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Osteoware: Standardized Skeletal Documentation Software

Osteoware: Standardized Skeletal Documentation Software

Installing & Using Osteoware

How do you Install and use Osteoware?

Osteoware requires a computer with a Microsoft® operating system (XPTM, VistaTM, or Windows 7TM); however it will run on a Macintosh® computer with OS 10.5 or later using a Boot CampTM utility partition, or on Parallels Desktop® virtual operating system software for the Mac.

Operating System logos: Windows, Macintosh, Parallels

Technical Specifications

  • Requires Microsoft operating system, or Intel Macintosh running Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop.
  • Simple installation of the data entry system and database on stand alone computers.
  • Simultaneous access/data entry by up to five workstations on a networked server.
  • Powerful structured query language (SQL) database searches for meta-analyses.

The installation of Osteoware is simple to accomplish. Just unzip the software download and drag the Osteoware folder onto you C:\ drive, making sure that you do not inadvertently place it inside one of the other system folders. Go into the Osteoware folder and scroll to find the ProtMenu2.exe file. This is the executable file that starts Osteoware (Protocol and the derivative ProtMenu is the original name of the Smithsonian version of the program). To create a desktop shortcut, right-click on the ProtMenu2.exe file and choose ‘Create shortcut’, and then rename it ‘Osteoware’ with the version number for easy recognition. Go to the Downloads page for the software and supporting documents, including more complete installation instructions and the User Manuals.

Osteoware on a network drive

The Osteoware database can be installed on a networked server allowing simultaneous access and data entry by up to five user workstations. To network the database open the Protocol.ini file that resides in the Osteoware folder and change the following line in the code to a network location of your choice: dir=C:\OSTEOWARE\PROTDATA\

This is important: make sure to drag/copy the ProtData folder from the Osteoware folder to the new network location because it contains the database tables. If your institution has IT support they will be able to assist you with the network path. See the full installation instructions for more information.

What is a Database Management System?

The Osteoware program is the data entry interface ‘front end’ between the user and the Structured Query Language (SQL) database ‘backend’. It is only half the story. Efficient extraction of data from the Osteoware database requires a Database Management System (DBMS). The current DBMS used with Osteoware is Sybase® Advantage Data ArchitectTM version 9.1, which is available as a freeware download (see the link in the Downloads section). The Advantage DBMS is not required to enter data into the database itself, therefore the database administrator may not wish to install it on all computers in a teaching or lab context in order to restrict access to valuable aggregate data.

How do you Install Advantage Data Architect?

Go to the Downloads section and click on the Advantage Data Architect link. This will take you to a Sybase webpage where you may download Advantage Data Architect 9.1. Double click on the Advantage arc32.exe and follow the installation directions. You may need to be an administrator on your computer. If you have any difficulties, consult your institution’s IT support. More detailed setup instructions are provided in the Downloads section of the Osteoware website.

The Advantage Data Architect displaying the complete list of Osteoware data tables to the left in the Connection Repository, the AGESEX.ADT table open in the background, and the SQL Utility window open in the foreground containing a simple query to extract data for females over 15 years of age (>=16 MinAge).

How do you extract data from the database?

Osteoware utilizes a relational database environment which requires the use of SQL to write queries to accurately and reliably extract data. It is beyond the scope of this website to provide a comprehensive SQL resource; however do not be intimidated. SQL is very easy to learn and is a powerful skill to possess. The following web resources are available: (provides a list of SQL resources) (has an introductory SQL tutorial) (contains other interactive SQL tutorials)

In brief, a SQL query is composed of nothing more than Select, From, and Where statements, as seen in the screenshot; the Order By statement is not required. More powerful query statements ‘join’ tables based on a unique identifier (usually the Catkey) so that data may be extracted from two or more tables at once for subsequent meta-analyses. Do not hesitate to post SQL questions in the Osteoware forum.