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SRU/W Client Implementation

The latest release of PerX Toolkit (Beta 1.5 27/03/07) includes an SRU/W client. PerX can now cross-search databases that expose their data via SRU/W servers. After two months of testing, we can report some early findings:

  1. Searching via SRU/W can be faster than searching via Z39.50
  2. SRU/W can provide a means for searching the full-text (in opposition to only searching metadata) of data providers that plug their SRU/W servers directly to their native search engines. Early testing has shown that in these cases the quality and quantity of SRU/W search results are higher than the ones returned by OAI-based or Z39.50-based protocol search services
  3. SRU/W can be as fast as OAI-based implementations, if not faster
  4. In general, adding new SRU/W targets is as simple as than adding Z39.50 targets. All is done via PAIN (the PerX Admin Interface)
  5. An SRU/W target requires almost no maintenance effort
  6. Data providers that have created their SRU/W servers on top or as an extension of their Z39.50 servers, tend to be slower, to return unnecessarily complex metadata formats (e.g. UNIMARC encoding) and to don't give access to richer data (e.g. full-text) that is searchable by their native search engines
  7. The PerX SRU/W Client handles short or full Dublin Core (DC) metadata. Support for other XML schemas have been left for a real service implementation

We have used the following databases for testing the PerX SRU/W client:

Other Possible SRU/W Targets

- ADT (ASK Project)
- NDLTD http://alcme.oclc.org/ndltd/SearchbySru.html
- JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/about/xml_gateway.html
- Arrow (http://www.valaconf.org/vala2006/papers2006/57_Treloar_Final.pdf)
- DSpace MIT (OCLC Implementation)

  • Further information:
  • Notice:
    We have not implemented an SRW (SOAP-type) client as the literature has indicated that there are reasons to be concerned about the efficiency of SRW and SOAP-based Web Services as opposed to SRU and REST-style services, at least in high-throughput multi-threaded clients.

    Last Updated 10-May-07