DSpace AddOn and Component Management System
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With moves towards increasing the modularity of DSpace, and the idea that DSpace should act, at least in part, like a platform for repository activities, it is necessary to consider how to manage extensions to the core system. The AddOn Mechanism is currently being prototyped at the University of Bergen, with much assistance from the wider community. The mechanism aims to re-structure the installation and update processes of DSpace to accommodate loading and unloading of components to add further features to DSpace, while simultaneously providing a structured AddOn template which will ensure successful installation of third-party tools. Many parts of the DSpace code are affected by this process, and a major challenge has been to identify and accommodate for them. This is still ongoing, and this presentation will introduce some of the areas that are problematic and propose solutions for comment. The prototype build process for DSpace and external components will be discussed in some detail, with reference to the lively debate on the mailings lists over best or most workable solutions. The proposed structure of AddOns will also be introduced with justifications and discussion of the difficulty of production. The hope is that this mechanism, or one like it, will become part of the DSpace distribution in the not-toodistant future, and will free up the capacity of the DSpace platform to be extended. The future of DSpace may then like in taking the current system and breaking it down into components that can easily be replaced or worked on independently.
Presentation given to the DSpace User Group Meeting in Bergen 2006