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A Year of Hyrax in Production

Despite widespread interest in Hyrax, Samvera’s new flagship repository solution, there is a dearth of documentation about how to run a production instance. We’ll cover the lessons we’ve learned from a year of building and hosting Hyrax, including our new project checklist, logging and monitoring practices, and data migration paths.

DCE has been hosting a Hyrax based ETD repository for Emory University for 12 months. We've made a lot of discoveries and improvements since we launched. We'll be sharing our learnings and best practices for running Samvera Based repositories including:
* Infrastructure as code (esp. ansible for configuration management)
* Monitoring using open-source and commercial tools (nagios, ok computer, spunk, pingdom, honeybadger)
* Maintenance, Upgrades, and Testing

Speaker: Mark Bussey

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, New or potential Samvera people

Approaching MVP(squared): Minimum Viable Product-Suite and Preservation

The Emory Digital Library Program team will share a retrospective of their Discovery and Technical Design process for determining MVP2: Minimum Viable Product-Suite and Minimum Viable Preservation features in a new Samvera platform migration

Speakers: Emily Porter, Rosalyn Metz, Collin Brittle, Nik Dragovic

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Archiving Hull City of Culture : linking Hyrax and Archivematica

This talk will present a project at the University of Hull, working with CoSector and Cottage Labs, to create a permanent digital archive of the Hull City of Culture. Hull was awarded UK City of Culture for 2017 and, throughout the year, generated a wealth of digital material documenting the events and activities celebrating the city, as well as archives from the organization and evaluation of the event. The University of Hull, already an active user of Samvera technologies, wanted to build on the work done for the Jisc ‘Filling the Digital Preservation Gap’ by using Archivematica for the digital archives preservation pipeline and Hyrax as a showcase for the City of Culture. We will also talk about how the project was originally conceived, and how that has changed through active and engaged project meetings to reflect ongoing service needs for the management of digital archives, of which the City of Culture archive forms a part. Integration with CALM (archives management solution ) and the existing Hull History Centre Blacklight catalogue (developed by DCE) is being explored to create a fully integrated digital archiving solution.

Speakers: Julie Allinson, Chris Awre

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people, Digital Archivists and others involved in Digital Preservation

Avalon and IIIF for Audio and Video (a talk and demonstration) 

For the past year, Avalon Media System has worked alongside members of the IIIF Community to co-develop the specifications for IIIF Presentation API version 3. This version moves beyond the two-dimensional image plane to include audio and video within the scope of media which can utilize IIIF to describe and manage content for use and re-use both with Avalon and by any viewer capable of presenting an object with a IIIF manifest. Avalon is excited about the possibilities for incorporating shareable structural metadata, as well as the ability to incorporate metadata along the timeline of time-based media. We will provide an overview of IIIF and the application of IIIF to AV content, including structural metadata and other features derived from the IIIF API.

Speakers: Chris Colvard, Adam Arling, Maria Whitaker, Brian Keese

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, General audience

Avalon's Audiovisual Work Type: Incorporating Metadata Changes for Hyrax

Avalon has developed an audiovisual work type that will be available for use in Hyrax. This work type will keep all descriptive metadata fields currently available for Avalon and include the use of declarations. This presentation will discuss moving from a MODSXML-based work type to a RDF based work type and how that will impact other activities in Avalon such as batch ingest. 

Speaker: Jen Young

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people

Building a Better Repository: The Fedora API Specification and Implementations

Fedora, the flexible, extensible, open source repository platform for managing, preserving, and providing access to digital content, is a key component of most Samvera implementations. Fedora 4.x, the latest version of Fedora, has been in production since 2015, and since then the real-world experience of the community’s use cases has clarified Fedora’s role in supporting preservation and access in the context of large collections and performance at scale. This understanding led to an effort to formally specify the Fedora application programming interface (API) that provides a stable layer of abstraction between clients and repository instances. In this way, alternate back-end implementations suited for specific user cases can all expose the same core services to repository clients. This initiative will allow the Fedora project to adapt to technological change more easily over time while insulating clients from changes in the underlying implementation.

This presentation will provide an overview of the the API specification effort, including current status, motivations, and benefits, with a particular focus on the relevance to Samvera. A brief survey of alternate implementations will provide context for the different use cases that will be enabled by the specification. This will be of interest to current and future Fedora implementers looking for an update on the current status and technical roadmap of the project.

Speaker: David Wilcox

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, General audience

Building a performant and accessible replacement for ContentDM using Valkyrie

A presentation about Penn State's new Valkyrie project that will replace ContentDM. I will discuss our progress thus far, with particular attention to accessibility and performance, two of the principle concerns in our development process. Additional topics will include issues with Valkyrie and the importing process we are using with data from ContentDM.

