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Library services interface toolset

Objective

The objective is develop a modular toolset enabling library staff to set up user interfaces corresponding to their particular needs.

A modular expert system server will permit configuration of user access through interchangeable communications objects. The user is not held to any particular commercial system but is given the ability to integrate all the services needed in a single customised interface.

A set of software tools specifically required by the library community will thus be created for multiplatform, multidatabse information access systems based on modern GUIs (graphical user interfaces).

The toolset design will permit extension to other library systems and platforms.
Impact and expected results

CaseLibrary tools will be developed using routines which are portable to most existing systems while fully exploiting the advantages of graphical user interfaces. Their design will allow future services to include Campus Wide Information Systems (CWIS), World Wide Web, Gopher and WAIS to allow access to a broader range of information services. Unlike many currently available toolsets, the products here will be carefully directed at the library community and are thus likely to have a significant impact.

Although academic libraries are to be targeted initially, the toolset design will permit migration to other library types, systems and platforms.

Deliverables

The project deliverables will cover specifications (based on an analysis of user requirements), demonstrator software, a user manual and a series of reports on technical, project management and dissemination aspects. The products will include an interface builder for Windows 3.11 and Windows NT, an expert distributor supporting Dynix, Libertas and BASISplus as well as CD-ROM through Silver Platter and ODBC database systems.

The beta-tested prototype, available as software tools firstly for academic and then for all libraries, will be the most important outcome of this project.

All specifications and plans will be restricted or confidential category, but in the public domain will be:

The user manual;
A dossier of results;
The final report.
Technical approach

The project is divided into seven workpackages:

User requirements for the workstation - library services list, security, access rights, graphical user interface;
Software requirements and ergonomic needs in a logical model;
Architectural design of the physical model, with software components, interfaces, data structures, middleware, tools;
Detailed design of the database tables, and of object, communications and user interfaces;
Coding of interface builder and expert distributor;
Alpha installation and testing with reiterative corrections, at a library alpha test site;
Beta installation and testing at all three library sites - integration and correction by the developers, functional testing by the libraries.

After selection of appropriate media, an information dissemination plan will be put into effect.

Key issues

realistic project focus on a defined number of systems and platforms;
portability and extendibility;
extensive validation.

CASELIBRARY will create a set of software tools specifically for librarians and developers of multiplatform, multidatabase information access systems based on state-of-the-art graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

Coordinator

EnWare S.A.
Address
51 -6,C/ Nuñez De Balboa
28001 Madrid
Spain

Participants (3)

Cesit Servizi Informatici e Telematici
Italy
South Bank University
United Kingdom
Address
Borough Road
SE1 0AA London
Universidad Alcala de Henares
Spain