About Invenio

A brief story of an open source project

What is Invenio?

Invenio is an open source project that was initially developed by CERN. The Invenio brand today covers a suite of currently three main products developed by the Invenio community:

  • InvenioRDM - a repository/document management platform
  • InvenioILS - an integrated library system
  • Invenio Framework - a code library to build large-scale information systems such as InvenioRDM and InvenioILS

In addition to the three main products, a larger number of smaller generic code libraries are also being maintained for the benefit of the open source commuinty independently of Invenio.


Originally, Invenio v1, was a software application that acted as both a digital repository and an integrated library system based on MARC21. The first release of Invenio (named CDSWare back then) was on August 1st, 2002.

In 2015, Invenio v3 was rewritten from scratch in order to better support large-scale research data management use cases as well as take advantage of significant developments in open source off-the-shelf solutions which didn't exist back in 2002. Invenio v3 also marked the departure from MARC21 as the core metadata format, towards a fully JSON-based system supporting many different metadata formats and not only MARC21.

Invenio v3 further marked the split of Invenio into several separate products each focusing on specific use cases, but all based on the same core Invenio Framework v3.

What about Invenio v2? Please don't ask (number 2 is always bad right?) 😀

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