What DSpace Offers

DSpace is written in Java and is portable across different operating system platforms. It is scalable, supporting multiple load-balanced instances. Key features include:

  • a choice of two interface technologies- the JSP UI and the Mannakin XML UI
  • the ability to organise content into structured hierarchies
  • access control for different kinds of users down to the individual item level
  • a strong workflow system that allows your institutional authors/collaborators to directly upload documents in a structured way
  • an enhanced upload function we have developed for multi-file upload
  • the ability to accept all kinds of digital file formats
  • a built-in web server to make content available on the Internet
  • ability to describe contributions to the repository using the Dublin Core metadata scheme
  • ability to extend the metadata scheme to institutional requirements
  • fast, simple and advanced searches against the indexed metadata
  • reports providing summary statistics from the repository
  • integration with handle.net for long term persistent URL creation
  • the ability to notify content owners as particular formats need updating
  • support of industry protocols, such as Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, allowing automatic replication with other DSpace servers
  • an open source "BSD" licence, meaning DSpace is freely available for download and in widespread use 

Multiple format support

DSpace supports a broad range of image, video and document formats by ensuring that files in the repository are retrieved with the appropriate content-type MIME tag. This allows web browsers to display non-HTML documents either natively or by opening them with the correct helper application.

DSpace is open to customisation and configuration

The layered application design allows front-end customisation while still allowing easy upgrade to new versions of DSpace. The user presentation level for the web interface is scalable and has several presentation options, including a set of JSP or XML-based forms for user presentation that can be customised without affecting the underlying Java-based application.

Types of customisation we have included for our clients include:

  • Single sign-on integration
  • Spreadsheet bulk upload of resources
  • User interface presentation design
  • Alternative browsing presentation
  • Wiki integration for client maintainable, extended help

Prosentient has also taken DSpace further to provide integration with the Koha open source Library Management System in order to provide a unified catalogue of electronic and other library resources. 

DSpace also has an integrated, configurable, submission workflow and metadata definition framework which allows:

  • Self registration by contributors - although submissions are subject to approval.
  • A single or multi-stage submission process.
  • Structured form definitions identify the supporting information (metadata) to be supplied by the person submitting the document and also any follow-on authorisation, review, additional metadata and curation that library staff must complete before an item is accepted into the repository. This includes the creation of metadata specific to particular types or collections of documents.
  • Definition of structured authority lists for subject areas or other well known name/value pairs.
  • Archive tools check the repository content nightly for integrity.

Open access design & feed architectures

The integrated full text search engine allows simple and advanced searching. Content from Word, PDF, Excel and other formats can be full-text indexed for searching.

Standard query reporting tools can interrogate the metadata in the PostgreSQL (or Oracle) database. DSpace has cross-walk tools for XML that allow content delivery through standard protocols such as OAI/PMH. Content can be delivered from a highly scalable web portal or through harvesting systems such as OAI/PMH (Open Archives Initiative/Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). In addition, the system can generate Google site maps for integration with Google. Other cross-walk definitions can be added through an extensible harvesting protocol.

Through our integration with Koha, Prosentient Systems can also provide z39.50 access to the repository content.

The system can also be configured to automatically harvest content from other systems using OAI/PMH or its batch import/ingress functions.

DSpace supports RSS and email subscription to new content reports.

Archiving and metadata standards

The following archiving and metadata formats are supported by DSpace:

  • Dublin core (and other user-configurable metadata formats)
  • METS-based AIP format export
  • OAO-PMH for import harvesting and export

System requirements 


  • Java JDK 6 or later
  • PostgresQL 8.1 or Oracle 9 (or later)
  • Tomcat 6 or later

Development, customisation and configuration:

  • Apache Maven 2
  • Ant.

The user interface can be presented through:

  • JSP script-lets
  • The XML-based Manakin user interface