Virginia Tech Libraries’ Next Gen Digital Libraries Platform
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Virginia Tech Libraries presents our next generation digital library platform. Our design and implementation addresses the maintainability, sustainability, modularity, and scalability of a digital repository using a Cloud- native architecture, in which the entire platform is deployed in a cloud environment - Amazon Web Services (AWS). Our next-gen digital library eschews the old model of multiple siloed systems and embraces a common, sustainable infrastructure. This approach facilitates a more maintainable approach to managing and providing access to collections allowing us to focus on content and user experience. This platform is composed of a suite of microservices and cloud services. Microservices implemented as Lambda functions handle specific tasks and communicate with each other and other cloud services using lightweight asynchronous messaging. Cloud-native application development embodies the future of digital asset management and content delivery. Shared infrastructure throughout the stack and a clear demarcation between front- and back-end makes the platform more generalizable and supports independent replacement of components. We share our experiences and lessons learned developing this digital library platform, including architecture design, microservice implementation, cloud integration, best practices, and practical strategies and directions for developing a Cloud-native repository.