Release 2.0.0

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Released October 7, 2013


AtoM 2.0.0 was released at the same time as a major branding change was underway, distinguishing it from the previous 1.x ICA-AtoM branding. While plans were underway for a new wiki, Artefactual did not want to confuse the new branding transition by posting the release announcement on either the ICA-AtoM or Qubit-Toolkit wikis. Instead, the 2.0.0. release announcement was originally made in the AtoM User Forum. The following is copied from the original User forum post, which can be found here:

Greetings AtoM Users!

I am proud to announce that the AtoM 2.0.0 release is now available. This is a major step forward for AtoM, and one we are pairing with a rebranding, a new website, and a completely rewritten User Manual. Details below:

AtoM 2.0.0

For our 2.0.0 release, we have completed a number of improvements to the 1.3.1 branch before porting our code over to the new branch - in fact, we have already closed 154 issues that have been incorporated into 2.0.0! The majority of these relate to improvements in AtoM's data roundtripping, such as EAD, EAC, DC, and MODS import/export - you can see the 1.x issues that we have already closed and incorporated into 2.0 in our issue tracker, here.

We've also done a major overhaul of AtoM's interface, and have aimed to improve usability throughout the application. New features include:

  • New theme - introducing the Dominion theme...
  • The inclusion of facet filters on all AtoM search and browse pages
  • The ability to restrict the search to the holdings of a single institution
  • A "Quick search" option to find titles or identifiers using the treeview - having trouble navigating a large treeview and want to quickly locate a lower-level description? There's a search bar for that now
  • A dedicated quick search options for Donors, Terms, and Rights holders
  • A new edit template! AtoM now includes the U.S. Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS, 2013 revision) as an edit template
  • The ability to set a different display standard on a per-collection or even per-level of description basis - want to create an ISAD(G) or RAD top-level description for an image collection, but use a simplified Dublin Core display for all your lower level items? Now you can!
  • The ability to theme individual archival institutions, even in a multi-repository system:
    • Upload a banner and logo
    • Use a color picker to set your own background color for your repository
    • Include a custom-content description or message and style it with HTML and inline CSS
  • All related archival descriptions will show the institution logo and use the same background color throughout the application - end users can more identify which repository holds what, and navigate to the related archival institution
  • Redesigned Digital objects browse page and Archival institutions browse page
  • Filter by top-level description (e.g. fonds, collection, etc.) added to the Advanced search page
  • Real-time, faceted search suggestions as you type in the search box
  • Simplified AtoM header bar for easier navigation and less clutter - includes a persistent browse menu
  • "Popular this week" listing added to the home page, listing the most visited resources (i.e. page visits) in the last 7 days

And more! We've close 168 issue tickets on 2.0.0 - you can take a look in our issue tracker here.

Full release notes to follow...

New website, new documentation

Another exciting part of our 2.0.0 release is our rebranding - as we move forward, our 2.x access system will now be known simply as AtoM, while ICA-AtoM will continue to be the name of our 1.x releases.

To help celebrate this, we've been preparing a new website, and we've begun completely reviewing and rewriting our end-user documentation: come take a look at:

Please note that both the website, and our comprehensive review of the documentation, are unsponsored efforts that Artefactual is freely taking on to improve our community resources - consequently, they are a work in progress and are not yet completely done. In the new User Manual, we have tried to begin by focusing on sections of the application that are most changed, so the new website's documentation will be the best place to check first for information about using AtoM 2.0.0. For any sections not yet complete, we ask our users to continue consulting the ICA-AtoM User Manual. We will be adding new documents and content to the website in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on it, and thanks for your patience!

2.0.0 - A platform change release

The biggest change in 2.0.0 is not the new features - in fact some of these features are still a long way from the vision we have for them as AtoM continues to develop over time. Rather, the change in major release status from 1.x to 2.x represents a non-backwards compatible change to AtoM's underlying architecture. In this case, the biggest change has been our move to using Elasticsearch, an open source, distributed search server based on Apache Lucene, which acts as AtoM's new search and analytic engine. Implementing Elasticsearch gives the application a greatly improved response time overall, and allows for much greater scalability of the application - and it has also allowed us to begin introducing features we look forward to developing further, such as the facet filters (made possible by the indexing capabilities of Elasticsearch).

We have worked hard on this release and done everything we could to test it and still release within a reasonable time frame - but with all major platform changing releases, this will be a work in progress, and we will be relying on the goodwill and reporting of our user community to help identify any outstanding bugs. If you find a bug, you can register an account in our issue tracker and file a bug, or you can let us know in the User Forum.

While there are a great number of enhancements and new features included in 2.0.0, there are also some features which existed in 1.x and have not yet been merged into 2.x - this is largely because, as they were written, they will not scale properly for large datasets and multi-repository use, and/or need to be rewritten to be properly integrated with Elasticsearch. We ask for patience and understanding from our users - as an open source project, much of the work that we do is unsponsored and done as we are able, often in our free time on evenings and weekends. If there is a feature missing from 2.0.0 that your institution would like to sponsor, please feel free to contact Artefactual off-list. In the meantime, we will continue to do everything we can to improve 2.x and reincorporate missing features in future releases. Some 1.x features which have not yet been redesigned and incorporated into 2.0.0:

  • Global search/replace - this module is not currently available
  • Description updates - we will be redesigning this module in the future to merge it with a publicly accessible module called "Newest additions" - currently the date filter is missing from the description updates admin tool, however
  • Advanced search - filter by date range is currently unavailable

We will be doing further work to review some of the new features, including a full assessment of and the addition of tooltips to the new DACS template; additionally, work to improve metadata mapping and data roundtripping in AtoM will be ongoing. We thank our community users in advance for your understanding as we continue to move forward with AtoM. We are committed to preparing a 2.0.1 release in November 2013, to incorporate further translations (see our new translation process here!), bug fixes, and general improvements. So let us know if you find bugs, and keep those translations coming!

Upgrading from 1.x to 2.0.0

It will be possible to upgrade from 1.x to 2.0.0, and we invite all users to consider following us to the new platform release! However, note that there will be a few new dependencies to install (namely Elasticsearch), and because the user interface has changed significantly with the new Dominion theme, it is likely that any heavy CSS customization you have undertaken on your ICA-AtoM 1.x installation will no longer work properly in 2.x, and will need to be revised. See our new Administrator's manual for more details on installation and upgrading.

Download the release, explore the new website, and look at the new documentation here:

Check out the AtoM 2.0.0 demo site here:

Enjoy! And let us know what you think!