Fedora Update Handler


Fedora Update Handler is a Java application for receiving and acting on notifications of updates to a Fedora Commons repository.

The Fedora Update Handler is used to launch helper applications or scripts which keep other information systems up to date with the latest information present in the Fedora repository. For example, a script launched by Fedora Update Handler could:

How it works

When the Fedora Update Handler program starts, it connects to Fedora and subscribes to notification messages via the Java Message Service (JMS). Then, whenever a datastream in the repository is changed, Fedora sends a message, in the form of an Atom XML document, to the Fedora Update Handler application. In turn, the Fedora Update Handler application executes a user-specified external program, and passes the Atom message to that program via its standard input stream. The Fedora Update Handler is therefore a bridge between JMS and arbitrary console applications.

How to get the application

Either download and unzip a ZIP package containing all the jar files, or alternatively, you can build the software from source.

How to build the application from source

Use Subversion to check out the Fedora Update Handler source code from the project's source code repository:

svn checkout http://ands-la-trobe.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/fedora-update-handler fedora-update-handler

To build, you will need to have installed Java version 1.5 or later, and Apache Ant.

Navigate into the folder and invoke the Ant tool to build the application:

cd fedora-update-handler


Ant will execute the build.xml file to build the application, which will be output to build/fedora-update-handler.jar

How to run the application

To run the application you will need the following prerequisites:

The application is packaged as an executable Java archive. The application may run on the Fedora host itself, or, if you explicitly specify a java.naming.provider.url configuration property, it may run on a different host and listen to Fedora notifications over the network.

FedoraUpdateHandler expects either one or two parameters:

  1. The first parameter is either start or stop, to create or destroy a subscription to a Fedora notifications.

    If start is specified, the application will connect to, and if necessary create, a persistent queue on the Fedora server, with a name specified by the topic.fedora property. Once started, that queue will continue to exist even after FedoraUpdateHandler terminates or loses its connection to the Fedora server. Fedora will continue to add new notification messages to the queue until the queue is explicitly deleted. The next time the FedoraUpdateHandler application connects to Fedora it will retrieve those queued messages.

    If the stop parameter is specified, the application will delete the queue from the server.

  2. The second (and optional) parameter is the name of a Java properties XML file to configure the listener. It's possible to run several instances of the application at the same time, each performing different tasks, by specifying a different configuration file for each instance.


To start listening to Fedora notifications, using the configuration file handle-ingest.xml:

java -jar FedoraUpdateHandler.jar start handle-ingest.xml

To start listening to Fedora notifications, using the configuration file handle-dc-update.xml:

java -jar FedoraUpdateHandler.jar start handle-dc-update.xml

To stop listening to Fedora notifications, using the configuration file handle-dc-update.xml:

java -jar FedoraUpdateHandler.jar stop handle-dc-update.xml

The application can be terminated by typing Control-C. Note that terminating the application will not stop Fedora queueing messages. To destroy the queue, it's necessary to run the application again specifying the stop parameter.

Configuring the application

The application is configured using a Java Properties XML file.

The first four properties are documented at https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FCR30/Messaging

The property handler.jms.clientid identifies the listener to Fedora. This value must be unique (i.e. each simultaneous client must use a different value for this property).

The property handler.command specifies the application which the listener will run to handle the event. FedoraUpdateHandler will execute this application and pipe the Fedora message (an Atom XML document) to the application's standard input stream.

Any properties not defined in the properties file will use defaults as shown below:

<!DOCTYPE properties SYSTEM "http://java.sun.com/dtd/properties.dtd">
<properties version="1.0">
   <entry key="java.naming.factory.initial">org.apache.activemq.jndi.ActiveMQInitialContextFactory</entry>
   <entry key="java.naming.provider.url">failover://tcp://localhost:61616</entry>
   <entry key="connection.factory.name">ConnectionFactory</entry>
   <entry key="topic.fedora">fedora.apim.update</entry>
   <entry key="handler.jms.clientid">FedoraUpdateHandler</entry>
   <entry key="handler.command">cat</entry>

An example properties file to forward all notifications to an example mailbox:

<!DOCTYPE properties SYSTEM "http://java.sun.com/dtd/properties.dtd">
<properties version="1.0">
   <entry key="handler.jms.clientid">EmailForwarder</entry>
   <entry key="handler.command">mail -s 'Fedora Update Notification' address@example.com</entry>