Thursday, September 25, 2014

B20/20 Server


We have been told that there will be a B2020 server available this Fall. And since today is the first day of Fall I was just had a few questions:

1.) When will it be going live?
2.) What information will it contain, that is, how far back will it go, which tables will be on it (Census, Justice, …)
3.) Who will be able to access it, that is, only DLI contacts, the public, …
4.) What are the plans in the future for it, that is, what other types of data will be going into it?, that is, will it contain data from years gone by or only the most recent data, …


1.) When will it be going live? We hope to have it available soon, this is still a little vague but I can say that we are close, very close. We have resolved all of the technical glitches with the WDS and have been moving files into the WDS over the past couple of months (over 8,000 files so far!). We are now waiting on final approval from one last technical Ctee before we can go live. If we’re fortunate this could be in a few weeks, but a definite date can’t be given. We have worked extremely hard to get everything ready and we are chomping at the bit to go live!

.) What information will it contain? The goal of the WDS will be to host all of the DLI’s collection of aggregate statistics. So this means that we are loading all of the .ivt files and .xls that have been shared with the DLI program into the WDS. We are also putting .pdf files or other data products boundary files and CD-ROM products (they will be in .zip format) into the WDS for download.

3.) Who will be able to access it? The WDS will be accessible through IP authentication so pretty much anyone on your campus should be able to access the service. Since all of the information we’re putting on the WDS is governed under the STC open licence there shouldn’t be an issue if your institution allows non members access to computers in the library or other parts of campus.

4.) Future plans? We’re really focused on the near future and implementing the system. This is part of a plan that we have been working on with the EAC for about a year and a half and would like to implement the first phase. As mention in answers 1 & 2 the primary vision for the WDS is to make the DLI’s collection more accessible to students, researcher, profs etc. on campus. We will continue to load information onto the WDS as it becomes available to the DLI (i.e. if custom tabulations are shared with us we will load them onto the system as well as the EFT & mirror site). We have put in a proposal to the EAC to develop a unique search interface for the DLI collection, this will help with the discoverability of the information in the WDS. This is still in the early stages (i.e. I won’t even put a tentative season of delivery) and there are a lot of details to work out for implementation.

I hope this helps, sorry I can’t be specific about when, other than “soon”. If you have any thoughts on how the DLI can use the WDS to benefit the community we would be happy to discuss this at the EAC. Just get in touch with us or your regional EAC member to get it on the agenda!