XNAT 1.8.0 Release Notes

These release notes include all updates that were made since the release of XNAT 1.7.6, the last public release. This includes changes made for XNAT 1.7.7, which was an internal-only release where most of the code changes do not have corresponding JIRA tickets. These release notes offer some additional notes on new features and bugfixes based on those updates.

Browser Support

As of XNAT 1.8, we no longer support running XNAT on any version of Internet Explorer, which has been deprecated by Microsoft and will stop receiving security updates in 2021. Microsoft Edge and all other modern browsers (Firefox, Chrome, et al) are supported.

XNAT Event Service

XNAT 1.8 ships with a fully rebuilt means of automating tasks in relation to filterable events in XNAT. This is a powerful new feature, and one that becomes more powerful when combined with the Container Service.

See: Using the XNAT Event Service

XNAT Architecture

Modernized XNAT Components

XNAT 1.8 is now built on Java 8 and requires PostgreSQL 9.6 – with PostgreSQL 10 or higher recommended. In the UI, the jQuery library and related libraries have been updated to version 3.5.1.

See: Prerequisites for Installing XNAT

Other Architectural Improvements and Bug Fixes

Among other architectural improvements, XNAT 1.8 offers improved support for Multi-Node XNAT configurations, which help distribute traffic and server load on very large systems such as CNDA. Additional bugfixes addressed issues with LDAP logins and database upgrading from older versions of XNAT.

Resolved 1.8-Architecture JIRA Issues (Login required)

Image Viewing is Plugin-Enabled

XNAT supports two separate image viewing plugins, and XNAT administrators can choose to install one or both depending on their needs.

  • The XNAT-OHIF Image Viewer is highly recommended for its ability to support segmentations and annotations, as well as receiving ongoing support and development
  • The Legacy XNAT Image Viewer has been deprecated and removed from core XNAT, but can still be run as a plugin. Its primary advantage is an ability to view NIFTI images

Resource Management

New Feature: Triaging Custom Resource Uploads

XNAT 1.8 introduces improvements to the Custom Resource Uploader workflow, by adding the additional concept of allowing project owners to send incoming resource files to a "Triage" space where they can be proofed before they are added to the project. See: Using the Resource File Quarantine

Other Resource Management Improvements and Bug Fixes

XNAT 1.8 includes a number of bugfixes for the catalog service, as well as handling assessor resources – particularly those created via the REST API. Another fix corrected an error with dropped files when handling gzipped resources.

Resolved 1.8-Resources JIRA Issues (Login required)

Datatype Management

Enabling Searchable Scan Listings

Enabling image scan datatypes in XNAT has long been fraught with bad or strange behavior, and admins were often cautioned not to do it. XNAT 1.8 now offers full support for enabling scan listings. This improvement has a cascading positive benefit when used with the Container Service and Batch Launch Plugin, allowing users to launch containers (such as dcm2niix) in bulk on scan data across their project or across search listings.

See: Using the Batch Launch Plugin with the Container Service

ROI Collection Added to Core XNAT Data Types

The ROI Collection datatype plugin was a required prerequisite for running the XNAT-OHIF Viewer Plugin. This datatype has now been moved into the core XNAT data model, which obviates the need to re-install it via the datatype plugin. If installed, the ROI Collection datatype plugin can be safely removed.

Other Datatype Management Improvements and Bug Fixes

XNAT 1.8 includes a series of minor bugfixes related to datatype management, including unintended behavior when removing elementSecurity entries. Another series of bugfixes and improvements allows XSync to work with ROI Collection data.

Resolved 1.8-Datatypes JIRA Issues (Login Required)


Enabling Custom DICOM Project Routing Rules (Without a Plugin)

XNAT 1.8 resurrects and empowers the mostly defunct dicom-project.rules method of specifying custom DICOM fields to query to determine project routing during the session-building and archiving process. With this method now positioned at the top of the logical stack, XNAT 1.8 makes it possible for a site administrator to set these rules on their site via the API or the Site Admin UI.

