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Infrae extends Python, Zope, Silva, and Railroad with OAI-PMH facilities

Publication date: 30.December.2004, 17:00

OAI Pack: a full stack of Open Archives services

October 14, 2004 – Infrae is pleased to release extensions for Python, Zope and the Silva CMS for harvesting web-based repositories exposed using the OAI-PMH standard (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). In addition we are announcing an extension for the Railroad content repository software for exposing existing Railroad systems as OAI-PMH harvestable repositories. The individual components enable organizations to harvest, index, and present data from any OAI-PMH repository, and allow a new repository to be set up using Railroad.

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting is a well-established standard in the content management and library science worlds gaining in importance. It provides an application-independent interoperability framework for metadata exchange between online parties. Many academic libraries and other organizations expose OAI-PMH compliant repositories to the web that can be harvested. The OAI-PMH standard defines the following parties and software components:

  • A ‘Data Provider’ such as an academic library runs a Repository that supports OAI-PMH as a means of exposing metadata information about resources, for instance academic publications.
  • A ‘Service Provider’ uses Harvester software to harvest metadata from such Repositories. The harvested metadata can be used to provide valued-added services, such as a website that allows browsing and searching through a catalog.

Infrae has extended Silva so it enables users to browse and search harvested metadata, further enriching the extensive feature set of this open source CMS. An organization that uses Silva can easily become an OAI-PMH Service Provider.

In the process, Infrae also developed a module for accessing OAI-PMH compliant repositories in Python, and developed a sophisticated harvesting and indexing system for using harvested metadata in Zope. These reusable components are designed to be building blocks for other Python or Zope-based applications.

Infrae has also extended Railroad with a service to turn it into an OAI-PMH compliant server. Railroad is a standards-based content repository for digital media and corresponding metadata. It’s designed to be easy to integrate with content management systems and other client software, and has already been integrated with Silva and Plone. By using Railroad, an organization can easily become an OAI-PMH Data Provider.

Infrae calls this full stack of OAI-PMH services the OAI-PMH Pack. It is possible to use a combination of Silva and Railroad to become both Service Provider and Data Provider, but since the OAI Pack builds on an interoperable protocol, the components can also be used individually.

More information on the OAI-PMH Pack:
Python oaipmh module:
Zope OAICore Product:
Silva OAI Extension:
Railroad OAI Service:
More information about OAI-PMH:

Press Contact: Eric Casteleijn, eric at infrae com.