EPICUR - Implementation plan
EPICUR-Implementation plan (brief description)
Strategic action points
Stable references to digital objects can only be created with certainty at a national level if a
standardised, persistent addressing system such as Uniform Resource Names (URNs) is used, so that
URLs can be superseded.
Therefore for all further activities within the EPICUR project can be derived from the vision:
- "Persistent Identifiers replacing URLs"
The durability of an addressing system such as this can only be guaranteed if it is standardised,
has institutional support and undergoes further development. Locally operated applications will
not meet these requirements.
From these considerations the following strategic action points have been formulated for this project.
- Establishing persistent identifiers (PI) as standard numbers
- More complex configurability of the URN resolver installed at the German National Library
- Expansion of URN allocation
- A central service at the German National Library which is scalable and offers a high level of technical availability
- Further technical development of the prototype
Establishing persistent identifiers as standard numbers
In order that URNs can be referred to with certainty in national and international reference systems such
as bibliographies, catalogues and search engines and transported across bibliographic exchange formats,
standardised performance description, syntax and bibliographic capture of URNs is required. There is a need
for action in various areas. EPICUR will be working actively to influence this development. This will continue
through the entire duration of the project.
Expansion of URN allocation
Within the context of the EPICUR project, the German National Library is pursuing the objective of creating the
foundations for co-operative, usable conventions for managing and resolving URNs, so that the benefits of
URNs as a standard can be consistently used, for example as references, search criteria or other access
mechanisms. In addition, quality marks are to be specified for the application of URNs in the namespace
"nbn:de" ("National Bibliography Number" for Germany).
version of the "URN Strategy of the German National Library" was
published in December 2003.
More complex configurability of the URN resolver
As part of the CARMEN-AP4 project, a prototype URN resolver with basic functionality was developed, but
this is not specific enough to be deployed in a productive environment. It is planned to develop the URN
resolver to deliver further services as part of the EPICUR project. Error messages are also to be made
more specific. The specifications are to be internationally agreed, especially with regard to other National
Libraries. This discussion is planned for the first quarter of 2004.
A service offering scalability and a high level of technical availability
The requirement to ensure that URNs provide permanent access to an object, can only be guaranteed with certainty,
if the technical basis of the service offers a high degree of availability. This will be achieved as follows:
The high technical availability of the URN service will be ensured by migrating the prototypes to a
high-performance system environment, both with regard to software and hardware.
An external mirror will be set up at the Bibliothekszentrum Baden-Württemberg (BSZ) in order to guarantee
full functionality of the URN service, even when external disruption that is not dependent on the URN service
system environment occurs, such as internet connection failure. Construction of this mirror is planned for the
start of 2004.
The existence of this mirror makes the service scalable.
Further technical development of the prototype
Further technical development comprises two areas:
guaranteeing a stable technical base by using the Sybase database management system as well as migrating
the system to an independent, high-performance hardware platform.
functional development of existing performance levels. Unbundling business processes so that URN administration
can be universally implemented for network publications forms a starting point. This includes, amongst other
things, specifying protocols and interfaces to be used in URN administration. Furthermore the externally visible
front end will provide a range of functions that are easier to use.
At present (as at November 2003) a more developed version of the prototype is being tested with Sybase.
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