DataQ Logo
A collaborative platform for answering research data questions in academic libraries

Whenever Digital Librarians hang out, the conversation turns to Hydra/Blacklight vs Islandora. Can you provide a thumbnail overview of each of these and say what their strengths and weaknesses are? The quiet people in the meeting will thank you.

Answers: 
1
Topic: 
Topic: 
Steve.VanTuyl's picture
At their core, Hydra and Islandora are very similar, three part technology stacks. Hydra is a mix of Fedora, Solr, and Blacklight, while Islandora is a mix of Fedora, Solr, and Drupal. The primary differences between these two technology stacks, then, is the difference between Drupal and Blacklight. These pieces of the technology stacks each have their pros and cons vis a vis customizability and complexity. Increasingly, we are seeing some convergence in these communities, especially in areas of data modeling (cf. Portland Common Data Model) and communication (Islandora folks attending HydraConnect). A good way to gather more information about these system is to ask questions of both communities, both are open to Q&A and eager to discuss implementation issues. see: Islandora - islandora.ca; Project Hydra - projecthydra.org. Strengths and weaknesses of each are dependent upon local needs and goals and cannot be readily generalized. Variables such as intent, mission, staffing, and resourcing are unique to each institution and will need to be considered before determining an appropriate system solution.