Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DURAFILE Report Summary

Project reference: 605356
Funded under: FP7-SME

Periodic Report Summary 1 - DURAFILE (Innovative Digital Preservation using Social Search in Agent Environments)

Project Context and Objectives:
During our lives, we generate a lot of personal information such as photos, music, text documents and videos which link us with our past. This data that used to be tangible is now digital information stored in our computers, which implies a software dependence to make them accessible in the future. Technology, however, constantly evolves and goes through regular shifts, quickly rendering various file formats obsolete. The need for accessing data in the future affects not only home users but also organisations, due that national laws require that organizations retain their digital information for periods ranging from few months to several years.

Digital preservation (DP) represents the management of digital information over time to guarantee their accessibility and preserved quality. It includes processes and activities that ensure access to information and all types of records, scientific and cultural heritage that is stored in digital formats. Digital preservation offers assurance that digital information can be accessed continuously at any time and across shifts of technical generations that occur approximately every 5 to 15 years. The DURAFILE project aims to offer a novel software platform preserving both personal digital information and the digital information generated by organizations (audits, access to past legal documents or scientific data, records of different events, etc.)

The project will develop a platform for facilitating a common infrastructure for researchers, big institutions and end users that will promote the interchange of digital preservation plans for multimedia files. DURAFILE can ensure that their information will remain available in the future, no matter how the technology evolves or current data formats become obsolete. The DURAFILE social features represent a unique approach to digital preservation as the knowledge base grows with its usage. The project will improve the competitiveness of the European economy in several ways: 1) Tapping into a huge market potential due to the vast potential user list and exponential growth of digital data 2) First-mover advantage in comparison to non-European countries that are not using DURAFILE.

DURAFILE will work as an antivirus, scanning user folders for detecting files with risk of obsolescence or out-dated files that will be converted into a standard format preserving the quality. It will be available as a) enterprise version which contains a dedicated server including security issues to scan the files for professional users, including big institutions or SMEs that need to handle a large amount of information that needs to be preserved, b) web based and stand-alone client to scan locally as the most common antivirus systems do, for regular home users who need more than a backup for their multimedia files.

Project Results:
The work performed during the first period was concentrated in describing the framework for the DURAFILE platform. The initial effort was dedicated to the definition of the user and the system requirements (including security issues on the private data), identifying different characteristics of the possible B2B and B2C scenarios and implementing a new Social Search algorithm adapted for Digital Preservation. The work of the first 9 months of the first period of the DURAFILE project included the following tasks was:

• Study of the state of the art in Digital Preservation (WP1). The work included the identification of the state of the art, models, methods, methodologies and applications of agents in digital preservation and the identification, adaption and development of models and methods needed to define DURAFILE agents developed in this project. The study also included an outline the final market for the digital preservation, identifying the different characteristics of the end consumers in the B2B and B2C scenarios.

• Definition of the user’s requirements for the DURAFILE platform (WP1). The work included the collection of the users and the SMEs requirements and the definition of a platform architecture with a commercial approach. Algorithms for monitoring digital objects were defined. In the new DURAFILE platform design, the monitoring of digital objects is defined in the preservation process done at the DURAFILE Server. A specific ontology for digital preservation was also defined. The ontology generated comprises a taxonomy that classifies the knowledge and all the related concepts and types of relationships that enriches each topic.

• Development of a Security/trust policy working with preservation plans (WP2). The work included the selection of the protocols for securing the data transmission, the data storage and the execution of Digital Preservation Plans and the creation of a Trust model used for the Experts in digital preservation.

• Development of Social Search algorithm for digital preservation (WP3). During the period, a Social Search Algorithm for Digital Preservation purposes was implemented. The work included a library of semantic algorithms which will be used for the implementation of the Harvesting Agent (scheduled in Task 4.4) and the communication mechanism between the agents of the Experts Community.

Potential Impact:
The DURAFILE project is developing a new software platform that will be used for preserving both, the personal digital information of the home users and the digital information generated by the organizations. As a standalone application installed on personal computers, DURAFILE will regularly scan all files – working in the background – similarly to anti-virus programs detecting obsolete files or files at risk of obsolescence. DURAFILE additionally, will provide specific solutions with high security requirements for those organizations that need to preserve automatically the integrity and accessibility of large, catalogued and searchable archives. There is currently no other tool on the market that offers the features that DURAFILE provides.

DURAFILE will achieve these objectives by:

• Providing a software platform that working in the background scans automatically the files searching for file with obsolete or with risk of obsolescence formats. For facilitating this task, the DURAFILE platform is made by 2 servers: the DURAFILE Server and the Recipe Server. Data will be stored in the DURAFILE Server while the Digital Preservation plans will be stored and executed automatically by the Recipe Server.

• Allowing dynamic Digital Preservation plans that can be updated. The platform includes a network of experts that will create new Digital Preservation plans which will be validated before they will be stored in the Recipe Server.

• Monitor forums and webpages for automatically update the list of obsolete or with risk of obsolescence formats by using a Harvesting Agent. This agent will obtain information for helping the experts in the generation of new Digital Preservation Plans.

• Assuring the data privacy by using encrypted protocols for sending the information from the user computer to the DURAFILE Server. Privacy also includes that the stored data will be encrypted and only accessible by the owner.

Some of the expected impacts of DURAFILE include:

To estimate the total potential impact at the European level, the DURAFILE user groups can be split into different groups that include all sectors: large companies, SMEs and consumers.

• In larger companies, it is likely that one centralized department will take care of any software-related issues. For a large company, one employee should be able to save at least one day per year by using DURAFILE instead of searching for solutions. There are approximately 43,000 large companies established in the EU. Assuming that DURAFILE reaches a market penetration of as small as 0.5% by 2021, it would save 215 days per year. Plus, the time savings of public institutions can be added there.

• In SMEs, most employees take care of their own or each other’s IT issues. Assuming again a market penetration of 0.5% by 2021 and that each employee saves only one day per year by using DURAFILE instead of searching around for updates and newer formats, downloading and browsing forums, the estimated time savings would be 375,000 days per year as SMEs account for 75 million job positions in the European Market. Together, the yearly time savings of large and small enterprises together would be 375,215 days in 2021 or 1,646 person working years (counting 228 person days per year). Considering that most of the SMEs in Europe are micro enterprises with 10 employees or fewer, 1,646 person years become quite considerable.

As a summary, assuming a conservative market penetration of 0.5% of the business and consumer market, the time savings for companies would be 375,215 days corresponding to 1,646 person working years in time savings per year (using the average of 228 person days per year). Adding the public sector would multiply the savings.

List of Websites:


Anna, Szathmary (Head of Financial Project Management)
Tel.: +34932049922
Fax: +34932049866
Record Number: 186748 / Last updated on: 2016-07-20