Abstract record structure:

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Abstract record structure:
content and Provides

a format for representing the
organization of records in a database for interchange with other systems. This format
is an abstract representation of the elements of information that are contained in a
record. (See also Schema, Elements, and Tagsets.)

ract record syntax:
Allows the client and server to agree upon common
semantics and data layout of retrieved records. It is used as a mechanism to package a
database record for transmission from server to client. Z39.50 specifies the use of a
number of rec
ord syntaxes including, various MARC formats, Simple Unstructured
Records Syntax (SUTRS), Generic Record Syntax (GRS), OPAC, Summary, Explain,
and Extended Services.

Access control facility:
A Z39.50 facility that allows the server or target database to
quest authentication of user authorization or a password from the client or user.

Application layer:
The top layer in the seven

layer Open Systems Interconnection
(OSI) Basic Reference Model that manages program to program communication. In a
Z39.50 inform
ation retrieval session, all interaction between the client software and
server software occurs at this level.

Z39.50 concept to characterize search terms in a Z39.50 query including
the access point to search, the type of search term, whether
truncation is desired, etc.
Attributes specify how the search term is to be treated by the server when executing
the search against a target database.

Attribute sets:
Attribute sets are registered objects that consist of various attribute
types (e.g., Use
attributes, Relation attributes, and Structure attributes) and the legal
attribute values. Z

clients and Z

servers reference an attribute set through its Object
Identifier (OID) to share a common understanding of the query.

1 attribute set:
A register
ed attribute set included in the Z39.50 standard that
defines six attribute types (i.e., use, relation, position, structure, truncation, and
completeness) and assigns values specific to each type. Used for expressing queries
for searching bibliographic dat
abases and other information resources.

An application or the software that runs on a user’s computer that interacts
with a remote server and its associated database(s). Within the context of Z39.50, the

client is the software the user uses to co
mmunicate with a Z

server. The Z

initiates a Z39.50 information retrieval session and submits requests to the Z

The Z

client software translates the query into Z39.50 messages, contacts the Z

server(s) software on the remote database(s), neg
otiates the session rules, and receives
the records, all behind the user interface.

Client/Server is an architecture for representing interaction between
software operating on two separate systems. The Z39.50 standard identifies specific
es and responsibilities for both the Z

client and Z

server in performing certain
processes in the information retrieval session.

Computer communication:
The interaction and transmission of data from one
computer to another via a telecommunications media.

Database record:

A structure in a database that may comprise fields that contain


The smallest unit of information in a record (e.g., a field or subfield) that
can be identified for the purpose of information retrieval. (See Schema, Ab
Record Structure)

Element set name:
A label that specifies and identifies all elements or a subset of
database record elements or possible record components requested for retrieval (e.g.,
"full" or "brief").

Explain facility:
A set of Z39.50 service
s that allow the Z

client to obtain
information about the contents and organization of a server system (including
databases) and implementation specifications relating to availability, restrictions, and
information to facilitate effective information retri
eval. The Explain Service allows
the user to investigate target database functionality.

Extended services facilities:
A set of Z39.50 services that define a set of tasks that
the client may request the server to perform. Some of these services include the
of a client to set up periodic queries performed by the server, to save a result set, to
order a document, and to perform database maintenance operations.

In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information that may be
d. Every field has a name, called the field name. A collection of fields is called
a record.

File is a set of related records (e.g., a bibliographic file).

Hardware independent:
Refers to an application’s ability to operate autonomous
from the system
’s physical objects (disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards,
printers, boards, and chips). A Z

client provides hardware independence to users for
information retrieval from a Z39.50 accessible database without regard to the
equipment on which the d
atabase is implemented.

Information retrieval protocol:
A protocol that enables one system acting as origin
to conduct a search for records held in the database of another system acting as target,
and to retrieve those records that meet the search criteria

Initialization facility:
A set of Z39.50 services that allow for the initial exchange of
messages between a Z

client and a Z

server to complete initialization and negotiation
of a Z39.50 information retrieval session. Establishes the options to be used
hroughout the remainder of the session, such as language, protocol version, and
default character set. It also provides a means for user authentication.

The ability of different types of computers, networks, operating
systems, and applica
tions to exchange information and use the information that has
been exchanged.

Open systems:

Allow different computer systems with a variety of hardware and
software components to communicate and exchange information. Open systems are
possible through the
use of standards.

In the Z39.50 standard, the term "origin" refers to the application that
initiates operations on behalf of a user. For ease of understanding, this document uses
the term "Z


Origin/Target system:
The origin/target system
manages the Z39.50 communication
between the initiator of the communication (origin system) and the responder (target
system). According to the Z39.50 standard, a system can have the role of an origin,
target, or both.

Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Ba
sic Reference Model:
The OSI Basic
Reference Model is an abstract model comprising seven layers concerned with the
communication of data between two peer systems or between a client and a server.
Messages are passed from one layer to the next based on a re
ciprocal hierarchical
process of data flow. Z39.50 is an application layer (i.e., layer seven) protocol.

Defines a mode of communication between two computers in which
the same protocol is used to communicate and perform approximately the sam
function for their respective computers. In peer
peer communication, each
computer has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities.

The underlying hardware or software for a system. The term cross

platform defines application, formats, or d
evices that work on a variety of platforms.

Present service:
A Z39.50 service that provides the Z

client the ability to request
from the Z

server the results of a search. The service handles the representation of
data and allows retrieval of records from t
he result set. Some specifics include
requesting specific ranges of search results, specific elements in a record, specific
variance of a record, inclusion of other metadata information per record or per
element in a record, search term highlighting, and t
he record syntax in which the
retrieval record will be returned.

