apART reflects the structure of an open, distributed environment. According to the general trend in the area of imaging, network-capable, general purpose workstations with capabilities of open system image communication and image input are used. Several heterogeneous components like CCD cameras, slide scanners, and image archives can be accessed. The system is driven by an object-oriented user interface where devices (image sources and destinations), operators (derived from a commercial image processing library), and images (of different data types) are managed and presented uniformly to the user. Browsing mechanisms are used to traverse devices, operators, and images. An audit trail mechanism is offered to record interactive operations on low-resolution image derivatives. These operations are processed off-line on the original image. Thus, the processing of extremely high-resolution raster images is possible, and the performance of resolution dependent operations is enhanced significantly during interaction. An object-oriented database system (APRIL), which can be browsed, is integrated into the system. Attribute retrieval is supported by the user interface. Other essential features of the system include: implementation on top of the X Window System (X11R4) and the OSF/Motif widget set; a SUN4 general purpose workstation, inclusive ethernet, magneto optical disc, etc., as the hardware platform for the user interface; complete graphical-interactive parametrization of all operators; support of different image interchange formats (GIF, TIFF, IIF, etc.); consideration of current IPI standard activities within ISO/IEC for further refinement and extensions.