OCLC launched its Web-scale Management Services in May 2009, and has since completed the development of the initial version of this new environment, which provides a complete suite of library automation functionality through its cloud platform. OCLC has referred to this new product as Webscale Management Services from its launch almost three years ago until December 2011 when it was branded as WorldShare Management Services. The development and deployment of this product has been extensively covered in earlier issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter, including the June 2009 and October 2010 issues. The OCLC WorldShare Platform is the general technology and data infrastructure that exposes a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to support the development of applications by OCLC, its members, and external organizations. The WorldShare Management Services is the first application created using the WorldShare Platform.
WorldShare Management Services has been available as a production product since early 2011. By February 2012, OCLC reports that around 35 libraries use it as their primary automation environment, with another 180 that have signed commitments for future implementation, including the large 105-member BIBSYS consortium in Norway.
In January 2012, OCLC announced WorldShare License Manager based on the OCLC WorldShare Platform to offer a complete set of services to help libraries manage their subscriptions to electronic resources. This product makes use of the OCLC WorldCat knowledge base, which holds data describing the universe of specific holdings that can be accessed via the electronic resource packages available to libraries. Functionality offered by the WorldShare License Manager includes selection, acquisition, and management of electronic resources as well as link resolution. The application manages related to vendors, subscription details, license terms, and access restrictions.
Until now, most of the libraries committing to WorldShare Management Services have been relatively small. Now a member of the Association of Research Libraries has joined the ranks. In January OCLC announced that the University of Delaware Libraries will implement WMS, with a target date of summer 2013. The library also plans to implement WorldShare License Manager, a component of WMS. The University of Delaware was the first ARL member to implement WorldCat Local in 2008.