See: How XNAT Scans DICOM to Map to Project/Subject/Session

Generating Scan Snapshots and Montages on the Fly

XNAT 1.8 rebuilt the snapshot generation service, and made it available as a core service rather than relying on the Autorun pipeline. This new service functions on the fly, which adds incremental performance benefits to the scan archiving process. It also makes it easy for users to generate their own snapshots, including single-slice views and montage views.

See: Generating Scan Snapshots and Montages in XNAT

Other Session Archiving Improvements and Bug Fixes

Among other improvements related to session archiving, XNAT 1.8 resolves a bug that prevented Mammogram data from being archived properly in some cases.

Resolved 1.8-Archiving JIRA Issues (Login Required)

Enhancements to Anonymization

XNAT 1.8 now uses version 6.3 of the DicomEdit6 library, providing new capabilities, including the ability to mask regions of pixel data that have burned-in PHI.

See: DicomEdit 6.3 Language Reference

XNAT Admin Permissions

Rationalized Admin Access Permissions

For a long time, it was possible in XNAT for a site administrator to not grant themselves access to all project data. However, as site administrators, they always have the ability to toggle that all-data-access switch back on at their leisure. This created a phantom role of the "data-blind site admin" whose existence depended entirely on the chivalry of the person in that role. This was not a sustainable practice, and also created logistical nightmares when coding around "admin" permissions as related to the hundreds and hundreds of API endpoints in XNAT.

In XNAT 1.8 and moving forward, a site administrator will always be granted access to all project data.

Other Administrative Improvements and Bug Fixes

XNAT 1.8 resolved a series of minor usability issues related to the Admin UI and Project Admin UI, including the ability to enable and disable Series Import Filters.

Resolved 1.8-Admin JIRA Issues (Login Required)

Security Fixes

A number of security issues were addressed in XNAT 1.8.0. Affected areas include project resources, alias tokens, and cross-site scripting.

View All Improvements and Bug Fixes in JIRA

Improved Asynchronous Handling of Selected Workflows

XNAT 1.8 introduces the new "Activity" tab, which appears on the bottom of the screen to track asynchronous processes in the UI. Examples of newly asynchronous processes include the Compressed Image Uploader, the Review and Archive feature within the Prearchive, and Container launches.

Other UI Improvements and Bug Fixes

XNAT 1.8 addressed a series of minor UI behaviors and rendering issues, including the following: 

  • Several issues related to Spawner form elements in Admin UI pages
  • Increased size of the "Title" field for Investigators
  • Improper rendering of special characters on report pages
  • Custom project data listings fail if accessed simultaneously by multiple users

Other Backend Improvements and Bug Fixes

XNAT 1.8 addressed a series of minor backend behaviors, including the following:

  • Inability to download files from projects whose project ID is made up only of numbers and starts with a zero
  • Scans uploaded in sequence could fail if uploaded too quickly
  • Intermittent user permissions issues

Even though the XNAT JIRA is publicly viewable, JIRA software has disabled the public sharing of filters and dashboards. A login is now required to view the full XNAT 1.8 Release Notes dashboard.

 View Dashboard (login required): https://issues.xnat.org/secure/Dashboard.jspa?selectPageId=12500

Known Issues in XNAT 1.8

There are several issues and improvements on tap. These are a selection of higher priority known issues.

XNAT-5453Sensitive information can be passed from DICOM fields to session XML when not importing via the Prearchive
XNAT-6445Severe errors recorded during startup in Java 8-based XNATs when using Tomcat build 7.0.68. Updating to Tomcat 7.0.106 resolves the issue. 
XNAT-6481New scan "modality" field will be empty for most data imported into versions of XNAT older than 1.7.5
XNAT-6511Updated compressed uploader tracks and stores original file name, study instance UID, and possibly patient ID
XNAT-6581New XNAT scan snapshot service does not support compressed DICOM
XNAT-6710Event Service does not support XNAT ML datatypes, or other "project assets"