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Next Major Release: DSpace 7.0

DSpace 7.0 is under current development. The latest status of that work can be found at DSpace Release 7.0 Status. If you wish to help with development, consider joining the DSpace 7 Working Group.

Specific Release Information

If you are looking for information regarding specific releases of DSpace, especially past releases, also see our Releases page.

The latest stable release is DSpace 6.x. For more information, see the DSpace 6 Release Notes


Background 

This Technical RoadMap is based on the DSpace 2015-18 Strategic Plan - Technology and the Use Case Analysis produced by the DSpace RoadMap Working Group in April/May of 2015. The DSpace RoadMap Working Group consists of the members of DCAT, Committers and Steering Group: Tim Donohue (Lead, DuraSpace), Stuart Lewis (Edinburgh), Bram Luyten (@mire), Jonathan Markow (DuraSpace), Michele Mennielli (CINECA),  Richard Rodgers (MIT), Ryan Steans (Texas Digital Library), Maureen Walsh (Ohio State).

While it is a living document, it was initially presented at both OR15 (week of June 8), and OAI9 (week of June 15).

Since 2015, ongoing Strategic Planning activities have taken place in DSpace Steering & Leadership Group Meetings.

How to get involved

Candidate Features for DSpace 7.0 - Priority 1

The DSpace 7.0 release is under development and the latest status can be found at DSpace Release 7.0 Status. The below candidate features are ordered in terms of importance to the 7.0 release. As such, the goal is to achieve each feature in the order that they appear (and not all features are guaranteed to be completed in time for 7.0). However, if you or your institution would like to drive or lead the development of a specific feature, you are welcome to volunteer your time towards any of the candidate features listed, no matter where that feature ranks in the listing. For larger features/contributions, we recommend first forming a Working Group (anyone can chair or form a Working Group) to allow other institutions to contribute to your initiative.

Priority 1 FeaturesDesign / NotesRelated Technical Strategic Goal(s)Core?ComplexityUse CasesWork in Progress?

Single User Interface. 
(Work has begun in DSpace 7 Working Group)

DSpace currently maintains two user interfaces in parallel (JSPUI and XMLUI). To replace these two user interfaces, we are building a new, single, out-of-the-box user interface on Angular.io.

Goal 2: Lean and flexiblexHigh

For reference:

Also see: DSpace 7 UI Project Plain Language Summary

(tick)

Standards-based REST API
(Work has begun in DSpace 7 Working Group)

DSpace's current REST API, while functional, is limited in features and does not follow current best practices for RESTful APIs.

To support the new, single user interface (on Angular.io), we are building / designing a new REST API that follows modern best practices such as: HATEOASALPS, and using the HAL response format.

The new REST API is being built using Spring technologies (Boot, MVC, and HATEOAS).

Goal 3: Can be "extended"

and

Goal 4: Integration with external services

xHigh

New REST Contract (work in progress):

(tick)

Single Approval Workflow system.
(Work has begun in DSpace 7 Working Group)

DSpace currently has two approval workflow systems:

  1. Basic/Traditional Approval Workflows. These are enabled by default, and provide up to three approval steps: "Approve/Reject", "Approve/Reject/Edit", or "Edit". These are described in more detail in the Functional Overview#WorkflowSteps
  2. Configurable Workflow (XMLUI only, and requires migrating all Basic/Traditional workflows)

We should consolidate on a single Approval Workflow system, likely the Configurable Workflow, with sane defaults.

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxMedium

DS-3041 - Getting issue details... STATUS

(tick)

Single built-in Statistical Engine (SOLR Statistics


COMPLETE: Elasticsearch Usage Statistics were deprecated in 6.0 and have already been removed from the 7.0 codebase.

DSpace currently has three built-in statistical engines, one based on Apache Solr (default), another based on Elasticsearch (optional), and a third Legacy statistics (which parses logs). DSpace should only provide one out-of-the-box, built-in statistical engine (Solr Statistics), and all others should be removed (and as necessary, their features merged into one).
Goal 2: Lean and flexiblexMedium

DS-3455 - Getting issue details... STATUS

 (tick)

Configurations in Admin User Interface

DSpace should support the modification of most configurations/settings from the Administrative User Interface, instead of requiring such configurations be tweaked from command line.
  • Dependent on / related to "Single User Interface"
Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"xHigh

Non-functional: Module Framework and Registry

DSpace needs a clear definition of what constitutes a "DSpace module", so that third-parties can create, maintain and distribute their own "modules" as add-ons to DSpace, and distribute them via a public "registry".

