mark on March 6th, 2012

Iteration 3 has been progressed to 3.2, please check out the new and improved features. Specifically in this upgrade you will find that:

In the discover app:

  • Search by provider has been added to the advanced search
  • Typing into the main search textfield will yield autocomplete suggestions
  • Private records are no longer searchable (or displayed)

In the feed manager app:

  • Feeds and their associated records are now private by default, and must be published before they can be found via the discover app.
  • The dashboard has been improved, information is displayed in a tabular format.
  • The implementation of the collect feed mechanism has been improved.
  • The checking interval for feeds can now be modified via the edit screen.
  • Feeds can now be deleted if the user owns them.
  • Users are now informed (via email) when an administrator activates their account.

Please check out this documentation: XCRI Agg User Doc

admin on March 4th, 2012

All, a quick note:

The live system has been upgraded with the latest release to keep the triple store endpoint in sync with the latest deposits. The GitHub wiki has also been updated with information about the various API components. This is still very much a work in progress, but your feedback is most welcome. Initial documentation can be found here: The SPARQL endpoint, OAI service and OpenSearch interfaces are available in this release. We expect the metadata content of these services to change, but not the endpoint or service URLs.


mark on February 28th, 2012

Iteration 3 is now live, please feel free to check out the new and improved features. Specifically in this release you will find that:

In the discover app:

  • Users are now informed of how many courses their search (via discover app) will yield prior to hitting the search, this comes with an additional colour coding

    black for 0 results
    green for 1-100 results
    orange for more than 100 results

  • Advanced search functionality implemented which includes

    Refine search by Qualification (ie PHD, MSC etc) and by Attendance (part time, full time)
    Geocoding has been implemented allowing results to be sorted by proximity to the users location (closest results first)
    Additonal Filter – Qualification Level (Further Education, Community Education, Short, Undergraduate/Postgraduate Part Time etc)

  • Distance (in km) from users location now shown alongside the course in the hit results.
  • Search filters now display meaningful values rather than Id’s and codes.
  • When user inputs their location the full address is clearly identified on the search results screen.

In the feedmanager app:

  • The number of users awaiting activation by an admin are now displayed in a little red box on the Users button for administrators.
  • The number of course records for a feed are now displayed in the feeds table.
mark on February 6th, 2012

Iteration 2 is now live, please feel free to check out the new and improved features. Specifically in this release you will find that:

  • Feeds are now being harvested more comprehensively. This additional data is now included on each course info page.
  • Search results can now be served up in a variety of formats such, namely JSON, XML (.xml, .rss, .atom) and HTML


    Results as HTML (default):
    Results as JSON:
    Results as XML:

  • Searching courses now has an additional filtering mechanism, i.e you can now filter your search results by Subject and Provider.
  • Searching is now more efficient and quicker.
  • Findability of data has been improved.
  • Administrators can force a feed to be re-collected and processed even if the underlying feed data has not changed.
    Note: This feature should be used sparingly, the most likely scenario for this functionality is if extra field/data needs to be harvested from the feed (usually when a feed handler has changed)
admin on December 29th, 2011

Iteration 1 is now live, and available for high level initial comments. Be warned that the service is being actively updated, and may not be available 100% of the time. Major features released in this iteration

FeedManager Release 1

This First Iteration The XCRI Aggregator Feed Manager is deployed at The Feed manager application will be the primary interface for administrators to register their XCRI URLs. Ideally, end users will create their own accounts and register their own feeds. However, in this release, the admin user “Owns” the 13 test feeds take from Specific features new in this release

  • The administrative user can register new feeds using the admin interface.
  • The bootstrap application automatically adds the 13 test feeds for ease of testing in the CI service.
  • Logged in users can see the output from any given feed run.
  • The front page lists all registered feeds and their most recent status update.
  • The process of “Collecting” a feed visits the URL and then posts the XCRI document at the aggregator workflow system.
  • Feeds are automatically collected at a specified interval, or the administrator can force a given feed to update.

The next release will finalise the end user registration code (Mark is working hard on this now) so that admins can register their own feed URLs and monitor them for errors and updates, as well as set per-file perferences such as normalising the case of titles etc. We have an active “story” which will allow users to claim URLs for their own institution which are currently registered as test URLs.

Discover Release 1

This Iteration of the discover application is available at The primary objective of this release is to test the end-to-end connectivity from the FeedManager to an individual course (Assuming a “Happy Path” through the application). Any courses read from an input XCRI document will be available via this interface. Major features

  • This app connects to the backend lucene cluster (ElasticSearch) indexes
  • Currently, title and description are the default search fields
  • The search form parameter “q” is used. This parameter can be any valid lucene syntax search currently
  • Search form and results form are live, no pagination at present
  • Outline COOL URI for each course is available.

Posts will follow with details for the content-type negotiation options available at these URLs, and additional backend services (Direct access to search indexes etc).



admin on December 22nd, 2011

A short note describing how the project will be managed on this server:

Our project is composed of 3 primary components

  1. A generic Aggregator (Itself split into a repository and a service for supplying resource specific workflows).
  2. A Feed manager which allows end users to register their own XCRI-CAP feeds and manage the process of testing and submitting to the aggregation service.
  3. A customised presentation application which allows end users (People searching for course information) to discover and deep-link to course information.

All of these projects are managed by various git repositories (The custom project files can be found here: These repositories follow a specific branching methodology with master, develop and release branches, along with feature specific branches.

This server runs a Jenkins continuous integration server. Whenever changes are merged into the release branch, the project jenkins server will update the changed files, recompile and (if everything passes tests) update the test server. We will try to only merge with the release branch out of office hours, but sometimes applications may not respond while they update.

admin on December 15th, 2011

Welcome to the first posting for the XCRI Aggregator project!

This blog will track the development and operation of the XCRI Aggregator component being developed under the JISC Course Data Programme. The project expects to have iteration one live before the end of the year, expect to see URLs posted on this blog very shortly, along with initial postings describing the technical aspects of the system and our preparation for user testing phases.