Sophisticated item services from Umlaut in Xerxes federated search interface

So, if you try to architect your applications solidly and flexibly, and build in features for integration, and it all works out okay, one of the benefits you get is it’s pretty easy to combine them.

I’ve added a feature to the Xerxes federated search tool to add sophisticated item-level information and services that were already being compiled by our Umlaut installation— to  Xerxes record-detail pages.

I think this is pretty neat from a sort of ‘single business’ perspective of providing consistent services regardless of what tool the user happens to be using.

So now, when you look at an item detail page in Xerxes, you can, right on that page,  see:

  • call numbers and availability
  • Full text links from SFX, right on the page
  • Links to “similar items” content from Web of Knowledge and Scopus.
  • links to pre-filled ILL forms, as appropriate.
  • For monographic content, full text, preview, and ‘search inside’ functionality from Amazon, Google, and others.
  • Other stuff — whatever happens to be configured in Umlaut, when new stuff is added to Umlaut, it’ll automatically show up in Xerxes too. (Well, new services of the existing types; if a whole new type/section is added to Umlaut, will take a couple lines of code in Xerxes to add it).

This is live in production here now, but you can’t really see it without a local login. So here’s some screenshots of Xerxes item detail pages, content from Umlaut circled in red.

book

article

It’s worth noting that this content is inserted on the page by javascript after page load. It can take 1-3 seconds or so to come in (depending on speed Umlaut can do it’s thing), which you can’t see in the screenshots. While waiting, you get a spinner and status message. If a user doesn’t have javascript enabled, this feature won’t effect their page view at all.

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