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MWeb™ Glossary

MWeb uses certain terms to describe its components and features precisely. In the interest of making communication easier, here are some of the terms we use. We usually capitalize these terms in our documentation so that you are alerted that they have special meaning.

MWeb features are described on these pages: MWeb Enterprise, MWeb Universal, PastPerfect-Online.


A Administrator Control Center Authority Type
C Clickable Alphabet Content Type Control Tables Customization
D Database Data Connector Database Owner Datapane Dataset Direct Access
E External Documents
F Favorites Filter Fields Final Load Flash Online Exhibit (OE) Full Record
G Gallery Group Groupsize
I Identifier IMS Interface Management System Initial Load IP Restriction
L Leadin Text Live Database
M Main Menu Material Type Menupane MWeb Enterprise Database MWeb Universal MWeb XML Server
O Online Exhibit
P Panes PastPerfect-Online Placeholder Record PPO PPS Preprocessor Primary Records Private Image Project Project Owner Protected Image Public Image Public User
R Reporter
S Search Category Search Results Secondary Records Section Security Level Security Model Slice Special Feature Splash Screen Start Page Static Database Stopword Subset
T Test Load Toppane
V View Permission Vocabulary Views


MWeb Term Definition Remarks
Live Database

Static Database

MWeb Enterprise Database
A Live Database is a production database that MWeb will search and display data from.

A Static Database is a copy (or rather a reformatting) of a Live Database made by the MWeb Preprocessor (PPS). Another term for this is MWeb Enterprise Database.
With a Live Database any changes to the data are available online immediately.

On the other hand, a Static Database built by PPS can be richer, more convenient, more secure, and faster. More about this
Dataset A Dataset is the set of files read by the Preprocessor to load each Content Type. (Of course, a Dataset may be a single file.)  
Content Type

Material Type

Authority Type

Primary Records

Secondary Records
Similar to a record-type in other systems, an MWeb Content Type is a distinct type of record that is loaded into the system. The following are examples of Content Types: museum objects, library records, artists, places, periods and styles, images, media, HTML documents, etc.

A Material Type is a Content Type that represents a physical object in your MWeb system, such as museum objects, library records, images, media, and HTML documents.

An Authority Type is a Content Type that does NOT represent a physical object in your MWeb system, such as artists, places, styles, etc. In other words, they are controlled vocabularies for grouping records. You may load these as part of your data, or if your internal systems do not have records for them, we can build Authority Types from the data in the Material Types.

Primary and Secondary Records are terms used only for calculating MWeb billing. See Pricing for more information.
Records of any Content Type can be linked to records of any other Content Type in MWeb.
Initial Load

Test Load

Final Load
The Initial Load is the creation of the MWeb database for a new client. It consists of a Test Load and a Final Load.

The Test Load is the result of our first attempt to analyze and present your data.

The Final Load creates the completed MWeb database, ready for the public.
Your critique of the Test Load is used to adjust the programs to produce the Final Load.

Special Feature
Customization is the work we do to make your MWeb website look and work just the way you want it, using existing software and parameters.

A Special Feature is something you ask us to develop on an fee basis, to add a feature that is not part of the standard MWeb system. If your request would be of value to other MWeb clients, we may reduce or waive the fee.
Search Results


Search Results are the brief records (optionally with thumbnail images) that are displayed as the result of a search by the user.

Search Results are returned in Groups of brief records, usually 12 to 27 (the Groupsize), depending on how many will fit onto a page. If there are more than one Group of Search Results, the user is presented with Next and Previous buttons, page numbers, or some other means of navigating between the Groups.
For MWeb Enterprise and PastPerfect-Online, the Groupsize is calculated based on the width of the browser window and the size of the thumbnails, so that three full rows of thumbnails will display.

For MWeb Universal and PastPerfect Web Share, the Groupsize is 12.

For the MWeb XML Server, the Groupsize is 12 unless you override it with the number parameter.
Full Record

A Full Record display shows a single record from your database. You choose what fields are shown in the Full Record and how they are labeled. If you have very complex data, we may recommend using Slices, in which the user sees a group of related fields in each Slice. For example, there may be Slices for provenance, exhibition history, or related documents. You may use tabs, dropdowns, or any other mechanism to show the list of choices and permit selection.  
Favorites The Favorites feature allows users to save objects for study and presentation to others. Any user may create a logon which permits them to save Favorites. Favorites does not provide a way to create presentations, such as slide shows. An MWeb User Group task force is developing requirements for this, but in the meantime, users may export sets in HTML or XML form to be used by another application.
Online Exhibit



Flash Online Exhibit
Online Exhibits are a way for you to provide structured content to your MWeb visitors.

