CAP - Curators' Administrative Platform - A Flexible Approach to Repository Management
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The Applications Development team at Texas A&M Libraries has developed an innovative approach to IR (Institutional Repository) management with an open-source application called CAP (Curators’ Administration Platform) available at https://github.com/TAMULib/Cap The initial usage at Texas A&M Libraries has shown exciting capabilities for curators. Recent discussions and demonstrations have piqued the attention of the wider library community, including a recent feature on DuraSpace’s latest news blog: https://duraspace.org/introducing-cap-curators-administrative-platform-from-texas-am-university-libraries/ We believe that the current appeal of CAP derives from two major features: 1) The management of multiple Repository Views (RV) from one application and 2) The ability to import RDF vocabularies from the internet and cherry-pick appropriate metadata properties on an RV basis. These features are exposed via both an API, consumable by a Digital Asset Management Ecosystem (DAME), and a modern user interface. Initially, the CAP project was conceived of as a replacement for the demonstration UI that is distributed with Fedora’s REST client. We hoped to build a production-ready user interface for interacting with Fedora which could receive the benefits of an iterative development process. We opted to build a new front-end based on the fcrepo4 Java client. In this framework, in the effort to recapitulate and simplify the functionality of the demonstration UI, we also found it extremely simple to enable registration and configuration of multiple IR instances with the system. Capabilities of the current build include navigation with breadcrumbs through an RV container hierarchy and CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) functionality for RV instances, resources, metadata, and metadata schemata. CAP has been designed to enable dynamic customization of metadata application profiles for any of its registered repositories and to facilitate the basic interactions with those repositories APIs (LDP, Fixity, Versioning, and Transactions) through a clean, intuitive UI. CAP also includes viewers to render image resources in the browser with <img> tags or with OpenSeadragon and an IIIF Image Server. In the near term, we will explore development in several other areas. First, we plan to add DSpace as another RV type. We would also like to explore the ability of users to define new navigational relationships in addition to the default parent-child hierarchy. Finally, we would like to expand on CAP’s interconnectivity with other DAME components through, e.g., IIIF manifest generation. Additionally, the CAP API is positioned to play a central role in the DAME in its ability to serve as a source of generalized API for RV discovery and interaction. CAP could indicate to a DAME all RVs which it manages and expose a unified API for interacting with all of those repositories. In this way, the participation of an Institutional Repository with the DAME would be mediated through CAP. Though CAP is still in the early stages of development, the current and potential innovations represent a culmination of many lessons learned about healthy interactions between Institutional Repositories and the ecosystems in which they operate.