a cataloguing resource, the library staff will be freed from the task of entering existing
records. In hardware terms, the library only needs a standard Web browser installed on
one or more desktop PCs with Internet access.
While the features offered by ASPs vary hugely, tasks such as hardware upgrade, repair
and replacement, and data backup, security and restoration would typically be undertaken
by the ASP. Other typical activities likely to be supported by the ASP include data migration
from the existing cataloguing system, the creation and storage of user profiles, running
specialised software functionality, report preparation, and staff training and support.
An emerging trend is the bringing together of the management systems of small and
geographically distinct institutions, such as networks of museums or other memory insti-
tutions. As a result, their catalogues form a set of joint resources that can be searched
through a shared information portal.
It should be stressed that this requires a degree
of interoperability for which relatively few cultural heritage organisations are prepared.
A fine example of regional deployment of ASP technology is in the ongoing develop-
ment of Culturenet across Europe.
Management of the Dutch Culturenet site, for
example, will be assisted by the use of an ASP application called the DEN-box.This will
enable smaller institutions to participate more fully in Culturenet's activities, and to boost
their public profiles.The planned system will offer functionalities ranging from simple
presentation facilities to a fully Web-oriented information system. Institutions will be able
to enter and update their own information without the administrative headaches that can
often be caused by the development and maintenance of a full-fledged Web site.
bid to improve access to English-language Web sites, the Human Language Technologies
(HLT) Fast Translator supporting B2B-ASP applications project (FASP) aims to integrate a
translation service as part of a multilingual business-to-business (B2B) application.The
project's objective is to test a multilingual translation support tool (called Logos) by incor-
porating it into a B2B application running within an ASP environment.
REGNET Cultural Heritage in Regional Networks
The role of the Internet and the application of new technology and tools covering
areas such as eBusiness and ePublishing are increasingly significant to the cultural heritage
sector.These developments put institutions in a situation where they must choose between
(1) establishing an in-house technology department, including the possible contracting of
technology and standards experts/consultants; and (2) using a specialised service centre
for the storage and delivery of their systems.The former option has been found to be
See the section on the XML Family of Technologies (below) for case studies on Pouce and COVAX, both of
which used XML to ensure interoperability for a similar end.
A list of Culturenet sites can be found at
While this case study focuses mainly on the project's ASP-related elements, it should be noted that
REGNET covers a number of other areas beyond ASP, including a service infrastructure and online
cataloguing tools.These activities are detailed extensively on the project's Web site, http://www.regnet.org.
This case study is based upon an e-mail questionnaire completed by Dr Walter Koch of AIT Angewandte
Informationstechnik Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
, Graz, Austria, and Andrea de Polo of Fratelli
, Florence, Italy, in October/November 2003.
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