Goal 3: Can be "extended"xHigh  

Lower the effort to deposit content (via integrations). (Work has begun in DSpace 7 Working Group, via the new deposit UI)

The DSpace deposit process should integrate more closely with external data sources, in order to automatically populate (or suggest) data on deposit. We should also investigate whether some integrations may allow opportunities for Administrator's to autopopulate DSpace from trusted, external content sources.

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IR

Goal 4: Integration with external services

xMedium (tick)

Short Term - Priority 2

As "priority 2" features, these features are less likely to be implemented in the next DSpace release, but are still seen as a priority in an upcoming release. Nonetheless, we'd encourage community members to volunteer to help achieve any of these features. If there is community interest in moving one or more of these features forward, that feature may be moved up to "priority 1" for the next release.  These features are ordered in terms of importance, but are all considered to be lower importance than the "priority 1" features listed above.

Priority 2 FeaturesDesign / NotesRelated Technical Strategic Goal(s)Core?ComplexityUse CasesWork in Progress?
Hierarchical Metadata Support
DSpace should support hierarchical metadata formats (e.g. MODS)Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxHigh

Relationships between Objects

(Work has begun in DSpace 7 Entities Working Group)

DSpace should support defining relationships between objects (especially at the Item and Bitstream level). Some object relationships may be definable via metadata, but should be respected by the DSpace UI.  But, in other situations, it may also necessitate the creation of new types of Objects (e.g. Author objects as Authors of an Item rather than simply textual metadata)

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxHigh(tick)

Simplify Community and Collection Hierarchy

DSpace's required hierarchy of Communities and Collections should be replaced with a more flexible module of supporting Collections & Sub-Collections.

Goal 2: Lean and flexiblexHigh

Enhance Basic Statistical Reporting

DSpace's existing Statistical Reporting user interfaces are rudimentary and do not provide enough useful views/reports/exports of the underlying captured data. These should be enhanced based on modern use cases/needs.
  • Primary use case description: Basic Statistics (and all child pages)
  • This would likely be depending on the "Single User Interface" project for much of the enhancements, as many of these reports are UI related.
Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxMedium

 


Enhance Basic Preservation
DSpace's existing basic preservation functions (format identification, checksum verification, etc) could use enhancement based on modern tools and services.
  • See linked use cases for more details of possible enhancements to existing basic preservation functionality
Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxMedium

Easy and Intuitive Deposit Interface

(Work has begun in DSpace 7 Working Group, via the new deposit UI)

DSpace's deposit interface could use enhancement for a better overall user experience with regards to usability and accessibility.
  • Dependent on / related to "Single User Interface"
  • Primary use case description: Easy and Intuitive Deposit Interface
  • May need further definition around what sorts of changes will make deposit easier?

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IR

xMedium(tick)

Longer Term Features / Priorities

While these features are unscheduled at this time, we still encourage volunteers to begin to analyze or tackle them. If there is interest in moving one or more of these features forward in the nearterm, we can immediately schedule it for an upcoming release.  These features are unordered, but are all considered priorities for DSpace moving forward.

FeaturesDesign / NotesRelated Technical Strategic Goal(s)Core?ComplexityUse Cases

Non-functional: Easier Installation

While DSpace's installation process continues to improve, it is still highly manual in nature. We should investigate ways to provide an "easy installer" which could potentially even auto-install and configure prerequisites such as Tomcat, Postgres, etc.
  • Dependent on some Priority 1 features (e.g. Single UI, Configs in Admin UI)
Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"x
  • There was an older Installer Prototype which attempted some of this, but was not successful. It may be worth revisiting that prior work/experience, if just for use cases.
  • Ability to perform an installation from a CD/DVD or offline is also of importance to institutions where network speeds are lower (mentioned at OAI9 in Geneva in 2015)
  • Vision: Installing DSpace could mean simply installing its UI. Once the UI is installed, you would be prompted to optionally install plugin(s) which enable OAI, SWORD, REST, etc.

