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:

Looking Forward to Version 2.2 of FEDORA

Sandy Payette, Co-Director of the Fedora Project and Researcher in the Cornell Information Science department, announced a tentative date for the release 2.2 of the FEDORA digital object repository.

The Fedora development team would like to announce that Fedora 2.2 will be released on Friday, January 19, 2007.

This new release will contain many significant new features and enhancements, including [numbers added to the original for the sake of subsequent commentary]:

  1. Fedora repository is now a web application (.war) that can be installed in any container
  2. Fedora authentication has been refactored to use servlet filters (no longer Tomcat realms)

“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:

Taking a Day’s Break from SOA

No Service Oriented Architecture posting today, but here is a glimpse of the topic of the next one — the title is: “Web Services: A means to a Service Oriented Architecture end.” In the meantime I wanted to thank everyone for their public and private comments, and to ask to keep ‘em coming. The big push for writing about SOA this week was a lead up to a meeting of the OhioLINK Technical Advisory Council (TAC) today. On TAC’s agenda was a question about looking at SOA as a design strategy for new and migrated services. These blog postings served several purposes: 1) propel the topic a little further in the library community [presupposing that it was a worthy topic]; 2) serve as background information for today’s meeting; 3) flush out comments from the library community [which it did — thanks again!]; and 4) form the basis of a whitepaper on SOA at OhioLINK. TAC agreed to keep looking at it and endorsed the writing of the whitepaper. Keep the comments and observations coming!

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.