Bath Profile Meeting
Bath Profile Four Years On:
Z39.50 and interoperability: the practical application of the Bath Profile
Z39.50 has become the established protocol enabling end-users to search for and retrieve resources from a wide variety of distributed, heterogeneously configured databases. For this reason, it is a key component of the JISC Information Environment architecture. Within this and other national contexts, it is envisaged that end-users should be able to simultaneously access multiple databases. However, limited semantic interoperability between the distributed systems is widely recognised as significantly undermining the usability of such global search services. Since June 2000, the Bath Profile has specifically sought to address this issue by defining a universally applicable semantic model.
Release 2.0 is currently awaiting approval from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Nevertheless, adoption of the Profile in the UK has been varied. The aim of the day is to gather together key personnel both from system vendors serving the UK market, and implementers from various JISC services and projects, to have a full and frank exchange of views on the profile itself and its likely future adoption within the UK.
Carrol Lunau from the National Library of Canada has been an editor of the Profile from its inception and we are pleased to welcome Carrol as the Keynote Speaker for the day. Other sessions will describe the M25 Systems Teams work with the Profile, the Profile from the JISC and potential UK National Union Catalogue points of view and also two vendor sessions aimed at raising issues regarding the adoption of the Profile. A key part of the day will be the panel session and delegates are encouraged to come prepared to contribute to this important discussion forum.