Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

DURAFILE Result In Brief

Project ID: 605356
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Spain

Digital preservation goes online

Digital information created by old or obsolete formats and devices can still remain accessible, thanks to new online software that addresses the challenge.
Digital preservation goes online
In theory, information on practically anything can now be preserved indefinitely if stored digitally, whether in text form, photo or multimedia. However, there is a challenge in ensuring that the file formats of today are accessible in the future. The floppy disks and video tapes of the 1980s, for example, are now obsolete, being both difficult to access and in some cases costly to transfer to current formats. This can be addressed through digital preservation, i.e. the management of digital information over time to preserve its quality and ensure its accessibility.

The EU-funded DURAFILE (Innovative Digital Preservation using Social Search in Agent Environments) worked on new software to preserve both personal digital information and that created by SMEs. The software is designed to scan all files at regular intervals and flag those at risk of becoming obsolete, providing specific solutions to address the issue.

To achieve its aims, the project team studied cutting-edge solutions in digital preservation and defined user requirements for the new system, which it dubbed Durafile. It then worked on ensuring secure data transmission and storage, in addition to developing the required algorithms capable of harvesting the files in question.

Once the prototype software was completed, the project team worked on a dissemination and exploitation plan, finalising the Durafile platform and necessary web and desktop interface. The work involved intensive testing, validation, and training for implicated SMEs so they can fully comprehend the technical, socio-economic and commercial benefits of the new technology. The results were vigorously disseminated through the project website and through various media channels, supported by tutorials and video clips.

Today, the beta software is available as either a web-based or downloadable application on the project website. The software scans the files of home users or corporate users to identify files heading for digital obsolescence and offer viable solutions. It can handle text, audio, video and image multimedia files, taking digital preservation to new heights.

With huge growth in digital media, DURAFILE is expected to improve competitiveness of the European software industry as more stakeholders (users and developers) strive more continuity of digital material. The technology will enable society to ‘reclaim its past’, preserve its heritage and maintain its knowledge. After all, the past is the key to the future.

Related information

Keywords

Digital preservation, multimedia, DURAFILE, social search, digital obsolescence
Record Number: 190898 / Last updated on: 2017-01-18
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