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The Application
Service Model
good policy for large, national and well-funded
organisations, while small and medium-sized
organisations are most likely to derive better
advantage from the ASP model.
REGNET is a part EC-funded project aimed
at generating a set of technical tools especially
for use in cultural heritage institutions.These
tools include data entry based on cultural heritage
description standards and topic maps, and they
are packaged together in specialised systems,
with a clearly defined infrastructure and legal
framework for the creation of shared cultural
service centres (CSCs).
The REGNET consortium was huge,
involving twenty-three partners and two sub-
contractors from across twelve European states.The Austrian company AIT Applied
Information Technique Research Ltd
acted as project co-ordinator. Content providers
(such as Fratelli Alinari, the world's oldest picture library) supplied material for testbed
cases and studies.This impressive breadth of input gave REGNET the potential to become
the kernel of a fully functioning network of service centres in the cultural heritage area.
The size and range of the REGNET consortium allowed real international tests covering
much of the European continent. Moreover, by implementing the REGNET concept the
project was able to support the dissemination of European cultural heritage, and to facilitate
the access for European citizens to catalogues of intellectual, cultural and scientific heritage
stored in archives, libraries, museums, and other participating memory institutions.
Achieving interoperability between partner systems was crucial.The service infrastruc-
ture to be established had to facilitate the development of a growing network of CSCs
throughout Europe. In order to provide interoperability between catalogues held at
geographically separate institutions, the semantics for collection description had to be
harmonised. Dublin Core metadata was used together with Z39.50-related standardisation
work, which aims to create a compatible search and retrieval facility across different
domains.The interoperability of open access catalogues was of great importance to
REGNET, since this enabled the dynamic generation of shopping system catalogues
based on user input. Platform management relied on the latest Internet technologies,
which provided a solid basis for the middleware to act as an agent between end-users
and the suppliers of services and content.
XML/XSL markup was used to structure data semantically and hierarchically.This had
an effect on metadata creation, describing real objects, media objects, and bibliographic-type
objects in a strict and multi-usable manner. All information within REGNET's business
transactions was wrapped in XML structures, and recent developments in the field of
XML business standardisation were also implemented here in the shape of ebXML
REGNET provides building blocks for setting up a service infrastructure for organisa-
tions and users in the cultural heritage sector.These blocks (known as `nodes' in the
REGNET terminology) support access to cultural and scientific information as well as
The project had a total budget of
5,038,000 (48.6% EU 51.4% partners), and ran for a period of
twenty-four months from 1 April 2001 31 March 2003. Its reference number is IST-2000-26336.
See the sections on the XML Family of Technologies and Rights Management and Payment Technologies
for more on XML/ebXML
REGNET: systems and functions
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