This Activity manages the execution of five separate tasks:

A3.1 Sample Software Portfolio

The Sample Software Portfolio provides an open source reference toolset with the most up-to-date and complete implementations for the creation, validation, storage and reuse of information packages according to the E-ARK Specifications.

The long-term aims of this service are: to maintain a list of software applications, components and libraries which belong to the Sample Software Portfolio; to maintain a close relationship with the developers of such software; to ensure that developers are made aware of updates to specifications (in Activity 2) in good time, and that the software comprising the Sample Software Portfolio is updated in a reasonable timeframe following the release of new versions of the specifications. During this project the activity will:

  • set up binding principles for managing the set of reference tools, communicating among the group of developers, and synchronising specification and software releases (M1‒M6). This task occurs in collaboration with the preparation of the Release Management Strategy in Activity 3.5;
  • address known software issues raised in the corresponding code repositories’ issue trackers (M1‒
  • M6); and
  • update specification support in sample software following the publication of E-ARK specification release candidates in Activity 2 (M7‒M12).

A3.2 Service Desk

The goal of this service is to set up a dedicated Service Desk for organisations, companies and professionals that:

  • are interested in E-ARK activities and its services;
  • want to implement E-ARK specifications in their already available tools; or
  • want to integrate E-ARK sample software into their existing information management infrastructure.


The Service Desk will also collaborate closely with software developers to forward any relevant bug reports and feature requests, and liaise with the CEF Service Desk as appropriate. During this project the activity will, throughout M1‒M12, carry out the detailed scoping of the Service Desk, establish relevant procedures, set up necessary support tools and assess required resources. These actions allow the Service Desk to become operational after the end of the project (along with the delivery of updated specifications from Activity 2 and Sample Software Portfolio from Activity 3.1).

A3.3 Compliance Testing

This service’s goal is to establish a compliance testing regime. The service will allow software developers to verify whether their relevant components for data export and import, validation, preservation, archival management and reuse create information packages that comply with requirements set in E-ARK specifications. Next to regular true/false verification, the aim is to provide reporting capabilities that explain the nature of discovered errors and provide recommendations for improvement. Automatable components of the compliance testing regime are also implemented as an open and publicly available online service. During this project the activity will:

  • establish a set of conformance testing requirements, test scripts and corpora. Set up conformance testing and reporting online service prototype (M1‒M6);
  • pilot the testing regime on components comprising the Sample Software Portfolio (M7‒M9); and
  • update requirements, scripts, corpora and online services (M10‒M12).

A3.4 E-ARK General Model

The E-ARK General Model provides an overall view of the workflows, specifications and software developed within the E-ARK project in 2014‒2017.

Organised around the framework of the OAIS Reference Model, the E-ARK General Model presents and visualises the connections and dependencies between the E-ARK specifications, tools, use-cases and processes, and showcases relevant business implementation pilots and scenarios. Therefore, the model serves as a general reference of E-ARK and provides a natural starting point for the technical components of the eArchiving Building Block. The aim of this service is to keep the General Model up-to-date as a service that is accessible and comprehensible for digital preservation professionals and the wider community as well. During this project the activity will:

  • harmonise the model with the eArchiving Building Block service approach and structure; and
  • plan future work for the creation of an E-ARK Process Reference Model.

A3.5 Release Management

The eArchiving Building Block manages a large and diverse portfolio of components, including various specifications, tools, and services delivering support, training and dissemination. The purpose of release management is to sustain the theoretical conformity and technical compatibility among the versions and revisions of the components of the eArchiving service portfolio. This allows the eArchiving Building Block to maintain, at any point in time, a clear overview of the complex landscape, enable professional cooperation and straightforward information exchange, and ultimately make sure that any new release of specifications is immediately followed by relevant updates in the Sample Software Portfolio, Service Desk, training and dissemination services.

During this project the activity will create:

  • an initial Release Management Strategy, outlining the core principles to be followed; and
  • a Release Management Roadmap, outlining the timeline of next releases of the eArchiving Building Block.