Fedora Migration Paths and Tools Project Update: November 2020

This is the second in a series of monthly updates on the Fedora Migration Paths and Tools project – please see last month’s post for a summary of the work completed up to that point. This project has been generously funded by the IMLS.

The University of Virginia pilot project work continued this month, primarily with migration-utils testing. The UVA repository is running an older version of Fedora (3.2.1), and most of the staff members who created and managed the repository are no longer with the university. This is a common situation at many institutions, and it can lead to problems understanding the purpose and function of the contents of the repository. In this case, some of the content has been replicated elsewhere and the total number of external access points to the repository was unknown. To address this, the team went through a process of cataloguing the repository contents and investigating touch points with external systems. This process will be documented for the benefit of other Fedora users with legacy systems.

The UVA team engaged in extensive testing of the migration utility and ran into several issues along the way. Some of the issues were related to the legacy Fedora repository itself, so these need to be disambiguated and resolved in order to determine which issues are related solely to the migration utility. Issues related to the migration utility were reported to the Fedora team via JIRA issues so they could be resolved.

Functional requirements spreadsheet

Spreadsheet of functional requirements

The Whitman College pilot team continued last month’s requirements gathering efforts by completing the functional requirements spreadsheet. This spreadsheet identifies which functions are required for the new Islandora 8 repository and prioritizes them. The grant PI reviewed these requirements with the Islandora Tech Lead to identify solutions and determine which requirements are currently satisfied by Islandora 8 or a plugin module, which ones would be satisfied within the next 3-6 months, and which requirements would need to be addressed via custom development. The next step is to demonstrate the currently available functionality for the pilot project team and determine which outstanding functions will need to be prioritized for custom development.

The focus in November and December will be on finalizing a validation tool that will be tested by the UVA team – this tool will allow Fedora users to validate that all their Fedora 3 objects were successfully migrated to Fedora 6. At the same time, the Whitman College team will be documenting their metadata mapping and remediation process for the benefit of the wider community.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as we make progress on this project. All relevant resources can be found linked off the project landing page. Please contact David Wilcox with any questions or feedback.