ILS Symposium: Peter Murray, OhioLINK
Could We Do What They Are Doing? Applying the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Model to Libraries, Peter Murray (of the Disruptive Library Technology Jester blog!)
- How can we apply what works in other industries to our industry?
- What is an SOA? And why should I care?
- What might a library SOA look like?
- Who else is talking about this?
What is an SOA?
- It’s not about a particular programming language, network protocol
- It’s an architecture for designing systems (programming-language agnostic)
- SOA are not about large applications, they are about discrete business processes (ignores the how and focuses on the what)
- It’s not about starting over – throwing away everything you have now and starting afresh (doomed to failure!)
- It’s about reuse of things that we already have now (orchestrating business processes; turn our software inside-out)
- It’s not ONLY about web services – it’s about web services as a means to an end (think of SOA as a blueprint for building something and the web services as the plumbing)
- It’s not about proprietary systems, it’s about standards and open protocols
Why should we care about SOA?
- The ILS market is imploding (marketplace consolidation, new entrants into the market, market leaders gobbling each other up and chasing the highest-end customers; some of the least demanding customers are dropping off and going to smaller automation firms; monolithic do-everything applications that don’t do everything we want; dueling me-too press releases (ERMs at the moment);
- Can we afford not to care? We need to move more nimbly; Service Oriented Architectures for Dummies is coming out! (you know you’ve hit the bigtime when there’s a Dummies book on the topic)
- Orchestrated disintegration: flexible ecosystem of business processes that come together as needed and as defined by us!
What might a library SOA look like?
- Oriented towards services
- As you look at the ecosystem of processes, there’s a consistency to it
- What are the business processes of a traditional ILS? Discovering content, describing content, borrowing physical item, getting new content (acquisitions), etc.
- traditional and non-traditional services for discovering content: search for known item; browse related items; make recommendations; read reviews; browse related items using relevance-ranked filters (long tail stuff); human-mediated description (cataloguing!); our peers are using automated description services (amazon’s statistically improbable phrases and capitalized phrases; shape recognition and colour maps, audio (flickr, etsy, pandora, etc.);
The wifi crapped out on me at this point so I lost all Peter’s great closing notes about who else is talking about SOA in libraries. Thankfully, he’s got his slides online here so check them out for more info.