The ORDS Open-Sourcing Project

The ORDS Open-Sourcing Project was a Jisc-funded project to modularize the Oxford Database-as-a-Service (DaaS) software that underpins the ORDS and release it under an open-source licence.

Project Aims

It was always the intention to make the ORDS an open-source resource that could be deployed by organizations beyond the University of Oxford. Developing new software is, however, a complicated and time-consuming process, and it was agreed that the service should be piloted within Oxford to gauge demand and bring it to maturity.

Once this goal had largely been achieved, the next step was to adapt the software to enable public access to the source code and encourage the growth of a development community around it. We received expressions of interest from several UK and European universities regarding the possibility of deploying their own instances of the ORDS, as well as from Barclays and NASA.

The Open-Sourcing Project had the following objectives:
  • To open-source the Database-as-a-Service code that underpins Oxford's 'Online Research Database Service' (ORDS) by making the code available from an appropriate open-source code repository under an open-source licence
  • To render the code deployable by other UK HE institutions by:
    Ensuring that alternative (non-Oxford University) branding can be applied
    Adapting the code to enable alternative authentication mechanisms
    Creating easily-deployable bundles
  • To begin the process of building an open-source community around the software
  • To ensure that an appropriate open-source governance model is in place to aid further development beyond the project itself
  • To understand how to promote the ORDS to the UK HE sector (in collaboration with JISC)

The ORDS Open-Sourcing project ended in spring 2016.

Project Outputs

Development of the ORDS system at Oxford has now ceased. For further information, please contact either Scott Wilson at Cetis LLP or the IT Services Research Support team.