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Copenhagen Meet-up: Summary of discussion in technical breakout

21 Oct '16

These are the notes that I took as the technical group reported out to the attendees. If I missed something or there are further explanations, please add them!

  • Tension between a coherent user interface across all of FOLIO versus having branded apps
  • Mechanism for distributing apps; at this point there isn’t a plan for a global “app store” and/or a process for vetting apps. This will happen at every installation/hosting organization.
  • Need for support for non-RESTful protocols; building gateways in RAML to speak Z39.50 or NCIP, for instance.
  • The technical possibility of using the domain models and modules while building a different app layer
  • Definition of roles and permissions: apps use pre-defined permissions or apps having the ability to define their own. Also, allowing for admins to define roles or have standard system roles.
21 Oct '16

I love the idea of an app store. I think it makes sense in the vision of FOLIO, so contributors can offer both complimentary apps, or alternative apps for a similar service. But it does raise a lot of issues! Maybe you talked about this:

  • vetting of new apps
  • approval of modifications and enhancements to existing apps (and how will that be pushed out to users of the apps)
  • how will apps get updated if the base technical infrastructure gets updated?
  • how will it be clear that all apps will work together, or if there are dependencies, these are clear (e.g., I’m imagining a scenario where if you want to use X Circ App you have to use X Metadata app, because Y Metadata app won’t work with X circ app)?

Taking the smart phone analogy, I’m sort of imaging that users would be notified of updates to existing apps that they’re using, and then if there is a platform update, that will also have to be scheduled and installed.

23 Oct '16

Hi, Kristin. All of those issues (and possibly more) came up during the discussions of the “app store”. I wasn’t part of the technical breakout, but I did hear in subsequent discussion that a “registry” of apps is most likely as far as things can go at this point. It’ll be up to the system administrators to determine whether selected apps can interoperate on the platform and that there are no security problems. Then system administrators can “install” the apps onto the FOLIO platform and configure the permissions for platform users. There is still substantial uncertainty about this – delivering on this is a little ways down the roadmap and the user experience development hasn’t started yet.