Tufts Submission-Agreement Builder Tool
The Tufts Submission-Agreement Builder Tool (SABT) is a web-based tool that guides records creators and records managers through the process of creating submission agreements, both for single transfers and for standing submissions. Following an accompanying XML schema, the tool prompts the user to input data that has been determined to be necessary for a complete agreement, ultimately producing a finished document. The SABT was designed for use with electronic records, but can presumably be adapted.
The Digital Collections and Archives (DCA) at Tufts University, as part of the Tufts Accessioning Program for Electronic Records (TAPER) project
Licensing and cost
GNU Affero General Public License – free.
The SABT code was released July 2011. The TAPER Project has ended; however, since the SABT is at the centre of the DCA accessioning workflow, it should presumably remain supported.
Platform and interoperability
The SABT requires a modern Unix-based OS and has been shown to work on Solaris, Linux, and Mac OS X. It should be possible to run it on Windows, but this is untested. SABT is designed for the Apache web server and FastCGI. It also requires Perl, version 5.8.8 or later, to support the Catalyst web framework, MySQL, version 5 or later, the GNU C compiler and the Make utility.
The tool creates agreements for both standing submissions, which cover serial ingest projects, and regular submissions covering a single ingest. The tool uses three XML schemas to do so: one for regular submissions, one for standing submissions, and one for common elements between the two. The access platform for the SABT is designed to be integrated into an institution's own website; it does not function as a stand-alone application.
Documentation and user support
The DCA created three pairs of instructional videos and guides that walk through the steps of using the SABT. These guides are in the context of the Tufts implementation of the software, but are illustrative of its general functionality. The software’s github site includes extensive user documentation for both the SABT and the XML schema. The access platform’s developer documentation is attached to the Perl modules that define its backend.
Demonstrations of the web interface seem simple and intuitive. However, the fact that the web application is designed to be integrated into an existing repository website render setup and configuration quite complex.
Installation and configuration require solid knowledge of web application design and technologies, and system administration. Records managers should review the XML schemas to determine whether the elements match the requirements for their repository.
The DCA created its own XML schemas for submission agreement elements. No information is available regarding any standards underlying the schema.
Influence and take-up
The Tufts DCA uses the SABT and the accompanying XML schemas. Information regarding wider use is unavailable.