Speaker: Adam Wead

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers

Building a Ruby GraphQL API: Awesome, Easy, Fast

We will present our use case for and development of a GraphQL API in Figgy, our Valkyrie-based digital collections management application. We'll give a brief summary of GraphQL itself, demo an in-broswer query tool called graphiql, and show how we used the graphql gem to quickly develop and deploy a GraphQL API endpoint.

Speakers: Anna Headley, Trey Pendragon

Suggested audience: Developers

Building on Hyrax and Avalon for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

This presentation will provide an overview of the needs of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, challenges and successes of building a custom application based on Hyrax and Avalon, features developed both within the application and as re-usable components, and how to represent PBCore metadata in a Samvera application.
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), founded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is currently a joint venture between WGBH and the Library of Congress. It is a collection of digital audiovisual content created for public media distribution, requiring an adaptable technical infrastructure that can support close collaborations with organizations of varying technical and institutional capacity. The critical component for this is the Archival Management System (AMS), the entry point through which contributors’ descriptive, technical, and preservation metadata is ingested into the AAPB collection and where all metadata is managed and improved through cataloging by AAPB staff and interns.
With plans of moving to a new system, hopefully one with a more active opensource community around it, the AAPB determined that the best path forward was to build the tool on Avalon and within the Samvera community. In 2017, the AAPB was awarded a grant by the Mellon Foundation to do just this, and the AMS 2.0 development project began in December of 2017 and is slated for completion by the beginning of 2019. AAPB is working with AVP and Indiana University as part of the development team.
At the same time the project was starting, Avalon made the decision to move to Hyrax for Avalon 7. That changed the starting point and scope for the AMS 2.0 development plan, which is now to build a custom application on a Hyrax base creating features in tandem with the Avalon team. 

Speakers: Sadie Roosa, Casey Davis-Kaufman, Jason Corum, Andrew Myers

Suggested audience: Metadata people, General audience

Case Studies in Samvera Integration Approaches with OHMS (Oral History Management System)

A discussion of different approaches to integrating the standard tools or approaches of a digital scholarship community (the OHMS tool developed by the Nunn Center at University of Kentucky) with existing Samvera digital repository management & publication systems developed by Indiana and Columbia Universities. Presentations will also touch on data serialization, APIs, and external/new developer teams as integration considerations.

Speakers: Benjamin Armintor, Jon Cameron,

Suggested audience: General audience

Deployment with Elastic Container Service

At Stanford libraries we've run hundreds of virtual machines to support dozens of applications. We've found the cost and complexity of patching and maintaining these machines to be untenable. We believe that a serverless infrastructure is our future and so we are using AWS Fargate (Elastic Container Services) and Lambda architecture to reduce our maintenance burden. We will explain the AWS offerings in this space, explain how we can set up a simple distributed system, and point out pitfalls that we've experienced. 

Speaker: Justin Coyne

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, New or potential Samvera people

Digital Publishing and Samvera

This presentation will feature three perspectives on using Samvera technologies to support digital publishing initiatives: Jeremy Morse from the University of Michigan will present an update on new features in the Fulcrum platform for monographs, Sean Crowe will discuss how the digital repositories team is supporting the development of the University of Cincinnati Press, and Chris Diaz will share use cases for supporting non-traditional scholarly publications with an institutional repository.

Speakers: Chris Diaz, Jeremy Morse, Sean Crowe

Suggested audience: Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Distributed Usability Research Testing - Round 2

The Samvera User Experience Interest Group will report on the results of the upcoming user test initiative for Hyrax.

Speaker: Nik Dragovic

Suggested audience: Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Extending Hyrax APIs

We will share ways in which we extended Hyrax to provide read and write APIs for creating working in USDA ESMIS (United States Department of Agriculture Economics Statistics and Market Information System). How we used the API for migrating works as well as some performance issues that were addressed along the way.

Speakers: Tahir Poduska, John Fereira, Lynette Rayle

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, New or potential Samvera people

Hyrax for Research Data Repository

Panelists from Duke University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan will share their experience of developing a Research Data Repository based on Hyrax 2. They will discuss what worked out-of-the-box, what was customized, future directions, lessons learned to date from working together, and contributing back to the Hyrax community. Institutions’ efforts include data migration, accessibility testing, branding, community outreach, curation workflows, and overcoming the challenges associated with large datasets.

