THE DIGITAL WORLDWIDE LIBRARY
Delivering an Integrated Electronic Library
An electronic library must be flexible enough to accommodate a collection of
databases that respond to the varied information requests of users. It must be
simple enough for novice users to search whilst powerful enough for experienced
searchers. It must support multiple computer platforms whilst taking advantage
of the power that each workstation offers. And it must be accessible from many
SilverPlatter Information and our partners provide information users with the
electronic resources, technology and utilities users require to fulfil all
In doing so, we recognise that each organisation has its own set of challenges
and priorities. This is why we offer an electronic library that delivers the two
critical components of any information service: information of scope and
relevance and excellent access tools.
SilverPlatter database subscriptions are designed to fit into any information
service. You have the choice of the data, the interfaces appropriate for
computing platforms and the means of connectivity that you need to establish,
expand and maintain your electronic library.
The range of options available include:
- CD-ROM subscriptions for standalone PC's;
- File Server Local Area Networks;
- Client/server ERL subscriptions for Local Area Networks and Wide
- Internet subscriptions.
Databases on CD-ROM are accessed from a PC. The databases are located in a
CD-ROM drive and are only searchable by the individual using that PC, only one
user can search the database at any moment in time using PC-SPIRS, WinSPIRS or
MacSPIRS retrieval software.
File Server Local Area Networks
The majority of SilverPlatter databases can be accessed using a file server
network such as, Novell, DEC Pathworks, Banyan Vines, or Windows for Workgroups.
The databases are loaded on the file server and can be searched from DOS,
Windows, and Macintosh platforms only.
Client/Server ERL Subscriptions
ERL technology is a software solution for providing Local Area Network and Wide
Area Network access to all major databases via TCP/IP. Based on client/server
architecture, ERL technology has two main software components; the ERL retrieval
clients (user interface), and the ERL server software (search engine). The
SilverPlatter databases are mounted on one or more ERL servers and are
searchable using a choice of SilverPlatter PC-SPIRS, WinSPIRS, MacSPIRS,
UNIXSPIRS and WebSPIRS retrieval clients.
DOS,Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, WWW and Z39.50 access to ERL
With ERL technology, network users can simultaneously access and search all
SilverPlatter databases, independent of their location on the network and their
computing platform. The network can be as large or as small as library resources
dictate as ERL will scale to fit users requirements. ERL supports all major
industry protocols including DXP, Z39.50 and HTTP.
Internet Subscription Services
Internet Subscriptions are a Total Area Network application of ERL technology.
Because the Internet is based on a communications protocol supported by ERL it
is possible for SilverPlatter and our partners to build an international
network of ERL servers on the Internet. This solution works in exactly the same
way as a Local Area or Wide Area Network application of ERL.
Select Databases Local and Remote
In most cases Internet subscriptions complement existing local ERL subscriptions
to easily increase the availability of heavily searched information, or make
less frequently searched information available without incurring any additional
hardware expenses. Databases on a local ERL network and databases on an
Internet server may be searched simultaneously.
SilverPlatter Retrieval Software
SPIRS Network and Standalone Retrieval Clients
SPIRS (SilverPlatter Information Retrieval System) is the most widely used
search and retrieval software in the world. Currently SPIRS is installed at
thousands of sites around the world and used by millions of searchers every day.
SPIRS software is designed to provide tools for both novice and expert searchers
to achieve accurate and comprehensive results.
SPIRS contains a common range of features across multiple platforms and also
provides some features that are platform specific to make the best use of a
particular client. The majority of clients are available for use in a standalone
or ERL environment. However some databases are only available in an ERL
A sample of the many features that are available with SPIRS include:
- Simultaneous multi-database searching
- Boolean and Proximity searching
- Wildcard searching for various spellings
- Manipulation of downloaded records with word processing software
- Automatic searching from the index
- Selecting and searching controlled vocabulary terms directly from the thesaurus
- Hierarchical display of thesaurus terms
- On-screen indication of marked records
SilverPlatter databases can be accessed using SPIRS software on the following
WinSPIRS for Microsoft Windows
WinSPIRS is a retrieval client for bibliographic and full text databases. It
provides a one-screen view of the search terms, search history and retrieved
records so that users can easily see the kinds of searches that are resulting
from their queries. WinSPIRS Automatic Subject Lookup can offer alternate terms
from the databases controlled vocabularies to narrow or expand searches.
