[CSG Fall 2005] Long Workshop on Repositories: Fedora update

Tim Sigmon from UVa is leading off with an update on the Fedora repository. Tim’s slides are here.

The repository functionality exposes a number of APIs through web services: management, access, search, index search, and an OAI provider. Authn and Authz modules will be coming out in release 2.1, at the end of this month.

Different diseminators “vend out” different views of an object – for instance, a gif and a tif of the same image.

Version 2.0 is the current version, came out in Jan 2005. It changed the underlying description of storage to an XML description called FOXML. They also added representation of object-to-object relationships with an RDF schema – that’s the “resource index”. For instance you can store that objects are members of a collection. The RI search allows querying of those relationships.

In 2.1 they’re converting from a Mozilla license to an ECL license. It will have Authentication Plugins for Tomcat user/password, LDAP, or Radius, and an Authorization model using XML-based policies written in XACML. Policies can be repository-wide or on specific objects. There will be a Policy Builder Client with a simple UI to create access policies that will generate the XACML. They’re also adding a Directory Ingest Service and client tool to facilitate ingest of hierarchical directories and zip or jar files. The tools will allow automatic representation of that hierarchy in Fedora.

Fedora was not built with an easy UI in mind – it was built as a repository that applications could be built on top of. But development will begin this fall on an web-based Institutional Repository client.

They’re planning a lot of work on federating repositories. Shibboleth implementation is almost done.

VTLS is offering commercial support for Fedora, and have done a bunch of work on enhancements, including making Fedora repositories visible to Google searching.


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