In a major extension to its product line, SirsiDynix has launched the SirsiDynix Portfolio digital asset management system. This product aims to provide libraries with a platform to manage and provide access to collections of digital content.
SirsiDynix Portfolio allows libraries to provide access to collections of materials beyond those normally managed by their integrated library system, such as images, videos, manuscripts and other materials. The product enables libraries to create digital collections of historic newspapers or photographs, or scholarly content in an institutional repository. With its emphasis on end-user discovery, Portfolio provides unified access to both traditional materials managed in the ILS and these additional collections.
Portfolio supports a variety of methods for dealing with metadata, including direct record creation, ingestion of metadata in bulk from external sources, and the export of metadata. For libraries intending to use Portfolio as their primary digital collection management environment, the product supports the
creation of metadata, following the Dublin Core model, providing Web-based record editing tools in conjunction with an underlying PostgreSQL relational database. For libraries that have managed their digital collections on other platforms or want to import materials from external sources, Portfolio supports the bulk import of metadata and objects.
Portfolio supports a wide range of formats, allowing a library to manage or provide access to any materials of interest beyond its traditional collection. It includes a built-in optical character recognition engine, providing full-text indexing for scanned documents. Portfolio provides tools for organizing materials into hierarchies, implementing controlled vocabularies, and other tasks involved in the management of digital collections.
For libraries with requirements to restrict access to all or parts of their collection to authorized users, Portfolio includes access control mechanisms that selectively allow access to specific authenticated users. For those libraries involved with sensitive materials, especially those in corporate and government settings, which have licensed SirsiDynix Symphony Accountability Module, Portfolio can interface with its authorization profiles to control access consistent with institutional requirements.
SirsiDynix designed Portfolio to serve as a unified discovery tool for all aspects of a library’s local collections. The product can be configured to ingest records from their local ILS in addition to their digital collections. SirsiDynix Enterprise is intended for libraries concerned primarily with access to materials in their ILS; SirsiDynix Portfolio addresses those with local digital collections and can integrate with traditional materials to create a unified end-user discovery environment.
Portfolio also includes the ability to make collections available to external services and systems through a built-in OAI-PMH responder. This capability helps libraries improve the discoverability of their content by facilitating their harvesting and indexing by other related services that may be internal to its own organization or external. A library might, for example, want its local digital collections, harvested through OAI to be represented in a state-wide portal for cultural heritage materials.
SirsiDynix created Portfolio on the same technology platform as its SirsiDynix Enterprise faceted discovery interface. Both of these products rely on the GlobalBrain search engine from BrainWare, inc. BrainWare and SirsiDynix both operate as portfolio companies of Vista Equity Partners, a large private equity firm. GlobalBrain is an enterprise search technology that provides an advanced set of retrieval features, emphasizing the ability to perform fuzzy matches based on associative concepts as much as precise keyword matches.
SirsiDynix has worked with BrainWare since 2007 as the basis for SirsiDynix Enterprise, its offering in the discovery services genre, allowing libraries to provide a modern, relevancy-based faceted interface. SirsiDynix Enterprise operates with either of the company’s integrated library Systems, Symphony and Horizon.
SirsiDynix Portfolio will be the forward migration path for libraries that have previously purchased Hyperion Digital Media Archive system, launched in 1997, based on the same components as Unicorn, the company’s strategic integrated library system at that time. Hyperion has not been actively developed in recent years; SirsiDynix Portfolio offers similar functionality based on a more modern technology platform. Many of the requested enhancements from libraries using Hyperion have been implemented in Portfolio.
A project that showcases the features of SirsiDynix Portfolio can be seen in “Wyoming Places,” an interactive map that provides historic background, images, and digitized newspaper articles for over 2,000 locations in the state of Wyoming. Wyoming Places was originally created on the PBwiki platform, and is being redeveloped as an interactive map based on the SirsiDynix Portfolio platform and the Microsoft Bing mapping API. This new version of Wyoming Places was created through collaboration between the State Library of Wyoming and SirsiDynix to highlight extraordinary content available and demonstrate the capabilities of the technology. Wyoming Places draws on both the API’s of the Microsoft Bing mapping features and SirsiDynix Portfolio to produce the interactive maps, which layer historic and cultural content and geographical coordinates managed in Portfolio into an interactive map displayed through Bing. The project takes advantage of Portfolio’s built-in OCR capabilities as scanned newspaper images are imported to make this material available for full-text discovery. Wyoming Places is especially well-suited to large-panel touch-based systems such as Microsoft Surface. The Wyoming State Library serves as a beta test site for SirsiDynix Portfolio; this new interactive version of Wyoming Places is expected to launch for public access in later Fall 2010.