[columbus.pm] Greetings all you Columbus Perl Mongers

Smith,Devon smithde at oclc.org
Mon Feb 9 13:03:42 CST 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: chris 
> An idea just hit me for a project...perhaps some of you can 
> advise me on the feasibility of it.  Right now I am searching through the 
> databases of the YSU Maag library, the Mahoning County public library
system, and 
> OhioLink(sure you're all familiar with that one). The  frustrating thing
is  that I am
> searching for the same set of books at each.  While Maagnet and Ohiolink
> a bit, its not enough to be useful(mostly, it just yells  at me on
Ohiolink when
> i look for a book that Maag has...and refuses to let me request it).  If I
> build a small program to search through all 3 web-based databases, it
would be very
> useful.  If I could build it in such a way that I could easily add new
sites to
> its searches, that would be really, really useful(like say, return
listings on
> Amazon if nothing can be found in the library systems).
> Doesn't seem like something all that complicated, but again 
> I'm a newbie so perhaps the project is deceptively simple?

What you're describing is called federated searching.

You could probably get something to meet your needs up and running pretty
With each database you want to search, though, it becomes more complicated.
One of the bigger issues is deduping the result set. I've been working on a
issue, and the problems arise when you have to work with metadata records in
different formats using different semantics. 


Devon Smith <smithde at oclc.org>
Software Engineer, Office of Research
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc
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