This module is the core of ABCD. It provides all functions to automate a library or documentation centre for use by the librarian/documentalist but without the end-user specific functions like OPAC and Site (or portal). This module uses all the techniques that are available in the CDS/ISIS family, like the Field Definition table, Field Selection Table and Print Formats. If you know how to handle these techniques in CDS/ISIS or WinIsis, you can use that in customizing ABCD.
In this module you can create your own database using the ABCD tools. For libraries, this database is often a catalogue, but the database can contain anything. It could be a catalogue in MARC format, it could also be a database of music CD's. Or it could be a database with all the laptops that you lend out from your library.
The database structure is fully customizable, using the "Field Defintion Table". There are some reasons why the ABCD software - or in general: the Isis database technique - is well equiped to serve as a database for catalogues:
- repeatable fields are supported
- advanced indexing techniques
- fully customizable indexes
- limited database size
The management of data in the database can be customized:
- the input screens can be customized: in the definition of the worksheets you can decided what fields will appear in the worksheet and how they appear in the screen
- the content of the records can be validated, either on field level (example: the year of publication must be exactly 4 characters long) or on record level (example: if the item is a CD, the field "artist" must have a name).
- values can be selected from user defined pick-lists
- records can link to full text documents, images, databases. In general: to any location on the server or anywhere on the internet.
All the information in the database can displayed to the user in any format: either in a cutomized display on screen, a customized export to a file or a customized print. The "print formatting technique" is used for all outputs.
The options to copy record information from catalogues like the Library of Congress are available in the Central Module. Records from any catalogue supporting the Z39.50 protocol can be copied to ABCD. Even if you have defined a non-MARC database: you can "map" the MARC fields from the external catalogue to your customized database fields.