, doesn't get through and I'll send via email direct.

Note that for the Measurment Subreport I've layered the Details - In Section Expert, select Underlay Following Sections. This aligns your fields data as it print out more than one line.

Hope this helps.

Looks like the file won't attach so just let me know which email to send to.


Hi Mark,
We've been grappling with this issue at Museum Victoria for some time as well and it has been one of those things we were hoping to see advance in an upgrade for all users.

Currently we face what everyone else does when as a rule we create a new Parties record to cope with Historical and/or recent variations to address. We encounter the same problem with which Party to select without having to slow down the work flow. We've instructed users who do this frequently to define a List View for selecting from multiple parties where the Party name is the same person or Organisation but the potential for different addresses is likely and relevant. We have the additional issue for multiple collection institutions - Parties sharing accross the various collection just doesn't happen on the scale that it could, though technically there is no reason why it cannot, each department has rules that tend to exclude the others way of working.

There are issues once multiple addresses are enabled within the same Party as Janeen points out and we've not quite thought through yet. So how do you ensure that you align the correct version of address with the same person/org name if it is to display forward upon linking? That is probably the main problem with how we then want to use histories, not one I'm sure can possibly be solved by a linked grid history table alone. It may need something along the lines of how Movement Histories(?) work; Once a change is made to the address fields of a party and it is save, this Imaginary module record auto creates a record and this 'referencing' record is then linked where required, the originating Party record retains the full info changes in the history table, not sure if I'm dreaming what is possible here just free ranging.

I wonder also, how do you cope with changes to a person's name eg: through marriage? Is Other Names field adequate?

We'd be happy to contribute where possible.


02-Apr-07 09:00:00
Category: Using EMu

Hi Perian,
In additionan to Joanna's instructions for your substitution also tick check the box for "First Occurance Only". The replace will then happen once per record.
Museum Victoria

Hi there,
Still learning it myself but I can point you in the direction of where to now find help for the Registry.
Go to KE Emu Help as normal.
then select from the Library tree "FAQ"
Then select "The EMu Registry">"Registry Settings".

all the best,
Lee-Anne Raymond
Museum Victoria

Hi All,
I think Will you point out with absolute clarity the logic of the 1:1 scenario in the end.

It does seem to be correct that the 1:many scenario is the way to go as this is how the system best works; by reducing duplication and in the Collections management sense focusing in on the Catalogue as the core module. However, following years of restraint and being true to this aspect of the system we went ahead and fiddled the Conservation module to suit (thoughts of modifying the Conservation Module were toyed with earlier along the way and rejected as too expensive or not a good solution in context with the system functions). We realised after getting most of our collections data into the system that the "out of the Catalogue" and 1:many Conservation records scenario would not work without sacrifice. It could not provide the Conservation department with the flexibility and focus in the system they needed, it could further cause confusion with the collections by clashing with the two structured ways of working and create a burden on future users due to the lack of clarity in how it all hung together, it would work but not without forcing it.
We had been attempting to squish Conservation needs in along side the Collection needs in the Catalogue, whilst doing this we had really been articulating the changes that we needed in the Conservation Module itself. The designs when placed in the "out of the Catalogue" scenario were creating a monster and revealing just how awkward the existing Conservation module was in its current state. We would still need to substantially modify the Conservation module if it was going to be anything more than a mere "holder" of links to the Catalogue.
Additionally the "out of the Catalogue" scenario was not going to be manageable in context with what the collections staff needed to do and the conservators needed to do in the system.
Conservation needed to be the core module for the conservators to use EMu properly and work in real time along with the collections through the system.
The resolution to all of this it was to go back to the Conservation module - it is designed as a 1:many module - we simple dispensed with this and all the rest slotted into place.
We did need to create duplication in the end which some may gasp at but it relieved allot of the pressure on the 1:1 scenario. We duplicated dimensions, environment and materials tabs, gave them a completely separate back end from the existing Catalogue ones. This freed us up as well for pretty much everything else the Conservation module needed, job detail, treatments, condition, samples/tests, etc. We could work sensibly towards an "out of the Conservation module" scenario finally.
It took us a few years to get to this, and in the end were able to apply what we learnt from each of the Collection's data migrations along with a reasonable budget for enhancement to finally make it possible for us to be flexible.
We are sure to have further enhancement requests once Conservation start using the system too, we are only to our first load test for their transfer into EMu.
It may not be everyone's experience but I think it is important to let the forum know we made mistakes in our original thinking but also made some correct assumptions early on, we just got distracted off the better path by budget which in turn affected the concept.

Museum Victoria

13-Oct-05 09:00:00
Category: EMu Administration
Forum: User Support

Hi Marion,
Firstly you have a really good grasp of what you think is needed so hopefully my answers will still be of assistance.
1. number of EMu users in their organisation
A. For us this is growing every day and (last count was 172 two months back). The number is often though not the thing that makes life on the helpdesk interesting, it is the type of user (staff, vol, student), plus the level they are at, not just with EMu but in their understanding of technology that you will have to manage.

2. number/type of queries handled by the helpdesk/day
A. Hard for me to quantify for you yet as we are only just about to move into a system that will assist us to manage those sorts of stats.
When I last tried to spread-sheet it I went mad and gave up. However we got together and analysed the trends that we could identify and came up with a type of request list of just 19 types.

