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Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History


This CMS is meant to provide an efficient way to manage exhibitions, people, objects and related media with metadata. There's a simple API layer to enable syncing functionality for mobile applications.

Installation guide:

Ruby version

Ruby v2.0+ is recommended.

System dependencies

A robust server isn't required as API calls are cached via Redis. Use your favorite web and application server for Ruby on Rails.

Other system dependencies:

  • PostgreSQL
  • ImageMagick
  • ffmpegthumbnailer
  • Redis
  • RubyGems
  • Bundler gem (sudo gem install bundler)
  • bundle install in the app directory for all required RubyGems to be installed


Copy/rename application.sample.yml to application.yml in /config directory. Edit the following settings in the file:

  • S3 configuration: s3_bucket/s3_key/s3_secret are self-explanatory. s3_hash_secret is a salt hash used to encode uploaded file names. Generate any long hash you prefer (eg. md5).
  • api_token/api_secret: used to secure API calls. Generate any hashes you'd like here (eg. md5). Both of these will need to be implemented by your mobile applications for safe communication.
  • MailChimp configuration: Enter your MailChip account API key and mailbox id to add submitted email addresses. End users are subscribed via an API call. Mobile applications need to implement this API call for this to function.
  • GitHub Configuration: This line points to this github repo, when you fork/clone/whatever this to a new repo change this url

Database creation

Copy/rename database.sample.yml to database.yml in /config directory. Edit the file to reflect your database settings.

Database initialization

Run rake db:migrate once database configuration is complete.

Cron Jobs

Run whenever -w to generate and write the required crontab for you. Simply run whenever to see the output without automatic crontab edit.

Admin user account

To create the first admin, do the following:

  • rails c - to enter the Rails console
  • admin = - create a new Admin entry
  • = '' - configure email
  • admin.password = 'password' - configure password
  • - save new Admin entry
  • exit - exit the console

Once you have an admin account you can add additional admins through the website:

  • Login
  • Click on "Admins"
  • Click "New Admin"
  • Enter their email and an initial password (I reccoment you have them change this initial password the first time they log in)
  • Click "Create Admin"


  • Currently the application does not send an email to the new admin
  • All admins have the same permission level, so every admin can do everything including adding more admins.


A content management system for CMOA mobile applications







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