Browse Prior Art Database

Using the Z39.50 Information Retrieval Protocol (RFC1729)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003977D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 7 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

C. Lynch: AUTHOR

Abstract

Z39.50 is a US national standard defining a protocol for computer- to-computer information retrieval that was first adopted in 1988 [1] and extensively revised in 1992 [2]. It was developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), an ANSI-accredited standards development body that serves the publishing, library, and information services communities. The closely related international standard, ISO 10162 (service definition) [3] and 10163 (protocol) [4], colloquially known as Search and Retrieve or SR, reached full International Standard (IS) status in 1991. Work is ongoing within ISO Technical Committee 46 Working Group 4 Subgroup 4 to progress various extensions to SR through the international standards process. The international standard is essentially a compatible subset of the current US Z39.50-1992 standard. Z39.50 is an applications layer protocol within the OSI reference model, which assumes the presence of lower-level OSI services (in particular, the presentation layer [5]) and of the OSI Association Control Service Element (ACSE) [6] within the application layer.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 15% of the total text.

Network Working Group C. Lynch

Request for Comments: 1729 University of California

Category: Informational Office of the President

December 1994

Using the Z39.50 Information Retrieval Protocol

in the Internet Environment

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo

does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of

this memo is unlimited.

Summary

This memo describes an approach to the implementation of the

ANSI/NISO Z39.50-1992 Standard for Information Retrieval in the

TCP/IP environment which is currently in wide use by the Z39.50

implementor community.

Introduction

Z39.50 is a US national standard defining a protocol for computer-

to-computer information retrieval that was first adopted in 1988 [1]

and extensively revised in 1992 [2]. It was developed by the National

Information Standards Organization (NISO), an ANSI-accredited

standards development body that serves the publishing, library, and

information services communities. The closely related international

standard, ISO 10162 (service definition) [3] and 10163 (protocol)

[4], colloquially known as Search and Retrieve or SR, reached full

International Standard (IS) status in 1991. Work is ongoing within

ISO Technical Committee 46 Working Group 4 Subgroup 4 to progress

various extensions to SR through the international standards process.

The international standard is essentially a compatible subset of the

current US Z39.50-1992 standard. Z39.50 is an applications layer

protocol within the OSI reference model, which assumes the presence

of lower-level OSI services (in particular, the presentation layer

[5]) and of the OSI Association Control Service Element (ACSE) [6]

within the application layer.

Many institutions implementing this protocol chose, for various

reasons, to layer the protocol directly over TCP/IP rather than to

implement it in an OSI environment or to use the existing techniques

that provide full OSI services at and above the OSI Transport layer

on top of TCP connections (as defined in RFC 1006 [7] and

implemented, for example, in the ISO Development Environment

software). These reasons included concerns about the size and

complexity of OSI implementations, the lack of availability of mature

OSI software for the full range of computing environments in use at

these institutions, and the perception of relative instability of the

architectural structures within the OSI applications layer (as

opposed to specific application layer protocols such as Z39.50

itself). Most importantly, some of these institutions were concerned

that the complexity introduced by the OSI upper layers would outweigh

the relatively meager return in functionality that they were likely

to gain. Thus, ...