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Exciting times for Hydra: introducing Hyku

My first post for CoSector back in January talked about Hydra and all the various opportunities offered by the software and community. Since then I’ve been spending my time prototyping and planning for what CoSector’s first dip into Hydra would look like.

It’s a vibrant time for Hydra: the community has been coming together around feature development, such as the new mediated deposit workflow and the consolidation of core gems Curation Concerns and Sufia into a single codebase (Hyrax – Hyrax has now reached version one status and is out there for use.

The Avalon multi-media ‘solution bundle’ for Hydra has also recently released a major update with many new features, and support for the latest version of the Fedora repository and the Hydra in a Box project is motoring towards the project’s end date of November and the release of Hyku, Hydra’s first ‘turnkey’ repository solution.

Hyku is the result of the 30-month project ‘Hydra in a Box’ funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the US. It’s a partnership between the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University and DuraSpace. Because Hyku is built on-top of the existing Hydra framework, and benefits from all that is good about Hydra – the open and collaborative community, the shared codebase, and more.

But, what makes Hyku different to other Hydra-based solutions? The Hydra in a Box project has been committed to making a virtually turnkey solution – this has never really been possible before with Hydra. In addition, significant work has gone into making Hyku ‘ready for hosting’, enabling institutions or vendors (like CoSector) to easily deploy services, thereby further reducing the barrier for adoption.

At CoSector, we’re going to launch a Hyku hosted service. The first iteration of our service will be multi-tenancy, where each tenant has their own data securely stored, along with access to some customisation, for example authentication, user management, workflows, labels, and static page content. Some features will be core to the software and won’t be configurable differently for different tenants, but the amount of configuration will likely grow as the software matures.

Here are some of the main Hyku features (many of these are core Hyrax features too):  

  • Faceted search and browse
  • Full-text indexing and searching
  • IIIF support for Images, with built-in support for the Universal Viewer
  • Multiple file, or folder, upload; integration with cloud services for upload
  • Flexible access controls, including open access, institution-wide access and sharing with groups and individuals
  • Integration with shibboleth for single-sign on [forthcoming]
  • Embargo and lease management
  • Configurable, flexible deposit workflows
  • Single-use links
  • Responsive, fluid, Bootstrap 3-based UI
  • Social media interaction
  • User-managed collections
  • User profiles and user dashboard

Administrator dashboard with access to: 

  • User and group management
  • A range of statistics
  • Workflow configuration

My plan for the next few months is to get us ready to launch that service.