BLCMP has implemented Version 3 of the Z39.50 search protocol which not only enables TalisTM libraries to participate in the worldwide exchange of information, through the interrogation of remote databases, but also leapfrogs earlier implementations of the protocol in terms of interface and additional facilities. The development covers not only target and origin for Talis, but also enables Z39.50 searching of the BLCMP Database of 16 million bibliographic records.
The Database is fully integrated with Talis and allows records in cataloguing to be sourced from those on file at BLCMP or from Z39.50 targets where agreements exist (for example CURL, RLIN or OCLC). The Z39.50 implementation will be demonstrated at the Library and Information Show in June and is scheduled for release as part of Talis 8 in July.
Various elements of Version 3 of the Z39.50 protocol will be of particular value to BLCMP's library customers. For example, the SCAN command allows users to browse indexes to find the right form of terms such as author names and subject headings.
Another reason for choosing the Z39.50 route for the BLCMP Database at this stage was to exploit the advanced search facilities of the underlying software, BRS Search. This allows full text searching of the BLCMP Database in addition to the more traditional search options.