Yesterday another big project in support of the German culture was launched at the 84th German Archive Conference. This is the Archivportal-D (with D standing for Deutschland {and APD for abbreviation}). The portal is accessible online at and it enables users to comb Germany’s archives in the course of their research and all is of course free of charge.

The project follows another similar project, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB for abbreviation} ( which was launched roughly two years ago. Both the project share similar software stack characteristics and all is based on Open Source. The public repositories for the front-end development can be found online on GitHub at the:



Both project are backed by a backend solution provided by IAIS Fraunhofer named Cortex. Cortex is based on SolR and Lucene indexes and more information can be found in the research papers published on the topic (check for more info).


Following an open collaboration perspective, the DDB has decided to open up the API for everyone. The documentation of this service can be found at: and the registration can be done for free from the DDB web-page. The same API is used for APD & DDB and apparently it will like that for a while.


grails-logoFrontend was based on Grails Framework, which is based on the (sexy) Groovy programming language and scales on top of the Spring Framework. Grails was chosen since it provided a comprehensive programming and configuration model while still allowing development on a modern transitional Java-based world.


As a browser framework  JQuery was used but additiona libraries as well.

elasticsearch-logo-icon-lgWhile Cortex was used for the Backend, there were a few services which needed to be developed while the front-end was being developed. LDAP and yet another existing technology, ElasticSearch were used in these cases (but no relation to GORM due to performance paranoia; this might change in the future though).

As mentioned before the team made use of GIT for version control.

Development Environment

GGTS_Eclipse_RatingMost of our frontend-developments were done in the Groovy/Grails Tool Suite, an Eclipse based IDE.


jenkins-logoJenkins-CI was used for the continuous integration process and the build systems.




atlassian-logo-1Atlassian products such as Crucible/Fireye & Jira have been used for code reviews and issue tracking.



Additional Software

In DDB, some additional scripts based on PHP have been used such as Omeka for exhibitions presentations and Piwik for the analytics.


If you want to contribute in the source code of these two projects, please check their repos at:



Posted by xpo6

Software developer in the realm of AI, NLP and black magic.