Software Architecture Designed with a Vision for the Future

Conservation Tracker


The Conservation Tracker system was developed by Inventive Software for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is making the program available for use by other institutions. A signed User Agreement is required to obtain a "username" and a "password".  This will allow the institution to download the Conservation Tracker setup installation programs, as well as the User and System Administrator documentation files free of charge.

If you would like to request a Registered User Account, please submit your Registration request by e-mail. You can contact us at  We’ll arrange to have a User Agreement sent to you for review and signature.  Once your signed user agreement is received, you will be sent an email with the username and password for your activated account.



Conservation Tracker System Overview

The Conservation Tracker System (Tracker) is a comprehensive digital management tool for art conservation documentation developed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) beginning in 2000. The present enhanced platform was supported by two Officer’s grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2008. Development is ongoing and is intended to contribute to a collaborative effort to expand digital management tools available for conservation field.
Tracker is used to create, access, search and archive conservation records and images that document the examination, treatment and physical history of collection materials. Its primary organization is object-based but through project groupings and filters, it enables organization of records by event, date, artist, etc. Implementation of its extensive capabilities is dependent on institutional priorities, especially with respect to retrospective digitization and the sharing of collections information. While its primary function is as a records management tool, the system includes many work management and work flow functions.
 A brief description of the Conservation Tracker features is as follows:
●  provides a straightforward tool for entering conservation information and generating printed reports.
●  provides greatly improved access to conservation records and their contents through search functions and digitization. The flexible search function is one of Tracker’s highlights.
●  allows creation of object specific records as well as grouping of records around specific organizing events, such as exhibitions or surveys
●  captures, but is not intended to replace, the rich history contained in object files – including diagrams, notes, letters, labels, etc.
●  provides security and archival back up for conservation paper records.
●  supports tracking object movement through conservation laboratories, logging of photo documentation, tracking of conservation tasks and deadlines and email distribution of records.
●  interfaces with a museum’s collections management software (at PMA this is The Museum System).
System Architecture:
Tracker is structured using an Application Model framework that enables customization of screens without the need for additional programming. It is designed to work on a Windows based operating system. It uses the Microsoft SQL Server as the database backend, but with some minor modifications could easily use Oracle, MySQL or some other database type. The User interface was programmed in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 using the C# .Net programming language along with third party controls from Developers Express. The system integrates with Microsoft Word for formatting, spell checking, etc. and for creating report templates which can  be used to augment the data entry screens.  The system also includes a built in Report Designer tool (also from Developers Express) used for creating and running various report formats.  Additionally, Tracker integrates with Crystal Reports in order to allow organizations already familiar with that report designer tool to continue to do so.

Registered users can use the Links below to gain access to the following files:

●  Installation Documentation
This PDF file provides instructions for unzipping the Blank SQL Server database, attaching it to your server, unzipping and running the Conservation Tracker Setup installation programs.
●  User Documentation
This PDF file provides end user instructions that explains the functionality of the Conservation Tracker application.
●  Setup Installation Programs
This Zip file contains the Setup installation program for installing the Conservation Tracker application.
●  Blank SQL Server 2008 Database
This Zip file contains a copy of a Blank Conservation Tracker SQL Server database that you can attach to your SQL Server.

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