By Steve Toub, Metasearch Project Manager

CDL and UCLA have completed development on a pilot federated search application that helps scholars conduct research on the topic of "Women in U.S. Social Movements". This portal searches 12 separate databases, retrieves results, and presents the ranked results to a user, all with a single click.

It is viewable at: [http://matisse.cdlib.org:3082/]

This milestone is the latest in a series of efforts to deploy and assess components of CDL’s Metasearch Infrastructure Project

Update (The metasearch infrastructure project is no longer active.   See: http://www.cdlib.org/services/d2d/metasearch/index.html)

This portal provides functionality new to Metalib 4.0, notably the display of facets on the page that displays the merged results. It also utilizes a Ruby on Rails web development framework, which was deployed in order to simplify development by campus web teams. The CDL team developed the middleware, the Rails templates, and configured the database connections; the UCLA team selected the databases, prioritized the functionality, and customized the look and feel of the interface.

UCLA is in the process of recruiting participants to assess the portal in the coming weeks. In addition to their write-up of the end-user assessment, UCLA will deliver a final report that includes their recommendation of whether the pilot was worth the effort in providing improved service to users and whether the system should be moved into production systemwide. CDL will also make a similar recommendation. Various all-campus groups will consider CDL¹s recommendation in early 2008.

If the recommendation and consultative process on next steps do end up with a decision to move the platform into production systemwide, the move into production would not be immediate, as there is some amount of work CDL needs to do in order to transform the pilot application so it can scale to production status.

Congratulations to all those involved with reaching this milestone.