D-Net

The D-Net Software Kit creates a network of repositories that share the infrastructure services necessary to process and provide access to digital content. Designed to minimise development and maintenance costs, the software allows research communities to cross-operate over the metadata records from many data sources, effectively integrating the content from each repository.

Provider

Developed as part of the DRIVER and DRIVERII projects, and subsequently enhanced by the EFG, EFG1914, HOPE, OpenAIRE, and OpenAIREplus projects

Licensing and cost

Apache License - free

Development activity

D-NET version 1.2 was released in March 2011. Further development appears to have taken place in particular components of the infrastructure; for example, version 3.1.7 of the GUI for the ESPAS D-NET portal was released in July 2015.

Platform and interoperability

All documentation presumes an Ubuntu Linux running environment.

The software is downloaded and installed using apt-get via the command line, and requires Python, the Java 6 JDK, and MongoDB.

Functional notes

A D-NET infrastructure is operated and administrated by a responsible organization (RO) and used by a number of participating organizations (POs). POs can join the infrastructure to offer and share their services, functionality and content or to use services provided by other POs. The RO is responsible for admitting new POs and supporting them in the construction and configuration of their applications.

D-NET uses a service-oriented framework, which allows repositories to select and combine the data services they need into customised data processing workflows. The services are organized in five main areas: Data Mediation, Data Mapping, Data Storage and Indexing, Data Curation and Enrichment, and Data Provision. The services are mapped and linked across the POs via an Enabling Area. As a control mechanism, D-NET Services are accessible through a single point of access, which requires a key.

Documentation and user support

Formal documentation consists of an installation guide dated March 2011; however, a number of the sections are incomplete. The website itself offers an overview of the general concepts and system architecture. There is a link to code-level Javadoc documentation; however, this was broken at the time of writing.

The site also lists one email address, presumably for one of the developers.

Usability

D-Net is designed to serve as an underlying infrastructure, and so end-user experience is dependent on the access platform chosen for the repository.

Expertise required

Installation and configuration require experience with command-line interfaces, and solid knowledge of application design and technologies.

Standards compliance

D-Net uses XML throughout the system. Security mechanisms are provided according to the Access Control Markup Language standard (XACML). OAI-PMH and SRW/CQL are supported as standard APIs to import and export content in a D-NET infrastructure.

Influence and take-up

The software advertises instances serving three national aggregators and six European projects.

Last reviewed: 
24 July, 2015