Antonella Picarella is a Content Management System Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where she develops and manages the AgriDrupal and its community of users (together with Valeria Pesce). In the last 5 years, she has worked on tools in managing and exchanging information between systems mainly in Drupal CMS. The AIMS Editorial team asked her for insight into the development of AgriDrupal and its community. Below she shares her views.
Question 1. Why was AgriDrupal developed and what are its capabilities?
One of the main obstacles towards a more efficient management and sharing of agricultural knowledge is the lack of good standard-compliant tools whose adoption and maintenance is really sustainable. AgriDrupal was created to help institutions, organizations, universities
- To manage documents, bibliographic records or other contents like news, events and people;
- To easily configure metadata models and metadata displays;
- To publish information on the web;
- To make it accessible and re-usable according to standards.
It offers an OAI-PMH interface with two available metadata sets: Dublin Core and AGRIS AP. Furthermore exposes a SPARQL endpoint that accepts queries using several widely used vocabularies: DC and BIBO for documents, FOAF for experts and institutions and it is possible to retrieve data as RDF triples. AgriDrupal is based on Drupal, an open source content management system, maintained and developed by a community of thousands of users and developers. It allows to easily customize the platform so this make AgriDrupal a sustainable project.
Question 2. What is the current status of AgriDrupal Development?
We have just released a new version based on the last version of Drupal and, as I have already mentioned, all the contents can be now queried through SPARQL queries and retrieved as RDF triples. The real news is the release of the AgriDrupal features, a package of all the main AgriDrupal site's components in different modules. With a few clicks you can have the main functionalities of AgriDrupal in your existing Drupal website.
Question 3. Many institutions in the AGRIS Network are interested in migrating their AGRIS Records to AGRIDrupal, whats your advice to them?
AgriDrupal offers import and export functionalities based on widely used metadata sets and formats (Dublin Core, AGRIS AP, CSV or RSS). So If they have good export files (xml or csv) it will be really easy to import their existing records into AgriDrupal.
Question 4. What are the future plans for the AgriDrupal and the AgriDrupal Community?
We are now working, in collaboration with other institutions, to have an AgriDrupal cloud version, and we are creating, in collaboration with the London Natural History Museum, a version integrated with Scratchpads, an online virtual research environment for biodiversity.