WinSPIRS also offers a multiple database searching facility and the ability to
handle graphics. The WinSPIRS interface is also customisable into three major
languages German, Spanish and French.
MacSPIRS for the Macintosh
Provides access to information with the user-friendly Macintosh interface.
MacSPIRS features pull-down menus, Macintosh shortcuts and more.
PC-SPIRS for DOS for the IBM PC and Compatible, is the world's most popular
search and retrieval software.
UNIX-SPIRS provides a UNIX character-based interface to support terminal users.
UNIX-SPIRS is only available in an ERL network and with Internet Subscriptions.
WebSPIRS for ERL Networks
WebSPIRS is the latest SilverPlatter gateway. It allows users to search
SilverPlatter databases from NETSCAPE, MOSAIC or any forms capable browser
within an ERL network. Forms created from templates in HTML format retrieve the
ERL data using WebSPIRS. You can use the WebSPIRS templates as models to create
your own interface forms, or you can make a copy of a template and modify it to
fit your needs.
The following major features are supported by WebSPIRS:
- Database selection
- Record display
- Database-specific help
- Automatic subject lookup
Because WebSPIRS only works with ERL Technology, it supports only the
features provided by the most current version of ERL.
Full download and installation instructions at
Version 3 Clients
The Z39.50 Option is based on the most current Z39.50 specification
(Version 3). Currently, SilverPlatter supports the following features:
Z39.50 client accessing ERL Server
Allows V3 Clients to scan and select terms from any index in a
database. Future versions will allow scanning of the controlled
vocabulary, or Thesaurus, available in many SilverPlatter databases.
Allows V3 Clients to receive information about the ERL Server,
including available databases, attribute sets, element sets, attribute
combinations, term lists, etc. This eliminates the need for
pre-configuring V3 Clients to the ERL Server and each database.
Explain also allows the Server to provide descriptions of available
Use Attributes (searchable indexes) to the V3 Client. This enables
users to search beyond Universal search terms, such as "Title,"
"Author," "Subject," etc.
You can test the Z39.50 Option by searching the databases available on
SilverPlatter's Test Server. To access the Server, configure your
Client to the following Domain Name and Port Number:
Test Server Domain Name = z3950.silverplatter.com
Server Port Number = 210
You must also specify the Database Name and 4-character Database ID
foreach sample database you want to search (ERIC, GPO on
SilverPlatter, or MEDLINE).
Search Advisor for Windows
Search Advisor is a retrieval client that enables professional
searchers to translate their searching expertise into a retrieval
interface through the creation of automated search strategies. By
incorporating the experience and techniques of the professional
searcher, the interface guides novice users through the complexities
of database searching, dramatically increasing their search success.
Select Search Advisor Script
Designed with a graphical user interface for Windows, the Search
Advisor offers tools used by professional searchers to map search
strategies, automating the most common or most difficult searches. End
users choose one of the resulting search strategies from a customised
menu and are lead through their search, prompted for simple subject
input. Behind the scenes, professional-level searches are
automatically conducted, ensuring that retrieval is accurate and
Authoring a Search Advisor Script
Search advisor is entering beta test.
Holdings Display Manager
This Windows based utility allows a library to manually input their
journal and message data, or to import an electronic file in MARC or
ASCII delimited format. When viewing a database record, if the journal
or article is held in the local catalogue then this information is
displayed, and the user can then retrieve the journal from the
library. The software can accommodate up to 65,000 messages including,
detailed messages and individual branch holdings' messages.
HDM is in beta test.
Publication Delivery Manager
If the library does not hold an article in its collection, the
Publication Delivery Manager facilitates the requesting and tracking
of documents from leading document delivery suppliers including the
British Library Document Supply Centre, ISI - The Genuine Article, and
UMI Infostore. Records from a search are simply downloaded into the
utility and are faxed or emailed to the preferred document delivery
PDM is in General release.
Zpatky do INFOMEDIA 96.