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KE websites without standard PHP modules?

KE websites without standard PHP modules?

Hi

We are in the process of installing EMu at our institution, and need to publish data to the web.

As we don't really have PHP resources in place, and because I am being asked for functionality which is not currently available from the satndard modules, we have always intended to produce our own website using JSP rather than PHP.

I am wondering if anyone else out there has done this? If so, how they did it, what difficulties were encountered, and where can I see the output?

Thanks, Mike

Edited by: - 01-Jan-70 09:00:00

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Re: KE websites without standard PHP modules?

PS - Doesn't have to be JSP necessarily. I'm just trying to assess how easy or difficult it might be to build our own web application more-or-less from scratch.

Cheerio, Mike

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Re: KE websites without standard PHP modules?

Mike,

In principle, it is straightforward to build your own web application using data from EMu, using whatever mechanism you might wish (e.g., JSP, etc.). The practice of how to do so is another issue - but proof of concept is available from several institutions who have done just that. I'll quickly summarize one way we have done so.

At the Peabody Museum, all our collections use EMu, and in large part whatever material they have online at any given time is pushed to the web and accessible through locally written scripts acting as the search routines. See for example:

http://research.yale.edu/peabody/COLLECTIONS/

These online data are updated daily, automatically, out of EMu as follows. A dump of each collection's catalogue data is made each night via texpress (the backend database) using the texexport command wrapped in a script. Dumps are also made of the support modules (Parties, Collecting Events, etc.) A second script on a backup server subsequently picks up all those dumps via ssh, merges the dumps together using various post processing rules that have been decided upon on a collection-by-collection basis, and prepares data for web consumption that have a simple flat file like structure (e.g., allowing for certain classes of multivalued EMu data to be dealt with somewhat more readily). The prepared data are subsequently picked up again via ssh by a third server (a campuswide production machine run centrally by Yale and dedicated to various online research projects), and this third server rotates in the newly prepared files for web consumption after archiving the prior two night's copies (a bit of version and backup control). Server side scripts on that campuswide production machine then act as the gateway to the data that you see from the web URLs.

Once the scripts and such are written and in place, it is then not difficult to modify things when curatorial staff come up with changes from time to time. The other good thing is that it's automated. The bad thing is that the data you see aren't truly real time as they are in the KE-provided PHP web applications... but hey, we normally run on "museum time" as I suspect your institution does as well, and so a web view of the way it was yesterday is quite current enough for this particular purpose for us. Your mileage may vary, but the general point is if you wish to build it yourself, there are some fairly easy to use tools available in the KE product to help you do what you might want (e.g., texexport on the backend, the standard reporting tools on the frontend, etc.). So go for it.

Regards,

Larry

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Re: KE websites without standard PHP modules?

Hello Mike,

There are two low level technologies you can use to interface directly to the EMu tables. Note that using these interfaces requires you to have a basic understanding of the EMu schema, in particular how the various tables are linked together.

TexXMLServer
============

Texxmlserver provides XML over HTTP access to KE EMu tables. You can read about it at:

http://www.kesoftware.com/texpress/texxmlserver.html

If you are using JSP you can build an HTTP request based on the query terms provided and parse the returned XML to produce the results document. You could build some simple java classes that could be used as wrappers around the query building and XML parsing.

TexJDBC
=======

Development of a JDBC driver is currently under way. It has not been officially released, however development versions can be made available. Using JDBC you can build query statements and retrieve data directly from the EMu tables. If you want access to the driver please email me at Bernard.Marshall at mel.kesoftware.com.

If you are a Natural Sciences based institution, then another possibility is to use the EMu DiGIR Web Service for searching and displaying data. This implements the DiGIR standard. More details of the standard can be found at:

http://digir.sourceforge.net/

Regards

bern.
Bernard Marshall
KE Software
Melbourne, Australia

Bernard Marshall (Axiell Melbourne)
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