DSpace is an open source repository software package that is used for developing open access repositories for published digital data. The DSpace repository software serves a specific need as a digital archives system, focused on the storage, long-term access and preservation of digital content. It also shares some feature overlap with document management systems and content management systems.

Following are the key features that pushes users for DSpace:

  • Completely customizable to fit your needs
  • Can manage and preserve all types of digital content
  • Can be installed out of the box
  • Free open source software

Completely customizable to fulfil your needs:

DSpace is customizable in the following ways to meet your needs:

Customize or Theme – You can fully customize the look and feel of your DSpace website according to your needs so it will integrate seamlessly with your own website and can be more intuitive for your users. It provides mainly two user interface options: the traditional (JSP-based) interface or Manakin (XML-based) which provides various “themes” out of the box that can be used to enhance the look and feel of user interface.

Customize metadata – Dublin Core is default metadata format used in DSpace application. However any field can be added or changed field to customize it for your application as per the requirements. DSpace currently supports any flat name space, non-hierarchical, although it is possible to ingest other hierarchical metadata schemas into DSpace such as MODS and MARC. This requires use of tools such as crosswalk and have some technical capability to map the transfer of data.

Configure Search and Browse – You can decide fields that you would like to display for browsing, such as title, author, date etc. You can also select any of the metadata fields that you would like to add in the search interface. All the text within a given item and metadata associated with that item, are indexed for full text search if desired.

Standards compatibility – DSpace complies with many standard protocols for ingest, export and access.  The standards DSpace supports include: OAI-PMH, OAI-ORE, Open URL, SWORD, WebDAV, RSS, OpenSearch, and ATOM.

Local authentication mechanisms – DSpace is integrated with plugins for most authentication methods, including: Shibboleth, LDAP (and hierarchical LDAP), X.509, IP-based.  In addition, DSpace is also integrated with its own internal authentication method, or it can be configured to use multiple authentication methods at once depending on the needs. On the other hand you can also build your own authentication plugin if you want to use a custom authentication mechanism.

Configurable database -You can choose any of the database i.e. PostgreSQL or Oracle where DSpace manages all its metadata.

Default language -The DSpace application is available in more than twenty languages. If English is not your local language, you can customize the language which needs to be used by DSpace.  DSpace can also be configured to support multiple languages, so that the language you see is the ‘preferred language’ set in the web browser.

Can manage and store all types of digital content:

DSpace application can manage and recognize a large number of file format and mime types of its own. Some of the most common formats currently managed within the DSpace environment are JPEG, PDF, TIFF, Word, MPEG files.  Although out-of-the-box, DSpace only auto-recognizes common file formats, also files of every format can be managed by DSpace.  Also DSpace provides simple file format registry where you can register any unrecognized format in such a way that it can be identified in the future.

Can be installed out of the box:

DSpace comes with an easily configurable web based interface to meet the user’s demand, which any system administrator can install on Linux, Mac OSX or Windows box to get started.

Free open source software:

The DSpace open source platform is available for free to anyone which can be downloaded from web. Any organization can use, modify, and even integrate the code into their commercial application to fulfil the requirements.