Samvera is an Open Source Repository Framework

Samvera software was conceived as an open source repository framework. It uses a series of free-to-use software “building blocks” that can put together in various combinations to achieve the repository system that an institution needs – as opposed to building a “one size fits all” solution.

Some of our adopters started with just the basic building blocks to develop solutions. Later, 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. 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. Hyrax is the Community-developed Ruby gem that allows users to design and build their own, customized installation of our software.

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 two such bundles, built using the standard Samvera framework:

  • Avalon – a time-based media solution
  • Hyku, which is based on Hyrax, allows users 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; a number of service providers offer cloud-based, hosted versions.

All Samvera’s software is free and open source, available under an Apache 2 license.