PLANETS Software Installation

On April 23, 2010, in Research, by Chris Prom

As I noted earlier, the PLANETS project is a multi-year, EU funded project that aimed to develop tools that can be used to develop preservation workflows and services, alongside an existing repository application.  Its main focus is on tools for large national archives, but there is a hope that the tools could be useful to many others.  The main products are the PLATO Preservation Planning Tool and Planets Testbed (a controlled environment for experiments) can be conducted.  Other software, such as a characterization tool (basically, a more powerful and complex version of JHOVE), which is intended to measure actual characteristics of the content of the document such as colors, fonts, etc, for selected file types; an emulator; etc. are also listed

The project is currently nearing completion, and final version of the tools are not yet available, so I could not test their ease of installation for local use.  However, the PLANETS website indicates that the tools and services will be wrapped in an ‘Interoperability Framework’ (which is concisely described here by Ross King) which can be used to develop services and tie the tools together.  The version of the IF that is available on the PLANETS G-forge site was posted last summer is a .jar installer.

I attempted to install on a windows workstation.  Installation Manual recommends the use of an outdated version Java Development Kit.  In my case, the  installation appeared to work with a later version of the SDK, but when I tried to start the preconfigured PLANETS server, the batch file did not do anything.  In any case, it is a process that would be best handled by someone with system experience, but not beyond an archivist comfortable with configuring system variables.  In general, the process looks a bit more complicated that that used by Archivematica, but not as intense as the RODA installation.

Since not all of the PLANETS tools are available at this time, It is impossible to say how difficult it will be to install and use the individual tools.  The PLANETS website contains a great deal of useful publications and technical information regarding how to configure the tools.  My general impression regarding the G-Forge Software Repository, however, is that very little up-to-date software is available.  Since PLANETS has recently announced that a successor Foundation has been established, I am hoping that software will be more immediately available for installation and testing in the near future (actually, this is a hope I’ve had since last fall.)

In the meantime, I am spending a bit of time using the sandbox versions of PLATO and the TESt on the project website.  In my next post, I’ll give my impressions of the PLATO Planning Tool.

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