Opencast 3.0: Release Notes

Opencast 3.0 has been streamlined to better address Adopters' needs when it comes to their processes. This means the user experience and the efficiency of users performing their tasks have been significantly enhanced. Other major improvements are new features for the Opencast Player and even more flexibiity when it comes to the integration of Opencast into external authentication and authorization systems.

New Features and Improvements

  • Streamlined Video Editor - The video editor has been streamlined to better support the Adopters' processes, significantly enhancing the efficiency when it comes to publishing content. Metadata and comments can now be edited directly in the video editor - saving the time to navigate within the UI to perform this almost always required steps. Keyboard shortcuts can be used to gain further efficiency.

  • Streamlined Keyboard Accessibility - The introduction of keyboard shortcuts and vastly improved support for tab navigation across the administrative UI allow users to more efficiently interact with Opencast.

  • Improved User Experience - The user experience has been approved and streamlined at many other locations. For example, the user is presented configurable defaults for the input masks used to schedule recordings. The capture agent status is now additional indicated colors. The event counter filters have been reordered to match the life cycly of recordings. Series dropdowns are now sorted alphabetically and can be searched. The access policy page now supports search and filtering.

  • Piwik Integration - The Opencast video player now comes with out-of-the-box Piwik support so that user statistics for the player can be easily gathered and visualized

  • Caption Support - The Opencast video player now supports captions

  • Users and roles - The management of users and roles has been significantly improved to better support intergration of third-party user providers (e.g. LDAP, Sakai). The administrative user interface has been extended to better support externally provided roles. A new custom role provider allows Adopters to integrate their custom roles in a seamless way.

  • OAI-PMH - The OAI-PMH implementation has been completely revised. Now implemented as independent communication channels, an arbitrary number of OAI-PMH repositories can be handled by the Opencast OAI-PMH server. A new OAI-PMH metadata prefix provides direct access to Dublincore metadata catalogs, promoting a strong decoupling from external OAI-PMH harverster

  • Fixed basic LDAP Integration - Updated format of the configuration files and fixed basic authentication and authorization via LDAP. Opencast groups are still not supported.

  • AAI Support - Opencast now provides out-of-the-box support for the Authentication and Authorization Infrastructre (AAI). This enables adopters to use their existing single sign-on log-in for Opencast.

  • Sakai User Provider - Opencast now out-of-the-box provides an Sakai user provider.

  • AWS S3 and Cloudfront Support - Opencast now supports distribution to Amazon S3 and Cloudfront. This support is built into the workflow engine by default and requires only minor configuration. Details on how to set up S3 and Cloudfront distribution can be found here

  • Extended Themes - The themes facility that allows producers to let Opencast brand their produced video content using intro and outro videos has been extended to support title slides (metadata within video content) and watermarks.

  • New Workflow Operation Handlers

    • WOH tag-by-dcterm allows media package element tagging based on Dublincore metadata values
    • WOH configure-by-dcterm can be used to set workflow instance variables based on Dublincore metadata which in turn can be used to conditionally execute workflow operations
    • WOH probe-resolution allows workflow operations to be executed based on specific properties ...
    • WOH publish-oaipmh, retract-oaipmh and republish-oaipmh support publication management for OAI-PMH repositories
    • WOH publish-aws enables the publication of distribution artefacts to Amazon S3
    • WOH send-mail is a powerful E-mail notification facility that allows workflows to send E-mail containing detailed data about media packages and processing incidents
  • Improved Workflow Operation Handlers

    • WOH analyze-tracks now allows workflow operations to be conditionally executed based on video resolution and aspect ratio critera
    • WOH composite can now be configured to take the input resolution as output resolution which makes it fully capable of generating Picture-in-Picture (PiP) outputs
    • And Even More A lot of minor improvements have been added to other worfklow operation handlers.
  • New Waveform Service - Waveform generation has been completely rewritten and implemented as an independet service. It is now faster and more flexible.

  • REST Documentation - The REST endpoint documentation interface comes with a new look & feel and search capabilities

  • Capture Agent API - The capture agent API supports a new error state that can be set by capture agents to indicate errors. Note that the API is, of course, backwards compatible.

  • Migration Aid - The Ingest REST endpoint has been extended to offer functionality required when migrating data from older Opencast versions. A workflow specifically designed for data migration has been added.

  • Library Update - Many libraries have been updated to more recent versions. Most noteworthy, Karaf has been updated to version 4.0.8

Release Schedule

Date Phase
March 27th Feature Freeze
March 27th - April 16th Internal QA and bug fixing phase
March 27th - April 10th Review Test Cases
April 11th - April 16th Documentation Review
April 16th - May 7th Public QA phase
May 7th - May 25th Additional bug fixing phase
May 18th - May 25th Translation week
May 26th - June 3rd Final QA phase
June 7th Release of Opencast 3