RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT: AtoM 2.6 is now publicly available

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Dan Gillean

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Jul 14, 2020, 6:18:50 PM7/14/20
to ICA-AtoM Users

Greetings everyone!


We’re very pleased to announce that a new AtoM release is now available for public download and installation. 


Release 2.6 is the first major AtoM release since May 2019, and includes many new features (described below), some significant performance enhancements and dependency upgrades, as well as dozens of bug fixes. We've closed 116 issues as part of this release – you can view more details on each ticket in our issue tracker at the following links:

Release links:



Visit the Downloads page to download the most recent release, and consult the 2.6 Upgrading and Installation guides in our documentation for further information.


IMPORTANT: We have upgraded AtoM’s dependencies with this release, and this version now requires MySQL 8 and PHP 7.2. We strongly recommend a clean install using Ubuntu 18.04 -  please see the Requirements and Installation instructions for further details. 


A note on translations:


As you may have seen in our previous user forum update, we discovered some issues with our translation platform after moving from Transifex to Weblate last year. We’ve resolved the major blocker on this now, but our community was not left with much time to update the translations for the 2.6 release. 


We’ve now re-opened the 2.6 translation project in Weblate, and are committed to preparing a 2.6.1 release that will include updated translations, as well as bug fixes. Now is a great time to continue translating AtoM for inclusion in the next release! For more information, see: 



AtoM 2.6 high-level features summary:


Below is an overview of some of the major changes you’ll find in the new 2.6 release:


  • MySQL8 upgrade and optimization (#13220): We have upgraded AtoM’s MySQL version to 8.0 in the upcoming 2.6 release, and have used the Percona Monitoring & Management tool to identify key areas for query optimization. Most significantly, in several areas we have replaced the nested set queries (used to manage hierarchical relations in a flat relational database) with MySQL8’s new Common Table Expressions (CTE; sometimes referred to as WITH queries). Overall this has led to significant performance gains - details of which have been captured on the following development issue ticket: #13224. We have also identified additional areas for attention (see below) and have begun further work to improve AtoM’s performance and scalability. 

  • Overall performance enhancements: We’ve addressed a number of problem areas in AtoM, optimizing the code to be more performant - especially around deletions, nested set management, imports, and indexing. Further details and issue tickets can be found in the release notes

  • New media player (#12902): We have replaced the Flash-based flowplayer used for streaming media with a modern HTML5 based player (mediaElementJs). MediaElement has Flash fallback for legacy browsers, and supports aria tags, captions, plugins for additional functionality and more. 

  • JSON export of clipboard items (#12800): to support sending clipboard results to third-party  applications (such as Aeon, for example), AtoM can now expose clipboard results as JSON, using either GET or POST methods. 

  • Upgrade the user password hashing algorithm (#12136): AtoM was previously using SHA1 + salt to hash passwords. We have upgraded this to use Argon2, a much more robust and secure hashing algorithm.

  • Switch to using Composer to manage dependency vendor libraries: As we review and upgrade some of AtoM’s dependencies, we have begun using Composer as a method of managing them, which automates their addition to the AtoM project on installation. This means less third-party code needs to be stored directly in the AtoM code repository, and dependency management becomes easier in the future. We hope to continue following this model as we tackle other dependency technical debt. 

  • Enhancements to the digital object load task: Several new options for handling the bulk loading of digital objects have been added to our command-line task, including an option to discard the master after loading, when masters are being stored on a separate server, and an option to replace existing digital objects with incoming imports. Additionally, slugs can now be used in the accompanying CSV instead of information object IDs, which require command-line access to retrieve.

  • Authority record bulk CSV export CLI task (#13148): Despite the fact that AtoM has supported bulk authority record export using the clipboard via the UI for some time, no command-line bulk export task was ever implemented. This has now been added to the 2.6 release.

  • Authority record relationship searching (#13302): The Advanced search panel for authority records has been given a new set of options, allowing users to configure searches based on relationships to other authority records

  • Overhaul of the authority record import/export templates (#13277, #13279, #13280): We have vastly simplified the authority record CSV templates. Fields for alternative forms of name have been folded into the primary CSV import template, and support for importing digital objects via CSV have been added. We’ve also cleaned up the authority relationships CSV. While previously this could only be imported from the command-line in association with new authority records, now you can import relationships via the user interface, and use the CSV import to add relationships to existing authority records. Updated CSV templates can be found on our wiki, here

  • DACS physical access and area headings added to Visible elements (#12798, #13049): Currently it is only a single field in the DACS template (Physical access) as well as the area headers, but this development brings initial DACS support to the Visible elements module.

  • New setting to make full width treeview collapsible (#13135): Users will now be able to enable a setting that will make the full width treeview collapsed by default on archival description view pages, in a clickable widget similar to the advanced search panel. Users can also customize the expand and collapse text on the widget via the User interface label settings. 

