Foundation, the University of Virginia Library announces the release of an
open-source digital object repository management system. The Fedora
Project, a joint effort of the University of Virginia and Cornell
University, has now made available the first version of a system based on
the Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture, originally
developed at Cornell.
Fedora repositories can provide the foundation for a variety of information
management schemes, not least among them digital library systems. At the
University of Virginia, Fedora is being used to build a large-scale digital
library that will soon have millions of digital resources of all media and
content types. It is also currently being tested by a consortium of
institutions that include the Library of Congress, Northwestern University,
Tufts University, and others. They are building testbeds drawn from their
own digital collections that they will use to evaluate the software and
give feedback to the project.
This first version of the software is designed to support a repository
containing one million objects using freely available software. It fully
implements the Fedora architecture, provides the first version of a
graphical user interface to manage the repository, and provides facilities
to create and ingest batches of objects. The software has the following key
Management API (API-M) - defines an interface for administering the
repository. It includes operations necessary for clients to create and
maintain digital objects and their components. API-M is implemented as a
SOAP-enabled web service.
Access API (API-A) - defines an interface for accessing digital objects
stored in the repository. It includes operations necessary for clients to
perform disseminations on objects in the repository and to discover
information about an object using object reflection. API-A is implemented
as a SOAP-enabled web service.
Access-Lite API (API-A-Lite) - defines a streamlined version of the Fedora
Access Service that is implemented as an HTTP-enabled web service.
Datastreams - Objects in a repository may contain content and metadata
(i.e. datastreams) that physically reside inside the repository or outside
the repository. The Fedora repository system supports content of any MIME
XML Submission and Storage - Fedora digital objects conform to an extension
of the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), described at
http://www.loc.gov/standards/mets/. Objects can be submitted to the
repository in XML format. Also, digital objects are persistently stored in
the repository as XML files. The Fedora extension of the METS schema can be
found at http://www.fedora.info/definitions/1/0/mets-fedora-ext.xsd.
Versioning - The Fedora repository system includes the infrastructure to
support versioning of digital objects and their components. This feature
will be available in Release 1.2, projected for Fall 2003.
Access Control and Authentication - Release 1.0 includes a simple form of
access control to provide access restrictions based on IP address. IP range
restriction is supported in both the Management and Access APIs. In
addition, the Management API is protected by HTTP Basic Authentication.
Release 2.0 will provide Shibboleth-based authentication and authorization,
XML-based policy expression, and enforcement of fine-grained access control
Disseminators - Digital objects can be associated with a set of behaviors
and a service that runs those behaviors. This provides an extensible
mechanism for transforming or presenting the object's digital content.
Default Disseminator - The Default Disseminator is a built-in internal
disseminator on every object that provides a system-defined behavior
mechanism for disseminating the basic contents of an object.
Searching - Selected system metadata fields are indexed along with the
primary Dublin Core record for each object. The Fedora repository system
provides a search interface for both full text and field-specific queries
across these metadata fields.
OAI Metadata Harvesting Provider - The OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
is a standard for sharing metadata across repositories. Every Fedora
digital object has a primary Dublin Core record that conforms to the schema
at: http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai_dc.xsd. This metadata is
accessible using the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, v2.0.
- Batch Utility - The Fedora repository system includes a Batch Utility as
part of the Management client that enables the mass creation and loading of
Fedora is being made available as an open-source product under a Mozilla
Public License. For more information and to download the software, visit