Online Exhibits (OEs) consist of a hierarchical outline of a topic; each topic is linked to an HTML page and to records for museum objects. When the user clicks on a topic, the appropriate page and object images are displayed. Example.

Sections and Galleries are the two kinds of topics in the outline; see MWeb Online Exhibits for details.

Flash OEs are OEs delivered as Flash applications, in contrast to other OEs which are pure HTML.

You can modify the outline or contents of an Online Exhibit without programming. Just change your database and rerun PPS.
Public Image

Protected Image

Private Image
A Public Image may be viewed outside the museum. A Private Image may be viewed only from computers inside the museum. A Protected Image is one whose thumbnail may be viewed outside the museum, but whose full image may not. A range of IP addresses is used to determine whether the request to view an image comes from inside or outside the museum. (See also Security Model.)

The MWeb Preprocessor (PPS) is a subsystem that builds the MWeb database from your input data. PPS consists of about 30 programs. It performs extensive checking, linking, and reformatting in order to build a database that will support the fastest possible retrieval of data. In other words, time spent on preprocessing is time saved for your users when they use MWeb. PPS is customized for each client based on their data, data formats, and other requirements.
Interface Management System

The Interface Management System™ (IMS) is a subsystem that allows you to modify MWeb text that is displayed to your users. You access IMS from any browser. It modifies a database on your server that MWeb uses to build its messages and text buttons. Modifications made in IMS take place instantaneously.  
Filter Fields Using Filter Fields, users can quickly restrict searches to one or more contributors, to one or more collections, and in other ways. The current list of Filter Fields is:
  1. Content Type (nature of the material, such as museum, library, archive, artist, or subject records)
  2. Sources (contributors or departments)
  3. Collections
  4. Physical locations
  5. Whether the object is on view
  6. Whether or not the record has images

Other Filter Fields may be possible if required by a site.

Filter Fields can be displayed in Advanced Search as dropdowns, listboxes, radio buttons, or checkboxes, depending on your data. Multiple selections may be made from a given Filter Field.

(You may also display some or all of your Filter Fields in Keyword Search, although that is intended to be a very simple search for beginners. And, since there is a "keywords" box in Advanced Search that accepts AND, OR, and truncation, there is nothing that can be done in Keyword Search that cannot also be done in Advanced Search.)

Main Menu All MWeb implementations have a Main Menu which has links or buttons to enable the user to move to various parts of MWeb, such as Keyword Search, Advanced Search, Search Results, and Image Viewer. The Main Menu may also have links to non-MWeb pages, such as your organization's homepage, a site map, a survey form, etc.  


MWeb does not use frames. It simulates the look of frames using divs, tables, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). We refer to these simulated frames as Panes.

If your MWeb site has a horizontal Main Menu across the top, that menu is in the Menupane. The searches and records appear below in the Datapane.

If your MWeb site has a vertical Main Menu down the left, that menu is in the Menupane. The searches and records appear in the Datapane to the right.

Either layout may have an optional Toppane at the top to contain logos and other static elements. In addition, panes may be separated by optional colored borders.

The names of the panes change when referring to an Online Exhibit.
Start Page

Splash Screen
The Start Page is the search display that is the first one each user sees. Normally this is the Keyword Search display.

You may have an optional Splash Screen with introductory material, graphics, special links, or whatever you want. If you have a Splash Screen, users will see this instead as they begin each session, but will normally not return to it during a session.

If you choose to have a Splash Screen, you are responsible for developing and maintaining it. It it must have a link to your Start Page as well as to the MWeb credits page.
Stopword A Stopword is a common word that is not indexed. Examples of Stopwords in English include a, an, the, with, etc. While MWeb will not search for Stopwords in a Keyword Search, Stopwords may be included in phrase searches, such as "art of india". (Phrase searches are enclosed in double quotation marks.)
Vocabulary Views Vocabulary Views provide users with a way to browse your controlled vocabularies. When they invoke this feature, they are presented with a list of the letters A to Z. Clicking on a letter displays the vocabulary terms for that letter. Clicking on a term performs a search on that term.

For example, you may have a button called "Artists" which brings up the alphabet. Clicking on "B" shows artists with names beginning with B. Clicking on an artist's name displays all the works of that artist.

You may have a Vocabulary View for any of your Authority Types -- or none, if you prefer.

Clickable Alphabet A Clickable Alphabet is a display of the alphabet in which the user can click on a letter to perform a search.  
Direct Access Direct Access is an MWeb feature that permits users to go directly to content without going through the MWeb Start Page. This is an optional feature. You have to decide if there is any reason to require users to go through the Start Page, such as logon or logging purposes.

If you request us to turn on Direct Access at your site, you can then provide links from your other websites directly into MWeb Keyword Search Results, Browse Results, Full Records, or Online Exhibits.