  • Improvements to alphabetic sort in search results (#5173):To provide a more natural sort order for title/name based sorting, AtoM will now sanitize results before ordering them, ignoring case, stripping leading whitespace and common leading punctuation marks such as quotations, etc. 

  • Accession extent field made multi-line (#13198): Previously this was a single row input field. Users can now add and import multi-line strings of text to the Received extent units field in the accessions module. 

  • donorNotes, donorFax, and donorContactPerson columns added to accession csv template (#12799, #13310): While Donor records have supported notes, fax numbers, and a separate contact person for some time, previously there was no way to import this data. This has been improved in the 2.6 release. Updated CSV templates can be found on our wiki, here

  • CLI task to move actor relations from one record to another (#13189) Developed in response to timeout issues editing actor records with many description relations, this command-line task will allow a user to move the relations from a source actor record to a new target, similar to the taxonomy normalization task. 

  • Enhancements to the finding aid layouts (#10591): Finalizing a community pull request that was left unfinished, this will add some stylistic improvements to the finding aids generated in AtoM. Most notably, the table of contents will no longer be dozens or even hundreds of pages for large hierarchies!

  • Enhancements to the Accessions module:  As part of a client migration project, we are also undertaking development to implement support for some of the new fields and requirements outlined in the recently released Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard (CAAIS). While this work will not comprise a full implementation of CAAIS, it will help users have more CAAIS-compatible fields in which to capture accessions data. As there is a high interest in seeing CAAIS support in AtoM among Canadian institutions, we expect there to be further work in this area in future releases. So far, work in the 2.6 release includes:

  • New physical storage location report: (#13269) Users with access to the physical storage module will now be able to generate a CSV report of all container locations. By default, this includes unlinked containers, containers linked to accessions, and containers linked to descriptions - user interface configuration options include: 

    • Exclude unlinked containers

    • Exclude containers linked to descriptions

    • Exclude containers linked to accessions

  • Basic Google Tag Manager support: (#13284). AtoM 2 has long supported basic Google Analytics integration, and release 2.5 saw additional support added for Custom Dimensions, so multi-repository users can configure per-institution analytics. This enhancement adds basic support for Google Tag Manager, which can be configured to provide additional analytics, such as length of page views, downloads and exports, etc. 

  • Physical storage CSV import: (#13183) Users will now be able to import physical storage data via the command-line interface. This also includes the ability to import a physical storage CSV as an update to existing containers and locations (#13185). While this is currently only supported via the command-line, now that the initial task has been developed, the required development to add user interface support is much lower. 


For further information on confirmed features, enhancements, and bug fixes for the 2.6 release, please see the AtoM 2.6 Release notes.  


Thank you to all of our sponsors, translators, and community members for helping to make this release possible. As always, let us know if you have any questions!




Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
604-527-2056
@accesstomemory
he / him

Karl Goetz

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Jul 14, 2020, 7:50:17 PM7/14/20
to ICA-AtoM Users
Congratulations to Dan & co!

Karl.

From: ica-ato...@googlegroups.com <ica-ato...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Dan Gillean <d...@artefactual.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 15 July 2020 8:18 AM
To: ICA-AtoM Users <ica-ato...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [atom-users] RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT: AtoM 2.6 is now publicly available
 
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Ricardo Pinho

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Jul 15, 2020, 12:28:59 PM7/15/20
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Congratulations to all involved for the excellent work!
Special thanks to all the people behind the "Generous Sponsors" for offering to the rest of us all these great new features and making AtoM an even better and fantastic free and open software.
Thank you!
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Ricardo Pinho

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Patrick Goetz

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Jul 23, 2020, 11:57:04 AM7/23/20
to AtoM Users

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 5:18:50 PM UTC-5, Dan Gillean wrote:
  • MySQL8 upgrade and optimization (#13220): We have upgraded AtoM’s MySQL version to 8.0 in the upcoming 2.6 release, and have used the Percona Monitoring & Management tool to identify key areas for query optimization. Most significantly, in several areas we have replaced the nested set queries (used to manage hierarchical relations in a flat relational database) with MySQL8’s new Common Table Expressions (CTE; sometimes referred to as WITH queries). Overall this has led to significant performance gains - details of which have been captured on the following development issue ticket: #13224. We have also identified additional areas for attention (see below) and have begun further work to improve AtoM’s performance and scalability. 



 Hi Dan -

The package version of mysql for Ubuntu 18.04 is 5.7.  Is there a PPA for mysql upgrades?  Otherwise, how do you suggest we upgrade mysql to version 8?

