Beyond Harvesting: Digital Library Components as OAI Extensions
Fox, Edward A.
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Reusability always has been a controversial topic in Digital Library (DL) design. While componentization has gained momentum in software engineering in general, there has not yet been broad DL standardization in component interfaces. Recently, the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has begun to address this by creating a standard protocol for accessing metadata archives. It is proposed that this protocol be extended to act as the glue that binds together various components of a typical DL. In order to test the feasibility of this approach, a set of protocol extensions was created, implemented, and integrated as components of production and research DLs. The performance of these components was analyzed from the perspective of execution speed, network traffic, and data consistency. On the whole, this work has simultaneously revealed the feasibility of such OAI extensions for component interaction, and has identified aspects of the OAI protocol that constrain such extensions.