Digital Archiving and Retrieval Tool

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Digital Archiving and Retrieval Tool

The Digital Archiving and Retrieval Tool (DART) is a system which allows files to be archived over multiple storage resources, helping to ensure that the files are stored for long-term use. Consisting of a server module and multiple clients, it strives to make the process of archiving and documenting files as easy as possible for design engineers.


Problem Domain

  • Engineers do not always archive and fully document their projects
  • Some data is not archived and if it is it may only be stored on one machine
  • Relevant metadata such as particular installed programs and running processes need to be captured
  • The system needs to be easy to maintain and update when necessary
  • The server should be accessible by many different clients and use a protocol that is easy to understand
  • Engineers may not be willing to use an additional application if it interrupts their workflow

Project Objectives

  • Design an application system which makes archiving and documenting all stages of the design process as easy as possible
  • Backup data in as many storage resources and computers as possible to ensure data redundancy
  • Capture relevant metadata such as the installed programs and running processes
  • Use a modular approach for the client and server applications which may make them easier to maintain and expand
  • Use the XML SOAP protocol, a textual, human-readable protocol that is also a W3C Recommendation, for communication between the client and server
  • Aim for a simple user interface to make the system easy to learn Project Page

DART is hosted on The link to its project page can be found here.


  • The DART desktop client is used by design engineers and others who wish to archive the files of their projects. It runs on Windows 2000 and above.
  • The DART Pro/E client integrates with the Windows version of the CAD program Pro/ENGINEER, making the process of archiving easier for Windows users of Pro/E.


The DART server is used by system administrators who are in charge of providing user accounts, projects, and storage space to users and users who wish to download their files and view project information. It also features a web-based client, which works on modern browsers.