Second question:  You're recommending a clean install -- are there instructions for migrating our database and content?  Originally I came to the forum to see if it's possible to update from 2.5.3 to 2.6 in place, but after seeing your post I changed my question, since it sounds like you don't want people to attempt this.

Thanks.

Dan Gillean

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Jul 24, 2020, 12:29:08 PM7/24/20
to ICA-AtoM Users
Hi Patrick, 

The package version of mysql for Ubuntu 18.04 is 5.7.  Is there a PPA for mysql upgrades?  Otherwise, how do you suggest we upgrade mysql to version 8?

Please see our installation instructions - we cover installation and configuration of MySQL8 here: 

Second question:  You're recommending a clean install -- are there instructions for migrating our database and content?  Originally I came to the forum to see if it's possible to update from 2.5.3 to 2.6 in place, but after seeing your post I changed my question, since it sounds like you don't want people to attempt this.  

Upgrading in place isn't really possible if you're installing with the tarballs, as you still need to eventually unzip the tarball and install it as a new application alongside your old version, before migrating the data. If you've installed using Option 2 in our installation instructions (install from our GitHub code repository), then it is possible to upgrade in place for minor version (e.g. from 2.5.2 to 2.5.3, etc), simply by pulling in the latest changes using a git pull --rebase, and running a few follow-up maintenance tasks.  

However, we typically don't recommend doing this when upgrading major versions, as these are the releases where we will typically make dependency upgrades, and so you might miss important installation steps by doing so. For example, in 2.6, trying to just pull in the latest changes would likely break AtoM, as the upgrade to MySQL involves a new collation format not previously used in MySQL 5.7, and in part of optimizing the performance of various AtoM workflows, we also employed new query methods that were unavailable in 5.7. Similarly, between 2.4 and 2.5 we upgraded the PHP version from 5.x to 7.2. While AtoM 2.5 could also be installed with PHP 7.0, we did find some issues when testing with 2.6, and since PHP 7.0 has passed end of life in terms of support, we chose not to delay the release to explore backwards-compatible fixes, and instead recommend users upgrade to PHP 7.2. If you tried to upgrade in place using git between 2.5.x and 2.6, you might miss these critical dependency upgrades as part of the process, which typically should be undertaken first. 

In terms of migrating your database and other assets, please see our Upgrading documentation - it covers how to load your previous database, copy your uploads and downloads directory content over, run the upgrade task (which will execute several schema migrations to account for database schema changes between the versions - very important not to miss this step!), and finish with any recommended maintenance tasks (such as restarting services, clearing the application cache, re-indexing, etc). See: 
Cheers, 

Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
604-527-2056
@accesstomemory
he / him

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adim...@gmail.com

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Aug 3, 2020, 2:07:37 PM8/3/20
to AtoM Users
Good evenning, Dan.
There is some possibility to do update whith data base MariaBD? On institution where I work, there isn't possibility to use MySQL 8 or PHP 7.2. Can you give-me another alternative? I am working in AtoM since january 2019 and I can lose every information inserted if I not do update, because is occurring so many error.

Patrick Goetz

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Aug 4, 2020, 10:12:36 AM8/4/20
to AtoM Users
Hi Dan -

Modulo some problems with using the web UI for initial configuration and getting the atom-worker service to start properly the first time (both documented in separated posts), this all worked perfectly.

Thanks!

Dan Gillean

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Aug 4, 2020, 10:57:51 AM8/4/20
to ICA-AtoM Users
Hi there, 

Unfortunately, at this time AtoM 2.6 cannot be installed with MariaDB, as MariaDB does not yet have a fork that is equivalent to MySQL8. We have used some of the new options in MySQL8 to resolve a number of known performance issues in AtoM 2.5, so it's not possible to run AtoM 2.6 on MySQL 5.7 or equivalents. Is it possible you can use the Percona fork instead?

Similarly, we did some testing of AtoM 2.6 with PHP 7.0 and did encounter some errors. It may be possible to use AtoM with PHP 7.0, but I suspect you will eventually run into issues. One thing you will have to do if trying to run PHP 7.0: change the password hashing algorithm in config/app.yml to PASSWORD_BCRYPT, and restart PHP-FPM. See: 
For now, if you need to use MariaDB, then I suggest you backup your data regularly, and wait until a new version of MariaDB is available. If you are having issues with AtoM 2.5, please feel free to start another thread describing the errors, and we will do what we can to help you. Information that is useful to include in a post: 
Cheers, 

Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
604-527-2056
@accesstomemory
he / him

On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 2:07 PM <adim...@gmail.com> wrote:
Good evenning, Dan.
There is some possibility to do update whith data base MariaBD? On institution where I work, there isn't possibility to use MySQL 8 or PHP 7.2. Can you give-me another alternative? I am working in AtoM since january 2019 and I can lose every information inserted if I not do update, because is occurring so many error.

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