Digital Archiving and Retrieval Tool desktop client

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The Digital Archiving and Retrieval Tool (DART) client is an open-source client application with the purpose of automatically archiving files by communicating with the DART server along with other important information. The current version is Employing a version control system, the Archiving Tool offers an alternative to popular revision control applications such as Subversion and CVS.



The design processes of mechanical engineering projects are often not captured when engineers are working on a project. Hence, this application aims to capture the design process in the least obstrusive ways possible by automatically archiving CAD and other relevant files of a team of engineers to a version control system. Considering that engineers often use propietary file formats such as DWG and Pro/ENGINEER, the Archiving Tool also incorporates the ability to convert these formats into STEP and other file formats, especially open source formats.

Designed to require as little effort as possible from the engineers, the Archiving Tool differs from Subversion and CVS in that the clients of these tools require all deletes and additions of files be explicitely stated to the client. The Archiving Tool does not require these file operations to be stated and can detect the occurence of these operations. However, the Archiving Tool does create a hidden folder which stores the version information of the files like Subversion and requires the user to leave the contents of the folder alone.


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The DART client uses a BSD-style license.


The DART client is written with the .NET Framework in the C# programming language and the Windows API. The installer uses the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System for the Windows installer.

Repository Access

Utilizing Java servlets as the core functionality of the back-end, the CAD Data Archiving Tool Server allows for the stored file versions to be downloaded and viewed with a web browser. Most projects allow public read access and thus can be accessed without logging on as a user. The list of projects stored on the GICL web server can be accessed at the following web page. Files