openEQUELLA is a digital repository that provides a single platform to house teaching/learning, research, media, and library content.

openEQUELLA has been deployed for copyright resource collections; research materials; managing and exposing materials through websites and portals; content authoring; workflow; institutional policy; and organizational resources. openEQUELLA is currently in use in a wide range of schools, universities, colleges, TAFEs, departments of education, government agencies, and corporations worldwide.

OSI Approved LicenseopenEQUELLA is a digital repository that provides a single platform to house teaching/learning, research, media, and library content.

openEQUELLA has been deployed for copyright resource collections; research materials; managing and exposing materials through websites and portals; content authoring; workflow; institutional policy; and organizational resources. openEQUELLA is currently in use in a wide range of schools, universities, colleges, TAFEs, departments of education, government agencies, and corporations worldwide.

With over 15 years of history, openEQUELLA is a mature solution written for the Java platform.

openEQUELLA Features

openEQUELLA features include:

Collections with customized data entry wizards

Every collection has a data entry wizard that you can use to create and edit items in that collection.  The wizard has a fair amount of control over how the item is displayed, and how the item is presented when in create / edit mode.  The wizard also provides placeholders for scripts to test data and drive the data input flow, as well as scripts that are run when the item is saved or a new version is created.

Flexible XML-based metadata schemas

openEQUELLA uses the concept of a schema to define the structure of a collection.  In turn a collection is a template for an item.  An item is the object that stores metadata and attachments (files, links, etc) together to create a logical grouping.  The schema is XML based, and highly configurable.  Nested XML nodes are allowed to enable repeaters / groups of metadata / attachments, and each node has the option to be indexable for Advanced Searching and Freetext searching.  The schema can be associated to import and export transformations to migrate data from various sources to fit the needs of the institution.

Basic or complex scripted workflows

openEQUELLA enables the concept of a moderated workflow against items.  Workflow is highly customizable, and includes decision points, parallel steps, sequential steps, and of course, workflow tasks which can be assigned to one or more moderators.  Workflow provides script handles as an item moves through the workflow, static or dynamic association of moderators, and reminder notifications if an item is aging in a workflow task. 

Full document versioning

openEQUELLA supports creating new versions of items, and management of the version lifecycle.

Simple to full metadata-based searching

openEQUELLA utilizes the Lucene search engine and customizable indexed metadata fields for the basis of search.  Any custom xml schema node can be searched, either as a freetext/keyword or targeted metadata nodes.  Targeted metadata node searches can be presented to the user as a form to fill out or directly searched via the REST API.

Storage of resources in a personal area

openEQUELLA provides a specialized collection that is presented as a personal sandbox to place a user's documents and authored web pages that are not yet ready for the openEQUELLA user base.

On-the-fly creation of web pages

openEQUELLA provides a rich text editor (TinyMCE) for users to author web pages directly in openEQUELLA and then place them into openEQUELLA items as attachments.

Copyright management of activated items

openEQUELLA can manage CLA (UK) and CAL (AU) copyright items, including 'activating' portions of an item's attachments for the end user to use/view, and then track the activation history.

Attribution of digital rights to content

openEQUELLA offers a collection of items to be covered by a configurable DRM scheme.  Configurations includes type (basic usage, use and adapt, custom permissions), acceptance of custom terms, access restriction to a particular set of users / groups / roles, and selecting the number of accepted licenses.

Active user-based notifications

Users can be notified of various events inside of openEQUELLA including Items in workflow ready for to be moderated, items becoming live, and bad URLs.

Attachment MIME type definition

Based on the MIME type of attachments; openEQUELLA can be configured to change the display, attachment viewer type, and HTML editor embedded templates.

Automatic creation of thumbnails for uploaded images, PDFs, and videos

openEQUELLA utilizes the 3rd party tools of ImageMagick, Ghostscript, and LibAV to automatically generate thumbnails from a variety of image formats, PDFs, and video formats.

