ABCD – Introduction to the ABCD software as an ISIS- and WWW-based integrated library management tool

Overview

  • Background information
  • Technology overview
  • Installation issues
  • Modules overview
  • Management and planning

Background information

  • ABCD = Automatisación de Bibliotécas y Centros de Documentación
  • ABCD = WinISIS + KOHA
    • ISIS database creation and structures definition
    • ISIS PFT’s creation with testing
    • ISO-2709 import/export, import from text files and CSV with conversion tables
    • All main library management functions :
    • cataloguing, OPAC, loans, statistics, serials management, portal, acquisitions
  • ABCD is a BIREME initiative supported by VLIR/UDC
    • BIREME avails not only their best existing web-based ISIS applications (SeCS, EMP, iAH) but also their experts coordinated by E. Spinak and hired G. Ascencio (Venezuela) to contribute from her Orbital Documental products
      • All BIREME ISIS-technology culminates into ABCD !
    • VLIR/UDC (Flemish University Development Co-operation) selected ABCD as preferred ILS and contributes funding and will provide French version plus training materials + pilot workshop through DOCBIBLAS project (E. de Smet)
  • ABCD aims at :
    • Providing ISIS-users community with an integrated library system which is suitable also for university libraries as per requirements of VLIR/UDC
      • e.g. MARC, AGRIS, METS, Z39.50, thesaurus-support
      • High volumes (at least up to 500K full records)
      • (close to) state-of-the-art functionality
    • Which can be(come) an alternative to KOHA c.s. for ISIS-users building on the existing ISIS reality
  • Planning of the development :
    • September 2008 : first beta version distributed for testing at Rio ISIS3 conference, including :
      • Database management
      • Cataloguing in MARC + CEPAL structures
      • OPAC + Serials Management + Portal
    • End 2008 : full version 1.0
      • Circulation + Statistics
    • March 2009 : Training materials in English,
      • Spanish and French
    • Planning of 1st phase users :
  • University libraries in Latin-America, e.g.
    • UMSS (Cochabamba, Bolivia)
    • UCLV and public libraries network (Cuba)
    • University libraries in Africa. e.g.
    • Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya)
    • Mekelle and Jimma University (Ethiopia)
    • Sokoine University (Tanzania)
    • Some 4 – 5 other VLIR/UDC partner universities are queuing (Suriname,
  • Peru, Ecuador, Mozambique)
    • … many others for sure !
    •  => not just a newcomer on the scene…

ABCD Technology

  • WEB-based :
    • The software runs as web-pages in a web-browser (IE, FF, Opera, Chrome, Safari…) served by a web-server (Apache, Xitami, IIS)
    • Client-server can run on ‘localhost’ (127.0.0.1) on any PC with Windows or UNIX/Linux
    • Pages are written in PHP (v5.2)
      • E.g. HTML Editor controls can be used
    • PFT’s can contain all HTML codes as literals
    • Links are web-links ()and multimedia is provided by HTML
  • ABCD is ISIS-based :
    • All data are stored in ISIS-databases
      • Until 2009 : ‘classic ISIS-technology’ upgraded with CISIS extensions, i.e. MST+XRF with 1Mb records upto 4 Gb databases, IF with 60-character keys
      • From 2009 : ‘seemless’ migration to NBP
    • ISIS-Script is used for data retrieval
    • (C)ISIS Formatting Language is used throughout
    • Existing ISIS-databases and their structures can be imported
  • ABCD uses PHP :
    • Current version 5.2
    • Free OS software with large developers community and very wide usage
    • Easy installation, often together with Apache, e.g. WAMP, XAMP, EasyPHP…
    • Already offers a wealth of ‘controls’ (existing codes for almost any popular function), e.g. calendar, HTML Editor etc.
    • Strong links with e.g. (MySQL and) Postgres e.g. to be used in future Loans module
  • ABCD uses JavaScript
    • as part of its HTML-capabilities
  • Client-server with 2 options :
    • CGI (Common Gateway Interface) : if $url variable is defined in config.php, this ‘classic’ protocol will be used to call the wxis-server to serve ISIS-pages
      • Advantages : widely used, more secure
    • Direct executable calling : if no $url variable is defined in config.php, PHP will directly ‘exec’ the wxis-server as a call to the OS
      • Advantages : (a bit) faster
      • Disadvantage : less secure, e.g. Windows ‘cmd’ needs ‘executable rights’ on WWW-sharing

ABCD Installation

Web-server : Apache

  • PHP
    • Both are free OS softwares, most resp. very widely used web-server resp. scripting engine
    • Both can be installed independently or as part of packages such as WAMP, XAMP, EasyPHP
    • Apache needs PHP-modules to be included (in httpd.conf) LoadModule php5_module “c:/wamp/bin/php/php5.2.5/php5apache2_2.dll”
  • Apache needs ‘Alias‘ declared in httpd.conf for :
    • ‘abcd’ for the folder \abcd\www\htdocs
    • ‘bases’ for the folder \abcd\www\bases
    • ScriptAlias for the folder \abcd\www\cgi-bin
  • If not working : open in your browser \abcd\www\htdocs\php\test\test.php
    • Test on PHP installation
    • Test on WXIS being available, executable and having access to users-DB
  • ABCD-users can/should be created first (by administration super-user : login ‘abcd’, password ‘adm’) :
    • Create user
    • Link to pre-listed DBs as 1 of 4 possible levels
  • 4 user levels for added security :
    • System Administrator : ‘access to all areas’ (superuser, be careful !!)
    • Database Administrator : can change, modify read and write the given database
    • Database Operator : can read and write the given database
    • Loans Operator : can read and write only the Loans database

ABCD Modules

  • Database management
    • Creation and modification of database structures Internal and external database ID
    • Can be copied from existing WinISIS-databases or from existing ABCD-databases
    • Can be created ‘from scratch’ with FDT, FST, FMT and PFT-editors
  • Updating of created database structures
    • FDT, FST, FMT, PFT + record validation
    • Advanced search form (for cataloging) definition
    • Help files
  • Database management : Utils
    • Initialise DB
    • Delete DB
    • Lock/unlock DB
    • Help pages and translation editing
    • Browsing database folder
    • OPAC configuration for DB
  • Cataloguing with main handy (!) toolbar :
    • Browsing MFN’s
    • Searching by form, A-Z browser
    • New or copied record, Z39.50 downloading
    • Edit, stop edit, save or delete record
    • Print, tools (import/export, GMOD, locks, IF)
    • Help pages, Home
  • Serials Management with SeCS module
  • OPAC searching with iAH
  • The ABCD interactive portal : allows ‘localisation’, news/messages
    • future development : links with NBP/Plone CMS-environment
  • Loans administration
  • Statistics and reports
  • Acquisitions management

ABCD : Management

  • Timing :
    • Test version (beta) to be tested SeptemberDecember 2008
    • Loans, Statistics + Acquisition modules to be developed by December 2008
      • loans/statistics : 75% ready now (September)
      • Acquisitions : simple ‘pre-cataloguing’ module will be produced by end of 2008
    • Training materials (in En, Sp, Fr) to be produced by March 2009
  • Other additional developments :
    • Loans module using Postgres with dynamic coupling over LDAP to existing user-registration systems
      • UMSS (Cochabamba, Bolivia) is interested to do this French version to be produced (by DOCBIBLAS project from VLIR/UDC)
      • Arabic version ? => is being planned
      • ???
  • Separate from ISIS co-ordination or not ?
  • Communication through ISIS-list or dedicated OS-tools ?
  • Co-ordination through BIREME
    • Who ?
    • How ?
  • Migration to NBP in 2009 : how, guidance ?

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