Posts tagged Islandora Contributions
Discoverygarden Webinar: Islandora ImageCache

As leaders in the development of the Islandora open source software, discoverygarden is constantly developing new modules and enhancements that provide impressive performance improvements for Islandora users.

Our team is pleased to announce the release of the Islandora ImageCache module.  When installed and configured, this module will serve to reduce loads while significantly benefiting overall site performance.

Join us on Wednesday, January 31 at 12pm EST as discoverygarden developer Morgan Dawe provides an overview of the Islandora ImageCache module and speaks about the benefits that users can expect to see once implemented.

We are looking forward to kicking off a new year of exciting, informative Islandora webinars.

All the best,

The team at discoverygarden


Adam Smith
Business Development Manager
discoverygarden Inc.

Topic:  Islandora Webinar: Islandora ImageCache
Date:   Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Time:  12:00 pm EST

To register for this webinar click the link below, and send us an email. The host will follow up by sending an invitation to the session, including instructions for joining the meeting.


Continued Islandora 7.x Support and Additional CLAW/ F4 Development Resources

Charlottetown, PE- discoverygarden Inc. recently announced the company’s ongoing commitment to Islandora both in the near and long term. CEO John Eden said, “we will continue to serve organizations using Islandora 7.x until support is no longer required. We will continue to add new functionality based on customer requirements, for the foreseeable future.”

The company is committed to continuing its involvement in building the next generation of Islandora, currently operating under the project name Islandora CLAW. The company provided the services of the original Technical Lead on the project, Danny Lamb, who has now assumed the Technical Lead position with the Islandora Foundation. discoverygarden also committed additional staff resources to assist with the community-led development effort.

discoverygarden remains firmly committed to the Islandora community and the decision to include Fedora 4 (F4) in the next generation of the repository framework. A member of our staff will begin assisting the F4 working group, initially with testing, to help move the project forward. We’re excited to offer CLAW/ Fedora 4 (F4) services to our customers in the future; we look forward to the new features and interoperability it will provide.

In addition, John Eden clarified the company’s recent announcement that it intends to release a Fedora 3 alternative. “It will be a stand-alone software option and is not part of the Islandora stack,” said Eden. “It will be an option for organizations that require large scale capacity but who do not require a linked data solution.” The code will be released Fall 2016 under an open-source Apache license.

About discoverygarden

discoverygarden is a digital repository and asset management company based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The  company assists in the installation and development of more than a hundred digital repositories and asset management systems for organizations in the academic, museum, enterprise and government sectors.

Introducing the Trippi-Sail Triplestore Adapter

For the Implementation of Blazegraph and Other External Triplestores

We are happy to announce the release of an exciting new module to the Islandora community, the Trippi-Sail Triplestore Adapter. It helps Islandora repositories scale beyond a few million objects without negative impacts on performance and enables faster querying of the triplestore.

Our work on this module started in 2015 with The University of Pittsburgh. They started their Islandora repository project with 150,000 objects in 2012. However, in 2015 the repository had grown to three million objects; that’s almost a 2 thousand percent increase over three years. They plan to continue to grow their Islandora repository to 5 million objects in 2016. The scaling was put on hold because the site suffered significant performance barriers. For example, a book was taking up to a minute to load, rendering the site unusable. In working with discoverygarden, we found that bulk of the performance issues identified were with the Mulgara Triplestore.

Brian Gregg from the University of Pittsburgh said, “we were essentially stuck; the system became non-responsive whenever you tried to view an object no matter what we did to try to improve the situation.  We had deadlines that were being missed and a system that was extremely slow to respond at best – we had to find out how to resolve this and address it fast. We could not continue our plans for our rollout without this issue being resolved. We asked Discoverygarden for assistance and they came up with a path to help move us forward.”

The current Islandora installation includes Fedora Commons as the backend repository software. The Mulgara triplestore is the default backend for Fedora's resource index. Mulgara has a number shortfalls. For example:

  • There has been a lack of recent development activity on the project since 2014.

  • Undertaking CRUD (Create, Read, Edit, Delete) operations on a large mulgara triplestore results in “severe performance penalties” (Fiz-Karlsruhe, 2008). Anecdotal evidence from our customers has shown that performance is particularly hard hit when Mulgara reaches 50 million triples (2-5 million objects)

  • It’s unable to cluster or load balance. This functionality was on the product’s roadmap but didn’t come to fruition (mulgara, n.d.)

