Sustainable software developing through Docker containerisation

Sustainable software developing through Docker containerisation

The Centre's Research Associate Iain Emsley gave a paper entitled 'A Framework for the Preservation of a Docker Container' at the 12th International Digital Curation Conference in Edinburgh.

The conference brings together digital curation professionals and educators with data producers and consumers to consider digital curation in a multi-disciplinary context.

The focus of this year's programme was embedding digital curation in organisational workflows to ensure that data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), as well as putting in place flexible and resilient infrastructures, openly available to support communities.

Iain's presentation was part of a session on File Formats and Software Preservation chaired by John Kunze from California Digital Library. The paper, co-authored with Professor David De Roure, describes containerisation, a technology that is used by a variety of scientific projects and companies such as Google, Amazon and IBM, to rapidly deploy a set of services repeatably.

Using Dockerfiles to ensure that a container is built repeatably, to allow conformance and easy updating when changes take place, is becoming common within projects and is seen as part of sustainable software development.

The paper provides a simple framework to address the question of the preservation of containers and their environment. This work will help the reproducibility of results, as well as development and testing through ensuring that the system is repeatably built and that any changes in the software environment can be equally shared in the Dockerfile.

See more information about the conference, "Upstream, Downstream: embedding digital curation workflows for data science, scholarship and society" and follow #IDCC17 on Twitter.