CONTENTdm XML Gateway Documentation

By Gene Ruiz,2014-07-11 17:23
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CONTENTdm XML Gateway Documentation ...

    CONTENTdm XML Gateway Documentation

    Terry Reese


Currently, CONTENTdm only provides two methods for accessing data by a federated search tool:

    1. HTTP Gateway: Essentially, this requires the federated search tool to screen scrap the

    results. This method is fraught with potential pitfalls, as any change to the outputted

    HTML code could potentially break a tool’s ability to parse the data. rd2. Z39.50: CONTENTdm provides Z39.50 support via a 3 party PERL package. This

    allows users to access their CONTENTdm collections via Z39.50, but my personal

    opinion is that the Z39.50 interface seems a bit too “heavy” for this particular purpose.


Since the current methods for accessing CONTENTdm via a federated search tool do not seem

    to meet our needs, Oregon State University (OSU) has developed an XML Gateway for

    CONTENTdm. This gateway provides a federated search tool with a structured URL syntax and

    XML-based output, providing a uniform method of search and retrieval on the CONTENTdm

    system. In theory, the gateway will leave a smaller footprint than a Z39.50 implementation and

    offer more stability than using an HTTP Gateway.


The syntax for MetaFind to search will be the following:




    a = author search

    t = title search

    w = keyword search

    s = subject search


    xml: Exports dc

    html: exports html citation


    all: Search all databases

    dna: dna collection

    archives: Best of archives

    streamsurvey: Stream Survey

    pawardsmedals: Awards and Medals.

    bracero: Braceros collection


    n: This can be a variable number. By default, all results will be returned.


    n: This specifies where in the results set that output should begin. So for

    example, if there were 100 records and you wanted to start returning results at

    record #50, you would use the argument: start=50.

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    all: must match all words (default)

    any: must match any words

    adv: allows use of the following boolean statements: and/or/not.

Example Queries:

Example query (search subject for memorial union & title for formal dance in the best of archives




Example Query (search keyword for military in all collections)


Example of Output:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

    <CONTENTdm xmlns:dc=""





    <dc:title> Formal dance</dc:title>








XML Definitions:


    <totalItems />: Specifies how many results have been located. totalItems will default to -

    1 on error or when no results are present.

    <errorMessage />: Textual error message. When this tag is filled, no results will be


    <rdf:Description />: Parent “record” tag. The description element is the top element for all

    item data.

    <dc:title />: Primary CONTENTdm title.

    <dc:identifier />: Direct URL to the item in the CONTENTdm collection.

    <dc:source />: Internal name of the CONTENTdm collection.

    <dc:relation />: Link to the item’s thumbnail if available.


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System Requirements:

    ? CONTENTdm Server 3.6+ (or extract a copy of the queryget.exe from your 3.6

    installation disks and place it in the cgi-bin as queryget2.exe)

    ? PHP 4.1+: PHP should be configured to run in safe-mode, though its not required.


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