Managing Resources in Arches

What Are Resources?

Resources are what we call “database records”. Are you using Arches to create an inventory of historic buildings? In the Arches, each one of those buildings will be recorded as a resource. It can have its own name, architectural style, location, etc.

What Are Resource Models and Branches?

A central tenant of Arches’ design has always been the ability to divide your inventory into distinct categories. For example, you may want to inventory buildings, as well as the architects that designed them. You would want two different categories: one called “Building” and another called “Architect”. In Arches v4, we are calling these categories Resource Models. Using different Resource Models allows you to record distinct sets of information for Buildings as compared to Architects, even though all of the records are stored together in your single Arches database.

You can define these Resource Models within the Arches app itself, and to make this process easier we’ve added an intermediary concept called Branches. These are modular components that, after being created separately, may be added to any Resource Models you already have.

Consider the following example: You need to create a Building Resource Model and an Architect Resource Model. For resources of both types you will need to record a name. However, for the buildings you’d like to record building materials, while the architects should get some biographical information. Thus, we are talking about two new Resource Models (Building, Architect) and three new Branches (Name, Materials, Biography). You will make all five entities, and then add the appropriate Branches to the appropriate Resource Models.


Managing Resource Models and Branches happens in the Arches Designer, and to enter this part of the system you must have the appropriate permissions. Once you have logged in, choose MANAGE DATA from the Arches home page, and find the Arches Designer in the left side-bar menu. You are now ready to create, modify, and remove Resource Models and Branches.