The various software components of the Digital Preservation Software Platform developed by our team at the National Archives of Australia have been available as free software via the sourceforge web site for years.
We started out with our Xena software which works out what format a digital object is and converts it to a standards based open format for preservation. Then we created our main workflow tool, the Digital Preservation Recorder (DPR) to manage the whole process of digital preservation and to collect an audit trail while doing so. To round out the suite we have the Manifest Maker app that prepares collections of digital data for processing and the Checksum Checker that keeps an eye on data integrity once lodged in the digital repository.
Xena is pretty popular and usually maintains 500~1000 downloads per month, but DPR is rather less so. Apart from the fact that Xena can be used via its API in many different situations, whereas DPR is tied to a very specific workflow, it has always been the case that setting up DPR has required quite a bit of computer savvy. To get DPR going you need to have Java installed, then ClamAV, OpenOffice and Postgres. Once you have Postgres installed you need to set up three separate databases and configure user permissions. All of this has made it more difficult than we’d like for people to set up and try our software.
So the team created an installer package. The package is a single download containing Xena, DPR, Manifest Maker and Checksum Checker along with Java, OpenOffice, ClamAV and Postgres. It also includes a quick start guide, comprehensive manuals for each of our pieces of software and automated updaters. At the moment, it’s a single Windows executable weighing in at about 400MB. For the time being, Linux and Mac users still need to install the various components individually but we’re working on packages there as well.
When you run the installer, it neatly installs everything you need and does all of the configuration for you. This used to take an hour or two for someone who knew exactly what they were doing. Now anyone can do it in just a few minutes.
If Digital Preservation interests you and you have a high bandwidth internet connection for the big download and a Windows PC (or virtual image of one), grab a copy of our GPL licensed installer package and give it a try. Then let us know what you think.