A short project update at DLF Fall Forum 2010 highlighted new collaborative efforts building upon the work of DLF’s original ILS Discovery Interface Task Group. Convened in 2007, the Task Group was charged with recommending standard interfaces for the ILS to integrate with new discovery tools and systems. While the final recommendation released in December 2008 was applauded by the library technology community, it did not result in a generic solution as DLF did not have the resources to create complete schema requirements, develop open source toolkits, or monitor vendor compliance.
This project has experienced re-vitalized interest and attention from a group of interested parties convened at Code4Lib 2010. The goal of this completely open collaborative effort is to achieve actual code implementations of ILS-DI recommendations across all ILSs by bringing together those who have written ILS-DI (or related) code with those who want standardized ILS adapters, including representatives from open source discovery projects (such as VuFind and eXtensible Catalog) as well as from discovery interface vendors (such as OCLC and Serials Solutions).
A survey of the community indicated that first efforts should focus on re-usable services for item availability and patron functionality. As these priorities mesh closely with the goals of the eXtensible Catalog (XC) project’s NCIP toolkit, this existing tool has been recommended as a platform for achieving a re-usable set of services across a variety of ILSs. In addition to the core NCIP toolkit code, XC project partners had also created a number of individual ILS connectors. Empowered by a code and effort donation from OCLC, work is currently ongoing to create an NCIP 2.0 version of the XC NCIP toolkit (replacing the current NCIP 1.0 version) and institutions are being recruited to create or update pre-existing ILS connectors.
You can contribute to this project in several meaningful ways:
- Writing an XC NCIP 2.0 connector for your ILS (ex: III Millenium Oracle, SirsiDynix Horizon)
- Implementing additional services for an existing ILS connector (ex: LookupItem for SirsiDynix Symphony)
- Downloading, installing, and beta testing the XC NCIP toolkit and an ILS connector
- Providing test data sets to use for compliance testing across ILS connectors
- Hosting a publicly available read-write testing instance of an ILS for use by another connector developer
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