Magazine article Information Today

VTLS Inc.'s Virtua Completes Second Phase of Its Development

Magazine article Information Today

VTLS Inc.'s Virtua Completes Second Phase of Its Development

Article excerpt

The first two phases of VTLS Inc.'s third-generation system, Virtua, have been completed. In addition, VTLS showed several Virtua subsystems online at Midwinter ALA in San Antonio. "Virtua is progressing very well and is set for a summer 1996 release," said Rumy Sen, Virtua project manager.

The Virtua-Web Gateway and Data Warehousing - the first components of Virtua - are in the installation phase at several VTLS sites. The Virtua-Web Gateway allows libraries to place their online catalogs and other resources on the World Wide Web and provides a familiar searching tool for their global users. The Library of Virginia in Richmond, for example, is using the Virtua-Web Gateway to provide access to a number of historical, multimedia collections via the Internet.

Data warehousing is being implemented for the union catalog for a consortium of libraries in Switzerland, the most notable of which is the University of Geneva. The union catalog, which serves 100 academic and public libraries and comprises 2 million bibliographic records, demands the efficiency of data updating and loading as well as savings in disk storage - functions that data warehousing clearly addresses. Virtua's data warehousing allows a primary set of stable data, such as the majority of bibliographic records, to be separated from secondary sets of rapidly changing data, such as newly created records or circulation transactions. This separation results in approximately a 30 percent savings in disk storage requirements, an increase in the security of the data, and efficiency in data handling. backup, and recovery. Ultimately, data warehousing will also allow this consortium to seamlessly distribute its data across multiple servers.

Development work for the remainder of Virtua continues as planned. "We've received much input from our development partners," said Sen, "and have incorporated their suggestions. This will be a system very much designed from a librarian's perspective."

VTLS has established the Development Partners Program and the Early Implementors Program to enhance the functionality of Virtua's design giving librarians participation in the design and testing process. Virtua's development partners include Virginia Tech's Newman Library and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's J. …

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