Maintaining applications with external API dependencies with software tests

Introduction When talking about software maintainability, we always imply that you can extend or change a given software (even by another person than the original maintainer) without breaking the code or introducing bugs. This premise assumes that there is a good test suite making sure that your software still works as intended after the change (or with a new version of an external dependency). For example, the complexity of the software in the BIOfid software framework, both in the backend and the frontend, can only be tamed by applying tests that make sure that the code works as intended - now and in the future.

Selecting subject specific records from the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (Part 1)

Introduction Since 2004, the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) offers an aggregated metadata search over scientific publications. By indexing well over 300 million records (60% of which are open access1) from almost 10,000 international repositories, it provides researchers with an invaluable access to publications. In addition to offering a VuFind based discovery system, the aggregated data is also available via both a live search API and an OAI-PMH interface to enable re-use by 3rd party services.

Providing a user login via ORCID accounts

Why you may want to have authenticated users There are a few features of web applications we – as users – grew accustomed to. Like bookmarking things on our favourite marketplaces for instance. For a Specialised Information Service, this feature is especially appealing, since it fits the workflow of a good number of scientists and humanists. You – as a researcher – can search a catalogue and bookmark anything that strikes your interest for further review.

Tips for cleaner, faster and more maintainable XSLT code

Like many other Specialised Information Services (FID), we are working with XSLT to map XML metadata from data providers to our data model, an extended version of the RDF-XML based Europeana Data Model (EDM). In the FID Performing Arts (FID DK), we currently receive data from 22 data providers that deliver 6 different official metadata standards like MARC21, EAD and LIDO as well as 10 individual data standards that result from working with database systems like MS Access or FAUST DB.

Providing BEACON files in discovery systems

When hearing the term beacon, people might think of flares or a lighthouse at first. It can certainly be a guide in the ocean of different authority files on the web. In this post, I will take a closer look at BEACON files, their implementation and why they are a useful addition to discovery systems like the Specialised Information Service Performing Arts (FID DK). Introduction to BEACON Authority data disambiguates and represents controlled entities like persons, corporate bodies, places, topics, works and events via unique identifiers.