Building a Data Hub: Microservices, APIs, and System Integration at the Art Institute of Chicago

Paper

Illya Moskvin, Art Institute of Chicago, USA, nikhil trivedi, Art Institute Chicago, USA

A common problem museums face is fragmented data across a variety of systems. Ad hoc integration is often costly, fragile to institutional change, and limiting to project scope. To address these issues, the Art Institute of Chicago has built a data hub: an intermediary system that collects data from disparate sources, harmonizes it, and makes it searchable through a single, normalized API. Here, we will discuss the architectural and collaborative considerations involved in building such systems, some techniques for doing so, and the strategic and tactical benefits they can bring.