3.number of staff on helpdesk
A. One answers and fields the helpdesk as the primary, a second is the back up to the primary and will do the same in the absence of the primary. Both are full time staff. A third is on our team for 40% of the role they perform and will kick in as above where able. Relevant areas of expertise are fielded accordingly between these three in the main. Two part time managers will have relevant matters fielded to them for response by the primary and or other two on helpdesk. Our two IT department support members are sent issues relevant to them similarly. Our IT support provides a vital internal technical role that we are very happy with; from time to time it is necessary to field issues on to Ke of course but we are happily quite self-sufficient internally to a point.

We are about to move into a system called Hardcat. It an overall business asset management system that has a helpdesk module within it. It is overkill for us and not entirely suitable but we are hooking into the helpdesk side - the organisation is providing the support and it will centralise all helpdesks within the one system, helping our IT department to help us to manage our helpdesk actually. The processes I've described above in point 3 will not necessarily be assisted/refined any further but Hardcat will allow us to quantify our incoming issues and help us work out how to target hot spots; provide for systematic analysis/trends/reports; support the processes we have instilled above (help us make sure that issues do not get forgotten and left unaddressed for example). It should contribute to better time management for myself and the other full-timer on helpdesk too, we will see though.

4. structure of support in the institution, i.e. do users call the helpdesk with any EMu-related queries, or are they encouraged to "ask a friend" first?
A. Through internal training and targeting of specific users for enhanced training we do try to set up enough users in each area with the skills provide the staff they might supervise with an initial EMu contact. This will be someone they know and rely on anyway. It is not formal we allow the users to identify themselves and find then support their decision.

5. is the helpdesk specifically for EMu or does your IT helpdesk also handle EMu calls?
A. Specifically EMu and matters pertaining to its use and IT sphere. The IT support use to receive the help requests directly along with us but this is unmanageable and we reasoned it was better to manage/field the requests only that are relevant to them. Working very well so far.

6. how do you pay for the heldpesk?
A. All handled within our group budget. Our help extends to production of Help "How to.." doc, Training Manuals and User Manuals. By hitching a ride with the IT supported Hardcat we are only required to pay the individual licences pertaining to our area, IT manage the agreements with the provider.

7. do you have any particular support documentation, i.e. Andy's "How To" sheets?
A. Stacks. Covering everything a user wants to know about EMu and how to use it. We tease out the high use ones separately and offer all for the user to browse through via our Intranet site. Internal IT support helps us to be this user friendly.

8. do you log calls using a particular software?
A. As discussed above we will move to a formal help desk package, Hardcat. We are not necessarily recommending it, it is simpler and just more rational (budget as well) for us to go with what the organisation is already using. We will receive good internal support as a consequence too.
If this is not possible it is viable to do what we have been doing for a number of years now. Manage helpdesk through a group email eg "EMuHelpDesk" email. All helpdesk staff receive the email and through process management the requests are fielded accordingly. It does require one person to be responsible in either situation though, you need a helpdesk manager.

Hope this helps some and good luck. I can supply documents (how to etc) but don't think sending them to the forum via the discussion replies is the best way to go.

I'll check in with Forbes on whether it is possible to load some files to a dedicated file page for all to pick up when they like.


Lee-Anne Raymond
Project Officer, Collection Information Management Systems
Museum Victoria

Hi JP,
At MV we've already forged ahead with developing the Conservation Module tabs to accept the transfer of our Conservation Department legacy data and to suit new use.
We still have the actual migration of data part to go so I can't tell you if our design concept is a resounding success. Perhaps our design and experience may in the end contribut to the establishment of the core set though from this entirely different angle? We will need to finally see what does and does not work with our concept but it seems that we've taken some similar paths.

-Conservation staff manage the Conservation module, requests are not made by other collection staff using EMu, other forms of internal proceedures kick in there. Requested By link is retained but entered by the Conservator.
-We've retained some read only aspects of the attached Catalogue data.
-We've gone with the 1:1 but have retained the old "Objects" tab for the legacy material to display through (multiple Parent and Child records may be attached due to the legacy data situation but only the Parent will lead the links and thus display to other areas - still maintaining a viable query via the Reg Number and Department details)
-The display forward of Catalogue information into the main Conservation tab does so upon linking - it is also a queryable set of fields from this point. We think this will enhance and promote their centralised use of the Conservation module.
-The other tabs we've produced pretty much cover what is in your discussion document except for the pure Admin aspects of the "Accounting" tab (request style accounting was rejected here)and "PhotoDoc" (I like where that is going but would it work? - May require MMR development as well? Interesting though)
-We've retained links to Associated Loans & Events.

Hope this helps, when I get my managers back (one was with you all and the other is holidaying over there) I will see about forwarding screen shots if that would be of interest too.


10-Dec-04 11:00:00
Category: Archive
Forum: Archive

Hi Beth,
Thanks for the time you put into this. We've had trouble because we need
to do both tricky things from within the same report/s (as it seems you
might as well). That is we need to print the first instance only (as
with taxon name - not the full history) and all the multiples per
specimen/record for collector and identifier etc while at the same time
not duplicating the other values per record over and over until the
multiples are exhausted. It has been exhausting. :)
Might take time, but I'll try this.

Lee-Anne Raymond
Project Officer
Collection Information Management Systems
Museum Victoria

09-Dec-04 11:00:00
Category: Archive
Forum: Archive

Hi Will,
We are having similar trouble and for quite some time now.
We are hoping for a solution too.
The problem exists it seems across tables where more than one link is
made and also with fields that contribute to history tables where more
than one listing/history exist. The problem and solution, if it is the
same one, is perhaps better explained by KE though as my understanding
is limited to our own situation.
In anticipation though,

Lee-Anne Raymond
Project Officer
Collection Information

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