At EDUCAUSE 2005, Sun Microsystems Inc., and Endeavor Information Systems, the leading provider of library management software and a wholly owned subsidiary of Elsevier, announced an expanded partnership to create global digital repositories and preservation technologies which protect critical educational, cultural and historical information.

Institutions such as universities, libraries and museums are tasked with preserving massive, almost incomprehensible amounts of content, as well as ensuring its availability to the appropriate audiences. Without digital preservation, many of the critical materials for research, education and cultural benefit could be lost due to data format changes, media migration, bit loss, application/operating environment shifts and unavailable access.

Building on a ten-year relationship, this multi-year commitment combines Endeavor’s software expertise in architecting industry-leading digital library management solutions and Sun’s infrastructure technologies such as Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) to create the next-generation platform for digital preservation and storage. Further strengthening the partnership is the involvement of Endeavor’s parent company, Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. As part of this initiative, Endeavor leverages and will bring to market Elsevier’s depth of knowledge and experience in managing large scale content repositories with millions of assets. This unique combination of Sun’s infrastructure, Endeavor’s software and Elsevier’s heritage in managing large scale content repositories will enable libraries, universities and museums to more easily and securely convert, store, manage and distribute their informational assets.

“National libraries are facing ever-increasing pressure to institute permanent preservation solutions. The explosive growth of electronic content has further fueled the need to ensure that national heritage assets are preserved and accessible,” said Kai Ekholm, national librarian, National Library of Finland. “With their current offerings, Sun and Endeavor already enable us to better manage our physical and digital assets. What’s exciting about this expanded partnership is that the combined strength of these two companies will truly help any institution with long term repository and preservation needs achieve their goals.”

“Endeavor and Sun have spent the last ten years helping various customers manage, track and publish massive quantities of physical content; today’s announcement reinforces that commitment,” said Kim Jones, vice president, global education and research at Sun Microsystems. “By combining the industry-leading strength of Sun’s infrastructure with Endeavor’s digital library expertise and large base of potential customers in key markets, we have the winning formula for helping institutions meet their archiving and preservation challenges.”

Under terms of the agreement, Sun, Elsevier and Endeavor will collaborate on specific solutions and optimize current technologies for the other’s platforms. Sun is creating software that connects Endeavor’s award-winning ENCompass digital library management system to Sun’s Java System Access Manager to ensure the appropriate digital data is being distributed to the appropriate people. Solutions such as these are critical in instances such as research collaboration where specific people working on specific projects need access to specific information. The companies are also collaborating on technologies such as Sun’s StorEdge Content Infrastructure System to ensure optimal ease-of-use. Additionally, the partners will design and deliver the next-generation digital preservation environments and complementary storage architectures based on the award-winning Solaris 10 OS.

Representing Endeavor’s first step toward achieving its archiving and repository mission is the recent release of ENCompass for Journals Onsite (EJOS), which locally stores and provides access to e-journal content from any publisher in one location. EJOS currently serves many of the largest local repositories of STM journal literature, including the Canada University of Toronto. “EJOS is an essential part of the electronic journal service of the University of Toronto,” said Peter Clinton, director, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto. “It offers high-powered search and retrieval capabilities that makes accessing full-text content convenient for students, faculty and researchers at all 20 Ontario universities.”

“The vast majority of our customers — at least 85 percent — run on Sun operating systems. Over the years, the partnership between Endeavor and Sun has delivered proven security and scalability to meet our customers’ needs,” said Roland Dietz, president and chief executive officer, Endeavor Information Systems. “The next step in our partnership will create secure, easy-to-use solutions to enable federated access to content and digital repositories. And as we develop future architectures, we will continue to embrace open standards to ensure our customers that new solutions can work with legacy systems, as well as emerging technologies.”

“As one of the world’s leading publishers of online academic journals, bibliographic databases and books, Elsevier is committed to supporting this significant partnership expansion between Endeavor and Sun. Together, all three entities share the common vision of permanent digital preservation. This partnership will turn that vision into reality,” said Herman van Campenhout, chief executive officer, Elsevier Science and Technology.