Development Meeting

Over the past two days, the IDS Search team has been gathered in Syracuse, NY and working out of the Library Systems office of the Upstate Medical Library.  During these meetings, we discuss issues surrounding IDS Search and usually spend the evening and wee hours of the morning coding to make a better search.  We’re about to wrap up and we wanted to share a few items of interest. More after the jump.

We’ve been wrestling with a way to get a library’s “invisible collection” integrated with IDS Search. Because IDS Search is based off theWorldCat Search API, only items with holdings set will show up in our results. To deal with things that may not have holdings set (reserves, journals, ebooks, etc), we developed a set of custom links (that can be customized through the dashboard) that will re-run your search in the search engine of your choice. This feature is still in development, but we have successfully created links that automatically run your search in the Aleph reserves system, Serials Solutions journal lookup and a few others.  Just for fun, we got the link to automatically re-run your search in an Ebsco database too.

The popularity of IDS Search has generated enormous log files, which we display in the Usage Statistics section of the Dashboard. The size of the files and the sophisticated queries we ran to mashup our statistics with Google Visualization forced us to find an alternative solution; the processing speeds on IDS Search slowed to a crawl when running statistical queries. Because of that, we have moved our statistics onto a cloud-hosted solution so that the IDS Search and its statistics can both be used without a negative impact on the other.

We spent a lot of time reviewing the dashboard and dreaming up ways to improve it; we decided to start simple. The previous login process required that you have your OCLC symbol and WorldCat API key on hand (or remember it…HAH!) to make customizations or check on usage statistics. However, once the coding and testing are done, you will be able to log in with your OCLC symbol and a password you set yourself. Then, if you forget your password we’ll allow you to reset it.


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