Samstag, 21. Dezember 2013

Overview and advantages of the layered swissbib architecture

On the 10th of October 2013 the swissbib project offered a workshop within the framework of a meeting called “free software for libraries” organized by the EPFL Lausanne. ( The slides and the manuscript of the presentation are available here:
The workshop, which was titled “swissbib for the short distance runner”, was divided into two parts: 
a) Description of the general architecture of the swissbib solution 
b) A “hands-on” workshop to introduce participants to the new swissbib open source presentation component based on VuFind2 (available at ). The basic installation of the discovery tool is very fast (hence the title, “swissbib for the short distance runner”). The swissbib search index (,  is available to everyone, and may be used for a local installation.

Brief summary of the main architectural principles of the swissbib solution:

a) It uses a layered architecture with dedicated components. The components communicate with each other via well-defined interfaces. Most of these interfaces are also available to external services and to external users.
b) This type of architecture makes it possible to combine open source components with commercial ones. Although we emphasize the potential and flexibility of open source software, we also want to combine the best components and services available at the moment – for the benefit of users and institutions. Currently the datahub of the swissbib solution is based upon commercial software. The rest is open source software – available at  

Over the last four years, the flexibility of our infrastructure made it possible to integrate the latest software developments pertaining to the areas of general information retrieval and discovery services – always with the aim to enhance the quality of our product.
Two years ago we replaced our FAST search server with the current de facto standard SOLR / Lucene.
Within the last eight months we changed the presentation component from TouchPoint to VuFind2 in light of the many advantages of using an open source solution which has been adapted by many libraries all over the world – a solution for which the number of  participants is constantly growing.
This improvement of the presentation component was not only for the benefit of the swissbib service  but also for other institutions which are interested to use  the component for their own purposes.
Those institutions which would like to tailor the basic swissbib components are able to collaborate with external companies even in Switzerland .  Swissbib  collaborates  with the company  snowflake in Zürich ( The result of such a local collaboration is that professional knowledge to set up discovery services is available for  institutions within a short distance which makes cooperation very efficient.

Future directions for our infrastructure – a forecast for 2014 and beyond

We continue to pursue in further extension of our layered architecture. Currently we are refining ways to integrate the highly scalable components of the infrastructure developed for the Culture Graph project of the German National Library (culturegraph) to transform the swissbib content into Semantic Web formats. These components are already sucessfully used by other library organizations and projects (such as and would interconnect the swissbib content generated by Swiss libraries with the Linked Open Data movement.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen