MOAI, A Open Access Server Platform for Institutional Repositories
MOAI is a platform for aggregating content from different sources, and publishing it through the Open Archive Initiatives protocol for metadata harvesting. It’s been build for academic institutional repositories dealing with (relational) metadata and asset files.
What does it do
The MOAI software can aggregate content from different sources, transform it and store it in a database. The contents from this database can then be published in many seperate OAI feeds. Each with it’s own configuration.
The MOAI software has a very flexible system for combining records into sets, and can use these sets in the feed configuration. It also comes with a simple yet flexible authentication scheme that can easily be customized. Besides providing authentication for the feeds, the authentication also controls the access to the assets.
MOAI has been specificly developed for universities, and contains a lot of hard-earned wisdom. The software has been in use since 2007, and a lot of features were added since that time. In late 2008, the software was completely refactored and packaged up under the name “MOAI”. You can read more about this on the MOAI History page.
MOAI is a standalone system, so it can be used in combination with any repository software that comes with an OAI feed such as Fedora Commons, EPrints or DSpace. It can also be used directly on an SQL database or just a folder of xml files.
The MOAI project takes the filosphy that every repository is different and unique, and that an institutional repository is a living thing, it is therefore never finished. Metadata is always changing and evolving and improving. We think this is a good thing.
Because of this view, the MOAI software makes it as easy as possible to add or modify parts of your repositories (OAI) services stack. It tries to do this without sacrificing power, and trying to encourage re-use of components.
MOAI has some interesting features that are not common in most OAI servers. Besides serving OAI, it can also harvest OAI, this makes it possible for MOAI to work as a pipe, where the OAI data can be reconfigured, cached and enriched while it passes through the MOAI code.
More specificly MOAI has the ability to:
- Harvest data from different kind of sources
- Serve many OAI feeds from one MOAI server, each with their own configuration
- Turn metadata values into OAI sets on the fly, creating new collections
- Use OAI sets to filter records shown in a feed, configurable for each feed
- Work easily with relational data, (if author changes, publication should also change)
- Simple and Robust authentication through integration with Apache webserver
- Serve assets through Apache while still using configurable authentication rules.
In the coming weeks when the first MOAI release is done, we will add more thorough explanation and examples.
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