A set of implementor agreements specifying the use of a particular standard
(or group of standards) to support a particular application, function, community,
environment, or class o
f information. A profile selects options, subsets, values of
parameters, etc., where these choices are left open in the standard, and where these
selections are necessary to accomplish identified functions. A profile may also specify
aspects of client and
server behavior that are beyond the scope of the base standards.
Purpose of a profile include: (1) to provide a specification for vendors to build to,
resulting in products that will interoperate; and (2) to provide a specification that
customers may refer
ence for procurement purposes.


Established agreements on the requirements of how information/data will
be made accessible. Communication protocols such as Z39.50 are detailed
specifications that establish how computers will communicate over a network by
defining the format and meaning o
f data being exchanged.

Protocol data unit:
A unit of information (i.e., a Z39.50 message) defined in the
protocol specifications that is exchanged by the Z

client and Z



Search criteria posed as a question to the server or target database t
hat defines
a particular set of records. The query can be a request for a previous result set, or even
a request for previous result set with additional restrictions. A query may contain
Boolean operators, fielded search terms, proximity searching, weighte
d search terms,
truncation specification, relation specifiers, and generalized pattern matching

Query type:

A defined structure for expressing a search. Z39.50 defines several
query types, including: Type
0 (defined outside of the standard bet
ween two
implementors); Type
1 (basic Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) query structure
commonly used in Z39.50 implementations); Type
101 (extended RPN query that
supports proximity searching).

Record syntax:
The format in which a retrieval record is returned

to the Z

Elements of the local database record are packaged up in a specific syntax or format.

Registered object:
An information object (e.g., an attribute set or a record syntax)
that can be referenced through an object identifier (OID).



Descriptors applied to the search term that specifies how the term
is to be treated when used in a search. Relation attributes can specify characteristics
including: less than, less than or equal to, equal to, greater than or equal to, and
ter than and not equal to.

An action by which a client invokes an action or process from the server.

Resource control facility:
A set of Z39.50 services that allow the Z

server to do
accounting functions with the Z

client. The Z

server can provide

reports to the Z

client on the status of an account and the costs associated with an information
retrieval session.

An action by which a server indicates it has completed a request
procedure. For example, the server can supply basic information
about search results
such as the search status, the number of records found, query identification number,
any explanation of a failed result set, and other information about the result set.

delete facility:
A set of Z39.50 services that allow th
e Z

client to request
the deletion of specific result sets that the server has created.

Refers to the parameter that allows result sets to be referenced,
usually with a number identification. This allows for further refinement of search
sults or for later recall of a result
set by a user.

Retrieval facility:
Retrieval facility provides the Z39.50 services by which the Z

client can request the Z

server to return records that have been located during a
search. (See the Present service.)

rieval record:

The form of the local database record that is actually returned by a

server to a Z


Scan service:
A Z39.50 service that allows clients to scan an ordered term list. Scan
provides the client with the ability to browse access point va
lues/search terms
available from a database or group of databases.

A schema provides an abstract view of the structural organization of a
database. It defines how the database fields can be labeled unambiguously by the
server to develop a common u
nderstanding between the Z

client and the Z

server of
the information contained in the records of the server database.

Search facility:
A Z39.50 facility that allows a Z

client to search one or more Z

servers and their associated databases using a wide var
iety of selection criteria and
structured queries to determine what information is available.

Search request:
A search request is a structured query in a protocol defined search
format used when searching one or more databases.

Segment service:
A Z39.50 s
ervice that allows a Z

client to request transmission of
abbreviated records, or special packaging of records to accommodate any network
issues related to speed and disk space.

An information server that provides access to one or more databases or
information resources. A server answers requests for information from clients in a
networked environment.

Sort facility:
A Z39.50 facility that allows a Z

client to request that the Z

arrange a set of search results into a specific order according t
o client


A standard represents an agreed upon response to a recurring problem

perceived, anticipated, or "real," and codifies the response for the purpose of
communication. The standard is the result of a problem

solving proce
ss. It involves
agreements among stakeholders who have an interest in adopting specific responses to
the problem. Conformant use of the standard leads to predictable results and a
reduction of uncertainty.

Structure attribute:
Descriptors applied to the t
erm that specifies how the term is to
be treated when used in a search. Structure attributes specify characteristics of the
search terms including: phrase, word, key, year, normalized date, un

normalized date,
normalized name, and un

normalized name.

A label identifying and characterizing the data in a field. It consists of a pair of
integers representing a tag type and a tag value and instructions for encoding data.

Tagsets refer to the paired tag values and recommended data types for a set
of elements.

In the Z39.50 standard, the term "target" refers to the application that
responds to requests from a Z

client. For ease of understanding, this document uses
the term "Z


TCP/IP protocols:
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) an
d Internet Protocol (IP).
Two basic communications protocols used to support communication in the Internet.
These protocols allow various services among computers not on the same network.

Termination facility:
A Z39.50 facility that allows either the Z

ent or Z

server to
end a Z39.50 information retrieval session.

Truncation attribute:
Descriptors applied to the search term that specifies how the
term is to be treated when used in a search. Allows omitting of characters in search
terms for example, by pe
rmitting right or left truncation of words.

Use attribute:
Use attributes are descriptors applied to the search term that specifies
how the term is to be treated when used in a search. Use attributes correspond to
access points, searchable fields, or
indexes that can be referenced in the query.

User interface:
An interface is a set of commands or menus on the client server
computer screen through which a user communicates in a search.