HEURIST is an extremely flexible data management system designed specifically for Humanities data (see http://HeuristNetwork.org). It is available as a free web service for researchers (hosted at the University of Sydney Data Centre) or for local installation (Open Source). Any confident researcher can design, create, manage, analyse, visualise and publish their own richly-structured database(s) through a simple web interface, without programmers or consultants.
Simple databases can be built in minutes and quite complex databases in a few hours through borrowing structures and vocabularies published by other users. Databases can be designed and built incrementally - starting simple and then adding new structures as a project develops - as existing data are not affected by changes in structure.
Advanced features include record linking, drilldown facet searches, rule-based queries, custom reports, linked map-timelines, network visualisation, normalised spreadsheet import, crosstabulation, XML feeds, XSLT transforms.
Heurist is applicable in many domains including History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Cultural Research, Linguistics, Media Studies etc. It handles everything from text, tags and categories, through networks of rich relationships and offset annotations, to images, video, spatial data and dating (including non-western systems and dating uncertainty).
Sophisticated searches (including faceted and rule-based) can be saved, organised and rendered as layered interactive maps, timelines, network visualisations, crosstabulations, lists, custom reports, XML and XSLT transforms, all of which can easily be printed or embedded (live) in a website - Heurist provides the html code required to embed results in a web page or CMS.
Databases can easily be migrated later to a personal or institutional server. Since the data are stored in a standard MySQL database with a fixed and well-documented structure, the data can be accessed directly via SQL from most programming languages independently of Heurist.
Version 4.2 (Jan 2016 onwards) is available as a service via the Heurist website. Version 4 delivers a user-customisable interface of widgets, along with better mapping and visualisation. Existing version 3 databases are bidirectionally compatible with version 4.