Please note: This experimental research project has concluded.
The research prototype application is no longer supported or maintained by OCLC services, and information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Some portion of this content may be out-of-date and include broken links. Please visit the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.


COBOAT is a metadata publishing tool developed by Cognitive Applications Inc. (Cogapp) that transfers information between databases (such as collections management systems) and different formats.

As part of the Mellon-funded Museum Data Exchange project, OCLC commissioned Cogapp to:

  • extend COBOAT to enable the extraction of CDWA Lite
  • make COBOAT available under a fee-free license for the purposes of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information.

Configuration files allow COBOAT to be adjusted for extraction from different vendor-based or homegrown database systems of collections information, or locally divergent implementations of the same collections management system. The configuration files available for download are designed for output from the Gallery Systems TMS collections management system. COBOAT users can share and download configuration files for different systems on the Museum Data Exchange WebJunction page.

In conjunction with the open source OAICatMuseum 1.0 software, COBOAT can be used to make CDWA Lite XML records available for harvesting via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).


The COBOAT distribution consists of several components:

  • A core application package. Separate files are available for Mac and Windows.
  • Open source configuration files and plugin.
  • Documentation.

Use the Download link below to obtain the software and documentation.


Each of the COBOAT software components is covered by a separate license agreement. These agreements are summarized below. Users must register in order to download the software. Specific terms and conditions covering use of each software component are presented to the user at the time of download. Users must agree to the relevant terms and conditions in order to receive a license file for the core application.

  • The core application, both Windows and Mac versions, is covered by a limited license agreement between the end user and Cognitive Applications Inc.
  • Object code for both versions of the core application (Mac and Windows) is offered under a fee-free license. The source code is not available. Use of the software is restricted to cultural heritage organizations (museum, library, archive, etc.) using COBOAT for the purposes of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information.
  • During the download process you will be presented with the complete terms and conditions covering use of this software. You will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions, and to identify yourself in order to register to use the software. You will be able to immediately download the core application and configuration files. Shortly after registration, a license key will be e-mailed to you manually. The software will open without the license file, but it will not be fully functional.
  • The configuration files and plugin are offered under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0 open source license.
  • The COBOAT application, configuration files, and browser plugin are provided "as is" without warranties or conditions of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of title, non-infringement, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. 
  • Please note that there is no technical support available for this software.

Cognitive Applications Inc. and Ltd. (Cogapp) is a consultancy, design and production company for online and interactive media. COBOAT is copyright ©2008 by Cognitive Applications Ltd. Portions © 2000-2008 Runtime Revolution Limited. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.


See the license section above for a general overview of the download process and applicable licenses.

More Information

  • Museum Data Exchange project, an activity in support of the RLG Partnership to create tools supporting data sharing in the art museum community, and analyze the extent to which current museum data allows for meaningful search and retrieval in an aggregate environment.
  • COBOAT works hand-in-glove with OAICatMuseum: while COBOAT extracts the data from collection management systems, the open source OAICatMuseum software allows museums to disclose the extracted CDWA Lite descriptions of collection items as well as pointers to digital surrogates. In that way, COBOAT and OAICatMuseum can be used to efficiently share digital images with trusted partners who have requested access to museum content, or with the networked world at large.

Most recent updates: Page content: 2009-08-11


Bruce Washburn