OASIS V Beta and timeline for development

A reading woman tries in vain to stop Chronos as he passes by. Stipple engraving. Credit: Wellcome CollectionAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Progress update

Despite the current tumutlous events, the redevelopment of the new OASIS form has continued. In March 2020, the ‘Beta’ system was demonstrated (remotely) to the OASIS Management Board for comment. Although a few areas still need finessing (as with any IT development), the core infrastructure has been completed. We are now beginning the transition from a Beta (effectively a working draft in this case) to a fully live system that replaces the current form.

In the various information you may have seen, the new version of OASIS is sometimes synonymous with HERALD (a project name). However, we have always been sticking with the name OASIS for the system itself. The current version everyone is using now (as I write in April 2020) is the fourth major iteration deployed since 2002. Internally, we often refer to it as OASIS IV. It is important to note that throughout all subsequent discussion we’re simply going to refer to the new version as OASIS V.

In many ways. moving between versions is more complex than ‘just’ code development: OASIS has over 88,000 records , and over 5000 unique users representing 1386 organisations. It’s also used intensively.

  • In 2019 there were 108,000+ requests for pages within the OASIS form. We don’t know what these are though (could be one person clicking through alot of times!).
  • In 2019 there were 19919 edits to forms that resulted in a new version

We simply can’t suddenly move everyone over in a week! We need to gauge performance, iron out some issues, and start familiarising as many people as we can with how the new system differs from the old one. Most importantly, we don’t want a user to be inputting data into two systems and duplicating effort. This is the next phase: “Rollout of OASIS V”.

Timeline for Rollout of OASIS V

The following is the planned timeline for the next phase. It is important to note, that unless directed otherwise over this period, use of OASIS IV (the current form) should continue until the Autumn of 2020.

April 2020HER familiarisation with OASIS V
Internal testing
Review of OASIS V stability under increased use
May 2020Development Sprint
Testing and Feedback with OASIS V Working Group
June 2020Silver release of OASIS V: a major redeployment
Moving a small number of early adopters over to OASIS V
July 2020Development Sprint
Testing and Feedback with OASIS Working Group
August 2020Development Sprint
Testing and Feedback with OASIS Working Group
September 2020Gold release: OASIS V becomes operational under the oasis.ac.uk domain
October 2020+All existing users are moved over to OASIS V
By March 2021OASIS IV will have been decomissioned when all users migrated
OASIS IV data will have been archived as a snapshot

Working Groups

To aid this, we have set up a number of Working Groups from across all parts of the sector to help us answer any outstanding issues.

Working Group 1: Community GroupsFocus on workflows of community groups and others working outside of development control
Working Group 2: ContractorsFocus on the workflows of archaeological contracting organisations, inlcuding those working in geophysics and maritime
Working Group 3: ALGAO (HERs and Planning+Leg)Focus on HERs, and use within Local Authority work with development control
Working Group 4: Museums and ArchivesFocus on the new ‘Level 3 user’, which allows Museums and Archives (including digital) to be a major part of project workflow, and to help signpost the requirements of collecting organisations
Working Group 5: BuildingsFocus on the use of OASIS by Built Heritage professionals and researchers. In England this will be through the use of a specific OASIS Buildings ‘skin’ tailored for the community.
Working Group 6: End-to-End WorkflowsProviding an overview of how the entire OASIS system works in England and Scotland, from creation of record, re-use and engagement of stakeholders, and access to information.
Working Group 7: Historic England Internal UseProviding a focus on HE internal teams creating records, but also as the national body for England and the insight that OASIS can provide to understanding trends in fieldwork and research
Working Group 8: Discovery and Excavation ScotlandIn Scotland, OASIS feeds into the annual report of DES. This requires specific workflows and techincal requirements outside of the main form.
Working Group 9: Techincal InteroperabilityTo focus on the terminologies being used, howe they are being used, and how data stored in OASIS can be re-used.
Working Group 10: Training + PromotionTo coordinate and deliver a range of training and promotional activities in both England and Scotland, and to investigate new methods of learning in the digital age

It’s hoped that these Groups can begin to form the basis of a community to support OASIS and its users as things move forward. If you’re interested in learning more about a particualr group, and even joining, please contact the project email address at herald@ads.ac.uk

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