Library Technology Reports
Opening up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA: Hype or Reality?
Copyright (c) 2009 ALA Techsource
Over the last few years, Web services and the service-oriented architecture (SOA) have become dominant themes in IT across many industries. Web-based computing, serviceorientation, and cloud computing increasingly displace the client/server approach favored by libraries in the past.In library automation, one major trend involves evolving or rebuilding automation systems to adopt this new approach to software. Purveyors of both open source and proprietary library automation products increasingly emphasize the ways in which they embrace openness, support application programming interfaces (APIs), or implement Web services.Libraries increasingly need to extract data, connect with external systems, and implement functionality not included with the delivered systems. Rather than relying on the product developers for enhancements to meet these needs, libraries increasingly demand the ability to exploit their systems using APIs, Web services, or other technologies.The demand for openness abounds, particularly in libraries that exist in complex environments where many different systems need to interact. As libraries develop their IT infrastructure, itís imperative to understand the extent to which their automation products are able to interoperate and thrive in this growing realm of Web services. This report aims to assess the current slate of major library automation systems in regard to their ability to provide openness through APIs, Web services, and the adoption of SOA.|