Open Repository @ Open Repositories 2008

After saying a tearful farewell to Mark on Friday, the Open Repository team has picked itself up, dusted itself down – and run off to hide in Southampton for a week. Peter and Dominic are heading down later today, however I’ve been sent down here early to scout the area.
Before I go on, I’ll (re-)introduce myself – yes, I’m that Graham… technical architect, developer, DSpace committer, and now roving reporter. 
So, Southampton – should be a very interesting week. The main conference starts tomorrow, with the DSpace user group (that I have the dubious honour of organising!) on Thursday, and finally the latest revision (0.3) to the fledgling OAI-ORE specification being unveiled on Friday. I’ll be keeping you updated, as it happens (providing the network holds out – there are about 475 delegates registered for this week).
But for today, I’m attending a small meeting of repository folk at the invite of Microsoft, who are announcing this week new initiatives in the repository space. Firstly, there is the Research Output Repository platform, which provides the building blocks to creating a repository solution on a Microsoft software stack. Also mentioned are a number of tools and plugins to the Office software that allows for these applications to be used seamlessly within the workflow for publishing and archiving documents within a repository (based on standards like SWORD and OpenSearch).
This is also serving as an open forum for all the major stakeholders in the DSpace, EPrints, Fedora and now Microsoft communities to have a good discussion on the issues of interoperability – with each other, and the tools that users require to engage with their repositories.
If I manage to survive the onslaught of food that is accompanying this meeting, I hope to be back tomorrow with more information from the main conference. Wish me luck!

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