Selection of taxonomy terms from openEQUELLA or an SQL data source

openEQUELLA item metadata can be configured to consist of term(s) from a taxonomy.   Taxonomies can be either locally defined in openEQUELLA or pulled from an SQL database.  Locally defined taxonomies can be configured to add new terms via on the fly.

Searching of external data remote repositories

openEQUELLA enables users to search remote repositories from the native search UX.  The search results can then be imported into the openEQUELLA institution based on a configured collection and transform.

Flexible editing of permissions for all facets of the application

Permissions are configured in openEQUELLA as Access Control Lists (ACLs).  ACLs on application facets are configured for users, groups, roles, or globally.  Examples of these facets include:

  • Editing an item
  • Searching a collection
  • Accessing the admin settings for OAuth
  • Uploading a report

Multi-language configuration and display customization

Besides the wizards that customize how the data is displayed, openEQUELLA also enables multi-language support for the broader web application, and customization of the Cascading Style Sheets / JavaScript theme files to allow a variety of different Look and Feels to the application.

Extensive support for many well-known standards

Supported standards include CLA, CAL, METS, IMS, OAI, LORAX, OAuth, and LTI.

Seamless integration with a variety of third-party systems

openEQUELLA has LMS integration via shared secrets, OAuth, and LTI.  openEQUELLA content and search / selection can be integrated into Moodle and Blackboard with custom blocks.  openEQUELLA supports a general LTI provider endpoint for other LMS / tools.  openEQUELLA has configurable integration with CAS, Echo360, Google Analytics, and others.

Harvesting of collections, individual items, third-party source, and Learning Federation content

openEQUELLA has the ability to pull in items from third-party sources, including other E instances, by using EQUELLA’s harvesting tool and upload them automatically to the openEQUELLA repository. Content can be obtained from The Learning Federation using the LORAX protocol, while content from other institutions can be gathered with the OAI (Open Archives Initiative) metadata harvesting protocol.

Conversely, content contained in openEQUELLA can also be accessed by using the OAI protocol.

Admin consoles for configuration and management of the openEQUELLA instance.

openEQUELLA offers three primary points of configurations - the Server Admin pages for global openEQUELLA settings, the Settings page for institution settings via a web page, and the Admin Console for institution settings via a Java Web Start application.  The Admin Console provides a great deal of configuration and customization - from collection wizards and taxonomies, to reports and workflows.

Flexible server configuration

openEQUELLA can run in a number of different server configurations.  The application runs on an embedded Tomcat server, and can cluster with other openEQUELLA server nodes via Zookeeper.  While not specifically openEQUELLA, Zookeeper can be run either in standalone or 'quorum' (clustered) mode to increase it's recovery abilities.  openEQUELLA server configuration includes configuration handles for Tomcat to listen on AJP, HTTP, or HTTPS ports, the ability to run behind a reverse or forward proxy, and the ability to customize the names of openEQUELLA nodes in a cluster. 


openEQUELLA has a set of REST APIs to enable more customized control of openEQUELLA facets such as Collections, Files, Browse Hierarchies, Items, Search, Taxonomies, and User Management.


openEQUELLA Environment Requirements 

openEQUELLA is a J2EE application. The Administration Console is a lightweight Java Web Start application that is fully browser compliant.

Client Requirements 

  • Software: Oracle Java 8, 9 and 10
  • Browsers: IE 11, Safari Latest, Firefox Latest, Chrome Latest

Server Requirements

  • Operating Services:  
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016; Windows 8.1 and 10; or most Linux distributions
  • Recommended Databases:
    • Oracle 10g, 11g and 12c or Microsoft SQL Server 2012, 2014 and 2016 or PostgreSQL 9.6 or higher
  • Application Server Requirements:
    • Java 8, 9 or 10 (the latest point release at time of installation is recommended)
    • ImageMagick 6.4 or higher


openEQUELLA Issues Database

The openEQUELLA issue database and ticketing is available in Github. To report a bug, an error within the documentation, or to make a feature request, please:

  1. View existing tickets to see if the issue has already been submitted.
  2. If not, please submit a new ticket (this requires an account in the ticketing system).
  3. Alternately, you may submit concerns, bugs, and requests for features to the EQUELLA Aperero Google Group. Subscribe by sending an e-mail to equella-users+subscribe[at]


openEQUELLA Development and Roadmap 

openEQUELLA Milestones

The openEQUELLA Milestone are found in Github (see also our timeline and list of tickets).

