To a large degree, our existing applications support discovery and access but do not address digital preservation needs – the management of the digital object over time. The storage model for our digital library collections has also not included digital preservation requirements, such as support for mitigation of format obsolescence, replication, and tiered storage strategies. Managing digital assets across their entire life span is thus a key goal of our program.
The results of the platform review reinforced our determination to develop a new architecture and platform to support needs not currently being met – foremost amongst these being the deposit of scholarly content, research data, and electronic business records from the University Archives. We initiated the Curation Architecture Prototype Services (CAPS) project this month with a projected four-month period for the prototype phase. The platform is based on a service-oriented architecture model, and entails the development of “microservices” – atomistic services to support functionalities such as “ingest,” “store,” “replicate,” or “annotate,” for example.
CAPS, in short, is a curation tool for ingest and management — description, versioning, audit, and storage — of digital objects. What we’ve developed during the prototype phase (12/2010 – 03/2011) is a Django-based web application that allows curators to ingest digital objects and metadata into a curation environment — where we define digital object as one or more files of any type, the idea being that curators are free to define what constitutes a digital object for their needs. The microservices we have developed so far are Python modules but we’re looking at service frameworks, such as HTTP REST and OpenSRF (XMPP), for scalability and separation of application and service layers.
- Electronic records ingest & management
- Electronic thesis & dissertation workflow
- Public browse/exhibit/search application
- Back-end scalability & performance testing
- Retention periods
- Event logging service
- Notification service
- Routine audits
- Object versioning/difference views
- Exposure of objects and metadata via the linked data pattern
- “Frameworkizing” the curation services
- Format migration tools
- Digital object & collection usage statistics and reporting for curators
- Controlled vocabulary/ontology management
- Rights, access control, and authorization for digital objects
- Publication of digital objects from ingest applications to display/exhibit applications (including legacy applications)