Project Update, November 1, 2021

Our project timeline is on hold while we wait for UConn's purchasing and contracts department to give the final OK to the contract with discoverygarden to implement the system migration.

Project Update, October 1, 2021

We have created a spreadsheet to connect items mentioned in the Final System Analysis Report from dgi to features and activities we are all used to doing in the current CTDA system. Like many spreadsheets it can be hard to read in its current PDF form. But we wanted to get something out there in case people had questions. 

The spreadsheet has a column called "WBS Item" which links the feature on the left with the Item in the Work Breakdown Structure of the Final System Analysis report received from dgi.   If the WBS column says "Core" that means there is no specific WBS activity for this feature, it is part of the standard installation. Another column labeled "Parity or New Feature" explains the nature of the feature and if it is enhancing old i7 feature, or is new to the system altogether. 

Project Update, September 10, 2021

The final analysis report from discoverygarden was approved by the CTDA in the first week of September. This report is now available.  The report is filled with technical language and jargon. We will produce an executive summary of the report written in non technical language in the coming days. 

The Ultra-condensed version is that we are focusing on "feature parity" as a first step for the new system. That means that we are going to ensure that everything you can do now in the CTDA you will be able to do in the new system. This is more difficult than it may seem since the underlying method of data management is much different from how the system currently manages data internally. 

Because of the amount of work we did developing the assessment report and roadmap. We can move directly to implementation, saving months of analysis and planning time. 

The Project

The CTDA is embarking on a major upgrade to its infrastructure to bring you better service and more features. Our current Islandora 7 system was originally installed in 2011 and runs on three core open-source tools: Islandora version 7, Drupal version 7, and FedoraCommons version 3.6. All three of these systems will be discontinued in 2022. We started planning last Summer to migrate to more up-to-date versions of these software applications and wanted to report our progress to date and solicit feedback in some areas.

Current Technology

First, we will be expanding the technology architecture of the CTDA system. The current system, implemented in 2018, was scaled for approximately 50TB and 1.5 million objects. The current CTDA has over two million objects, and we have all been aware of slowdowns in the system, especially in derivative generation on the back end. The new infrastructure will be scaled for a Petabyte-sized system with millions of objects and will have the ability to automatically balance the load of system resources based on demand. We should see significant improvements in system performance and continued good performance as the system grows. We will be working with UConn ITS to implement the new technology infrastructure.

Migration Roadmap

Next, we worked with our software support vendor discoverygarden (dgi) to analyze the current system and create roadmap for migration to the new system that preserves a “one to one” feature set between the two. That is, all current features available in the CTDA will be available in the new system. Some of these features may work a bit differently behind the scenes, and there will be some changes in how certain things are done in the new system. We will develop training programs and documentation in the Resource Center to smooth the transition. Islandora 8 (as it is called) also comes with a host of new features already built-in. 

A few of the new features that are standard in Islandora 8 include:

  • A Taxonomy feature that will make metadata management easier, faster, and more responsive.
  • A redesigned management interface which will make content management easier to understand. This new interface uses a “common sense” approach to content management without the need to understand obscure things like “RelsExt” datastream terminology and syntax.
  • A new “universal media viewer” that supports all types of multi-object content, including books, newspapers, and compound objects in a streamlined interface
  • A browser-based, user friendly “batch update” tool, that will allow you to make metadata updates to multiple files at once.

New CTDA Features

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to implement new features in the system to enhance the user and content manager experience. While we have many ideas of our own, we want to hear from you. We’ve created a Islandora 8 wishlist channel in CTDA Slack for you to contribute your wishes. And since this is a “wish” list, don’t worry about how we might do what you are asking, or what it would cost. We just want to hear about it. We hope that this wish list will spark conversation among the membership about what you want to CTDA to become.

Project Timeline
(As of November 1, 2021)

Note:  Because of the uncertainty surrounding when the contract will be approved and a start date assigned, we are changing the timeline to refer to months after the beginning of the project, and not specific calendar dates. As soon as we have specific dates, we will revert the timeline to its original organization

September 2021

  • Final System Analysis report received from dgi, and accepted by the CTDA
  • Implementation Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that was part of the System Analysis report sent to Contracts Administration for the next phase of approvals

Month 1: 

  • Implementation begins according to WBS
  • Roadmap and task lists finalized
  • Presentation (Public) Layer configuration work begins

Month 2: 

  • Infrastructure installation
  • Test system installed-- volunteer members test system functionality
  • Management system configuration begins
  • Migration crosswalks finished and testing begins
  • CTDA and member institutions review Institutional pages, schemes, and logos
  • CTDA begins creating content manager training material

Month 4: 

  • Migration testing and refinement continues
  • Content migration to Islandora 8 begins
  • Content manager training in Islandora 8 begins

Month 12: 

  • Ingest freeze–no new content added to Islandora 7
  • Content migration to Islandora 8 completed
  • Islandora 8 accepts new content
  • Content manager training complete

Month 13

  • Islandora 7 continues to run without updates or new content
  • Islandora 8 testing and final configurations

Month 14: 

  • Islandora 8 complete
  • Islandora 7 system retired