Archive for May, 2009

Microsoft tools for repositories workshop

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

During the Open Repositories 2009 conference I attended the Microsoft’s “Tools for Repositories” workshop.  At the workshop Microsoft was able to get down into the details of their new products and how they are intended to work together. I was impressed by the breadth of work that Microsoft is engaging in to support scholarly publishing use-cases within their tool set. The workshop lasted about 4 hours, longer than most of the other workshops at OR09. The bulk of time was given to the two developers Savas Paratatidas and Pablo Fernicola, along with the team leader Alex Wade.

Microsoft announced their intention to engage with the repository community at last year’s OR08 conference in Southhampton. The OR09 workshop featured the tools that Microsoft has developed in the intervening year starting with new authoring tools in Word, publishing via SWORD, a new peer-reviewed journaling service, and the new .NET based repository. It’s clear to see that Microsoft will have a huge impact on scholarly publishing in the future. We, as the repository community, will need to adjust our services to ensure they work smoothly within the Microsoft ecosystem. After the jump read about the three big features that were presented.


HOWTO: DSpace + Eclipse + Tomcat

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Update: There is an updated version of these instructions covering the next version of Eclipse, 3.5 (Galileo).

A common question for someone just starting to develop with DSpace is how do others set up their development environment. Often times this isn’t documented anywhere, but a lot of time goes into researching the best way to set things up. Today I co-taught a class on customizing DSpace for TDL. One of the hand outs I created for the class is a simple how to setup DSpace, Eclipse, and Tomcat together for easier development. This is certainly not the only way to set up these tools, but it is the method most developers in TDL choose.

One thing to note is the use of Sysdeo’s Tomcat plugin vs. Eclipse’s WTP plugin for integration with Tomcat. I played around with the WTP tools that come standard with Eclipse and found them to be too buggy to rely on. I hope that future versions of Eclipse will iron out the kinks in WTP tools, but for now I’m going to stick with Sysdeo.


  • Eclipse 3.4.x
  • Tomcat 5.x or 6.x
  • DSpace 1.5.x

Howto: setup Eclipse, Tomcat, and DSpace

Customizing DSpace

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

TDL offers several training classes for DSpace and other software/services we offer. They are a good way to get in depth information on a particular topic; the sessions typically last for a day – in some cases half a day. You’ll be able to get all your questions answered about a particular topic.

This last Wednesday after getting back from vacation I co-taught the “DSpace Customization” class with Steve Williams from UT. I think the class was a great success, here are the slides we used for the class.

DSpace Customization Slides

HOWTO: DSpace Batch Import

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

About a year ago we ran into the problem where a department wanted to ingest content into our repository using a batch ingest format from their internal database system. My initial thought was to pull the page out of the DSpace manual that covers the batch import and  hand that over to them so they can build  their import. Turns out, that page doesn’t exist. All the DSpace manual will tell you how to do is the syntax the ./import command uses to run the batch import. If you want to find out how to build a DSpace import the only place you can look is at the Java source to piece it together.

Obviously this isn’t going to work for another department, so I created a simple one page hand out (print in duplex) to give someone who needs to create an import. I think this is still a good resource, so even if I wrote it over a year ago I wanted to publish it on my blog.

DSpace Batch Import Format