Non-functional: Easier Upgrade Process

While DSpace's upgrade process continues to improve, it is still complex with regards to local customizations or theme changes. We should investigate of simplifying the upgrade process, by alleviate the manual process of merging in local changes/tweaks where possible.
  • Dependent on some Priority 1 features (e.g. Single UI, Configs in Admin UI
  • Could be helped by "Theme management in Admin UI"
Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"x

Advanced Usage Statistics

DSpace currently only provides basic statististical reporting functionality. We should investigate ways to provide enhanced, highly detailed reports for users who need them. Likely, this will be implemented as an optional module available via a module registry.
  • Likely an optional module or external integration, therefore it may be dependent on a "Module Framework" being developed
  • Ranked very highly in 2013-14 Vision Survey
Goal 3: Can be "extended"
High

Theme management in Admin UI

While DSpace currently supports some basic theming in the XMLUI interface, management of such themes is performed via command-line configurations and tweaks. We should find a way to make Themes selectable and tweakable via the Admin UI, like other modern web facing systems.

  • Dependent on "Single User Interface"
  • Could be highly beneficial to "Easier Upgrade Process" in that theme management is a huge pain point of the existing upgrade process
  • Ranked lower in 2013-14 Vision Survey
Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"
High

Enhance Versioning

DSpace provides an optional, basic Item versioning capability. However, this versioning capability is limited in nature, and not yet fully integrated into all DSpace tools and interfaces. We should find a way to enhance item versioning, and make it more embedded into the system (and API) overall.
  • Ranked lower in 2013-14 Vision Survey
Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRxHigh

Replace Bundle object with Metadata (or similar)

In DSpace, a "Bundle" object is just a simple grouping of Files (Bitstreams) (e.g. "THUMBNAIL", "TEXT"). Rather than being its own object, a "bundle" could be more easily replaced with metadata on individual Bitstreams (e.g. dc.type="thumbnail"), or even relationships between Bitstreams (i.e. derivative objects).

  • Primary use case description: Structure - purpose of bundle layer
  • May also be dependent on or related to "Relationships between Objects" project
  • Also see alignment with PCDM, which simply uses metadata on files
Goal 2: Lean and flexiblexMedium

Advanced Preservation

DSpace currently only provides basic preservation tools (format identification, checksum verification, etc) out-of-the-box. We should investigate providing enhanced preservation options (or integrations) for users who need it. Likely, this will be implemented as an optional module available via a module registry.
  • Likely an optional module or external integration, therefore it may be dependent on a "Module Framework" being developed
  • Ranked lower in 2013-14 Vision Survey
Goal 3: Can be "extended"
 High

Enhance Search / Browse System

While DSpace's search/browse system continues to improve, there are still ways we can improve the user experience of finding items within DSpace.
  • See various unmet use cases labeled "Search/Browse"
  • Dependent on "Single Search / Browse System" feature being completed, to ensure we can more easily implement new Search/Browse use cases
  • Some use cases also dependent on "Single User Interface" being completed
Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRx

Enhance Access Control

DSpace's access control system (which manages authentication and authorization) is a custom solution that is now nearly as old as the software platform itself. While it functions well enough as-is, replacing it with a comparable third-party, open source AuthN/AuthZ system would simplify our codebase and ongoing maintenance.

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRx

Enhance Approval Workflow capabilities

While directly related to the "Single Approval Workflow system" feature (above), DSpace's workflow system(s) do not yet meet all community use cases for approval workflows.

This feature is a placeholder for enhancing the Approval Workflow system based on the Workflow Use Cases (see list in the "Use Cases" column). However, it is likely somewhat dependent on standardizing on a single Workflow system.

Goal 1: Fundamentals of IRx

Integrations

While integrations are very important to DSpace, these integrations projects are "unscheduled" as of yet. Some of these integrations are "ongoing activities" (e.g. search engine optimization), while others require further definition, or their design may be affected by one or more of the candidate features listed above. Nonetheless, if there is interest in moving one or more of these features forward in the nearterm, we can immediately schedule it for an upcoming release. These integrations are unordered, but are all considered priorities for DSpace moving forward.

IntegrationDesign / NotesRelated Technical Strategic Goal(s)Core?ComplexityUse Cases
Goal 4: Integration with external servicesxMedium
Goal 4: Integration with external services


Goal 4: Integration with external servicesx

Goal 4: Integration with external servicesx

Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"


  • Provide an ability to stream/view (textual) documents (e.g. PDF) in-browser
Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"


Goal 5: Low cost, "just works"


Goal 4: Integration with external servicesx

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