Feature development

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Feature development

AtoM is open-source software and available as a free download at the accesstomemory.org website. Under its AGPL3 license you are free to study, copy and enhance the software code. This allows you to make enhancements to existing features or add new features to the software.

If you or your organization do not have the software programming skills to make software enhancements to AtoM you can hire Artefactual Systems to do it for you.

Please contact us to provide more information about your feature requirements. We may ask for further details to ensure we understand the full scope of the requirements. Artefactual Systems will also want to determine that the new features are compatible with the AtoM architecture and development roadmap. If so, we can provide you with a Quote for Services and a project milestone schedule.

As a client sponsoring a new feature you will be given access to an AtoM development server so that you can track the progress of the new feature development, give feedback on design choices, and approve the final completion. Artefactual Systems will ensure that the new feature is integrated into your AtoM installation and also include it in the next release of the software under the AGPL3 license, making it available to all other users of the software.

Artefactual Systems is dedicated to producing high-quality free and open-source software for use by cultural institutions around the world. As such, we will develop the software in a way that meets the needs of your organization but which will also appeal to other organizations. This means that although we may customize AtoM features for you, we will not be creating a custom application that will need to be maintained by your organization. Instead, we will incorporate the new customizations into later releases of AtoM, and support them independently of your organization so that other institutions can benefit from them. This stands in contrast to a proprietary software development model, where institutions share their own expertise to painstakingly co-develop new technology but then cannot share that technology with their colleagues or professional communities because of expensive and restrictive software licenses imposed by the vendor.

This approach has enormous benefits for both both the paying client and other institutions. However, in order to make this happen, all software code that is developed during the course of a development project must remain the intellectual property of Artefactual Systems, in order to ensure that we can continue to release the software under the AGPL3 open-source license. Similarly, we expect to be able to publish all end-user and technical documentation (other than institution-specific documentation) written during the course of a development project under a Creative Commons license for the benefit of all users of the software.