XNAT 1.8 Release Pre-announcement

The XNAT team is putting the wraps on the XNAT 1.8 software release. This will be a major release with a lot of new features and improvements, but with an easy upgrade path for users in the XNAT 1.7 realm. Final testing will begin this week, and the release will be available in January 2021.

New Features

Event Service - Automate tasks such as processing, container execution, and more based on native XNAT events such as image session archiving, experiment creation, or even data deletion. The Event Service is fully extensible and can be used by plugin developers as well.

Native Support for Machine Learning - The XNAT ML tools are seeing continued development, but they are now supported in core XNAT. This means native support for concepts such as models, configurations, and training experiments.

Improved Container Service - The Container Service 3.0 plugin is being released concurrently with XNAT 1.8, and includes native support for Event Service, including the ability to trigger events based on container executions, or launch containers based on event triggers. Also, improved support for Docker Swarm with memory constraints on container runs has been added.

New Processing Dashboards - The Batch Launch Plugin is being released concurrently with XNAT 1.8 and offers greater refinement in grouping experiments, assessors, and even individual scans across multiple sessions for container launches.

Improved XNAT OHIF Viewer - The XNAT OHIF Viewer 3.0 plugin is being released concurrently with XNAT 1.8, built on a new React platform and offering improvements to scan viewing and annotation, as well as improved support for Machine Learning workflows.

Native Snapshot Generation - XNAT used to rely on the Autorun Pipeline, and thus the Pipeline Engine, to generate snapshots for imported scans. Now this functionality is available on-demand as a native service, and includes the ability to create montages on the fly.

Improved Resource Handling, including "Triaging" - Project owners can now make it much easier to specify and manage required resources for their projects.

Multiple UI & Usability Improvements - XNAT now has a new and improved compressed uploader, as well as many other improvements across the user experience.

Platform Updates

Deprecation of the XNAT Pipeline Engine - While XNAT 1.8 still supports pipelines, the XNAT Pipeline Engine is no longer necessary for XNAT to run. We strongly encourage developers to move their processing to Containers wherever possible.

Native Support for DICOM Query/Retrieve - The DICOM Query/Retrieve plugin will be released soon after XNAT 1.8, and will allow XNAT users to search PACS and other DICOM entities and pull image sessions into their XNAT. This functionality includes support for customized anonymization on each image session.

Support for Custom DICOM Routing - Allows XNAT Admins to alter which DICOM tags are used for assigning incoming image sessions to projects and subjects.

Deprecation of the legacy XImgView viewer - We strongly recommend moving to the XNAT OHIF image viewer plugin, which will continue to be updated and improved. However, if you have workflows that depend on the legacy viewer, it can still be installed as a plugin.

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Updated Dec 17 with new release date.

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