Celebrating 10 years of ABCD : the new OPAC

Exactly 10 years ago the ABCD software was presented to the world in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in an event organized by Bireme. So we have something to celebrate !

As a small (well, not so small in fact) birthday gift to the ABCD community, we are proud to announce the upcoming availability of a completely new OPAC-module by G. Ascencio for the now 10-year old ABCD.

Since ABCD is a ‘suite’ of relatively independent but collaborating modules (Central, Site, iAH, Secs-Web, EmpWeb), this new module can be added with or without removing the iAH-OPAC. IAH is somewhat different in having been completely scripted in IsisScript, which makes it rather difficult to manipulate : the support for IsisScript has been absent since some years due to BIREME, the original institutional author also of iAH, no longer working on it and the documentation being quite scarce.

The new OPAC however is completely developed in PHP (as are the other modules except EmpWeb), making it more practical to maintain and add more advanced elements.

The following main characteristics will be present in the ABCD-OPAC module :

  • multi-lingual with the possibility to add any language
  • multi-database with the possibility to add any ISIS database
  • responsive (adjusting for e.g. mobile screens)
  • a meta-search over several databases of possibly different structures is the default search, unless a specific catalog (or database) is selected; this means the ABCD Site Metasearch part can be omitted from the system along with iAH; search indexes are ‘federated’ over de included databases.
  • 2 search interfaces : simple and advanced; simple search as in iAH retrieves all records in which the search-keys are present in one of the fields included in simple search while advanced search searches within specific fields (actually : specific prefixes used to index one or more fields)
  • for all databases indexes can be consulted with direct select-and-search
  • search results can be ‘refined’ with more search criteria (and AND/OR)
  • UTF8 or ANSI databases, bibliographic or documentary
  • secure URL’s (no cross-scripting)
  • provision for multimedia galleries with download protection
  • facets can be defined to provide pre-defined subsets of search results

This new software will be available in Spanish and English for testing at the end of this month for selected users; more language versions will need to be developed by the community using the multi-linguality instructions available.

More good news : an concentrated effort will be made to co-ordinate version 1.6 of ABCD with version 2.1 into a new version 2.2, combining all features of both generations and of course the new OPAC. Results expected end of coming March.

Happy Birthday !

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