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Repository is one of those words which needs to be accompanied by a qualification: just what do you mean in this context by repository?
We are moving away from thinking about a repository as a ‘bucket’ into which we pour content. And towards a sense of repository as a set of services on managed objects. Different repository frameworks might provide different services in different configurations.
This is on my mind as I have just been looking at a presentation [pdf] given by Herbert Van de Sompel at Olybris 2005 in Kos.
Herbert sketches an environment in which libraries manage institutional intellectual assets in ‘repositories’. Crucially, they will also facilitate the emergence of ‘value chains’ across repositories by building services which consume, aggregate, analyse, mine, link, recommend, …..
This service recombinance depends on agreed interfaces, which allow information objects to flow between repositories and between repositories and consuming applications. It is an example of how services will increasingly be oriented towards ‘intermediate consumers‘, where systems, rather than humans, are significant users.
If you want your thinking stretched over the weekend, check out Herbert’s presentation ….