sruclient
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INTRODUCTION
SRU: Search and Retrieve by URL (see http://www.loc.gov/standards/sru/) is a standard search protocol supported by many Learning Object Repositories and the client included here allows remote searching of any Learning Object Repository (LORs) which supports the standard SRU protocol, effectively allowing search interafaces to LORs to be embedded within other web pages (for instance within a library search system). The purpose of this tool is to promote the contents of a learning object repository such that users will be encouraged to register for the repository and start engaging with it.

Whilst in principal the client is suitable for use with any learning object repository which supports the SRU protocol, at present this code has only been tested with the IntraLibrary repository (v2.8). It is hoped that through planned dissemination events, and hosting on SourceForge (with a GPL Open Source License), that the SRU client will be deployed with other learning object repository software which supports the SRU protocol.

SUMMARY OF OPERATION
A search is submitted by an HTML form from a normal web page. This sends an SRU-formatted GET request to the specified SRU server (part of the Learning Object Repository) and a search is issued.

You can search 'all fields' (a 'simple search' in IntraLibrary but on other repositories the implementation details of an unrestricted search can vary). You can also restrict the search using the drop-down. The values that appear in the drop-down are configured from a JavaScript file which can be customised on deployment. The field restrictions are standard Dublin Core (DC) fields.

The response from the repository is in XML and the returned XML is transformed into XHTML using the XSL style sheet specified in the original request. Note that this transformation is done entirely by the browser.

Due to the security settings of most browsers, the XSL style sheet will only be applied if it is served from the same server that is hosting the target of the search form. In other words, the XSL file must sit on the same server as your Learning Object Repository.

The results are displayed in XHTML by the Web browser with superficial styling determined by an external CSS (cascading style-sheets) file.

FURTHER INFORMATION
The client is fully documented and has been tested in a number of different installations. A quick-start guide is included in the documentation which allows administrators to add client customise the scripts and add SRU client functionality to their site with minimum effort.

The SRU client was developed by Intrallect as part of the JISC-funded CD-LOR (Community Dimensions of Learning Object Repositories) project - http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/cd-lor/. A recent (June 07) presentation of the tool by Charles Duncan (of Intrallect) is available on SlideShare.

SUPPORT
To support the sruclient, two user guides have been produced:

DOWNLOAD
Although the files will eventually be available as a traditional SourceForge download, they have initially been uploaded to this site and can be downloaded from here: murrayfield.zip.
 

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last edited by cdmilligan, 030707