LibraryFind and Mobile Services

By reeset / On / In Digital Libraries, LibraryFind, ruby

One of the things I was really impressed with while attending DLF was the presentation on the lightweight web platform being built at NCSU.  Leveraging their endeca catalog, the folks at NCSU have been able to produce a set of REST-based api for querying the catalog.  With those services, they’ve designed a mobile interface and a google widgets interface to their catalog.  It’s a good idea — one that I’m working on moving into LF.  LibraryFind already supports a SOAP-based API (which is actually my preference), but I’m running into more and more cases where a light-weight rest-based api would be nice.  Fortunately, ruby/rails makes this possible. 

Anyway, in the spirit of looking at building client services ontop of libraryfind, I’ve created a quick facebook app using libraryfind.  Whether we’ll actually use it (or be able to contribute it to the facebook app list — who knows), but it was actually pretty simple to put together.  Here’s a couple of quick screenshots (you’ll notice I’m using the iframe option — mostly because I was getting annoyed while testing the app getting dropped out of facebook.  This way, the user stays in facebook, but can query the service.

Facebook LibraryFind app Front:

image

Facebook LibraryFind Search/Results:

image

 

At this point, the app is just rendering LF in the iframe, though I imagine that an interface developed for mobile users would also work best within this environment.  I guess time (and usability testing) will tell (if there is even any interest in having something like this at all).

–TR

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