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AONS - Automated Obsolescence Notification System II

The National Library of Australia

Format obsolescence is potentially a major problem for every repository manager. This is particularly true given the dynamic and changing nature of computing environments and, more especially, the rapid and unpredictable drivers that cause formats to become obsolete. This problem is compounded by the ever increasing number of formats and volume of digital materials in different collections. In addition, the high business value of the specific content of some digital materials or collections can result in policies that mandate that access be maintained to this data for extended periods of time. Therefore, in order to ensure the long-term curation of digital material, software tools need to help manage format risk.

To address these issues, the National Library (NLA) of Australia and the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR) collaborated on a software development project called AONS II, designed to refine and expand the functionality of the Automatic Obsolescence Notification System (AONS) software, a prototype development for APSR in 2006. The National Library’s role in this endeavour was to produce an open source, platform-independent, configurable and downloadable tool that automatically provides information from authoritative international registries such as LC DFW (Library of Congress Digital Formats Web Page) and PRONOM and the future GDFR (Global Digital Formats Registry). The AONS II software also aims to help a Collection Manager to identify an appropriate risk profile and to manage the risk, supporting decisions on preservation action required to retain access to information resources stored on a range of repository types. Thus, AONS II is designed to enable users to be informed when file formats that exist in their repositories are obsolete or at risk of becoming obsolete.


Project Manager: David Pearson
Technical Lead: Matthew Walker
Software Developer: David Levy

August 2007
Read more
Report of the Format Notification and Obsolescence Service (AONSII) pdf (1.03MB)
Assocated documentation
AONS User Guide v.2.0 pdf (170KB)
Install Guide pdf (29KB)
As Built Specification pdf (160KB)
Associated publications

"AONS - An Obsolescence Detection and Notification Service for Web Archives and Digital Repositories", New Review on Hypermedia and Multimedia (JNRHM),
January 2007, by J. Curtis, Australian National University, P.Koerbin, National Library of Australia, P.Raftos, Australian National University, D.Berriman, APSR, J.Hunter, University of Queensland

David Pearson, "AONS II: continuing the trend towards preservation software "Nirvana". Paper presented at iPres2007, Beijing, China, October 11-12, 2007. Both overheads (1.39Mb) and paper (635Kb) are available as pdf.

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