In this article:
July 2022 Release Overview
Internet Archive upgraded the Vault digital repository and preservation service to Version 0.4.0 in July 2022. This release includes significant infrastructure improvements which lay the groundwork for future features and functionality as well as some UI improvements thanks to feedback from our pilot partners. User-facing changes include updates to account administration, the deposits workflow, and the collections UI, which are outlined below.
If you have any questions or comments about this release, please contact us at email@example.com.
New & Improved Features
- We have changed the Vault login URL to https://vault.archive-it.org/. Please update any bookmarks you might have to this new URL. The old login URL at https://wbgrp-svc600.us.archive.org/vault will be maintained for some time, but it will eventually be deprecated.
- We have made improvements to the password reset process, making it easier for users to reset their passwords.
- Our Vault Help Center documentation is now online! Please check out the extensive Vault Help Center at https://support.archive-it.org/hc/en-us/sections/7581093252628-Vault. The Vault help center and documentation will also be linked directly from the Vault app for easy access.
- A popup warning now displays when attempting to navigate from a page during an active flow deposit. The popup warning message asks users to confirm if they really want to leave the page during an active deposit — doing so may interrupt the deposit process.
- We have made improvements to the reporting for depositing into folders. For deposits made directly into folders, reports and deposit complete emails now include the name of the folder deposited into, in addition to the collection name.
- From the directory panel, you can now expand the list to display more listed collections and folders. This expanded capacity allows you to display up to 5,000 listed collections and folders in the directory panel.
Next Release Planning
Priorities for the next release (without guaranteeing all this will be done by then) include:
- Deposits to Vault via a Command Line (“CLI”) utility are being tested internally now. This feature is expected to be ready for the next release.
- Collections Page UI improvements
- Static buttons above the table headers to make it easier to initiate actions such as Rename, Move, Delete, Deposit, etc. Thank you to all the pilot partners for the feedback on the button vs. right-click actions in the UI.
- Ability to scroll the directory, content, and detail panels independently.
- Ability to horizontally expand/adjust size of the panels on the dashboard.
April 2022 Release Overview
Internet Archive upgraded the Vault digital repository and preservation service to Version 0.3.0 in April 2022. This release includes significant improvements to collections organization, depositing and deposit reporting, fixity operations and reporting, and the main dashboard. This new version of the Vault service is the result of feedback from our pilot partner community as well as ongoing development of various features within the service. We owe a huge thanks to all the pilot partners that are collaborating with us as we continue to improve the service and extend its functionality ahead of releasing the service later in the year. As always, contact us with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New & Improved Features
- We upgraded the login workflow and it is now based on a “standard authorization” system (not basic, as it was before with the pop-up). Users are now taken to a login page similar to Archive-It. This means you can now use password managers to save login credentials!
- Usernames and passwords will remain the same as before.
- Both the “forgot password” on the login page and the “change password” feature from the admin section (top right) of the Vault app also both now work and users should receive emails related to password change management.
- If you have any issues with logins, let us know.
- There are many updates to the dashboard “main” page of the Vault app and within the individual cards.
- The Collections card behavior has been expanded and now includes a link that will take you directly to that collection.
- Clicking on an individual collection still updates the dashboard to display the statistics of that collection (as it did before).
- Clicking on an individual collection also brings up a “View” link which will take you to that collection page.
- The Account Statistics card is now the “Your Vault Statistics” card since it now displays total aggregate information of all collections.
- The Most Recent Fixity Report card can now display fixity report statistics. We will be generating fixity reports for many partners after this release. An upcoming release will allow users to define and schedule fixity events but for now we will run these events manually for partners that have requested them or want them. Contact us.
- The Events card now includes more event types and includes direct links to the reports for these events. Current events include deposits, migration, and fixity events, and deposit reports now link to full deposit reports. (We have not yet done migration events/reports, but this event refers to the replication of data to different regions).
- Collections Distribution card now displays file counts instead of percentages and includes more colors in order to represent more collections. An upcoming release will include a toggle feature for this chart to also display distribution by data volume.
- The Regions card has no changes but our Canada region will be online very soon.
- We fixed a bug in the Total Files Deposited card and it now correctly displays the history of files deposited in the selected collection.
There is a completely new three-panel user interface for managing collections!
- Above the Panels (top)
- This new Collections page now includes a navigation breadcrumb above the center panel table header.
- Collection & Folder creation button (“New” button). If a collection or folder is selected (either in the left or center panel) a new folder is created within that collection or folder.
- Directory Panel (left)
- The Directory Panel includes a directory tree of collections and folders with twirl downs to expand and collapse seeing a collection’s folders and subfolders.
- Selecting a collection/folder in the Directory panel will update the center Content Panel to display its contents and will display its details in the right side Details Panel.
- Content Panel (center)
- Selecting (single-clicking) a collection/folder in the Content Panel will update the Details Panel on the right.
