Chapter 1: Introduction

Marshall Breeding


In recent years, companies involved with both open source and proprietary integrated library systems (ILSs) have made a concerted effort to increase the openness—that is, the degree of flexibility and interoperability—that their products offer to librarians and programmers. This chapter of “Opening Up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA: Hype or Reality” explores this dynamic in the current ILS market. By taking a general look at what characteristics and functionality librarians seek in their software and defining key terms, this chapter sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of the modern ILS trend towards APIs, Web services, and the service-oriented architecture.

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