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DSpace Architectural Review

Notes from Wednesday, 25 Oct 2006 (JSE)

I. Review of Agenda

1. Workflow
2. ID management and ePeople
2. Authorization & Policy Implementation
3. Other?

II. Workflow

See diagram at []

1. Current Ingest "Workflow"

  • Submission
  • "workflow" (post-submission)
  • install

2. Event Mechanism (Larry Stone, MS, RR)

  • a general purpose notification system
  • policy driven
  • customizable

3. History System

  • creates an audit trail
  • follows an ABC ontology
  • writes to triple-store

4. Preservation

5. Versioning

6. Issues
what*are the first-class items we're worried about for long-term preservation?

  • establishing precedent for life-cycle management; not much experience in the field
    • lifecycle management currently is done poorly in all systems
  • little things (improving current workflow) vs big things (event mechanism)
  • future robust content integrty service
    • where do the artifacts

7. Providing hooks and innovations tthat enable experimentation in this area

RECOMMENDATION: Move towards improving some sort of improved history system

  • which includes rigorously improved event system

8. Discussion of relationship between versioning, events and history system

  • Q: what do we get from a

9. Workflow: There have proposals to RIP OUT DSpace workflow "engine"

  • and replace with third-party system
  • (rob) brief history of dspace workflow system
  • (rj) definitely need more flexible workflow capability
  • (sp) degree to which Manakin helps
  • (rob) BUT aspects are baked into data model

10. Workflow: (rob) Opportunity to use flexible worklow system for implementation e.g. preservation workflows, etc.

  • (ms) Also: a generic workflow system would help untangle administration system

RECOMMENDATION (ms) Keep "lightweight" system whilst enabling access by other systems via LNI??

  • Or: re-implement "Workflow" module in DS based on third-party, open-source worflow engine & language
  • Q: Are there any plugin mechanisms that work esp well with any workflow systems, etc?
    • (md) See Open Symphony
      *Do as much as we can to improve workflow with Manakin
      *Investigate and recommend a third-party open-source workflow engine

11. Identify Management (hj)

  • (hj) trouble with changing eperson records
    • changing email addr, etc
  • (jse) what is req'd? what is 'identity" used for?
  • permission control (persons and groups)
  • "role" management
    • permissions and responsibility
  • auditing (events/history)
    • eperson record is the source of the data
    • who did what (name, email)
  • authority control
  • persistent query
    • notification services
    • creator metadata
  • every item has the submitting ePerson
  • (jse) how is "role" specified?
  • policy table
    • eperson|group, action, object
  • problems occur with administration
  • relationship between DSpace ePerson and e.g. LDAP
  • protected data in record
  • (rob) Three basic ways that identity manifest
    • There is the "stuff" to do with roles and permissions
      • getting authoritative assertions from third-party services
    • Records in the metadata
      • different set of issues
    • Notifications
      • e.g. email address
      • (rj) could abstract how notifications are done

RECOMMENDATION: It would be useful to have persistent IDs for ePeople

  • that are valid URIs
    • format that the URIs could take
  • aggregating metadata associated with ePerson
  • should they be actionable
  • they could be handles
  • they could be managed by some other system
  • Reminder: "Out-of-the-box" is in the manifesto
  • Application-specifiable
    • format
    • some way of minting them
  • Ways of importing epeople?
  • (ms) making people equivalent to items
  • (ms) What about the Info URI system the Rob proposed years ago

12. Authorization

  • (ms) today we have a home-grown but okay for "version 1" solution
  • do we re-factor for "glamorous"?
  • do we fix specific problems?
  • (rob) what do permissions really mean?
    • e.g. what are the semantics of a particular permision
    • bigger problem is managing permissions, ui, etc
    • there are certain inconsistencies in management
    • set of behaviors that are undocumented; e.g. changing permissions on collection, impact on other
    • whole load of unconfigurable, invisible baked-in logic
  • roles and permissions are*conflated, which makes making a UI hard
    • (rj) can roles be aggregations of permissions, to which people are assigned?
  • set of actions that are distinguished
    • roles and actions are currently mixed up, need to be clarified
    • these defined roles, these defined permissions
  • (rj) do we need a way to define roles?
  • are e.g. WfS1, WfS2 states or actions or????

RECOMMENDATION: Current conflation isn't working

    • do we incrementally change vs refactor and adopt
    • Clean up/carify specification of model
    • re-implement (or tweak) based on cleaned model
  • Rob: strawman model
    • role, permissions, objects, actions
    • eperson, group

RECOMMENDATION: For workflows, rely on the AuthZ engines of an adopted Workflow Engine

  • Conversely, make Workflow AuthZ a criteria/requirement of Workflow Engine selection
  • (rj) presumably such an AuthZ is specific

13. Topics for Thursday and Friday

  • in the perfect world, setting up a Community is a workflow step
  • also, extending
  • Abstract data model
    • communities/collections
    • bitstream relationships
  • concrete data model & storage
  • history, provenance, audit
    • admin, curatorial -> workflow
  • Friday:
    • requirements