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OCLC SiteSearch Interoperability


Z39.50 Standards
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Standards
IPIG-Compliant ILL Systems
Z39.50 Compliant OPACs/Local Systems and Database Vendors


This document describes the Open SiteSearch software's compliance to recognized standards in the library community and interoperability with other products.

Z39.50 Standards

Bath Profile

The Bath Profile is an international Z39.50 specification for library applications and resource discovery. As described in the introduction to version 1.1 of the Bath Profile, it:

... identifies a subset of specifications from the Z39.50 Information Retrieval Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.50/ISO 23950) for use in Z39.50 client and server software. Conformance to this profile's specifications will improve international or extranational search and retrieval among library catalogues, union catalogues, and other electronic resource discovery services worldwide. The profile will evolve as the environment and the standard change, and is intended to facilitate global resource sharing.

Click here for a document that summarizes Open SiteSearch WebZ 4.1.1 compliance for Levels 0 and 1 in the Bath Profile, version 1.1 (June 2000).

Z Texas Profile

The Texas Z39.50 Implementors Group (TZIG) developed the Z Texas Profile to identify a subset of Z39.50 specifications to support interoperable search and retrieval among library systems. The TZIG views the Z Texas Profile as an evolving set of specifications to address distributed search and retrieval of digital resources and to support resource sharing by Texas libraries. The Z Texas Profile adopts the implementation guidelines for Z39.50 clients and servers contained in the Bath Profile. The Bath Profile provides a core subset of specifications, and the Z Texas Profile is a compatible superset of the Bath Profile for library applications.

Because the Z Texas Profile provides detailed guidelines for the types of indexes that catalogs and databases should provide for Z39.50 clients, OCLC does not anticipate any compliance issues with SiteSearch WebZ at present. However, SiteSearch staff will continue to monitor the Z Texas Profile and address compliance as necessary.

U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications

The charge of the NISO Standards AV Committee is to develop a U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications that addresses the following functions:

  • Bibliographic search and retrieval from library catalogs
  • Transfer of bibliographic holdings information

This profile is intended to assist libraries and vendors in implementing and configuring Z39.50 clients and servers required for statewide, consortia, national, and international interoperability. It will be based on and compatible with the Bath Profile and is expected to evolve as other international and state profiles evolve. According to the committee's Web site, they anticipate approval of the U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications as an American National Standard by June, 2001.

OCLC has a representative on this committee. SiteSearch staff will monitor the development of this profile and address SiteSearch WebZ compliance to the profile as necessary.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Standards

The SiteSearch WebZ software is compliant with the following ILL standards:

ISO ILL Protocol (ISO 10160/161)

The ISO-10161 protocol is an international communications standard that permits the exchange of ILL messages among ILL systems even if they use different hardware and software. It also controls ILL transactions for both lending and borrowing activities.

Internet Library Protocol Implementors Group (IPIG) Profile

Beginning with SiteSearch 4.1.1, WebZ's ILL client sends ILL requests with structure and elements that conform to the IPIG Profile. The IPIG Profile specifies a common set of decisions, options, and values agreed upon by IPIG members. The IPIG supports the North American Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery (NAILDD) Project's standards technical priority. Compliance with the IPIG Profile will advance interoperability among systems claiming compliance, as these systems will implement the same optional choices and be developed using the same understandings of the international standard as documented in the IPIG Profile.

IPIG-Compliant ILL Systems

Version 4.1.1 of the SiteSearch WebZ software can send patron-initiated ILL requests to the following ILL systems:

SiteSearch 4.1.2 will add the ability to interoperate with these ILL systems:

SiteSearch staff continues to test interoperability with other ILL systems. You can find a list of ILL implementors' products at If you wish to add an ILL system to our testing process, contact SiteSearch Product Support.

Z39.50 Compliant OPACs/Local Systems and Database Vendors

SiteSearch WebZ is interoperable with Version 2 and Version 3 Z39.50 servers. The SiteSearch staff has an ongoing effort to test interoperability with vendors of online public access catalogs (OPACs), local systems, and databases. SiteSearch is compatible with all OCLC FirstSearch databases, as well databases and servers offered by a number of other vendors.

You can see a list of compatible server and database vendors at If you wish to use SiteSearch with products not shown on this list, contact SiteSearch Product Support.

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