What are some future directions for iRODS development?
What is the current iRODS roadmap?

Please see Github for the technical iRODS roadmap for upcoming releases, and the status of particular issues. The long term technical vision for iRODS includes features such as:

API Consistency across Programming Languages: Leverage existing technologies such as Apache Avro to provide a thinner, unified platform from which numerous client side development libraries may be created, including APIs for clients built in java, python, PHP and more. This effort will relieve development pressure to ensure sustainability and compatibility into the future.

Zone Introspection: Currently a client has no way to know what capabilities a particular iRODS zone can provide, which servers are running and healthy, and which plugins are installed and enabled. Zone introspection, introduced for iRODS 4.0.3 and beyond through the zonereport plugins, will provide this information. This capability simplifies zone administration and troubleshooting, and eventually a client may be able to request certain features from the grid and be routed to an appropriate server to provide those capabilities.

Plugin Bundles: As plugins become more complicated and new features emerge that span many plugins, a dependency model will need to be put into place to allow the enforcement of plugin dependencies. A plugin bundle represents a package of dependent plugins which might represent a new feature to iRODS. This ties directly into zone introspection, as this tool will help the zone administrator manage those dependencies.

Indexing Framework ( External Service Integration ): An iRODS indexing framework will provide the ability to do full-content indexing of data stored in an iRODS zone. We are working to package the products of this DFC-led effort for straightforward and reliable deployment. This technology will enable a robust discovery environment in the short term and other services such as auditing in the future.