What is Z39.50?
Z39.50 is a network protocol which is widely used in library environments as a standard for searching in bibliographic information systems.
The standard of the Z39.50 protocol is specified for online communication between different library systems and is the most common interface for communication between different bibliographic databases and environments. Whenever different bibliographic databases get remote access Z39.50 is used.
With a Z39.50-client it is possible to access data of other union systems or databases like ZDB (journal database) or specific information databases. Z39.50 mainly serves the purpose to access - and with permission - as well to assume foreign data records in a structured format.
The Library of Congress Library of Congress is the Maintenance Agency and Registration Authority for Z39.50 since 1990.
The target profile
A target profile is a detailed technical description of Z39.50 servers. It defines which requests, character sets, formats, databases, attributes etc. are supported by the server (target). In the Z39.50 standard is not defined, how the BIB-1-attribute will get built up in the database. Instructions suggest how to transfer BIB-1 to USMARC. Instructions for MAB2-format do not exist.
The server (target) offers minimum one usually several formats to the clients (application program). Typical bibliographic formats (record-syntaxes) for Z39.50 servers are: MARC21 (USMARC) and MAB.
LIBERO und Z39.50 client
The Z39.50 client in the LIBERO-cataloguing module allows the transfer of catalogue records from remote databases. This is a standard functionality for which you do not need additional licences.
LIBERO and Z39.50 server: the LIBERO "target"
If you want to grant access to your catalogue records via Z39.50 protocol you need the Z39.50 LIBERO-server. The LIBERO "target" supports the BIB-1-attribute-set which provides a concordance between the value of the used indices and meanings.
Requirements for using the LIBERO target
To use the LIBERO Z39.50 target you need additional licences for concurrent access via Z39.50. You can order the licencesfrom your supplier at any time. If you like to check if your existing licence already includes the usage of the LIBERO target just start the LIBERO administrator module and on menu option "licence". The following screen will appear:
If the field "Z39.50-connections" is empty or contains "0" you do not have a licence for Z39.50 server yet and you will not be able to start the "backend-server".
You need the "frontend-server" which will get installed on your server as additional product and will get known in the outside world as Z39.50 server.
This "frontend-server" accepts the so called requests of the clients (origins), transfers them and forwards the transferred request to the LIBERO Z server ("backend-server"). You get the frontend-server from your supplier after you purchased a Z39.50-server licence.