Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Armanino G., Bonito A. B., Martinelli M., Romano G. A., Tamorri G. An X.500 extension to provide a DATABASE information service. Internal note CNUCE-B4-92-010, 1992.
The rapid growth of publicly accessible databases has increased the difficulty in knowing about their existence, their contents and the way to access them. So it would be very useful to put the information about available databases online, having databases catalogued according to their contents. To support end users in retrieving such information, accessing the catalogue of database should be very powerful. On the other hand the maintenance of the information contained in the catalogue cannot be performed in a centralized site due to the natural distribution of information around the world. The standard OSI X.500 is considered a suitable mean to maintain a distributed catalogue of online source of information. This paper proposes a new X.500 object class, named "onlineDatabase" (subclass of the object class "onlineInforn1ationResource") to map any database information entry as well as a directory schema suitable to deploy the information on a world wide basis while leaving the maintenance of the information to its producer or as near as possible to him. The papers describes how, using the object class "documentSeries", a hierarchical subject index mapping the UNESCO thesaurus has been implemented. This Thesaurus is used by UNESCO to index (by arguments) and retrieve all documents and publications processed through the computerized Documentation System of the UNESCO libraries. Any database entry can be referred by more than one thesaurus entry. For any entry of the thesaurus it's possible to select any database dealing a specific argument. A prototype implementation of the system is presented. The prototype is composed by a X.5OO DSA, an end-user interface running on UNIX system, and a catalogue of databases presently available through the ASTRA service. The end-user interface is able to retrieve the entry of the database of interest by accessing the subjects subtree, or by directly selecting the database entry. Any database entry contains some information such as: the content, the logon and logoff procedures, the database producers, distributors and contact persons, the network access procedures, the source from which the database has been implemented, the cost-of-use, the database management system and where to find much more information.
Subject X.500
DATABASE information service

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