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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated 07 OCT 97

Project Number and Title
3030 - Library services interface toolset
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ IV Theme 16 bis January 1995 April 1997 28
toolsets; user interface; GUI

blue bullet Additional information is available from the Caselibrary website . (

Interfacing in library applications via client-server models (Theme 16 bis)
Project description
The project developed a modular toolset enabling library staff to set up user interfaces corresponding to their particular needs.
A modular expert system server permits 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. Particular attention has been paid to the need for control of access in large academic libraries.
A set of software tools specifically required by the library community has thus been created for multiplatform, multidatabase information access systems based on modern GUIs (graphical user interfaces).
The toolset design permits extension to other library systems and platforms.
Technical approach
The project was 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.
An information dissemination plan has been put into effect.
Key issues
  • realistic project focus on a defined number of systems and platforms;
  • portability and extendibility;
  • extensive validation.
CASELIBRARY has developed 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).
Impact and expected results
CaseLibrary tools has been developed using routines which are portable to most existing systems while fully exploiting the advantages of graphical user interfaces. Their design allows future services to include Campus Wide Information Systems (CWIS), z39.50 and World Wide Web, to allow access to a broader range of information services. Unlike many currently available toolsets, the products are carefully directed at the library community and are thus likely to have a significant impact.
Although academic libraries have been targeted, the toolset design permits migration to other library types, systems and platforms.
The project deliverables 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 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 with z30.50 client and server components are the key outcomes of this project.
All specifications and plans are restricted or confidential. Public domain documents include:
  • The user manual;
  • A dossier of results;
  • The final report.
CaseLibrary has made available a beta version of its information retrieval software which may be downloaded free of charge in the form of a self-extracting archive from the project's Web site or by anonymous ftp .
The software allows users of PCs running Windows 3.x or Windows 95 to search a wide variety of library catalogues and databases via the Internet using the Z39.50 international standard for information retrieval.
Further information are given in the press release or can be obtained from: Robin Yeates , LITC
An interesting independent comparative assessment of the CaseLibrary client Znavigator is available on the Web at:
Additional information is available from .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
EnWare S.A. E - 28001 MADRID ES
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Mark PIERCE Address: C/ Nuñez de Balboa 51 -6ø
Tel: +34-1-576 02 45 Fax: +34-1-577 65 98
E-mail 1: E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Universidad Alcalá de Henares ES P
South Bank University UK P
CeSIT Servizi Informatici e Telematici IT P

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