APS is a museum software that stores the contents of your collection as XML documents in a relational database. This way we avoid the one major drawback of relational databases, while still enjoying the benefits.
The problem with relational databases is that they come structured in a certain way, meaning that there are a number of predefined data fields. Usually, users are unable to create new fields or change existing ones. This means that relational databases are much less flexible with regard to changes in the data structure.
For example, if you are working on a collection database on paintings. A relational database would maybe allow you to enter the artist’s name for each painting. That might work for many paintings. But what if you came across a painting where one artist painted over the work of another artist? Or a painting on which two artists collaborated?
Your database would not allow you to enter this information in a scientifically correct way. You would have to ask the developer to change the database structure. But with APS, you can go ahead and just create the data fields you need to store the information about the painting underneath the original painting or about the second artist.
APS gives you all the flexibility you will ever need to store the data of your collection in the scientifically correct way. It is possible to create new data fields or change existing ones without programming skills. You are not stuck with a certain data structure, but instead you are free to change it to suit your needs.
Another advantage of APS is that you can import and export xml data directly to and from your database.