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This page details an ideal from Open Repositories 2010 which was loosely called "DSpace with Fedora inside".  Since that point, this concept never gained leverage or momentum in the DSpace or Fedora communities.  It is now considered outdated/obsolete based on the latest technology roadmaps for each platform. At this time, there are no immediate plans to merge DSpace and Fedora or rebuild DSpace as a Fedora-based application.  For more information on the direction of both DSpace and Fedora, please consult their respective technology roadmaps.

Please note that this FAQ is still an early draft – feedback and comments are welcome! Contact Tim Donohue (tdonohue <AT> duraspace <DOT> org) or Valorie Hollister (vhollister <AT> duraspace <DOT> org) if you have additions / changes you'd like to see in this FAQ.

At the Open Repositories 2010 conference, DuraSpace recommended that the DSpace community begin to work more closely with the Fedora community to allow DSpace software to run "on top of" the Fedora platform. Essentially, this would mean that the DSpace application would have an option to install it with "Fedora Inside". What follows is an initial FAQ around this proposal.



Table of Contents

DSpace & Fedora Integration Questions



There is already work underway that may eventually enable an option to run the DSpace application on top of a Fedora repository. To achieve this would require a series of technological developments:

  1. (tick) A way to extract the items from DSpace's current internal store, along with all of their relationships (communities, collections, and Epeople).
  2. An implementation of the DSpace data model using the Fedora repository.
  3. A conversion, crosswalking, or import utility for the above two items.
    • Related Project(s): At this time, there is neither a schedule nor a commitment for this work.
  4. Designing an integration of the DSpace business logic, User authentication and authorization with Fedora.
    • Related Project(s): At this time, there is neither a schedule nor a commitment for this work.
  5. Porting the DSpace user, administrative, and web services interface applications to run against the resulting environment.
    • Related Project(s): At this time, there is neither a schedule nor a commitment for this work.


DuraSpace is committed to helping with strategic development work that serves to benefit this initiative. For example, we feel our current AIP Backup/Restore work will be beneficial when upgrading existing DSpace instances to an eventual DSpace with "Fedora Inside".


In fact, this work has already begun through various projects and initiatives over the last few years. This DuraSpace recommendation is just serving to formalize our support of this effort and broaden community interest in the endeavor. Although they've been mentioned elsewhere already, here are several ongoing and past projects which relate to this initiative:

  • DSpace 2.0 prototype work – provided a basis for modularizing DSpace, allowing it to support different storage layers (like Fedora)
  • GSoC 2008 - Fedora Integration Project - An initial implementation of a prototype Fedora storage layer for DSpace 1.x
  • GSoC 2009 - Fedora Integration Project - An improved implementation of a prototype Fedora storage layer for DSpace 2.x
  • GSoC 2010 - DSpace 2.x Storage Services to 1.x - A new effort to backport the DSpace 2.x storage layer to DSpace 1.x. This may enable one of the above Fedora Integration projects to be utilized with DSpace 1.x.
  • Released in DSpace 1.7.0: AIP Backup and Restore - An effort to allow DSpace to export and import AIPs (Archival Information Packages). These AIPs could provide an easier upgrade path from one underlying data model to another.


The best way to help out is to volunteer to lead or help with one (or more) of the development projects listed under the DSPACE:What are the Plans for Integrating the DSpace Application with the Fedora Repository Platform? question.


One of these common tools is the aforementioned AIP Backup/Restore work. This tool will provide you with a way to export all your DSpace contents (Communities/Collections/Items) into a series of AIPs (Archival Information Packages), and import or restore them to any DSpace instance. We hope that this tool could be used to ease the migration of your DSpace contents from the current DSpace data model into a Fedora-based data model.


The goal of the DSpace 2 work was primarily to modularize DSpace, and Fedora as one of those modules just makes sense. The DSpace 2 work, along with related Google Summer of Code projects (in 2008 and 2009), has helped us to more closely realize how DSpace and Fedora could be integrated.