Library Management

DSpace Digital Repository for Southeast Asia's #1 Private University

We built an open digital repository by customising DSpace to store and manage thousands of document collections for Taylor's University.


Data Migration, Development


4 Months


3 Members


DSpace, Java



Areas of Improvement

UI Design
User Flow
Document Submission
Document Review
System Design
About the Project

Customized Open Access Digital Repository Solution for University Staff and Students

We customised a newly set up DSpace system, maintained the previous workflow, safely migrated all the data, added new features, upgraded the security, and added new integrations.

New Features

EBSCO Integration
Document Filters
Active Directory Login
URL Encryption

Development Methodology

Testing Methods

User Acceptance Testing
Performance Testing
Stress Testing
QA Testing

Problems Solved

Taylor’s University wanted new features, better accessibility, an improved review process, user login through existing university credentials, improved security, and integration with EBSCO.
Lack of Security
Outdated System
Limited Collection Types

Custom Theme

We designed the system for good accessibility, and usability for widgets, and to reflect their brand’s visual style consistently.

We structured forms and layouts so users can clearly understand how to navigate them, aided by a custom-made widget for key updates like:
Recent Additions
Most Viewed Items

Multiple Item Types in DSpace

Taylor’s University wanted to use DSpace, an open source software for their next system, but were facing issues with item types because DSpace offers only one type out-of-the box.

We created 21 different item types within DSpace. Based on the item a user selects, a specific form, with relevant metadata fields automatically loads for them to fill.

Integrating Two Active Directories

Taylor's University had two different Active Directory servers. One for their staff and one for their students. Since DSPace and most similar systems are built to integrate with only one server, our challenge was to integrate two different AD servers with the new DSpace set up.

Better Document Reviews and Submissions

The previous system used by Taylor’s University didn’t provide transparency in the submission process, and gave admins less control over editing document metadata.

We rebuilt the submission and review process. We added two dedicated Review and Submission status pages that allow admins to manage submissions, and submitters to view the status of submissions, respectively.

Data Migration

Migrating 2,684 different resource items from their old system - Vital - and mapping it to the new DSpace setup was critical.

We exported all previous metadata in a CSV format, mapped and validated data fields to the new format without losing data. This was followed by an automated data import to migrate all the data and a validation process to verify the integrity of the imported data.

Native DSpace Features vs
New Features We Added


Custom filter in search results (by entity type)
Mulstiple custom entities
Two domain LDAP Integration plugin
Home page 'browse by' widgets


Our DSpace Solution

How We Made this Project a Success

Customising Open Source Software

Because of our team’s Java programming skills, our experience with DSpace, and our understanding of education software, we were able to quickly ship the system with the customisations that were requested by the client.

As an advantage of building with open source software, we were able to connect with the community and make an entirely new type of custom change to make mandatory fields optional and vice versa.

Standardised Processes

We used the Agile Methodology to build the new DSpace repository for Taylor’s University. We started by making a User Requirement Specifications (URS) doc, followed by a design phase that included prototyping. We then moved to development, followed by data migration, and extensive testing.

Customising Open Source Software

We employed a number of testing methods to deliver a bug-free system, and ensure the imported data was valid, the system could handle activity surges.

We also conducted guided testing sessions to train the client on how they can self-test the new system.

Testing Methods Used

User Acceptance Testing
Quality Assurance Testing
Performance Stress Testing
Integration Testing
Limited Collection Types

Tools Used

Apache JMeter
MS Project and Visio
Apache JMeter

What We Did

Data Migration
Front-end Development
Custom Software Development
Software Testing

Key Features

Email notifications weren’t consistent or customised in their previous system, because of which admins and submitters would miss out on key updates, and had to rely on manual emails.

We added multiple email notification types that are sent to admins and submitters for events like document submission, approval, rejection, deletion before and after submission.
University staff and students who carry university credentials and have access will be able to login to the new DSpace repository using their existing credentials.​

The new repository is also integrated with EBSCO to give staff and students access to a wide collection of education materials.​
Both admins and submitters can view and generate custom reports based on their requirements in popular, exportable formats like Excel or PDF. Admins can see repository statistics in real-time, export them in Excel or PDF formats, and access data that dates back years.

Reports can include the following data​

Item access dates
Most downloaded items
Types of resource items
Total downloads per month
Recent additions
Total visits per month
Most viewed items
Resource item views and downloads ranking
Market Relevance

Leader in Multi-disciplinary Learning

A top choice for students, researchers, and academicians, Taylor’s University offers multi-disciplinary education, has been a leader in providing high quality learning since 1969, and currently educates over 22,000 students.

Highlights of this Project

21 Custom Collection Types
2 Active Directory Integrations
2,684 Data Resources Migrated
Encrypted URLs
3-tier Server Architecture
EBSCO Data Crawling Support
1000+ Concurrent User Support