How to Contribute

Perhaps the easiest way to contribute is to download and install the code, join the openEQUELLA Google Group and the Apereo openEQUELLA slack channel (, and share your experiences (good or bad) using openEQUELLA along with your ideas as to how it can be improved. You can also use the bug tracking system and contribute your ideas there.

At the next level, you can contribute code in the form of bug fix solutions, enhancements, or skins. If you wish to contribute to openEQUELLA itself, you should first subscribe to the openEQUELLA Google Group as outlined above and discuss your contributions with the other developers. You will also need to sign a Contributor License Agreement.


openEQUELLA Documentation

Documentation can be found here for the open source version of openEQUELLA. Documentation covers the following topics:

openEQUELLA Contributors 

The following organizations and individuals have contributed to openEQUELLA through direct involvement with the project, through code contributions, or documentation and support. The original openEQUELLA codebase was contributed by Pearson, Inc. Additional changes and enhancements have been added by the organizations and individuals below:


  • Unicon, Inc.
    • Drew Wills
    • Benito Gonzales
    • Diego del Blanco
    • Michael Sultzaberger
    • Chris Beach
  • Edalex
    • Ian Stevenson
    • Aaron Holland
    • Alistair Oliver
    • Nick Charles
    • Penghai Zhang
    • Tim Rattle
    • Nelson Cheng
    • Carl Hoffman
    • Cath Fitzgerald

openEQUELLA Support

openEQUELLA is open source software supported primarily by an open and friendly community. Our premier support channel is community discussion mediated primarily via Mailing Lists.

Free Support

Please take the following steps to obtain support from the openEQUELLA user community.

Search Archives

The openEQUELLA Google Group holds the community discussion forums and provides a search interface for discussion archives. Your question may have been previously asked and answered. Please search the archives before posting to the community discussion forum. Subscribe by sending an e-mail to equella-users+subscribe[at]

Chat Room

The openEQUELLA community chat room is hosted as the #Equella channel within the Slack. To join, access

Mailing Lists

The openEQUELLA community discussion mailing list is a moderate traffic list where questions are typically answered within minutes and usually resolved within a couple days. openEQUELLA developers monitor the list and frequently participate in discussion. Subscribe by sending a mail to equella-users+subscribe[at]

Community Etiquette

Remember that activity on the mailing lists and all other support channels is entirely voluntary. There are no SLAs. There are no guarantees. You may opt into professional support agreements with Apereo commercial service providers for additional technical support.

Paid Support 

A number of consulting firms offer paid support for openEQUELLA.  


Edalex is an educational services company supporting educational institutions across Australia and New Zealand, with a mission of “Helping put innovation into education.”  With nearly 150 years combined openEQUELLA experience, core services include: account management, professional services (consulting and training), hosting, software development (integrations, custom software), and client support.  


Unicon is a leading provider of technology consulting, services, and support for the education industry. Institutions and corporations leverage Unicon’s domain expertise across numerous disciplines, including identity and access management (IAM), learning analytics/student success, standards-based integration, portals, content lifecycle, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Unicon’s depth of experience in designing, building, integrating, operating, and supporting learning, assessment, and institutional systems ensures the right skills and technologies are applied to every engagement.


openEQUELLA 2023.1

28 August 2023

openEQUELLA 2019.2 - A Significant Open Source Release

openEQUELLA 2019.2 continues the process of redeveloping the platform's user interface to ensure increased usability and appeal to end users.

Unicon Announces Services and Support for Apereo EQUELLA

Services for EQUELLA include Discovery, Deployment and Configuration, Consulting, Customization, Integration, Upgrades, Hosting, and Technical Support via Unicon’s Open Source Support program.