Advanced Rapid Library (ARL) is a system designed for automated management of library catalogs and collections and other information institutions in a network environment. It is based on a client-server multilevel architecture, as a modular and easily scalable system. ARL environment is available in 3 languages, Czech, Slovak and English. It is an open and amply robust system, so as to work for city libraries as well as a big university library. It is able to process various types and forms of information.
ARL system enables the process of not only bibliographic information, but also supports multimedia, picture, sound and full-text documents in full capacity.
Technical solution of Advanced Rapid Library is implemented among the application database system Cache from company Intersystems, which is represented in the Czech Republic. Caché because it integrates relation, multidimensional and object technologies, which provide the developers with performance, speed, productivity and security. Data and indexes are stored in exceptionally effective multidimensional structures and are suitable not only for large data processing, but also for securing a quick access to data while thousands of users are working. Multi-dimensionality with optimized transaction processing of Caché is the deciding element of performance and expansion ability. Various alternatives of ensuring security, integrity and high availability of data are a obviosity.
The database is used for managing, archiving and making information available. Individual entities, described by metadata, can be processed in any Marc format together with appropriate authority files based on the AACR2, FRBR and FRAD regustry rules. For building their own information sources as well as for communication with external information systems, ISO23950 and ISO2709 are fully respected. Each information is made available to readers and users in accordance with ISBD and ISO690.
Functional span of Advanced Rapid Library system covers all present and future library needs and requirements. Advanced Rapid Library offers so much more as for library staff, so for their users. Particular system functions are arranged into logical units, which form its basic modules.
The core of the system integrates implementation of data storage, required standards, API interface, basic communication protocols and extensive configuration options. On the application server and client interface’s side, it’s possible to further expand this core with the following modules: document and authority registration, OPAC/IPAC, Acquisition, Inventarization, Series, Magazine circulation, Inter-library borrowing services – ILL, Selective dissemination of information – SDI, outputs and statistics, device reservation, system management. According to user focus and requirements, it is possible to further expand the system by modules of regional personalities – REOS, regional factual references – REFA, regional bibliography (documents) – REDO, or documentation of publishing activity – EPCA. In addition, WS API interface is available for integration with other systems.
ARL system attributes
“Simple searching” in basic communication interface ARL serves for finding records based on criteria entered by the user. The search results could be specified by entering a search limit, choosing the option of searching with the beginning of the word or the option of searching for a specific phrase.
”SCAN” search is used for information as to the amount of records which fulfill the criteria entered by the user. Search type “BROWSE” supplements “Simple search” with records in alphabetical order.
“EXPANDED search” enables the combination of several criteria according to various search indexes and to combine them with logical operators.
OAI-PMH describes the mechanisms for downloading meta-data records from data repositories. Protocol enables the operators of such archives to make information describing their documents easily accessible by service based on open HTTP and XML standards. Meta-data can be provided in any XML formats agreed upon by the individual participating organizations, but the mandatory format for providing a basic level of interoperability is the unqualified Dublin Core. That’s why meta-data from any source can be downloaded and grouped together into a single database and other services are then provided based on centrally collected data. OAI-PMH does not enable searching in itself directly, it only provides an easy option of downloading data to one place. The collection of data must be combined with other mechanisms in order to provide services with the acquired records (e.g. searching). Even though the OAI-PMH protocol is technically very simple, the creation of related services satisfying the user requirements remains complicated. Two logical modules will be implemented in ARL: the provider and the harvester.
Z39.50 is a standardized application protocol, which specifies communication between the client and the server when searching for information and downloading information from remote electronic databases. It observes ANSI/NISO and ISO 23950 standards. The main institution of protocol management is the Congress library. Z39.50 client establishes the connection with the server by sending the requirement. Once both sides exchange paramenters, a Z39.50 relation is created, i.e. an interactive communication is established between a specific Z39.50 client and another specific Z39.50 server.
Client sends a query formulated as a so called search requirement, based on which the server searches the database and creates a group of the resulting records. It sends the number of components of this group to the client in the Search answer and depending on the number of records, the answer can contain some or all found records.
Web services of ARL
The web services of ARL, or “ws API”, is a communication protocol derived from SRU/SRW, based on the supporting protocol http/https, and designated for simple communication of client applications with ARL, or for simple integration of external systems with ARL.
Examples of options:
- sing in to readers account, searching from the library’s website,
- accessibility of holding news on the library home website,
- charging for use of copy machines and network printers, the payment is executed through the reader’s financial account in ARL.