EchoDep Hub and Spoke Framework Tool Suite

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Tool suite to manage digital content in multiple repository systems.
License:University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License
Input Formats:METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard), PREMIS (Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies)
Output Formats:METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard), PREMIS (Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies)
Function:Metadata Processing
Content type:Metadata


The Hub and Spoke (HandS) tool suite was built to help curators of digital objects manage content in multiple repository systems while preserving valuable preservation metadata. Implementing METS and PREMIS, HandS provides a standards-based method for packaging content that allows digital objects to be moved between repositories more easily while supporting the collection of technical and provenance information crucial for long-term preservation.

The Hub and Spoke Framework Tool Suite (HandS) was developed as part of the ECHO DEPository. ECHO DEPository a five-year (2004-2009) digital preservation research and development project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, funded by the Library of Congress under their National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). Among the core activities in ECHO DEPository Phase I was repository evaluation, in which several open-source repository software applications were installed, configured, tested, and evaluated for insight into the real-world problems of archiving digital content. A key outcome of HandS in Phase I was a set of software scripts and programs, known as the Hub and Spoke Framework Tool Suite, for facilitating interoperability between repositories.

The Hub and Spoke Framework Tool Suite was designed not only to provide basic interoperability between repositories, but we are looking forward to using the architecture as a unifying platform for preservation. The architecture currently consists of several parts. Probably the most important being the METS profile which remains mostly neutral regarding content files and structure but defines a minimum level of descriptive (MODS) and administrative (PREMIS) metadata with a strong emphasis on preservation, particularly technical data and provenance.

A second key part of the architecture are the spokes. These are a RESTful Web Service which we call the Lightweight Repository CRUD Service (LRCRUDS). CRUD being Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete from the relational database lexicon. This service would map URIs to local identifiers and use the HTTP methods PUT, GET, POST, and DELETE to handle packages being submitted or disseminated from a particular repository. Packages would be shipped over the network as ZIP archives containing a standard header, METS file, and content files in a format suitable for import into the repository. An instance of this service would be created for each repository participating in the HandS.

The third critical part of the architecture is the Hub. The Hub performs the transformations required to convert from and to the METS profile, and it manages the generation and validation of technical and provenance metadata. Initially the Hub is simply a staging area as packages are moved about. However, the ultimate goal is to develop the Hub into a trusted preservation archive capable of handling submissions from various other repositories and also disseminating packages to those repositories, as well as handling all the other required functions of a trusted digital repository.

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Development Activity[edit]

Development stopped. Last commit in 2010-01-22.

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