2 minutes to read Posted on Monday April 25, 2016

What's in store for 2016? Europeana's development plans and priorities

Spring has sprung and the first quarter of 2016 has passed. With our Business Plan 2016 finalised and our DSI2 proposal for July 2016 - August 2017 under review by the Commission, our development plans for 2016 have now solidified. This will be a packed year for our product and software development teams and our development partners - AIT and PSNC - in the Europeana Network. Here’s what we’ll be working on.*


22.0 IBM modell System/32 and System 34, Telemuseet CC BY-SA

Major development objectives in 2016

  • Finalise the development of the Europeana Cloud prototype infrastructure, continue its development and begin using it in production

  • Develop a new suite of ingestion and data processing services - code-named Metis after the Titaness of Wisdom

  • Improve Europeana Collections with the addition of further thematic collections, new features and updated and more closely integrated components for exhibitions and blog

  • Improve the search engine that powers our APIs and thus also Europeana Collections (which uses the API)

  • Add new API endpoints for user annotations and retrieval of semantic entities (i.e. people, places and subjects present in our metadata) and begin to exploit them in Europeana Collections

  • Consolidate the systems that power the Europeana Pro, Labs and Research sites to improve operational efficiency and increase editor productivity

  • While doing all of the above, improve the way we organise and do design and development

What we’ve done from January to now

  • Rounded off the development of the prototype Europeana Cloud storage layer and the first services built on it e.g. an IIIF compliant image service

  • Began the development of Metis

  • Released an alpha version of our Annotations API

  • Began development of an Entity API that allows search and retrieval of entities

  • Fixed bugs and added/tweaked features in Europeana Collections

  • Developed an early beta version of our new exhibitions CMS: the first exhibition using it is Faces of Europe, which we launched last week

May to June

We plan to:

  • Align the development of Metis and the Europeana Cloud infrastructure and release a public alpha of our first Metis data processing service: Validation.

  • Further develop the Annotations API and release a new version

  • Further develop the Entity API and release an alpha version

  • Stabilise Europeana Collections and, once we have, remove the beta flag

  • Further develop the new exhibitions CMS

  • Develop the thematic Fashion Collections

  • Integrate a newspapers viewer in Europeana Collections with hi-res images drawn from the Europeana Cloud Image Service

  • Improve the stability and maintainability of the Statistics Dashboard

July to September

We plan to:

  • Further develop the Metis suite of services, adding new services and stabilising existing ones

  • Begin to add support for user annotations in Europeana Collections

  • Develop the thematic Fashion Collections further. We aim to release a first production version in this period.

  • Scope and plan and begin the development of a thematic Newspaper Collections

  • Scope and plan the migration of Europeana 1914-1918 to Europeana Collections

  • Scope and plan the further development of the Statistics Dashboard

October to December

We plan to:

  • Further develop the Metis suite of services. We aim to release first public alpha versions of some further Metis services (we’re aiming for Preview and Statistics)

  • Continue to add support for user annotations in Europeana Collections and release the first annotation features

  • Continue the development of a thematic Newspaper Collections and release a first stable version

  • Continue the development of the Entity API and begin to add features to Europeana Collections based on it - autosuggestions, entity cards and entity pages.

  • Begin the development needed to migrate of Europeana 1914-1918 to Europeana Collections

  • Develop a first production version of the Statistics Dashboard

As you can see we've got a lot on our plates! Please note that we'll do our best to release all these new products and features, but there's likely to be some changes as the year progresses. It's also important to mention that we'll be aiming to release new products early and new features frequently in order to get your feedback to make them better. As such, not everything will be perfect on first release, and we appreciate your patience and help in honing the new and updated services. We’ll return during the year with updates and product news when we have them!

What do alpha, beta and in production mean?

Alpha: an early test of software where availability is not guaranteed at all and features and design can change frequently, even daily. The purpose is primarily to perform technical tests but also to get user input as early as possible in the development process. The alpha testing period is typically longer than the beta testing period.

Beta: a post-alpha test of software primarily for the purpose of quality, performance and stability control. While features and design can change the change are typically of a fine-tuning character.

Production: when software has passed the beta test it is released for real use, it enters production.

*This blog was inspired by our friends at DigitalNZ. Read about their plans for 2016.

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