Speakers: Nabeela Jaffer, Fritz Freiheit, Susan Borda, Jon Dunn, Will Sexton, Moira Downey 

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience

Implementing an archival A/V ingest workflow

A project description of adding our first A/V materials to Princeton's repository management software, Figgy. I'll briefly describe the project history, the collections in question, and project management strategies. Will demo the resulting ingest workflow.

Speaker: Anna Headley

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people, Archivists

Making TACOs for Hydras

Stanford University Library has a robust digital library system called the Stanford Digital Repository. This repository holds a little under 500 TB of materials in preservation, and a little less than that for online access, from our cultural heritage digitization efforts and institutional repository outputs. These materials are managed across 90+ codebases serving a variety of functions from self-deposit web applications, to a nearly 10 year old parallel processing framework, to a digital repository assets publication mechanism leading into our Blacklight, Spotlight, and Geoblacklight applications - among other services and needs. At the core of this system is a Fedora 3 store. With Fedora 3 now end-of-lifed, and our system suffering from limited to no horizontal scalability options, we’re revisiting our system and architecture. We are writing it from the start with a goal to have data-forward, distributed microservices and some event-driven processing components. TACO, our new core management API, is the heart of this new architecture, and is currently being developed as a prototype. This talk will walk through the process of analysing our current system via a dataflows analysis; designing a new architecture for our digital library with a wide ranging set of requirements and users; prototyping a core component of our new architecture to be horizontally scalable; seeing where community technologies like Hyrax, Blacklight, and IIIF will connect; then planning how to create ‘seams’ in our current system to migrate towards our new system in an evolutionary fashion instead of a turn-key migration.

Speakers: Christina Harlow, Hannah Frost

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Mapping MODS to RDF: Recommendations & Strategies

Members of the Samvera MODS and RDF Descriptive Metadata Subgroup will discuss the recently released MODS to RDF Mapping Recommendations (, an application profile that provides recommendations for mapping MODS XML metadata for digital objects to RDF Linked Data classes and properties using a range of widely-adopted RDF namespaces.

The result of a 30-month collaborative process involving participants from more than a dozen academic and public libraries, the recommendations includes a comprehensive mapping of MODS elements to RDF using real-world metadata use cases and hundreds of examples. The mappings emphasize properties from existing vocabularies that are already extensively used, such as, Dublin Core, BIBFRAME, BIBO, RDA, FOAF, EDM, and LC Linked Data Service datasets.

This talk will include an overview of the Recommendations document and the process by which it was created; as well as a discussion of the difficulty of modeling complex metadata in RDF, and challenges to implementing the recommendations within Samvera, Fedora, and Hyrax-based systems.

Speakers: Eben English, Emily Porter

Suggested audience: Metadata people, Managers, General audience

Marketing Samvera

The Samvera Marketing Working Group has been active since May 2018. The WG has had two areas of focus: to identify the questions that arise about Samvera and how these can be best answered; and to develop materials that can be used to market Samvera. Both areas recognise the need to has been working towards the production of both key messages and communications that can be used by the community when presenting on Samvera to both internal and external audiences. This session will combine a presentation of the output from this work for others to take away and use with a mini-workshop to allow attendees to feed back on the materials and identify priorities for future marketing development.

Speakers: Chris Awre and members of the Working Group

Suggested audience: Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Migration to Samvera: Challenges to Making the Move and What the Community Can Do To Welcome New Users

In this panel we will briefly discuss the current landscape of needs and reasons for users to consider moving from an established repository, and the challenges facing users of a variety of platforms, both cultural and technological. We will also consider work currently underway such as "Bridge to Hyku", a grant-sponsored project empowering Content DM users to migrate, successes in DSpace-to-Samvera migration and what's on the horizon for BePress. In discussing these challenges, we hope to present the Samvera Community with an opportunity to grow the portofilo of users and create the potential for standards and teams to assist those who wish to be a part of the Samvera Community

Speakers: Ryan Steans, Nabeela Jaffer, Todd Crocken, Crystal Richardson, Jose Blanco

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

My Life in Ops: Docker, Terraform, AWS, and Learning As We Go

Over the past two years, Northwestern University Libraries has moved its repository infrastructure and applications to Amazon Web Services. Our initial solution, presented at Samvera Connect 2017, involved AWS CloudFormation, several different deployment platforms, and a lot of manual intervention. In our second phase, we have adopted a fully automated build/configure/deploy system to stand up Fedora, Solr, PostgreSQL, Redis, a Cantaloupe IIIF server, an Avalon Media System instance, a secure CloudFront streaming media distribution, and two Hyrax applications using Terraform, Docker, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and a whole bunch of homegrown tools and hacks. This presentation will provide an overview of our current system, and hopefully jumpstart some discussions of how these tools can be adopted, standardized, and reused among other members of the Samvera community.

