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These training archives may be out of date, but have been retained and kept available for the community's benefit in reviewing previous sessions.

Current training documentation can be found here: Training

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the purpose of a repository
  • Learn what Fedora can do for you
  • Understand the key capabilities of the software

Course Outline

Introduction to Fedora 4

What is a Repository?

  • Secure software that stores, preserves, and provides access to digital materials
  • Supports complex semantic relationships between objects both within and outside the repository
  • Supports millions of objects, both large and small
  • Capable of interoperating with other applications and services

Fedora 4 Guiding Principles

  • Improved performance, enhanced vertical and horizontal scalability
  • More flexible storage options
  • Features to accommodate research data management
  • Better capabilities for participating in the world of linked open data
  • An improved platform for developers—one that is easier to work with and which will attract a larger core of developers.

Exposing and Connecting Content with Fedora 4

  • Flexible, extensible object modelling
  • Atomic objects with semantic connections using standard ontologies
  • RDF-based metadata using Linked Data
  • RESTful API with native RDF response format

Core Components

Durable Storage

One of the core components of Fedora 4 is its long-term storage and preservation capability. A number of features support this capability; they have been grouped here under the notion of Durable Storage.

Fixity

  • Over time, digital objects can become corrupt and unusable by suffering from bit rot and other digital preservation dangers
  • Fixity checks help preserve digital objects by verifying their integrity using techniques such as checksumming
  • On content ingest, Fedora can verify a user-provided checksum against the calculated value
  • A checksum can be recalculated and compared at any time via a REST-API request 

Backup and Restore

  • A full backup, including all Datastreams as well as a compact serialization of all objects, can be performed at any time
  • A full restore from a repository backup can be performed at any time

Export and Import

  • A specific Fedora object, its children objects, and associated Datastreams can be exported
    • The serialization of the Fedora object is more portable than the compact form found in the backup/restore feature
    • Exported objects are serialized in a standard JCR/XML format
  • An exported object or hierarchy of objects can be imported at any time

Versioning

  • Versions can be created across the entire repository or on particular API calls.
  • A previous version can be restored via the REST-API.

Policy-Driven Storage

  • Different types of content can be routed to different back-end stores on ingest
  • Policies can be written to route content based on properties (e.g. filetype)

Data Modelling

Nodes

  • Both objects and datastreams are represented as nodes.
  • Object nodes can have both Objects and Datastreams as children.
  • The tree structure allows for inheritance of things like security policies.

Properties

  • Nodes have a number of properties, which are expressed as RDF triples.
    • The node itself is the implicit subject of each triple.
  • Properties can be RDF literals (e.g. dc:title) or they can express relationships both internal and external to the repository.
  • Any number of RDF namespaces can be defined and used.

Content Models

  • Content can be modelled using Compact Node Definitions (CNDs).
  • Mixins can be used to define any number of properties. A mixin can be added to a CND to be applied to objects.
  • An object can inherit properties from any number of mixins; their effects are cumulative.

Linked Data

  • Fedora 4.0 is compliant with the LDP 1.0 spec.
  • Metadata can be represented as RDF triples that point to objects outside the repository.
  • Many possibilities for exposing, importing, sharing resources with other web applications.

User Interface

Administrative Console

Tour of the HTML administrative interface.

Internal Search

  • Internal search can search across all node properties.
  • It also functions as a limited SPARQL endpoint.

External Components

Indexing

  • Indexing repository content for external applications can be accomplished by using the JMS Message Consumer web application.
    • This is just one possible implementation - different message consumer implementations could be written.
  • The JMS Message Consumer receives JMS messages on repository updates and relays these messages to one or more external applications.
  • Repository content needs to be assigned the rdf:type property "indexible" in order to be indexed.

Triplestore

  • An external triplestore can be used to index the RDF triples of content managed by Fedora.
  • Any triplestore that supports SPARQL-update can be used; Fuseki and Sesame have been tested.

External Search

  • An external search application can be used to perform more complex search queries on repository content.
  • Any search application that supports SPARQL-update can be used; Solr has been tested.

Authorization

  • Authentication (not to be confused with authorization) is assumed to take place in a layer above the application.
  • The authorization framework provides a plug-in point within the repository that calls out to an optional authorization enforcement module.
  • Currently, two authorization implementations exist.

Basic Authorization

  • Basic authorization compares the user's role(s) with an Access Control List (ACL) defined on a Fedora resource.
  • ACLs can be inherited; if a given node does not have an associated ACL, Fedora will examine parent nodes until it finds one.

XACML Authorization

  • XACML policies can provide much more complex and granular authorization.
  • A default policy must be defined for the repository, and each node can override the default with another policy.
  • A XACML policy referenced by a node will also apply to all the node's children, unless they define their own XACML policies that override the parent policy.

Performance

Transactions

  • Multiple actions can be bundled together into a single repository event (transaction).
  • Transactions offer performance benefits by cutting down on the number of times data is written to the repository filesystem (which tends to be the slowest action).

Clustering

  • Two or more Fedora instances can be configured to work together in a cluster.
  • Fedora 4 currently supports clustering for high-availability use cases.
    • A load balancer can be setup in front of two or more Fedora instances to evenly distribute read requests across each instance.
    • If one Fedora instance in the cluster goes down, read requests can be directed to the other instance.
    • Ingests are replicated across all instances in the cluster.
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