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Technical consultation

One of the action points from the meeting last week was for Mike, Peter and I to liaise in order to fully describe the technical questions that we need to address for ACErep; rather than do this by email, it seems expedient to do it openly via the blog which will also give other members of the team an opportunity to contribute – depending what we get here I can still try to summarise more formally if necessary.

From a Leeds Met perspective:

  • Our repository is intraLibrary which is based on IEEE LOM metadata
  • We use SRU (Search and Retrieve by URL) to search intraLibrary from our Open Search interface
  • intraLibrary also supports SRW
  • The system supports metadata harvesting via OAI-PMH
  • We can also expose resources via RSS (though there are one or two caveats to the flexibility of system generated RSS – see http://repositorynews.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/really-not-so-simple-syndication/).
  • intraLibrary also supports the most recent version of the SWORD protocol (1.3)

Our VLE is Blackboard Vista (branded as X-stream) for which we have a PowerLink that enables users to search the repository from within the VLE when building a course and link directly to resources; however we intend to upgrade to version 9.1 (when?) for which we will need to write a new “Building Block” to perform the same job.

In the first instance, then, we need to establish which of these technologies/standards are also supported by the respective repository systems of Leeds (DigiTool) and York St John (Archivalware) and also whether they support any additional technologies that might be useful to the project.  It would also be useful to know about the VLEs and if/how they are integrated with the repositories.

Anyone got anything to add?

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  1. May 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    The stuff we need to understand is mostly around the repository and I think you touch on all these points in the context of the Leeds Met repository (intraLibrary).

    The general questions are:

    How can the repository expose content? This could be harvesting (OAI-PMH would be a standard way of doing that) or searching (SRU/SRW would be a way of doing this). RSS feeds could also be included in this. We are only really interested if a standard technology is being used but in the absence of that, how does the repository do this.

    Having got the content in what formats can it (and its metadata) be made available? IMS content packages, SCORM 1.2/2004? Is the metadata in Dublin Core, LOM or something else? Having (hopefully) established technical interoperability we will need to compare people’s application profiles but this is a more detailed exercise and will come later when we go into detailed requirements gathering.

    In terms of remote deposit we are really asking if it supports SWORD or not (and which flavour? 1.2 or 1.3). If it doesn’t support SWORD is there any remote deposit facility? Assuming there is such a facility, SWORD or otherwise, are there any restrictions to the content that can be deposited in terms of content packages, single files, metadata. We’d expect the same standards as mentioned above to appear here as well.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Helen Westmancoat
    May 21, 2010 at 8:59 am

    For York St John’s ArchivalWare we shall post a more detailed comment as soon as we can. Metadata is Dublin Core and harvesting is via OAI-PMH, but we need to ask some more questions of our suppliers concerning other technical issues. They are also looking at developing a SWORD interface for us and quoting for that based on 1.3 but we’ve not had anything back yet. We are moving to Moodle as our VLE from September 2010.

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