[WEB4LIB] Software, etc. for Access to databases

Dennis Brantley dennis at dati.com
Thu Oct 14 16:29:11 EDT 1999

Rosemary Ross wrote:
> We are a small rural community college library ... with 1 computer & network guy for the campus ... he sets up all the library pcs, CDs, access, etc.  I am the only librarian. Currently our licensed databases and CD-ROMs can be accessed only in the library.  We want to change this so students can access these resources from home via Internet.  We are barely at square one on this.
> 1.  We want to upgrade so our students can access from home the licensed databases we subscribe to.  What software, server, etc.  do you use that allows students using Internet at home to use their library barcode to access a vendor's database that looks to see that the request is coming from our college's IP address?   Are there methods other than having the student use his barcode for a password?  What is needed to do this?  What software do you use for this?  What are some good resources to r
> on how to do this?
> 2.  What software, server, etc. is needed to allow students from home using Internet to access the CD-ROMs that are on a server on the campus network, besides a firewall to protect the campus network?  I assume the students would have to use their library barcode as a password to gain access .. or what other methods are there?   What are some good resources to refer our computer guy to on how to do this?

A WinFrame or MetaFrame server can accomplish both of these goals.  If
you're familiar with PCAnywhere, the concept is very similar, except
that where PCA requires, for example, 12 PCs on the LAN to support 12
simultaneous users, a single WF/MF server can be scaled to support from
15 to 100 or more simultaneous users.

This server would reside on the LAN and function as an execution
platform for Internet/remote users.  In a library setting, typically web
pages are created with links that will start a session on the server
that runs the application on the server for the user, and delivers only
the user interface to their desktop.  This permits decent performance
over varied connections, including dial-up.  And although the
application is delivered through the user's browser, the application
itself has the same user interface that it has when the user is using it
in the library.

To the network, a session on the server looks like another PC on the
LAN.  If you have a CD server, then the sessions on the WF/MF server
would map drives to the CD server just like a PC.  If you don't
currently have a CD server, the WF/MF server can possibly serve double
duty in this capacity.

Because the user's session is running on the server, which resides on
the LAN, the IP address of the user's session is a campus IP address,
permitting IP authentication to web-subscribed resources.

For library purposes, often the biggest difference between a WinFrame
server and a MetaFrame server is the licensing policy.  Microsoft NT
server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition, is required underneath MetaFrame,
and as friendly as Mr. Gates has been to libraries, the licensing for
TSE is not library friendly, requiring per seat licensing for every user
to access the system.  This implies that if there is a large student
body, licensing will be (a) very expensive and (b) difficult to
enforce.  WinFrame licensing, on the other hand, is based on
simultaneous use.

If you'd like to see a WinFrame demo, I can provide a demo
username/password to a public CD application at a university library. 
Please e-mail privately for the details.

Dennis Brantley  mailto:dennis at dati.com
Data Access Technologies, Inc.  http://www.dati.com
Internet/Remote Access - CD Networking - Thin Client Computing
(770) 339-6554

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