Atmire DSpace 7 contributions: Beta 1

May 3, 2020
Open RepositoryDSpace ExpressCustom DSpace
Learn about the DSpace 7 improvements released in March 2020 as part of Beta 1

With 650 hours or 93 workdays from Atmire team members committed in 2020, DSpace 7 continues to be the largest project Atmire contributors are currently involved in. In this article, we dive into the results that are part of the newly available DSpace 7 beta 1 release.

Angular user interface

Search, and its related use cases continue to be at the heart of DSpace. To increase consistency, users can now find the search feature in the same spot, on all pages of the repository. The discrete looking glass icon dynamically expands to a search box.

In the area of multilingual interfaces, volunteers have already made catalogs for German, Czech, Dutch and Portuguese based on a new message catalog format and toolset made by Atmire. Jump on board and become a volunteer for your language of choice !!!

We also contributed to the breadcrumb trail of links on the top of pages and the continued resolving of handle urls.

Administrator functionality

DSpace 7 organizes the administrator functionality in a new sidebar on the left. In beta 1, more administrator features have been enabled through this administrator menu.

Instead of exposing all administrative features, and have a very long administrator menu as a result, each of the top level menu headings can fold out, to reveal features organised within a specific heading.


A central activity in the area of security, is to make sure DSpace 7 ships with the latest Open Source dependencies. In the fast moving Javascript world, this is no small task.

In January and February, we contributed to the upgrades and inclusions of:

  • Angular v8
  • Spring boot v2
  • Spring v5
  • Hibernate v5.3

Very specifically, Atmire also performed a review on authorizations for workflow members, to ensure that only authorized users can perform specific actions in the workflow.


The dynamic nature of the Angular user interface and the new DSpace 7 capability to render “virtual” metadata of other related on pages of items, brought a number of performance challenges that we have been addressing.

As an overall strategy, we try to make DSpace 7 as clever as possible to predict what information is needed from the user at which times. If initially, too little information is required, this requires more calls to the server to bring over the missing information. On the contrary, if too much information is sent along, we do avoid additional calls, but we make every single call heavier on the back end then necessary. If you are interested in more detail, read more about DSpace 7 Projections in the merged Pull Request.

This whole area of possibilities and work is both new and exciting, because previously, almost every request to the server meant serving the user with a complete HTML page. In Angular, bits and pieces on the page can be refreshed and replaced when and where needed, which makes it possible to create an interface that both FEELS a lot faster, and also puts less load on the server.

DSpace 7: Next level collaboration, code and process quality

The DSpace 7 development process represents a true paradigm shift, compared to any other development phases in the project before. TypeDoc code documentation, and the presence of tests are really enforced. Due to the requirement that reviews are also mandatory, everyone’s contributions get even better due to this vital community feedback loop.

This works both ways: Atmire developers and tech leads are reviewing work from outside the company, and at the same time, outside reviewers are reviewing our work.

Therefore, a big round of thanks to all reviewers!

And to all of our team members who contributed to DSpace 7 so far, ordered alphabetically:

Your DSpace 7 upgrade?

Even though 7.0 is still a few months away, you can start preparing today.

Make sure you have a good and up to date overview of those areas of DSpace where you have altered the default configuration, or where you have added customization to the code. For each area of customization, make the assessment whether it's necessary to be ported to your DSpace 7 repository. Either you still need it, or it could be dropped from the upgrade scope, either because it is no longer necessary, or because it has been replaced by a good default DSpace 7 feature. This can happen when new DSpace 7 features address the use case for which you originally added the customization to an older version of DSpace.

Upgrades are included in DSpace Express and Open Repository

If you are a current or aspiring client of Atmire's hosted DSpace Express or Open Repository services, know that the upgrade to DSpace 7 is part of your annual subscription fees. Our team is already working on the initial preparations to ensure that existing clients can get upgraded, and that new clients for the service will be able to start easily with DSpace 7.

Contact us today to learn more about DSpace Express and Open Repository

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