The Dis-integration of the ILS into a SOA Environment

This is part three of a continuing series on the application of the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) design pattern to library systems. In the first part, the SOA concept was compared to a transportation network and the basic foundation for defining SOA was set down. The second part described what a “service” in SOA could be and proposed an example using OCLC’s WorldCat interface with item status information being pulled from a library catalog system. That part also left off with a teaser about the juxtaposition of “inventory control system” with “local catalog system” — a foreshadowing of the topic of this post: what to do about the Monolithic (er… “Integrated”) Library System.

Services in a Service Oriented Architecture

This post is the second in a series about the application of the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) system design pattern to library services. The first post in this series focused on defining “Service Oriented Architecture” using the analogy of a transportation network. This post goes into some detail about what makes a “service” in this architecture and offers an example using a hypothetical use case: a union library catalog (Open WorldCat) making a statement about the availability of a book.

Defining “Service Oriented Architecture” by Analogy

This post is the first in a series over the next few days that in total will attempt to lay the groundwork for a discussion of applying the Service Oriented Architecture (or SOA) software design pattern to systems and solutions in the library space. It starts with comparing the SOA concept with a multi-modal transportation network. Subsequent posts will outline use cases and describe how SOA can be applied to libraries.

Why FEDORA? Answers to the FEDORA Users Interview Survey

The Fedora Outreach and Communications team is conducting a survey of the high-level sense of passion and commitment inherent in the Fedora community. I’ve posted some answers back to the FEDORA wiki on behalf of OhioLINK, and am also including the responses here as it fits into the “Why FEDORA?” series of blog postings. (If you are reading this through a RSS news reader, I think you’ll have to actually come to the DLTJ website and scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the table of contents of the series.) On with the responses!

Just In Time Acquisitions versus Just In Case Acquisitions

What of a service existed where the patrons selected an item they needed out of our library catalog and that item was delivered to the patron even when the library did not yet own the item? Would that be useful? With the growth of online bookstores, our users do have the expectation of finding something they need on the web, clicking a few buttons and having it delivered. When such expectations of what is possible exist, where is the first place a patron would go to find recently published items — the online bookstore or their local library catalog? Does your gut tell you it is the online bookstore? Would it be desirable if the patron’s instinct were to be the local library catalog?

Access Management and Provisioning Technology

Building on the shoulders of others — isn’t that how that quote goes? There has been a stack of printouts on my desk for a while now for various access management and service provisioning technologies. Rather than keep the paper, I’m putting the list here so I know how to get back to them if/when I need to. (Of course, along the way if you’d like to comment on them or suggest others to look at, please feel free to do so in the comments.) Note, too, that by listing them here I’m not proposing, or even sure if, all of these pieces come together to a coherent structure.

Minutes of the FEDORA Workflow Working Group meeting of 18-Jun-2006

Please note — this is a copy of the FEDORA Workflow Working Group minutes from the FEDORA Wiki. It is being posted here in order to get it into the blogosphere at the right places. Please make comments on the FEDORA Wiki “talk” page rather than on this posting.

FEDORA Workflow Working Group Meeting

18-Jun-2006, University of Virginia

Attending: Grace Agnew, Rutgers U.; Chris Awre, U. of Hull; Dan Davis, Harris Corp.; Richard Green, U. of Hull; Peter Murray, OhioLINK; Matthias Razum, FIZ Karlsruhe; Bill Parod, Northwestern U; Adam Soroka, U. of Virginia; Thorny Staples, U. of Virginia; Ross Wayland, U. of Virginia

“Is the Writing On The Wall?” — Take 2

Walt Crawford chided me — rightly so — for yesterday’s Is the Writing on the Wall for the Integrated Library System? post. My choice of language was, admittedly, sloppy. I was fired up last night…distracted, if you will, by what was happening at a really good conference. Please allow me the chance to redeem my argument.

In academic libraries, in my experience, there has been a decline in the use of library catalogs. This experience could be verified in the ARL supplementary statistics for at least that population of libraries (I think those numbers are password-protected, so it might be a challenge to try to use them). When I get back on the ground and have some time, I will either offer confirmation of that supposition or retract it.

Is the Writing on the Wall for the Integrated Library System?

While in UNC-CH for JCDL I’ve had occasion to rant with/at some people about the state of the integrated library system marketplace — including, of course, how we got into the spot we’re in and how we might get out of it (and those people were kind enough to engage in the rant). Along comes a series of posts from Casey Bisson and Nicole Engard ultimately pointing back to John Blyberg’s “ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights” that is singing the same tune. There still seems to be a desire for a solution from an existing vendor, and in fact that was part of counter-points brought up by some on the receiving end of the ILS-must-go rant. (Paraphrased: ‘No one can satisfy the need of a library like a library automation vendor’ and ‘As libraries we’re not strong enough to take on the task of building the next ILS ourselves.’) Yet there does seem to be this mounting pressure to get control again over our data and how we present it to patrons.