GMI XML creator
by Martijn van der Vliet, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
It’s always been a challenge for Sound and Vision to import multiple records in bulk into our archiving system without the help of our IT department. Our archive system makes use of a Generic Metadata Importer; metadata and files can be ingested in large quantities using this so-called GMI. The GMI requires XML files and in order to create XML files an employee needs certain technical skills. To overcome this problem we designed and built the tool “GMI XML creator”, so anyone can import big sets of records.
The aim of the project was to create an tool that allows anyone without technical knowledge to create xml files that can be read by our archive system.
The tool was built on an existing excel sheet that can convert excel into xml (using VBA). The biggest challenge was to find a way to make the GMI xml creator “user friendly” and usable for different scenarios without the intervention of the IT department.
To make this possible we created an Excel Sheet with a few different tabs, to go through the process in steps. In the “fields” tab the user can choose what kind of import he/she wants to do. For example: the creation of metadata only or import metadata + a video file. After this the user can choose which metadata fields he/she wants to use. After choosing the correct fields the user continues on to the next tab.
On the “data” tab the user can add metadata. Every row will become a record and every column is a metadata field. Because the user made a selection of fields he wants to use, the data tab only shows these fields instead of all the more than 250 possible fields. Since we use Excel the user can easily paste metadata from a list he/she received from the archive creator, tenant or other employee.
When all the metadata is in the sheet the user can create the set of xml files with the press of one button. Now the user moves the xml files to the watch folder from the GMI and the import start.
The project was a great success. Since we delivered the GMI xml creator tool, more than 30,000 records have been created by our Media Managers team. The tool is now used for all kinds of projects. From creating 10 records for a small acquisition to ingesting thousands of files for a Tenant.