ABCD, as an integrated package for library automation (both traditional but also digital/virtual libraries) and a tool for documentation centers, is the culmination of several technologies developed by BIREME (OPS/PAHO, Brazil). These technologies support their online information services and have been developed over many years, involving many experts. The package contains an advanced database management (both creation/definition and data-entry/cataloging) module, an OPAC integrated into a ‘library portal’ page with meta-search functionality for either local or remote databases (iAH), a Serials Control module (SeCS), a module for Circulation and Statistics, a Thesaurus Manager and – to be added later – an Acquisition module. The software heavily relies on ISIS-database technology (developed by UNESCO, and BIREME, http://bvsmodelo.bvsalud.org/php/level.php?lang=en&component=31), currently in an advanced release (with 1MB max. record size and 60-characters index keys) and migrating to the new ISIS technology (ISIS-NBP, http://reddes.bvsalud.org/projects/isisnbp/) in the course of 2009.

ABCD’s technology can be summarized as follows : fully web-based, ISIS-based, using PHP, ISIS(-Script), JavaScript? and AJAX programming, multi-platform and multi-lingual.

The proposal for the development of ABCD is being promoted by BIREME during the last years. The actual conception, design and development of the system started in 2007, when BIREME established an agreement with MSINFO of Venezuela, to have its Orbita_Documental as the basis of the ABCD by adopting the technological platform of the Virtual Health Library and the FOSS development. In 2008 teh development of ABCD received financial support from the Flemish Interuniversity Council – University Development Co-operation section (VLIR/UOS, http://www.vliruos.be) as ABCD has been selected as the solution for the project ‘Development Of and Capacity Building in ISIS-Based Library Automation Systems’ (DOCBIBLAS), for being offered to university library partners in the South. For a list of collaborators involved in the development of ABCD see Hall of Fame.

Overview of the ISIS family up to ABCD

A “family” os softwares based on the same tecnology: FDT, FST, PFT, FL, QL

The aim of the DOCBIBLAS project, specifically in view of a need for sustainability, is to fully hand over ABCD to the ISIS users’ community and both UNESCO and BIREME for continued technical development and promotion.

Currently the development is solely done by volunteers in several countries but not enough thanks can be given to G. Ascencio and E. Spinak.

A new version 3.0 is being developed by UCI, Cuba.

Features and Modules of ABCD

Description of the basic modules

AdministratorManagement of User accounts
Full database creation process
Inverted file generation/update
Database reinitialization
Record/database unlocking
Maintenance of Messages database and translation to other languages
Creation of Help-in-context pages
Management of z39.50 (protocol for searching and retrieving information from remote databases)
Management of OAI (the Open Archives Initiative protocol for metadata harvesting)
Quality and consistency controls
Data entry
Creation/editing of worksheets
Creation/editing of formats for quality control
Linking to Authority files
Management of the Acquisitions module
Import/Export (Isis, MARC, XML, etc.)
Global changes
StatisticsPre-defined basic package with the most frequently used statistics
Ad-hoc reports generator, with direct output to graphs and export to Excel-like spreadsheets
ServicesPrint generation (on demand or scheduled)
Printing of barcodes and spine labels
Selective dissemination of information through profiles
Online services by demand (photocopies, reference, etc.)
Databases for identification of loan objects and users
Definition of service policies or rules
Multiple display formats
Pre-defined calendar for calculating suspensions, reservations and loans
Assignation of different functions to different operators
Definition of lending slips and other prints
Detection of inconsistencies in transactions
Statistics on all types of transactions
Verification of user and/or object
Administration of fines
Administration of suspensions
Administration of reservations and waiting lists
Listings of printed forms and e-mails
Simple editor for ABCD-Site administration, modelled on BVS Site
Editor for parameter definition (.def files)
Editor for display formats
Editor for indexing techniques (.FST)
Web service connecting the OPAC with the loans system
Editor for shortcuts (calls to external applets through .pft)
Periodical Control
Title creation according to the ISSN standard
Import of titles from .ISO MARC/ISSN formats or native SeCSCreation of frequency masks for automatic generation of new issuesGeneration of collective catalogues with multiple collections
Entry of new issues, manually or automatically through barcode reading
Export of full or selective collections
Control listings of missing or duplicated issues
Hypertext navigation between different versions of families of titles

ABCD structure