Posts tagged Press Release
Announcing Drupal 8 Port of Islandora (MVP ALPHA)

Discoverygarden inc. is happy to make available an ALPHA Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of a Drupal 8 port of Islandora 7. It is a direct port of Islandora 7 Core along with several key modules and solution packs that will allow for the creation of a basic repository. The code is readily available to anyone who wishes to use it here.

Discoverygarden has also created a Virtual Machine image of the Drupal 8 port to facilitate download for demo or testing purposes. Several other stack components will be updated in the coming months along with ports of additional Solution Packs and modules and several feature updates that will make Islandora an even more robust offering. As with Islandora 7, a continuous integration/deployment approach will be adopted in order to ensure that latest code is fully tested and available to use.

With Drupal 7 nearing end of life, this ensures the increasingly popular Islandora stack will remain in sync with Drupal Security updates for many years to come and protects the investments that numerous organizations have made, and continue to make, by choosing Islandora for their digital repositories and digital asset management systems.

With the MVP alpha complete, collaborators are welcome to join the effort in testing and porting additional modules and solution packs.The same git workflow and coding standards familiar to Islandora 7 developers will be used.

Virtual Machine Image Access Details

You can ssh to ssh -p2222 vagrant@localhost pass is vagrant
Access the site by visiting localhost:8000 User: islandora Pass: islandora

A person can take this VM and set it to communicate with existing data by changing the Fedora and Solr endpoints inside the Drupal configuration. It is important to note that the auth filter and any firewalls on the data source it is communicating with will need to be updated to allow the connection.

Download Virtual Machine Image (OVA)

​Discoverygarden Participating in Jisc Research Data Shared Service

We are pleased to announce discoverygarden’s involvement in the Jisc Research Data Shared Service. At the Jisc Pilot Supplier Exchange on July 20, we presented Islandora as a research data management solution to fifteen UK higher education institution stakeholders and Jisc representatives.

The objective of the Jisc research data shared service is to enable sustainable access to research data so it can be re-used. Furthermore, the service aims to support UK universities and colleges in meeting research funder requirements (Jisc, n.d.).

Jisc senior co-design manager, John Kaye says, We intend to first develop a beta service that will be taken up by 17 UK pilot institutions and improve this over the next two years to enable researchers to easily deposit data for publication, discovery, safe storage, long term archiving and preservation.

Jisc has created a supplier framework with 3 lots focusing on platforms and 5 supporting lots to enable better and more efficient work with and among system suppliers and developers to create the service. In April 2016, Jisc confirmed discoverygarden as a project supplier for Lot 1: Research Data Repository and Lot 2: Repository Interfaces.

discoverygarden inc. CEO John Eden says, “The flexibility of Islandora enables members of our community to leverage existing tools or create new ones. As a framework, Islandora is a perfect ecosystem to integrate tools that solve problems in the research data management workflow.”

Islandora’s origin story has its roots in research data management. It was developed at the University of Prince Edward Island for this purpose in 2006. Since then, features of the framework have grown to include Drupal data management planning tools, an open source dropbox-like utility for “working” data called Pydio, and minting DataCite DOIs for published materials (Moses, D., Hooper, D., Le Faive, R., 2016). To see a demo of a recently launched research data repository, visit the new website.

To learn more about this project, please visit the Jisc website, blog 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 Jisc

Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. Jisc operates:

  • shared digital infrastructure and services

  • negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and

  • provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

Works Cited

Moses, D., Hooper, D., Le Faive, R. (2016, June 16). From Planning to Publishing: An Open Approach to Data Stewardship. Retrieved from

Jisc. (n.d.). Research data shared service. Retrieved from and

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.

Islandora GSearcher module now available!


discoverygarden inc. is pleased to announce the release of the Islandora GSsearcher module.  It solves the delays that can occur when GSearch is busy indexing or re-indexing objects in a repository. 

When GSearch’s queue is populated, updates made to objects through the front end user interface won’t appear in Solr until the backlog was cleared. The new GSearcher module bypasses the queue to index any modifications as soon as possible.  Also, GSearcher removes the need for ActiveMQ between Fedora and GSearch.  It greatly reduces the amount of work that GSearch and Solr need to do by only re-indexing an object at most once per Drupal request rather than once every Fedora request.

The development of this module was sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through a collaborative project with discoverygarden designed to enhance the Islandora platform and repository software stack for the National Agricultural Library. This project was also successful in upgrading data collection and reporting functions for AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access), USDA’s public source for worldwide access to more than 4.5 million records of agricultural information.

discoverygarden is committed to enhancing the Islandora open source digital repository software stack and 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!

Introducing Arca - Discover BC’s Digital Treasures

The team at discoverygarden is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Arca’; the outcome of a successful collaboration with the British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN).  Arca, which is latin for ‘treasure chest’, was built using Islandora’s open source digital repository framework to provide in-depth access to a variety of British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions digital assets and research outputs.

BC ELN contracted discoverygarden to support requirements gathering and implementation of Islandora as well to managing it’s Canadian-based cloud hosting.  This shared platform will allow all involved post-secondary institutions open access repositories for any digital assets they wish to make available to the wider community and will showcase British Columbia as a hub for knowledge creation across Canada and around the world.

We are excited to continue working with BC ELN in support of the Arca project.

For more information on Arca, feel free to explore the repository site: