Samvera software was conceived as an open source repository framework. That is to say that we set out to create a series of free-to-use software “building blocks” that could put together in various combinations to achieve the repository system that an institution needed – as opposed to building a “one size fits all” solution.
The framework as it exists today consists of a number of Ruby gems that can be combined, configured and adapted to serve a wide variety of needs, as you can see on our “applications and demos” page. Some of our adopters started with just the basic building blocks, but then a more common approach became to find another institution whose use case was similar, clone their Samvera variant and then adapt it to more closely fit local needs.
Using the Samvera framework in this way potentially allows an institution to build for themselves a repository solution closely fitted to their needs, however the building process and later the maintenance of such a customized system can be resource intensive. In the last few years the Samvera Community has seen an emerging need for some off-the-shelf “solution bundles”, addressing particular needs, that can be installed and maintained with fewer local resources – or that can be deployed as a hosted, cloud service. The Community has responded to this need with three such bundles, built using the standard Samvera framework, which are currently in various stages of development:
- Avalon – a time-based media solution
- Hyrax – is a Ruby gem that includes much of Samvera’s functionality. It is the basis on which users can build their own, customized version of Samvera.
- Hyku – the product from the “Hydra-in-a-Box” project. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University and DuraSpace have partnered to extend the existing Samvera codebase to build, bundle, and promote a feature-rich, robust, flexible digital repository that is easy to install, configure, and maintain. Hyku can be installed locally or run in the cloud and is based on Hyrax. A number of service providers, including DuraSpace themeselves, are – or will soon be – offering cloud-based, hosted versions.
All Samvera’s software is free and open source, available under an Apache 2 license.