In her blog post last week, Kathryn introduced the cooperative platform and shared news about how this new environment--and lots more OCLC services-- will help libraries to create innovative solutions to everyday needs. Alice compels me to mention that "cooperative platform" is simply the working title but not it's official name. Now, I'd like to follow up on that post with more information about the cooperative platform architecture and technology.
At its core, the cooperative platform is made up of three components:
• a framework to make data and business logic more available from OCLC services
• an architecture that enables libraries to integrate community-developed apps into OCLC services
• an infrastructure to support community development, collaboration and app sharing
We’ll take each of these topics in turn, in separate posts. First up, framework:
more services, standardized
So, starting at the top, let's talk a little about the framework to make data and business logic more available from OCLC services. During the last three years, OCLC has implemented a number of web services for developers within and outside of the library community. The cooperative platform builds on this activity by providing additional services in a more standardized fashion, both from a technical and policy standpoint. We are developing a "Framework for Services" to ensure the that OCLC web services use a common set of standards and practices. The commonality helps provide greater consistency in output formats, URL patterns. and--in the end--easier implementation by you, the development community. Most of our current services are "read-only" but as part of the cooperative platform, we're brainstorming web services where developers can “read/write” (update) data as well.
Policies and testbed access
In terms of policies, our goal is to provide a consistent set of terms and conditions for services. That way you’ll know what to expect when you build or implement an app that uses a service on the platform. OCLC plans to allow developers affiliated with an organization that has an active subscription to designated OCLC services to have "testbed"-type access to all platform services. That way you can experiment with and innovate around OCLC's services in a true development environment.
A note on use licenses on the platform
As an aside, note that a "use license" for the services being consumed is required for each institution that wishes to run an app in production. These licenses are conveyed as part of a product subscription -- e.g., a subscription to WMS Circulation conveys a use license to the institution for circulation-related services -- OR-- through a platform license.
Lastly, we remain committed to service neutrality, which we hope will stimulate collaboration, innovation and creative solutions between all different types of libraries and organizations.
Look forward to your questions and comments on the framework part of the platform. My next post will go into more details of the architecture.
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