Control Tables Control Tables are used to control the way MWeb functions. These should never be deleted from the /MWebdata/ directory on the server. Here is the list of Control Tables (not all sites will have all of these):
  • Favorites*.dat
  • MWeb.dat
  • MWebXML.dat
  • Userterm*.*
Identifier The MWeb Identifier is the text of the link in Search Results that links to a Full Record. The Identifier is usually an object name, a book title, a photo caption, or some other meaningful word or phrase that gives the user some idea of what the link goes to. It is not necessarily unique. Identifiers may be generated from more than one field, such as author and title.
Leadin Text If your MWeb site has External Documents (HTML documents that are not loaded into MWeb) linked to specific records, there are two ways to access the Documents. Either they can be treated like media, with an icon in the Full Record, or they can be displayed like data-fields in the Full Record (with a field-label such as "Transcript"). In the latter case, the Transcript field contains Leadin Text (as in "lead in" -- the first few words of the Document) followed by the word "more"; the "more" is clickable to open the Document in a popup window.  
Subset A Subset is a logical segment of a database. For example, a library might have Subsets for Reference Collection, Juvenilia, Rare Books, and General Collection. An art museum might have Subsets for Artworks, Library Materials, and Archives. Subsets usually are shown in the Keyword Search and Advanced Search so the user can limit a search to desired material.
Search Category MWeb's Advanced Search let the user specify where in the records the search terms should be found. Fields in your MWeb database are mapped to Search Categories, based on the Dublin Core approach. Using Search Categories means the user doesn't have to figure out your data model, or decide what fields might contain the search terms. This is especially useful if you have multiple fields for the same kind of data, such as multiple title fields -- instead all titles are searched at once. The same Search Categories are used in MWeb's Click-&-Search.
External Documents External Documents are HTML pages that are represented by their own MWeb records; they may be linked to other records to provide information inconvenient to load into MWeb. They may provide information about a particular object, such as curatorial notes or finding aids. Or they may pertain to more than one object, such as information about styles and periods, or narrative text for Online Exhibits.

The full text of External Documents can be keyword-indexed. In addition, you can request that the document metadata such as author and title be indexed.
Security Model

Security Level

View Permission

Public User

IP Restriction
The MWeb Security Model allows you to protect any records, any data fields, any data values, or any images -- independently of each other. Each of these can be restricted from being used or seen by unauthorized users.

Security Levels are codes you may assign to records, data fields, values, or images to indicate what users can see them. Users with password-protected logons have corresponding View Permissions to indicate what they are allowed to see. Users with the default permissions are called Public Users and normally need not logon to use MWeb (at your option).

IP Restrictions are a way to restrict what can be viewed based on the user's IP address. For example, this allows you to set copyrighted images to be viewable only inside the museum, if you wish (see also Public Image, Protected Image, Private Image). IP Restrictions and Security Levels are completely independent and either or both can be assigned to any record, field, value, or image.
IP here means "Internet Protocol", and the "IP address" is the location of the user's computer, so "IP Restrictions" are restrictions based on the user's location. But you can think of them as "Intellectual Property Restrictions" if you wish!
Administrator Control Center The ACC is the control center for configuring MWeb. You will see it when you logon to MWeb using an administrator's ID and password. Only the buttons relevant to your system and permissions are shown.  
Reporter MWeb Reporter is a Windows application that provides monthly and annual statistical summaries of the searches performed on your MWeb website. Reporter's results display as a webpage in your browser, with histograms showing the month-to-month activity as well as annual summaries. Here are the statistics currently reported:
  • Number of visitors
  • Number of searches
  • Number of searches by type
  • Most popular searches
  • Searches with too many hits
  • Popular searches that resulted in no hits

PastPerfect-Online (PPO) is a version of MWeb especially designed for clients of the PastPerfect collections-management system. PPO is sold by PastPerfect Software, Inc., who also provide hosting.  
MWeb Universal



Data Connector
MWeb Universal performs integrated searches on any number of Databases on any number of servers. Any number of Databases can comprise an MWeb Universal Project. Each Database requires a Data Connector.  
Project Owner

Database Owner
The Project Owner is the administrator of an MWeb Universal site. In a future release, each Database may also have a Database Owner with authority for a specific Database in the Project.  
MWeb XML Server The MWeb XML Server returns the results of the MWeb database in XML form. This can be used to access the database using Flash, Ajax, or other technologies. There are separate versions of the MWeb XML Server to work with MWeb Enterprise or with MWeb Universal. For Universal, the XML Server is referred to as a Data Connector.
Placeholder Record In order to keep the responses of manageable size, The MWeb XML Server returns only the first 12 records in a result set brief data. The remainder are returned as Placeholder Records. These are record tags with the MWeb Key attribute:

     <record key="134515"/>

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