Ralph LeVan's SRW/SRU Open Source database interface now available; includes support for DSpace's Lucene implementation and OCLC's Pears and Newton databases
SRW is a Web Service for searching text databases; SRU provides the same functionality as SRW, but is URL based. They both support the same kind of search and retrieval functionality provided by Z39.50.
Why use them?
Web Services are becoming part of the standard toolkit for implementors. URL's are even simpler; responses are just XML records. This could well be the interface to repositories that all those architecture diagrams call for.
User interfaces can be created using XSL stylesheets, allowing browsers to support rich interfaces with no special code at the server end and no client code other than the browser.
What are we providing?
We've built an SRW/SRU (or SRW/U) server. It acts as an interface to local databases. The local databases it currently supports are Lucene, Pears and Newton. Lucene is the database underlying DSpace and Pears and Newton are used by OCLC's SiteSearch.
OCLC's SRW/U project and SRW/SRU Open Source software: