Magazine article Information Today

VTLS's VIRTUA Completes Implementation of Unicode Standard

Magazine article Information Today

VTLS's VIRTUA Completes Implementation of Unicode Standard

Article excerpt

VTLS, Inc. has announced that its third-generation product, VIRTUA, now offers support for Unicode in all its operational subsystems. In addition, VTLS has announced the availability of anew, comprehensive cataloging client that supports the character repertoire of the Unicode standard.

Unicode Support

VTLS is the first vendor to provide an automated library solution that fully complies with the Unicode Standard. The design of VIRTUA incorporated Unicode as a fundamental requirement for library systems that operate in a global environment.

The most important aspect of the VIRTUA solution is that all data in all records are stored in the Unicode encoding scheme. This means that librarians can catalog and access records using their local languages. According to Vinod Chachra, president of VTLS, Inc., libraries can use their standard Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT workstations to access or update any or all languages at the same time on the same machine. "It is not necessary to upgrade the workstations with additional operating system versions or language options. All that is needed is the VIRTUA Z39.50 client," he said.

In addition to storing all data in the Unicode character set, VIRTUA supports direct input, indexing, and display of characters in Unicode from a single, standard workstation. In this way, users can dynamically change the interface language and search language without affecting anyone else on the system.

Converting imported records is another feature of the VIRTUA implementation of Unicode. The VIRTUA translator converts all records not already encoded in Unicode to the Unicode character set. This can be done interactively or in batch mode via a load program. The Unicode implementation also allows for importing and exporting records in the full ALA character set.

Currently, the VIRTUA implementation of Unicode supports languages based on the following character sets: Latin 1, Latin 2, Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hebrew, and Thai. As VIRTUA continues to evolve, users can expect support of additional languages.

Since Unicode is so new to the library community, VTLS is providing a service to help prepare libraries in migrating their data from the traditional character sets to Unicode. This service has both a consulting. component and a data migration component. The consulting component is designed to familiarize libraries with the various options available to them in planning their migrations to Unicode. Actual migration plans can also be developed as a part of the consulting task. The service component is designed to do the migration for the libraries. Libraries with multilingual collections or with multilingual users will find this development very useful.

VTLS Cataloging Client

With its advanced features--including Unicode support--the VTLS cataloging client is one of the most powerful and capable clients of its kind in the industry, according to VTLS. It can be used in three modes--as a stand-alone product, as an integrated cataloging editor for the VTLS VIRTUA Z39. …

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