Wednesday 17 October 2012

IPT v2.0.4 released

Today the GBIF Secretariat has announced the release of version 2.0.4 of the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT). For those who can't wait to get their hands on the release, it's available for download on the project website here.

Collaboration on this version was more global than ever before, with volunteers in Latin America, Asia, and Europe contributing translations, and volunteers in Canada and the United States contributing some patches. 

Add to that all the issue activity, things have been busy. In total 108 issues were addressed in this version; 38 Defects, 35 Enhancements, 7 Other, 5 Patches, 18 Won't fix, 4 Duplicates, and 1 that was considered as Invalid. These are detailed in the issue tracking system.

So what exactly has changed and why? Here's a quick rundown.

One thing that kept coming up again and again in version 2.0.3, was that users were unwittingly installing the IPT in test mode, thinking that they were running in production. After registering a resource, these users expected to see it show up in the GBIF Registry and ultimately be indexed by GBIF. Frustrated emails were then sent to the GBIF Helpdesk when nothing happened. Sadly the reply from the GBIF Helpdesk was always filled with the same disappointing news: 

"Your resource is actually in the Test Registry therefore it will never be indexed by GBIF. Oh, and you will have to reinstall your IPT using production mode next time and do your resource configuration over again!" 

So to tackle this problem, the setup pages have been improved to make it crystal clear what it means to choose one mode or the other. 

The UI has also been branded when running in test mode to make it even more obvious what mode the IPT is running in.  

Now whether or not test mode was chosen accidentally, it can be used to help train administrators how to configure an instance, and to help train users how to publish resources. What was always missing, was a way to transfer configured resources from an IPT in test mode, to one in production. 

I'm happy to say that in 2.0.4, a resource can now be easily transferred between 2 IPTs including all its source files and mappings. Users will be happy to know that they never have to waste time reconfiguring the same resource from scratch. How is this done? Well in short, resource transfer is achieved by uploading an archived IPT resource folder during resource creation - see user manual for full instructions. 

Moving on.. 

With so many publishers opting for the convenience of publishing via the IPT, the GBIF helpdesk has been receiving dozens of requests to replace an existing DiGIR, BioCASE, or TAPIR resource in the GBIF Registry with one coming from their IPT. To facilitate resource migration, another new feature was added in 2.0.4 that allows the IPT to update an existing resource in the GBIF Registry during registration. The change is welcomed most of all by the GBIF helpdesk who bore the brunt of carrying out resource migrations in the GBIF Registry. See User Manual for instructions.

Thanks to the Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility (TaiBIF)  the IPT interface is now available in Traditional Chinese. That makes the IPT available in a total of 4 languages now including French, Spanish and of course English. 

What else? 

Thanks to a patch from Peter Desmet, download metrics for the Archive, EML, and RTF files can now be tracked via Google Analytics. For IPT admins who aren't already tracking analytics, there are simple instructions in the User Manual. Here's a screenshot showing some metrics from For your reference, the "Event Label" is the resource short name in the IPT.

Last but not least, it should be highlighted that the IPT's RSS feed is now updated every time a resource is published. The version number is displayed right beside the resource name, so subscribers can stay on top of the latest changes. Here's a screenshot from my RSS reader pulling from

And that about wraps up the most important changes in this version. 

As always, we’d like to give special thanks to the volunteer translators for their time and efforts: 
  • Nicolas Noé (Belgian Biodiversity Platform, Belgium) - French 
  • TaiBIF, Taiwan - Traditional Chinese
  • Laura Roldan Gomez, Dairo Escobar, and Daniel Amariles, (Colombian Biodiversity Information System (SiB)) - Spanish
Plus another couple of special mentions are owed to Peter Desmet and Laura Russell who provided an exceptional amount of feedback and suggestions. 

On behalf of the GBIF development team, I hope you enjoy using latest version. 

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