(Simon Fraser University) (open source)

Demo at http://www.sfu.ca/~kstranac/dbwiz/dbWizPreview.htm

Article :
Mah, Calvin and
Kevin Stranack. "dbWiz: open source federated searching for academic libraries". Library Hi Tech, v.23, n.4, 2005 p.490-503. Good description of how the product was developed and its features.

dbWiz Features
  • open source software
  • simultaneous (parallel) searching
  • searches various database types:
    • Z39.50 targets (library catalogs, indexes and full-text databases)
    • SOAP targets (amazon.com)
    • SQL databases
    • WEB databases (google, ebay)
    • Anything…provided a “search driver” is written
  • gives users to ability to limit resources searched to defined subset by date, full-text, years, non-academic/academic source
  • user can select predefined categories or select individual database(s) to search
  • can link from particular result record directly to native database
  • modular design allows addition of drivers to search other kinds of databases
  • customizable settings:
    • choose which databases to search
    • select which web pages to search
    • select default web search engine
    • ability to easily organize databases in catagories and to ranking/weight each database
    • can add URL resolver to results
Libraries that currently use dbWiz:
  • Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University College Cork
  • University of Prince Edward Island
  • University of the Fraser Valley

Comments by Pat:
· It doesn’t appear that a quick set result is returned first. Instead, the search times out after a certain amount of time.
- Relevance ranking was being worked on as of 2005, probably completed, but would need to be verified.
· Deduping records is not supported.
· The source database is easily discerned in the result record.

Problems: Simon Fraser University is currently supporting the software, but has announced “ the SFU Library is unable to continue developing, supporting, or hosting the dbWiz federated search software.”


email from Kevin Stranack, Simon Fraser:
“As you may know, the SFU Library will no longer be developing nor supporting dbWiz, but the software will remain an open source, available for anyone to use and develop at no cost. The above list of libraries (except SFU) are investigating a variety of possible options to allow them to continue using the product.”