  • It has an incomplete implementation of the SPARQL language. Our developers prefer to use SPARQL over iTQL for a few reasons, such as, SPARQL is standardized; iTQL is not and iTQL will not be used in Fedora 4. (Source: Dukart, 2014)

To resolve the University of Pittsburgh’s use case we assembled a team of developers, led by Adam Vessey, to replace Mulgara by leveraging existing code to create the Trippi-Sail Triplestore adapter.

The module allows Sesame Sail-compliant Triplestores to connect into the Trippi Triplestore interface, allowing them to be used with the Fedora Commons Repository layer of Islandora. During testing for the University of Pittsburgh our developers connected the open source version of Blazegraph.  This module was developed to allow the community to implement Blazegraph or other Triplestore solutions, such as JENA/Fuseki recently implemented by the Smithsonian.

Blazegraph is highly scalable up to 50 billion triple counts on a single server, allows clustering, and supports SPARQL.

“Congratulations to discoverygarden and the Islandora community on this milestone. With the release of Trippi-Sail Triplestore Adaptor, Islandora joins a growing group of knowledge graph applications such as the Wikidata Query Service powered by Blazegraph. Blazegraph provides an open-source, highly scalable graph database supporting the RDF/SPARQL and the Apache Tinkerpop™ APIs.”, said Blazegraph CEO, Brad Bebee.

Blazegraph is currently being pegged as the likely default triplestore candidate for Fedora 4.  

This development is stretching the capacity of Islandora to scale to larger numbers without negative impacts on performance. Discoverygarden inc. CEO John Eden says,

“This development will help support Islandora users who have immediate or near term scaling requirements; with further growth opportunities with Fedora 4. In our role with the Islandora Foundation and as a service provider for our customers, we are committed to providing sound, viable, long term solutions that will fit people’s timeline, requirements, and budgets.”

When implemented for the University of Pittsburgh, we saw books that had taken 1 minute to load now take only 1.5 seconds to load. That’s close to a 4000% increase in speed. Brian Gregg from the University of Pittsburgh says,

“Our systems response times are now back to where we were hoping that they would be.  The project is now back on track and we are nearly ready to launch our new sites to the public, providing access to the content that we have been putting together to share with them.  Without this solution from Discoverygarden utilizing Blazegraph we would have not been where we are now.”

We’re in the process of implementing Blazegraph in several other organizations with large-scale repository needs.  We look forward to releasing further enhancements to this module. We invite you to take a look at our public Github code repository. We welcome feedback and contributions on this exciting new development.

Happy Scaling!!

Works Cited: 

BLAZEGRAPH BY SYSTAP, LLC. (2016). Home. Retrieved from

Dukart, J. (2014, August 8). Don’t be Dreary, Let’s Query! Retrieved from 

Fiz-Karlsruhe. (2008, July 17). Welcome to the Fedora Performance and Scalability Wiki. Retrieved from

Mulgara. (2014,February 10). Recent News section.paragraph 1. Retireved from

Mulgara. (n.d.). Future. Retrieved from


Introducing the NEW Islandora Default Thumbnail Module!

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Islandora Default Thumbnail module. It creates an easy way to configure thumbnail options for any content model and avoids manual thumbnail replacement on individual objects in the repository.

The module was developed here at discoverygarden on behalf of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the user interface design portion of their ongoing digital repository project.

The module works by impacting the display of thumbnails in the Drupal layer of Islandora when viewing objects in grid view, list view and Solr search results view. It does not change or replace the thumbnail datastream stored in the Fedora Commons layer of Islandora. It leverages the Plupload module so users can supply any thumbnail image they choose.

This module development is part of discoverygarden's commitment to serving its customers and enhancing the Islandora open source digital repository software stack. Our software developers continue to commit new code and exciting features on a regular basis!

To learn more about this module, please visit the GitHub repository page or Contact Us!

About discoverygarden

discoverygarden is a digital repository and asset management firm located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. It has assisted in the installation and development of more than a hundred digital repositories and asset management systems for organizations in the Academic, Museum, Enterprise and Government sectors.


About the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Cooperstown, NY, is a nonprofit committed to preserving the history of America’s pastime and celebrating the legendary players, managers, umpires and executives who have made the game a fan favorite for more than a century.