Digital repositories: IMS releases white paper
Scott Wilson, CETIS staff
September 21, 2001

The IMS Global Learning Consortium has published a white paper on digital repositories for learning objects and other assets. The paper, by the IMS Digital Repositories working group, describes the digital repositories "problem space", and takes a look at some of the implementations of repositories from around the world.

Although the current specifications provide a common format for the metadata and packaged materials contained within a repository, there are interoperability issues - ranging from authentication to searching - that are not covered at all.

The white paper outlines some of the key behaviours of users and agents, including searching, gathering, alerting, requesting, and publishing, and describes how they might be served by components of a functional architecture.

Describing the components and common services for digital repositories may mark the first step towards a set of IMS specifications for application services. This is a step beyond current IMS specifications, and continues the current trend in specification bodies to move beyond information models and start thinking about architectural frameworks. (See also our article The Next Big Thing: Three Architectural Frameworks for Learning Technology).

For anyone working on a content repository project, the overview of implementations in the white paper also makes interesting reading.

You can download the white paper from the IMS Website.