W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-zig@w3.org > February 2002

Re: Z39.50 on the web (and in print)

From: Paul Nixon <pnixon@seachange.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 13:05:34 -0500
Message-ID: <008101c1bef0$31dbc740$0e0c0c0a@seachange.com>
To: <www-zig@w3.org>
Jeez.I go off for a couple of days skiing and miss all the fun!
I'd like to comment on our work here at Sea  Change.

The original post from Sebastian included..

>One concrete piece of criticism is the lack of an automatic way to discover
>Z39.50 hosts, which I'll pass on to the ZIG. It might be a good idea to
>think of some protocol-level way to access databases of targets -- such as
>Z39.50, LDAP, or even "something XML".

Mathew mentioned..

>You mean like the WebClarity Resource Registry
>(http://www.webclarity.info/registry.html)

To which Sebastian responded.

>I haven't seen the contents of this, but if it's a database of Z resources
>navigable/searchable through a publicly available machine-friendly
>interface, then that's exactly what's being asked for. If it has the
>possibility, for instance, of describing available access points for
>searching for databases, then even better. Something that requires you to
>sign up and obtain a "membership" would offhand seem to be an obstruction
>rather than a help, here.

Yep, that's exactly what it is, and more.

To which Mike Responded.

> (Remember Rule Number One of the ZIG: if you want
>something to happen, you have to do it. :-)

OK. So we at Sea Change had a real problem to solve for our customers. We
had several hundred databases built into BookWhere (our MS-Windows Z-client)
but no way to manage or distribute that information. We developed an XML
schema for Z-resource description, built a database system with a Web based
front end then loaded both a SOAP and a Z39.50 interface on top. The XML
schema is available in the Technical White Paper
(http://www.webclarity.info/whitepapers/registry_white.pdf) and allows for a
fairly comprehensive description of the resources. I'll grant that it's not
perfect, but its there and it works for our customers.

Our BookWhere application connects to the Resource Registry (weekly) and
requests updates via SOAP. Full metadata about the servers is available with
a "right" mouse click.

Them Mark said.

>I agree - I can see a business case like you outline for several different
>types of organizations including ILS vendors (like us) to have such a
>resource - both as a service we could offer our customers and as a value
>add service we could use to enhance the data we provide to customers.

This is precisely what we had in mind. We are offering access to our
database on a subscription basis. We also offer the "Hub" (central registry
and database) software that you can then use to service your own clientele.
This also provides companies with the opportunity to extend the XML
definition for their own needs. We can also synchronize data between "hubs".

This "thread" became quite extensive and interesting. Please feel free to
contact me on or off list.

P.N.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Paul Nixon - Sea Change Corporation / Phone:(905)760-7488 x240
Fax:(905)760-9469
www.WebClarity.info  - Your link to global resources
Received on Tuesday, 26 February 2002 13:06:40 UTC

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