ArchiVault: Boolean Search Capability
The ability to use Boolean search operators will make more advanced search a possibility enhancing the findability of content.
Memat: BuddyBoss Integration
BuddyBoss is a paid-for version of BuddyPress, a social network WordPress theme. This will bring social networking capabilities to Memat.
ArchiVault: Uploads System
Preservatio preserves and makes available preservation quality digital files. The files, then, are large and require significant computational resources to deal with. Uploading these files has traditionally been a bottle neck for us with clients having to wait while the files are queued to upload. On top of that, the only people who can operate the system are the IT Team. For the rest of the AMO Team, particularly those interfacing with clients, progress on uploads has been something of a black box where we can see no detail and so find it hard to manage expectations. This development is to change that, to put a user interface in place that allows the Production Team to manage uploads themselves and to be able to view progress along the way. This is the first of a number of developments toward putting uploads into the hands of our clients and even their users.
Memat: Ecommerce Update
Ecommerce has been part of our Memat web interface since the first iteration. In building Memat 4 on a WordPress platform, however, we decided to use Woocommerce. This update is to improve the efficiency of the licensing system.
Preservation Cloud: Collocate Generation Servers in Remote Data Centre
Power issues in Pietermaritzburg as a result of aging municipal infrastructure was making running servers reliably difficult, particularly when those servers need to run through 10s and 100s of thousands of pages to generate derivatives and run actions such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). We made the decision in January 2021 to collocate servers in a remote data centre in another city to ensure reliable throughput.
Memat: Ability for Admin to set Universal Viewer Permissions
By default, users need to be logged in to the system in order to view content in the Universal Viewer, that allows the zooming in to photographs or the searching within a document. This development enabled users with Admin status to enable users to view select content in the Universal Viewer without being logged in.
Memat: Admin Ability to Turn Comp Downloads On or Off
Comping images are low resolution versions of files. Prior to this development, only the AMO IT Team could turn this function on or off. Now users with admin status can control whether this option is presented or not.
ArchiVault: IntraDoc Search Multiword Search
When we first produced our new IntraDoc Search functionality, the search itself was limited to a single word. This development ensured that multiple words can be searched together.
Memat: Arrangement Path in Browse Results Clickable
At the top of any browse results page is the display of the archival arrangement. This development enabled elements in this path to be clickable so that new results appear according to the level clicked.
Memat: Information Page Update
On the Memat web interface items returned in search results, browse results or in galleries have an “i” icon that can be clicked on to see further information. This development enabled all associated information to be displayed and further actions to be taken from within the information page.
April - November 2020
ArchiVault: IntraDoc Search Indexing
Having developed our new IntraDoc Search processing pipeline to enable the search within a document online, we began to index collections working systematically through each one for months. The one outstanding collection is the ANC Archive with its upwards of 1.8 million pages.
April - September 2020
Having implemented the Browse system on our client’s Memat web interface, we noticed that the archival arrangement for many collections was not consistent or, in some cases, carefully thought through. We therefore, took it upon ourselves to work through every collection establishing a sustainable archival arrangement and getting every collection in order, an order that can be maintained and extended in future digitisation and digital archiving projects.
Memat: Bulk Download
In implementing a trackable order and downloads system, the original specification did not include the ability to download a number of files at one time. One had to download each one separately, frustrating when one had 10s of files to download. This development fixed that allowing for a zipped folder of files to be downloaded.
While we had web statistics on the system prior to this we had not implemented a user-friendly web interface that allowed system administrators to view and analyze their visitor patterns.
February - June 2020
With rapid development undertaken in the latter half of 2019, the Preservatio system had become unstable with clients experiencing anomalies and our IT Team drowning in a flood of tickets. The crisis brought about new development protocols and an all-out effort starting in the first quarter of 2020 to test and retest every function on every system and to systematically fix every error and as part of that, a ruthless determination to maintain a single code base across all sites. South Africa’s Lockdown gave us space to focus all our effort on this task and by mid-year 2020 the deluge of tickets had become a trickle and all systems were fully operational and behaving as they should.
ArchiVault: IntraDoc Search
In the course of 2019 we had engaged a UK-based company that was on the cutting edge of innovations in the heritage sector to create a system that allowed documents to be searched online using IIF protocols. In spite of the great cost associated with the development of that system, its functioning was poor and the company’s service was even worse. It was a black box that our own team was unable to work on – frustrating for us and really frustrating for our clients. In desperation we developed our own system in a two week period, a system that works more efficiently than the original, costs very much less and most importantly, we can fix ourselves!
Preservation Cloud: Backup Web Server
The Web Server is the server connected to the internet that users are accessing when they visit a Preservatio based digital archive. Originally we hosted our web server in our own data centre in Pietermaritzburg, but with challenges of power and internet, several years ago we outsourced the web server to a database in Johannesburg. Another move to ensure maximum uptime for the digital archives we care for, we commissioned another web server in a different data centre that would mirror the original web server and take over in the eventuality of the primary server going down for any reason.
Memat: Integration of Timeline JS
We wanted to extend the ability of the Memat web interface to curate materials from the digital archive. The Galleries system had been our only curation feature in what we call the Memat CL (Curation Layer) from Memat 1 to 3. Now in Memat 4 we wanted to extend the curation functionality and the first feature in this regard was enabling administrators to build timelines on an Open Source system called Timeline JS. Files from the digital archive can now be placed on the timeline along with explanatory text. This project was funded by the Constitution Hill Trust.
We had developed a browse system on the Memat Metadata App for drilling down through the arrangement of a digital archive. We wanted to bring this functionality to the Memat PL as a new way in which clients could interact with the collection.
Memat: Establish Staging System for testing code
In an attempt to deal with instability issues around code updates on the Memat Presentation Layer, the web interface to Preservatio, we established a Staging System – a test environment where code could be fully tested prior to being released.