Speaker: Michael B. Klein

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, DevOps

Newcomers unite (weekly)!

Let's chat about how the newcomers calls have been going, what we can do to make them the best they can be, and get the word out to others that may find value in them.

Speaker: Kevin Musiorski

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL): Application-independent file management within digital repositories

The Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL, ) initiative is developing a specification for an application-independent approach to the storage of digital information in a structured, transparent, and predictable manner. The focus is on the promotion of long-term object management best practices within digital repositories that might be built with Samvera, with other technologies, or as part of a mixed ecosystem.

The session will be split into two parts. The first will be a description of the OCFL initiative through the lenses of motivating use cases and past experience. The second portion will describe how we imagine OCFL fitting into our different local institutional archival storage ecosystems and will summarize the current status of the specification.

Speakers: Simeon Warner, Rosalyn Metz

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, General audience

Ruby Modules: Including, Extending, & Prepending

Ever wonder how modules work, and what all those include's, extend's, and prepend's are doing differently in gems? I did, and I found out, so I'd like to share.

Speaker: Kevin Musiorski

Suggested audience: Developers

Samvera and IIIF: Opportunities and Challenges

Adoption of IIIF within the Samvera community has been growing steadily and with the release of Hyrax 2.1, it will be growing faster. At the same time the IIIF community has grown larger, more distributed, and with use cases that extend beyond the Samvera community. How has IIIF adoption provided opportunities for richer user experiences within your Samvera app or new services altogether? How has IIIF led to rethinking your services and architecture and the role of Samvera within them? How can the Samvera and IIIF community, or IIIF users within the Samvera community, best collaborate?

Speakers: Jon Dunn, Simeon Warner, Hannah Frost

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, General audience

Samvera, the Change we believed in

We will share our experience as we built the United States Department of Agriculture's Economics Statistics and Market Information System (USDA ESMIS) from Sufia 7.2 to Hyrax 2.1.

Speakers: Tahir Poduska, Lynette Rayle

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

Synchronizing Samvera Repositories with Other Web Services

This presentation aims to explore the possible integration of Samvera digital object repositories with additional web services using message brokers. There have been cases in which it is necessary to synchronize content updates between repositories and additional library systems such as library catalogs or digital exhibit publishing software. Within this context, developers may benefit by exploring architectural pattern in which a dedicated message broker receives asynchronous notifications of repository content updates, new ingestions, and deletions. In response to having received these messages, the broker may then
broadcast these events to other listening library systems. The library systems then may reindex or update their own content accordingly.

A conceptual overview of this architectural pattern shall be provided, followed by an overview of an implementation local to the systems within the Princeton University Library (synchronizing content between implementations of Valkyrie and Spotlight using RabbitMQ). The outcome of this presentation would be to identify other Samvera adopters who may also be utilizing message brokers, with the ultimate aim of determining whether or not this approach would be beneficial to a larger number of community members.

Speaker: James Griffin

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, Operations

The Guardian Workflow: a generalized approach for integrating Amazon Glacier with a Samvera repository

This session details work done at the University of Pennsylvania to incorporate Amazon Glacier as a third-copy backup storage location for objects in our repository using a series of components that were developed as generalized tools that can be integrated into any Ruby-based application to manage object copies in Glacier.

This session will cover:

* Fundamental concepts of managing repository objects as Glacier archives
* Best practices followed at Penn Libraries for efficient, affordable transfer and retrieval interactions with Glacier
* A dive into the stronghold gem, developed at Penn Libraries, which provides a simple interface for interacting with Glacier (
* Demonstration of Penn's workflow for running synchronous transfer of objects to Glacier using guardian, a set of Ruby scripts serving as the orchestration layer (
* A report on the reusability of these components to quickly develop Ruby-based integrations with Amazon Glacier in other applications
* Challenges faced while integrating asynchronous storage with our Samvera repository
* Considerations for developing a disaster recovery plan dealing with large-scale data loss and recovery

Speaker: Kate Lynch

Suggested audience: Developers, Metadata people, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

UI Component Architecture for Consistency and Reusability

An overview of modern front-end UI component architecture and patterns. Will showcase case studies in development and implementation decisions in Avalon Media System (platform: Hyrax/Webpacker/React) and Northwestern University's Digital Collections application (platform: React/Redux application built on top of Hyrax in AWS). Will make a case for why UI component architecture is important in community-driven, open-source development, how it can directly benefit the Samvera community moving forward.

Speaker: Adam Arling

Suggested audience: Developers, Managers, General audience, New or potential Samvera people

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