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Weekly News Digest

September 25, 2006 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Outsell Releases Information Industry Outlook

Outsell, Inc. (http://www.outsellinc.com), the international research and advisory firm for the information industry, released Information Industry Outlook: FutureFacts 2007, its annual forecast of the trends and drivers fueling the information industry. The report predicts that the industry will reach $458 billion in revenues in the next 3 years, with a slow but steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4 percent from 2006 to 2009.

Industry sectors like search and market research—powered by companies like Google, Yahoo!, VNU, and IMS Health—will be among the high-growth segments. Outsell predicts that Search, Aggregation, and Syndication will achieve a CAGR of 17.3 percent over the next 3 years, reaching $68 billion in revenues, while Market Research, Reports & Services achieves a CAGR of 11.3 percent and revenues of $39.7 billion. In a reversal of fortune, the former titans of the information industry—news publishers—will experience just 1 percent growth through 2009 and will see their industry market share decline from 37 percent to 30.5 percent.

FutureFacts—which Outsell unveils each year at Go!, its signature industry event—summarizes the metrics, trends, and predictions for all key sectors of the industry and key customer groups that fuel their market, including advertisers, enterprises, and end users. FutureFacts draws extensively from Outsell's proprietary industry metrics and analytics. The firm's research includes market size and share statistics for more than 6,000 firms that create and aggregate information and make it commercially available online or offline. The organization also tracks the three major markets for information—end users, enterprise buyers, and advertisers—and has 7 years of information-user statistics and input, including results of in-depth interviews with more than 40,000 information consumers.

Source: Outsell, Inc.

ISYS Introduces Next-Generation Search Software

ISYS Search Software (http://www.isys-search.com) announced the availability of ISYS 8, the company's next-generation suite for search, navigation, and discovery that adds a number of new features to the mid-market enterprise search tool. ISYS 8 comprises three core products: 1) ISYS:desktop 8, 2) ISYS:web 8, and 3) ISYS:sdk 8. ISYS:desktop 8 is an enterprise-class desktop search solution. ISYS:web 8 provides search technology for Web sites, intranets, portals, and custom Web applications. ISYS:sdk 8 enables software developers and system integrators to incorporate the power of the ISYS search API into custom applications and solutions, whether for commercial distribution or internal use.

The company said that ISYS 8 goes beyond the standard "search and retrieval" model by including several new features in this release that address key enterprise search requirements, such as:

    • Text mining, e-discovery, and expertise location via ISYS Entities
    • Power and scalability through content caching, scripting, and federated search support
    • Adherence to business rules via tuning and editorial controls such as Best Bets
    • Full-featured search analytics capabilities through enhanced ISYS SearchTrends
    • Broader content support, including Microsoft SharePoint and Office 2007

The core of the ISYS 8 suite is ISYS Entities, which automatically extracts and displays the "who, what, and where" of a given search, thus enabling users to better understand the context of their results and the connections and associations present between their search terms and the content. The company said that ISYS Entities is even offered in ISYS:desktop, making ISYS:desktop the first desktop search application to offer automatic entity extraction.

Source: ISYS Search Software

NISO Issues Free Web Services Guide for Libraries

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO; http://www.niso.org) Web Services and Practices working group has completed NISO RP 2006-01, "Best Practices for Designing Web Services in the Library Context." This new Recommended Practice (RP) publication covers the following areas: HTTP caching, filtering of user input, reuse of output formats, security, and throttling. The document also describes typical output formats used in Web services—DTD, XML schema, RDF, Relax NG, and DSD. It may be downloaded for free at http://www.niso.org/standards/resources/rp-2006-01.pdf.

Web services are seen as an alternative to fully developed application programming interfaces (APIs) for circumstances in which the additional overhead is not warranted. The NISO working group utilized this IBM definition:

"Web services is a technology that allows applications to communicate with each other in a platform- and programming language-independent manner. A Web service is a software interface that describes a collection of operations that can be accessed over the network through standardized XML messaging. It uses protocols based on the XML language to describe an operation to execute or data to exchange with another Web service."

For those implementing Web services in a library context, an appendix provides an overview of typical services: discover, locate, request, deliver, and common Web services. The appendix also includes a brief introduction to interoperability issues.

The working group was composed of experts from 19 companies and academic institutions. Before disbanding, the group recommended that NISO continue to monitor, evaluate, and engage in the development of standardized system frameworks and architectures for Web services. There was consensus that NISO should work with existing efforts like the U.K.-based e-learning efforts and others in development.

This publication is the first to be released under NISO's new RP designation. These documents are intended to provide guidance in emerging areas where formalized standards may inhibit innovation. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Source: NISO



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