- Double-clicking collections/folders will navigate into that collection folder and display the contents.
- Right-clicking on a collection/folder/file will bring up a menu of relevant actions (such as rename, move, download, or deposit here).
- Notable from the previous bullet point is that you can now directly deposit into specific folders. Choosing this action takes you to the deposit page with the destination folder pre-populated. Depositing into specific folders (not just collections) from the Deposit page is planned for a future release.
- Table header now displays the name, uploader, modified date, and size and the contents list includes new icons for collection, folder, and file.
- The content panel table includes a checkbox selection feature to choose multiple items. Once multiple items are selected, any right-click action will be executed on all the selected files.
- Side note: We know the current UI and “user journey” related to button versus right-click actions is not ideal and we want to improve it and find a way to make access to actions easier across the panels and functions. Feedback especially welcomed from users on this topic.
- Details Panel (right)
- Selecting (single-clicking) on a collection or folder in the Directory or Content panels displays its detailed information in the Details panel at right.
- New information now shown in the Details tab includes file type, pre-deposit modify date, and checksums (the UI shows truncated hashes for quick visual comparison with a copy button for copy/pasting the full hash).
- When a collection is selected, “Activity” shows recent cards with select information about the event and a link to the event report.
- The info icon above the Details panel toggles it on/off.
- We built a whole new deposit uploader system! While this isn’t obvious in the UI, it enables better upload speed, quality, monitoring, and reporting and will allow for additional features in the future.
- Depositing now includes a “same name conflict detection” feature that will not allow you to deposit two files of the same name into the same folder (something that was possible in the old deposit system and caused some amount of havoc).
- While you cannot upload the same-named file to the same folder - if this happens the system will give you the option to skip depositing that file or replace the original with the new file. There is a dialog/action box for doing this for multiple files in a batch deposit.
- When files are dragged/dropped into the drop zone for upload, the file count and total upload size are now displayed in that drop zone area (instead of its previous easy-to-overlook location in the old UI).
- Email verifications are now sent to users for completed deposits and the email contains links to the deposit report.
- Deposit reports now list statistics for every file, instead of summary information for a full deposit and these reports are updated (via refresh) as files are processed post-deposit.
- Deposit reports also have some filtering buttons for viewing/navigating reports.
- The Vault fixity audit and repair system is now integrated with the Vault app! These reports are still delivered to the app manually behind the scenes, but will be able to be conducted at automated frequencies in a future release.
- We will be delivering fixity reports to any partner that has requested it, so if you haven’t asked us for fixity reports, please do so at email@example.com and we will kick off that reporting job.
- Keyboard navigation is now possible within the Directory and Content panels of the Collections page. We remain cognizant of ensuring the Vault app is WGAC compliant.
- The deposit replication/settings panel on the Collections page has been retired for this release. We will return this feature soon, and will be experimenting with the best UI for managing these actions. Again, pilot partner feedback is welcomed. Rest assured that all data in Vault is replicated across two separate data centers with two copies in each data center and we are running periodic internal fixity audits of this data in an ongoing fashion.
- The official Vault version name is now in the footer, fwiw.
- Internal and back-end stuff, for those interested (it is a lot of otherwise invisible work!):
- We finished building a full QA instance of Vault that will enable speedier release cycles and internal testing.
- We now have a full Ansible playbook for Vault for fully automated deployment and configuration management. We are big fans of Ansible, for those into such things.
- We now have a full CI/CD pipeline and test suite.
- The Vault web servers were migrated from Apache to Nginx, bringing it in line with our other web apps/services.
- We are starting the process of migrating data to our Canada region data center and should have this feature available for a few partners to test in an upcoming release.
Temporarily Removed or Deprecated Features
- As noted above, we removed the widget in collection settings where users could checkbox-select the replica count and storage region for that collection. This feature was a non-functioning placeholder anyway, as users already knew, and we didn’t like the UI so we are rethinking where this setting lives in the app and what a good UI looks like for managing these settings. In the meantime, all data in Vault is stored with at least two copies in each of two different data centers, and fixity is verified as part of normal operations.
Next Release Planning
- We are moving to standardize on 4-6 week release cycles, so expect the next release to be in mid/late May. We are also close to hiring a Product Manager that will work on Vault.
- Priorities for the next release (without guaranteeing all this will be done by then):
- Bringing two foreign data center regions online and replicating data to these regions and other non-US regions for some select partners as part of data geopolitical distribution testing.
- Redesign the Deposit page UI and workflow, with some minor feature additions.
- Work on programmatic and command-line (CLI) deposit functionality.
- Return the ability for user management of collection replicas, locations, and fixity scheduling. We will solicit some partners to help us test what this looks like and where it lives in the app.
- Improve the button vs. right-click collection and file actions and where and how these actions are selectable.
- Some “quick hit” improvements from partner testing and feedback or that just missed this release, like downloading, some “deposit to folder” improvements, and UI tweaks, will also be included.