Fretwell-Downing Informatics Ltd (FDI) is pleased to announce the development of a new federated searching service for further education - Aspire.
The new federated searching interface has recently begun a pilot project that started in September with two development partners, Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and Loughborough College of Further Education. The two development partners will advise FDI on the growth and progress of the new service from a users point of view over the coming months.
The concept of Aspire is to allow Further Education establishments to provide their electronic resources to users through one single interface.
The new service will initially be developed for the UK Further Education market and will be available as an application service provider (ASP) model whereby FDI will maintain and run the service providing a cost effective way of implementing new technologies.
Colin Taylor, Head of Learning Centre at Rotherham College of Art and Technology, explains "we are excited to be involved in the development of Aspire and see it as becoming a one-stop-shop for our students, providing easy access to all the information that is available through our library services."
Clare Holden, Learning Resources Manager, Loughborough College of Further Education agrees "Aspire will help the library to market the various sources of information and services that we have to offer. In turn students using Aspire will benefit from the wider array of information sources that will be search and retrieved using just one application. We see this as a key feature in enhancing students studies as they will be able to carryout full comprehensive research in their chosen discipline much quicker and easier than before, whilst providing them with a breadth and depth of understanding of their field of study."
Colin added "Having Aspire will eliminate our students' need to understand the access process for each of the information resource we have to offer – instead they will be able to retrieve information from a wide variety of sources without having to search each one individually."
The Aspire portlet is designed to easily integrate with electronic resources, allowing Aspire to be embedded within any third party application such as an institutions virtual learning environment (VLE) or intranet. The portlet can also be used in subject based search profiles allowing a different portlet to be used for different courses within a VLE. The level of flexibility and integration that Aspire offers will allow colleges to make all of their learning resources easily available to their students providing an efficient means of making electronic resources available to all.
Aspire will be widely available as a full service to the further education market early in 2006 following the initial pilot phase. For further information please contact Katie Anstock, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit aspire.hostedbyfdi.net
About Fretwell-Downing Informatics
Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI) has a long history of supplying leading-edge information management solutions to over 250 organisations worldwide. FDI operates from its headquarters in the UK with a US subsidiary, Fretwell-Downing Inc., in North America plus additional offices in Australia and Europe. FDI's experience has resulted in a suite of well designed, proven solutions for the library, information and e-government markets. Solutions available include single search environments, information portals, library management, resource sharing & document delivery and data publishing. A strong software development team and a commitment to interoperability and open standards underpin the company's freedom by design philosophy. This enables FDI components to be built into a total solution or integrated alongside existing technologies. www.fdisolutions.com.