MOAI, an Open Access Server Platform for Institutional Repositories
MOAI is a platform that aggregates input from disparate sources and republishes it via OAI-PMH, the Open Archive Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. MOAI is built for institutional repositories that store relational metadata and asset files. MOAI is open source software, released under a BSD license.
What is the MOAI Server?
MOAI aggregates content from disparate sources, transforms it, stores it in a database, and (re)publishes the content, in one or many OAI feeds. Each feed has its own configuration.
The server has a flexible system for combining records into sets and uses these sets in the feed configuration. MOAI also comes with a simple yet flexible authentication scheme that can easily be customized. Besides providing authentication for the feeds, the authentication also controls access to the assets.
MOAI is a standalone system that 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 with an SQL database or just a folder of XML files.
MOAI has a number of features that are not common to most OAI servers. Besides serving OAI, MOAI can also harvest OAI. MOAI can transform the incoming feeds. The OAI data can be reconfigured, cached, and further enriched while it passes through the MOAI Server.
MOAI has the ability to:
- Harvest data from different kinds 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 (e.g. if an author changes, the publication should also change)
- Provide simple and robust authentication through integration with the Apache webserver
- Serve assets through Apache while still using configurable authentication rules
In the coming period more features will be added and the MOAI product page updated accordingly.
The MOAI software is not young and has been in production use for a number of years. It started its life under a different name as part of the software for the RePub repository at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The software was built on top of the pyoai component, an OAI server and client library developed for the university in 2003. Many of the features that MOAI supports are a direct result of the experience and excellent feedback from the Erasmus University library team.
In 2008 the Technical University Delft funded a project to refactor and repackage the OAI server code from the Erasmus repository into a standalone software package; this became MOAI.
Interaction with other systems and websites
Feeds from MOAI can be picked up by any system or search engine that understands OAI metadata. If the system is a content management system and has harvesting capabilities, the feed data can be stored, presented, and searched within a website. Silva, a powerful CMS for organizations that manage complex sites, has OAI Pack extensions that provide these capabilities. The Silva CMS is also an Infrae product, see http://infrae.com/products/silva.
The MOAI software is available on the PyPi site: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/MOAI
A buildout is the easiest way to install MOAI; read an explanation.
Mailing list: subscribe to the MOAI developers list at https://lists.infrae.com/mailman/listinfo/moai-dev
Source code repository: https://hg.infrae.com/moai/
Documentation site: http://moai.infrae.com/