iBase REST server for federated searching
A federated search is the simultaneous searching of multiple online databases, with the facility to see a list of returns from each source with clickable links that will connect directly to the source database.
From the perspective of an organisation who want to make their database available for federated searches, they need to be able to expose selected data to the outside world in a way that can be interrogated by a federated search engine. iBase have a proprietary off the shelf solution for this which will work with any of its Online Library or Cataloguing databases, or a custom build can be supplied for non-iBase databases.
The iBase solution - a REST Server
The iBase REST (REpresentational State Transfer) server allows third party applications, such as web sites, to query an iBase repository via an HTTP request and retrieve assets and metadata in the form of a structured XML document.
iBase Media Services use a REST (Representational State Transfer) server to enable searching of an iBase Online Library or Cataloguing System database by external search engines. The advantages of using a REST server include:
- - No matter how dynamic the source databases are, searches automatically generate returns using the current state, and so there is never any need for special updates of the source databases.
- - Implementation is straightforward, using standard XML protocols.
- - Once implemented a REST Server requires no effort at all to maintain it.
- - Diagram of federated searching with a REST Server.
The iBase data schema is highly configurable, and provides for such things as the creation and management of a structured subject / category / keyword hierarchy, item relationships and also enables sets of data fields to be created that are specific to each of any number of separate item types within a single database. The iBase REST server fully supports all aspects of the iBase data schema, making it ideal for exporting assets in a distributed environment.
This downloadable PDF details the required format of the URL that is passed to the REST server and the structure of the XML document containing the search results.
Live example of federated searching using an iBase REST Server
Manchester Metropolitan University Library
Manchester Metropolitan University Library have an iBase REST Server on their iBase digital image library. This enables it to be included in simultaneous searches of several sources via a federated search portal.
The federated search engine used by MMU can be seen here http://22.214.171.124/TalisPrism/. Here is a step by step example of using it, or of course you can experiment with your own choices.
- Enter the search term 'Salviati' without the quotes.
- In the Source drop down box click My Library Catalogue and, whilst holding the Ctrl key down also click on Library Digital Images. The search will then use both of those source. As many sources as are required can be selected, and there could be an 'All' option.
- For this example all other fields can be left as they are.
- Hit Search, and you'll see returns from 'My Library Catalogue' and from 'Library Digital Images'.
- Select Library Digital Images from the results bar on the left, and you are presented with thumbnails of the objects.
- Clicking either the thumb or the link beside it will take you directly to the MMU Library's digital image site.
For further information about iBase products please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1943 603636