A Thread of Comments on the OLE Project Draft Report

Carl Grant, president of Ex Libris North America, posted a pair of messages on his corporate blog that it is worth calling attention to regarding the OLE Project final report, if you haven’t already run into them: OLE; The unanswered questions and Library Software Solutions – We need a higher level of discourse... Equally important is the comment on the first by Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Indiana University. The whole thread should take about five minutes to read; five minutes well spent if you are interested in the intersection of community source software development with proprietary, closed-source software development. It is even more important if you are looking for a case study of governance issues surrounding community source software development. Go ahead…I’ll wait.

On How Physical and Electronic Differ for Library Materials

I’m reading the notes from the Atlanta OLE Project regional workshop and right up at the top are these two statements that struck me as insightful. The first gets to the heart of how physical items in a library are different from digital items with respect to library service commitments:

With print items, we’re trying to give people access; with electronic trying to keep them out.

This stems, undoubtedly, from the first sale doctrine in copyright law; the library has purchased the item and chooses to lend it to others for a period of time. With electronic items, though, we typically agree to licenses, which — as contract law — trumps the rights given by copyright; those license are more restrictive in what we can and cannot do with the digital versions.

OLE Project Webcast, Workshops Scheduled

Coming out of the face-to-face meeting in Rutgers earlier this month, the OLE Project has posted a number of announcements for upcoming events. The first is a webcast on Nov. 20, 2008 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time, US, free of charge and open to anyone. The webcast topics are:

  • Update on the project
  • Timeline and topics for remaining project activities
  • Overview of upcoming OLE workshops and invitation to attend
  • Overview of working groups and invitation to participate
  • Q&A

Registration is required; directions for accessing the webcast will be emailed to those who register. There is a limit of 200 participants (the maximum the webcast service allows), and the session will be recorded for later playback.

Adding Educause Connect’s “Service Oriented Architecture” Term to Planet LibrarySOA

Richard Akerman’s recent post highlighting SOA resources at Educause reminded me about the aggregation point on Educause Connect for SOA resources. I’m assuming significant number of those interested in applying SOA to library systems are at an institution of higher education or in some related organization, so I’m adding the RSS feed for that aggregation to Planet LibrarySOA. This will undoubtedly result in a large spike of “new” postings to the planet aggregator, but should settle down after that.

Eric Schnell’s Introduction to Library SOA

Back in June, Eric Schnell posted a five part introduction to applying Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts to library applications. Along with his comparison of the predominant ILS architecture with Henry Ford’s application of assembly line manufacturing this is a great non-techie introduction to SOA form a library application perspective. I had reason to run across these again earlier this month and remembered that I had not posted a summary and pointers here.

Introducing “Planet Library SOA”

I am pleased to announce the formation of Planet Library SOA — an aggregation of blog postings and resources related to the application of the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) software paradigm to library systems. You can follow the topic by reading the aggregation website, but the best way to follow along is by subscribing to one of the feeds (atom, rss1.0 or rss2.0) in your favorite newsreader. Those in the conversation at the beginning are Eric Schnell, Lorcan Dempsey, Richard Akerman, Stephen Anthony, and the Talis corporate blog. If you are looking for an introduction to the SOA topic with a slant towards library services, I humbly suggest you read my series on DLTJ starting with Defining “Service Oriented Architecture” by Analogy.

Adding Your Voice


If you publish on the same topic and would like to be added to the Planet Library SOA aggregator, please let me know:

Combining Service Oriented Architecture with a Single Business Approach

This month I’ve come across one great article and one great report on Service Oriented Architectures. The first came from Sally Rogers at Ohio State University in the form of an article from CIO magazine last year:


Koch, Christopher. 2006. The Truth About SOA. CIO Magazine, June 15. http://www.cio.com/archive/061506/soa.html (accessed March 27, 2007).

This article does a great job at laying the groundwork for the broad “what” and “why” (as well as the “why not”) of SOA, and I agree with Sally that it makes a better introduction to the topic than most of the white paper that I presented at the meeting. The two best paragraphs out of the article come towards the very end:

“Applying the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Model to Libraries” — A Presentation

There was a great crowd at the University of Windsor “Future of the ILS” symposium. The presentation is available from http://dltj.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/200611-uwindsor-soa/. An outline of the presentation is given below with links into the presentation slides. Amanda Etches-Johnson has also posted a great summary of the presentation on her blog, “Blog Without A Library.”

Creative Commons LicenseThe presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Other rights are available; please contact the author for more information.

“Applying the SOA Model to Libraries” talk coming up at the U-Windsor “Future of the Integrated Library System” symposium

It is my honor and pleasure to be asked to speak at a one-day symposium called “The Future of the Integrated Library System” hosted by the University of Windsor on November 15, 2006. More information can be found at the symposium wiki. I have a one-hour talk with the title “Could We Do What They Are Doing? Applying the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Model to Libraries” that will build on the library-oriented SOA postings and comments made here last month. (And I do intend to get back to the series — after all, I need to draft a whitepaper for the OhioLINK Technical Advisory Council to write on that same topic as well!)

DLF’s Upcoming Workshop on Developing a Services Framework for Digital Libraries

I know I said I would only be taking “a day’s break” from posting about applying the Service Oriented Architecture pattern to library services but, well, real work gets in the way. Thoughts are still bubbling around — some of them have even reached draft form — but nothing new yet. In the meantime, though, take a look at this DLF Workshop on Developing a Services Framework for Digital Libraries to be held on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 in Boston. These sound like great outcomes: