More then 160 participants from at least 6 countries attended - in a hall which was too small, so giving proof of high interest again in this exciting new software based on the ISIS-technology – the official presentation on 3rd of December 2009.
Mr. Abel Packer, BIREME's director, introduced the audience to BIREME's long-standing commitment to the ISIS database technology for semi-structured data, which it not only adopted from UNESCO but also started developing up to higher levels in order to cope with the high volumes and expectations of its own applications (ScIELO and the Virtual Health Library model).
Prof. Egbert de Smet, the project-leader of a VLIR/UOS (Flemish Interuniversity Council) project 'Development Of and Capacity Building in ISIS-Based Library Automation Systems' which co-sponsored the ABCd development, co-supervisor of the development team and also representing the 'International Co-ordination Committee on ISIS', emphasized the special relevance of ISIS for libraries in the South with its librarian- and self-support oriented approach., combining special technological options with a specific social profile as a software. He also listed some of the remaining challenges, e.g. the need to reconcile the high-technology involved with the low technical profile of many expected users and the need to continue development within hopefully one integrated ISIS-family along with other interested parties.
Mr. Ernesto Spinak – who lead the BIREME development team – and mrs. Guilda Ascencio, two other key players in the large international group of ABCD-contributors (over 60 members of 19 countries), presented the ABCD suite with its powerful modules for database administration & cataloging, Serials Control, Site&OPAC and Advanced Loans.
Mr. Renato Murasaki of BIREME's IT-team presented the newly developed ISIS-technology named 'Network Based Platform', in which the old ISIS-ideas are combined with state-of-the-art software concepts, ensuring ISIS will technologically survive another generation of softwares and expand into the full-text document databases era.
At the end of the event some participants in the audience praised the efforts and results of the team and pointed to the need to keep convincing the world that even if the chosen technological options are not popular (in current computer science and commercial practice), still quite remarkable results can be achieved and deserve continued support.
The ISIS community, lead by BIREME, finally has its full-blown integrated system for automation of libraries and documentation centers with some unique features (e.g. the capability to design and adapt to any data structure without giving up on advanced functionality, opening doors to integrated management of museum/archive catalogs as well as virtual libraries) on top of joining some highly respected and successful Free and Open Source Software competitors for the information professionals, while building on the vast experience of the existing ISIS-community. There is reason to be proud of it indeed !
The ABCD main website, from where the version 1.0 can be downloaded : http://bvsmodelo.bvsalud.org/php/level.php?lang=en&component=27&item=13