Fretwell-Downing Inc. (FD) has launched CPORTAL a new community information network solution that dramatically improves the precision, relevance and user-friendliness of current web-based searching. It allows online library catalogs and other websites to integrate with pre-existing internal databases, giving the public access to previously inaccessible information.
There is always the question about the quality of information brought up by search engines," said Mark Allcock, FD's CPORTAL product manager. "But with CPORTAL, FD has developed a software tool that uses an agreed upon set of rules to ensure quality standards. So, now libraries have a best-value solution for effectively unifying their existing sources of local and community data.
CPORTAL is revolutionary because it makes it easy for libraries, state, county or city government agencies, and other organizations to connect their existing databases and services and integrate them with web-based information resources. The end-result is a state-of-the-art fully-unified information service for all patrons within the community. What's more, with CPORTAL software, libraries can:
- allow patrons to simultaneously search a wide range of both internal and online websites and databases to receive a single set of results.
- select which information resources are the most appropriate and reliable sources for their community, and whether they are maintained by the library, government agency, or within the community.
- offer patrons access to Geographical Information Systems which enable valuable place name searching.
- provide a searching solution that complies with internationally recognized e-government standards.
One of the first CPORTAL users is a "national community information gateway" in the UK, called the seamlessUK Service which will go live to over 6 million patrons at the end of 2002. CPORTAL was previewed at the PLA 2002 conference in March and at the American Library Association Exhibition in Atlanta in June, 2002.
For more than ten years, Fretwell-Downing, Inc. (FD Inc.) has been a global leader in the evolution of digital libraries. Delivering unmatched service and flexibility, FD Inc. offers libraries a seamless choice of standards-based solutions. Building toward a solid vision of a "library without walls," FD Inc. boasts the unique ability to integrate with disparate electronic library systems, as well as creating and managing entirely new digital systems.