Technical approaches

There are three main technical approaches to setting up a repository:

  • You programme it yourself in-house - the DIY approach
  • You can install a standard package in-house
  • You can host the repository with an external service provider

Each of these has its pros and cons, discussed below.

The DIY Approach

  • Pros – Bespoke solution; total control.
  • Cons – Staff resources; upgrades; long-term maintenance; support.
  • Aids – Fedora components.
  • Observations – Brave choice; not popular

Standard Packages

  • Pros – Ready-made solution; probably more functionality; regular upgrades; Speedier setup.
  • Cons – No control over improvements; regular upgrades may require re-customisation;
  • Aids – Software suppliers may also offer set-up services.
  • Observations – Most popular approach worldwide; most packages are free.

External Hosting

  • Pros – Ready-made solution; probably more functionality; regular upgrades; potentially fastest setup; no upgrading issues; minimal staff commitment.
  • Cons – Cost; no control over improvements; security concerns.
  • Aids – Host's staff do everything for you.
  • Observations – Increasing in popularity

If you choose a standard package or externally hosted solution there is a wide variety of software available with different features and strengths. If you are planning to host a standard package yourself then you may also need to consider the technologies on which the software is constructed and how this matches with your internal systems and skills.

RSP has carried out surveys of the major repository software solutions which covers both standard packages and external hosting. You can view the results of the most recent survey as a comparative chart or PDF

Find out more from the JISC Digital Repositories infoKit