A Note from the Developer about this Database

March 26, 2008

VCat—new name, new release

In 2004 I began work on a relational database (in Filemaker Pro, or FMP) to replace an old flat file FMP database template that I provided for many years for free starting in 1997. I decided to call it VireoCat, standing for “visual resources open cataloging utility.” Being a bird-watcher, the vireo is also a bird, so that seemed nice. Filemaker completely revamped with version 7 and became a truly relational database on par with Access. I released many copies of VireoCat on CD at the Miami VRA conference in 2005. The early versions were created when CCO and Core 4 were both in beta stages of development. As these standards have been finalized and published, I adapted VireoCat with the goal of providing a free database utility that could handle the new world of Core 4 XML, hoping that this would be a benefit to our profession.

At the recent conference in San Diego, I realized many had problems with the name—evidently not many birdwatchers in our group! So with this new release (version 3), I have decided to simplify the name to VCat. I am very happy to announce that the Core 4 xml export validates and that there is also a very complete tab-delimited (which can be converted to Excel) export feature. I have tested this new version with 28,000 records (Archivision data) which has been very useful for testing and debugging. I would like to thank Scott Gilchrist and Mark Smith at Archivision for really making this new version possible.

You will need a copy of Filemaker version 7, 8 or 9 [now 10 as well] to use this database; otherwise it is free for your use. I look forward to working with the user group with this new version! I think we can accomplish a great deal together. To experiment with sharing XML records and to work on VCat as a group, sharing problems and solutions, please join the listserv.

Best wishes,

Susan Jane Williams

January 26, 2009


Thanks to Megan Macken, we have migrated the site to Google Sites since this supports more file types--and she has resurrected the old logo--The Bird is Back! I will be adding more support docs and updates--version 3.5 will be introduced at VRA Toronto in March.