Learn more about the cooperative platform: Architecture

In my last post, I talked about the framework of the cooperative platform and how the framework will make data and business logic more available from OCLC services. Now, I’ll go into the architecture.

Remember, there are three components for the cooperative platform:
• a framework to make data and business logic more available from OCLC's services
• an architecture that enables libraries to integrate community-developed apps into OCLC services
• an infrastructure to support community development, collaboration and app sharing

The platform’s technical architecture integrates community-developed applications (apps) into OCLC services. After carefully evaluating a number of approaches, we selected OpenSocial, which has quickly evolved into an industry standard way of integrating social apps and data. OpenSocial defines a common API and framework for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, you (that is, developers) can easily create apps that access a social network. Because of the common API and framework, you simplify the process of building apps for multiple sites.

Apache Shindig
Apache Shindig
is also a key component in the cooperative platform architecture. An open source project itself, Apache Shindig provides a standard code framework which you can implement into your software. This framework creates an OpenSocial "container" into which OpenSocial gadgets can be installed.

One significant advantage of implementing OpenSocial is that any organization or software developer can implement a Shindig container to run OpenSocial "gadgets" as part of their application. Currently several organizations including Google, Yahoo, Ning, and Elsevier use OpenSocial. So apps built on the platform can go where they need to go. And your data comes with you.

Open really means open
Building the platform architecture in this way means that many of the applications you build for the cooperative platform can be easily incorporated into other applications and systems—with little additional work on your part. OCLC is in the process of adding OpenSocial containers to multiple services, beginning with Web-Scale Management Services (WMS).

And now, with framework and architecture behind us, I’ll turn to infrastructure for the last post. Until then, check out the video recordings of the platform session from ALA Annual

  • Karen Coombs

    Karen Coombs

    Senior Product Analyst