DRA appears to be on schedule in the development of its next generation client/server automated library system, though it has not announced a name for it as yet. During 1997, DRA should complete development of a database server that uses either the UNIX or Microsoft Windows NT operating system. The industry-standard visual C++ programming language is being used-a choice which will facilitate the possible future use of extensions into Java, the popular programming language from Sun.
An object-oriented design is being pursued so that the new system will be able to accommodate not just bibliographic records, but also full-text, images, and multimedia. With object-oriented client/server, the client tasks and the server tasks are not specifically assigned. Software known as the "object broker" scans the network to detect which device is busy and which is not, and directs the object for the task at hand where it can get the job done the most quickly and efficiently.
Client development is also under way. DRA Find, a reference workstation featuring a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and which is Z39.50-compliant, is already in general release. By the end of 1997, DRA will offer a family of clients: acquisitions, serials control, cataloging and circulation.
Underlying the development process is a commitment to protect the investment of customers in their existing DRA systems. The new clients will work with the new servers as well as with the existing OpenVMS servers.
[Contact: DRA, 1276 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63132; (314) 432-1100.]