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sopac : connecting koha and drupal

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  • 1. SOPAC : connecting Drupal and Koha ELAG, April 2009 Nicolas Morin [email_address]
  • 2. BibLibre
    • we provide support for OSS in libraries
    • we develop & provide support for the OSS ILS KOHA (since 2002)
    • we provide support for the OSS CMS DRUPAL (just started)
    • => SOPAC is a set of tools that connects your ILS (Millenium initially) with a Drupal site
  • 3. Small project : objectives
    • providing the SOPAC connector for Koha
    • on Koha : creating the set of WS required to make SOPAC work
  • 4. SOPAC is the work of the ubiquitous John Blyberg. What is the Social OPAC (SOPAC)?
    • http://aadl.org
    • http://www.darienlibrary.org
    • http://thesocialopac.net
    • http://www.blyberg.net/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trucolorsfly/
  • 5. What does SOPAC try to achieve?
    • #1 perfect graphical integration between the catalog UI and the library's Drupal web site
    • #2 add « social » functionalities to the OPAC:
      • tags
      • reviews
      • ratings
      • rss
      • => SOPAC replaces and enhances your OPAC
  • 6. What it looks like at Darien
  • 7. What it looks like at Darien
  • 8. Patron creates account
  • 9. What it looks like at Darien
  • 10. How does it work?
    • SOPAC harvests the records from the ILS through a connector
    • reindexes them in a separate engine
    • provides a new UI in Drupal for searching & actions (tags, holds...)
    • requires real time connectors for :
      • Some informations such as item availability
      • Some actions such as placing a hold
  • 11. SOPAC Architecture ILS ws ILS connector MySQL LOCUM sphinx SOPAC (php + add. Tables to Drupal's MySQL) Independent Social Repository Drupal UI INSURGE
  • 12. The Koha Connector
    • we used the ILS Discovery Interfaces recommandation as a set of guidelines to develop KOHA WS
    • -> http://diglib.org/architectures/ilsdi/
    • It provides for :
      • harvesting of records : done through OAI-PMH server
  • 13. The Koha Connector
    • we used the ILS Discovery Interfaces recommandation as a set of guidelines to develop KOHA WS
    • -> http://diglib.org/architectures/ilsdi/
    • It provides for :
      • real-time search : not used by Sopac
  • 14. The Koha Connector
    • we used the ILS Discovery Interfaces recommandation as a set of guidelines to develop KOHA WS
    • -> http://diglib.org/architectures/ilsdi/
    • It provides for :
      • delivery (holds, availibility, etc) : done through new API in Koha
  • 15. The Koha Connector
    • we used the ILS Discovery Interfaces recommandation as a set of guidelines to develop KOHA WS
    • -> http://diglib.org/architectures/ilsdi/
    • It provides for :
      • patron information : done through new API
  • 16. Issues with the connector
    • Locum expects certain things, ILS-DI recommends something else
      • locum uses patron barcode
      • ils-di expects not a barcode, but a user_id
      • -> way around : translate barcode into user_id on the fly : performance issues.
      • -> way forward : sopac uses user_id
  • 17. Issues with ils-di
    • ILS-DI often recommends SIP or NCIP as a way to provide WS. It doesn't work:
      • many of the stuff we want doesn't exist in SIP
      • SIP is not really extendable
      • if you're going to have to do new WS, why bother with SIP at all : you'd rather have a homogenous set of APIs.
  • 18. Issues with ils-di
    • ILS-DI doesn't say much about the expected quality of the response.
    • -> adoption of ILS-DI will probably take time
    • -> compliance will mean different things
  • 19. Issues with SOPAC
    • a lot of stuff is hardcoded : MARC21 in harvesting function (scrape_bib); item types, question to link accounts, locum configuration...
    • patron has 2 accounts : sopac / ils -> cries out for some sort of ldap solution...
  • 20. Issues with SOPAC
    • if you replace your OPAC, you have to have at least the functionalities that your opac provides. For Koha, issues with :
      • patron's account editing (phone, etc.)
      • record level holds
      • zotero (COinS) integration
      • ...
    • -> SOPAC needs time to mature
  • 21. general questions raised Sopac hints at erasing the limit between local data and outside data (Insurge):
      • we need volumes of data for social functionalities
      • maybe we need volumes of data for searching too, even in small libraries (OCLC Grid Services; GBS...)
    Independent Social Repository INSURGE
  • 22. general questions raised
    • Sopac knows very little about the user :
    • can one do social stuff without informations about who the persons are?
    • Shouldn't a result be relevant to someone?
    • -> we have to know what the students want
    • -> we also have to know who they are :
    • - major in computer science
    • - minor in philosophy
    • - has courses in building A, next to library B on thursdays
  • 23. general questions raised
    • Sopac separates backoffice from UI, but we could go one step further and better separate searching tools and visualization -> every single result is displayed the same, but should not :
      • display #1 when result set <10, display#2 when result > 1.000, etc...
      • display #1 when search limited to DVD, display #2 when search limited to ebooks, etc...
      • => we need proper visualization strategies
  • 24. what we learned
    • we made the sopac connector for Koha : for some libraries, the integration in Drupal will make a lot of sense with SOPAC as is
    • we developed a 1st, tentative implementation of ILS-DI in Koha : ++
    • NextGen Catalog tools need more work :
      • User data
      • Visualization
    • We have a feeling that they're transition tools...
  • 25. Thank you for you attention Questions? Comments? Nicolas Morin [email_address]