Dive into Hydra

Justin Coyne edited this page Dec 5, 2017 · 71 revisions

This tutorial is being upgraded to work with hydra release version 11.0.0. Please update this wiki to reflect any other versions that have been tested.


This tutorial assumes that you have some basic familiarity with Ruby and Rails. If you are new to Rails, we recommend going through the RailsBridge Tutorial first.

A fun way to learn about the basic Rails syntax and patterns is the Rails for Zombies tutorial.

The tutorial also mentions using Ruby Version Manager, a.k.a RVM. Before starting this tutorial, visit the RVM website to learn about how that tool is used. RVM is not required in order to do the tutorial, but you will probably find it useful.

System Requirements

Your system should have the following installed to successfully complete this tutorial:

Note: these requirements are specific to this tutorial, please check the Hydra README.md for additional version compatibility information.


  • Create a working Hydra Head
  • Get development instances of Solr & Fedora installed and running
  • Start & Stop the development instance of the Application
  • Define Models for Content to put into your Hydra Head (in this case Books, Manuscripts and Pages)
  • Use your Models to Create objects in Fedora and Solr
  • See where content is persisted in Fedora and indexed in Solr
  • Modify how metadata is indexed in Solr
  • Start Using Git to Track Code Changes


  1. Lesson - Generate a Rails Application
  2. Lesson - Add the Hydra Dependencies
  3. Lesson - Start FCRepo and Solr
  4. Lesson - Start the Application & Search for Results
  5. Lesson - Build a Book model with RDF
  6. Lesson - Build a Codex model with XML
  7. Lesson - Make Blacklight Return Search Results


You've completed the main tutorial, the following lessons can be completed in any order based on your interests:

  1. Lesson - Define Relationships Between Objects
  2. Lesson - Adding attached Files
  3. Lesson - Generate Rails Scaffolding for Creating and Editing Books

Next Steps

You've finished the initial Hydra tutorial and learned about setting up the basic hydra framework, building basic data models, establishing relationships between models, and modifying the basic user interface provided in a default hydra install. There is still lots more to learn. At this point, you can explore the ideas in this tutorial further by spending some time building out your models to support more complex metadata, further customizing your application views, and/or adding tests to make your applications more robust and easy to maintain.

There's lots more Hydra though, so you may want to check out the following tutorials

  • Tame Your XML With OM shows you how to configure Hydra to parse metadata from source XML documents
  • Access Controls with Hydra teaches you to configure roles and access rights that determine which content can be viewed by various user roles assigned to users of your repository
  • Even though the information there is not specific to Hydra, Getting Started with Rails is a great place to learn more about Model, View, and Controller conventions within Rails that can be applied to building your own Hydra-based repository.

You should also say hello on the hydra-tech mailing list and let us know what you're using Hydra for.

Check out the Hydra Project Website at http://projecthydra.org

Project Hydra Logo

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