Fedora plus Sakai, Any Interest?

There was a time when I was moving in both the worlds of the Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment and the Fedora Commons digital content repository. It seemed like a good idea to bring these two worlds together — Fedora as a content repository for Sakai learning objects. Back in 2006, I logged a ticket in Sakai’s tracker to see if anyone was interested. This morning I got notification that they are thinking of closing the ticket.

Disseminators As the Core of an Object Repository

I’ve been working to get JBoss Seam tied into Fedora, and along the way thought it would be wise to stop and document a core concept of this integration: the centrality of Fedora Disseminators in the the design of the Ohio Digital Resource Commons. Although there is nothing specific to JBoss Seam (a Java Enterprise Edition application framework) in these concepts, making an object “render itself” does make the Seam-based interface application easier to code and understand. A disseminator-centric architecture also allows us to put our code investment where it matters the most — in the repository framework — and exploit that investment in many places. So what does it mean to have a disseminator-centric architecture and have objects “render themselves”?

Presentation Summary: “MPTStore: Implementing a fast, scalable, and stable RDBMS-backed triplestore for Fedora and the NSDL”

Chris Wilper gave this presentation on behalf of the work that he and Aaron Birkland did to improve the performance of the Fedora Resource Index.

Version 2.0 of the Fedora digital object repository software added a feature called the Resource Index (RI). Based on Resource Description Framework (RDF) triples, the RI provided quick access to relationships between objects as well as to the descriptive elements of the object itself. After about two years of use using the Kowari software, the RI has pointed to a number of challenges for “triplestores”: scalability (few triplestores are designed for greater than 100 million triples); performance; and stability (frequent “rebuilds”).

A Vision for FEDORA’s Future, an Implementation Plan to Get There, and a Project Update

This morning, Sandy Payette of Cornell University and FEDORA project co-director, gave an update on the FEDORA project including a statement of a vision for FEDORA’s future, information about the emerging FEDORA Commons non-profit, and a status report/roadmap for the software itself. Below is a summary based on my notes of Sandy’s comments and slide content.

Vision for FEDORA’s Future

From her perspective, Sandy sees many kinds of projects using FEDORA, and she sees them fall into these general categories: Scholarly Workbenches — capturing, managing and publishing the process of scholarship; Linking Data and Publications — complex objects built up of relationships with different types of internal and external objects; Reviews and Annotations of Objects — blogs and wikis on top of information spaces; collaborations surrounding a repository object; and Museum Exhibits with K-12 Lesson Plans.

Open Repositories Presentation: Building an IR Interface Using EJB3 and JBoss Seam

Below is the outline of the Ohio DRC presentation from today’s FEDORA session at Open Repositories conference. Comments welcome!

Building an Institutional Repository Interface Using EJB3 and JBoss Seam

This tour is designed to show the overall architecture of a FEDORA digital object repository application within the JBoss Seam framework while at the same time pointing out individual design decisions and extension points that are specific to the Ohio Digital Resource Commons application. Geared towards software developers, a familiarity with Java Servlet programming is assumed, although not required. Knowledge of JBoss Seam, Hibernate/Java Persistence API, EJB3 and Java EE would be helpful but not required; brief explanations of core concepts of these technologies are included in this tour.

The tour is based on revision 709 of /drc/trunk and was last updated on 18-Jan-2007.

Looking Forward to Version 2.2 of FEDORA

Sandy Payette, Co-Director of the Fedora Project and Researcher in the Cornell Information Science department, announced a tentative date for the release 2.2 of the FEDORA digital object repository.

The Fedora development team would like to announce that Fedora 2.2 will be released on Friday, January 19, 2007.

This new release will contain many significant new features and enhancements, including [numbers added to the original for the sake of subsequent commentary]:

  1. Fedora repository is now a web application (.war) that can be installed in any container
  2. Fedora authentication has been refactored to use servlet filters (no longer Tomcat realms)

Java Application for Batch Processing FEDORA Objects

We had a need today to transform an XML file with a custom DTD into Dublin Core; the custom XML file is a datastream in our FEDORA repository and we want to put the Dublin Core XML file back into the FEDORA object as the DC datastream. This took a slew of technologies and techniques: reading a datastream out of the FEDORA repository using API-A, parsing XML documents using the Java DOM library, creating a new document with the correct namespaces using Java DOM, and modifying the DC datastream in the repository using API-M.

Sakai gets JSR-170 support; possible integration point with FEDORA?

Earlier this year, I was on a quest to hook a FEDORA content repository into the Sakai collaboration and learning environment. What looked at first to be a fairly easy integration turned out to be rather complicated and I set the project aside for another time. Today brings word from Ian Boston of a JSR-170 implementation in Sakai:

Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries to build a consortial repository using FEDORA

On Friday, the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries announced the creation of a consortium-wide digital repository project similar to that of the Ohio Digital Resource Commons.

Colorado Alliance Digital Repository Project Approved


The Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has approved initial funding for a consortium-wide digital repository project at its October 19, 2006 meeting.

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has approved initial funding for a consortium-wide digital repository project at its October 19, 2006 meeting. The project will use the Fedora open source software which was selected after a long evaluation process by the Institutional Repository Implementation Team, chaired by John Culshaw from the University of Colorado at Boulder.