Our customer base is growing rapidly. To help manage and foster this growth we are developing Rebus – a way of using and integrating best-of-breed software products to provide the full range of services that libraries need. The selection criteria for adding a software product to Rebus includes:
- it should be best-of-breed
- it should be easy for PTFS staff to support and easy for the library to implement and use
- the software should be light, open and standards based thus aiding integration and interoperability
- as new functionality is added, a focus will be on optimising workflow to aid ease of use and to reduce the support overhead
We are choosing fast development environments using proven tools. Where necessary we will write our own components as is the case with rebus:list. However, wherever possible we will use available products. For example, we are basing the discovery portal around WordPress for the content management system and VuFind for the discovery layer – using proven technologies and then taking advantage of the high levels of ability within the company to achieve a seamless integration.
By taking this modular approach we can in future replace single components without having to rewrite the entire system.
By using standard non-proprietary components wherever possible, the underlying cost of the technology is reduced.
A further efficiency is gained by not re-inventing the wheel, by partnering with appropriate companies rather than always developing software ourselves.