IFPA (ISIS FRBR Prototype Application) home page

(NEW!) July 2008: The IFPA2 is now online.

The IFPA software is an academic experiment for the implementation of the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) theoretical model.

The FRBR theoretical approach has been developed by the IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. A white paper about it was published in the 1998 with the title Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Final Report. The IFPA software is based on this "Final Report".

The IFPA prototype application has been developed by Roberto (Robi) Sturman, a librarian employed at the Physics Department Library, University of Trieste, Italy, which hosts the project. The prototype relies on the the CDS/ISIS software environment, which has been adapted to manage all the complex relationships among the records, called "entities" in the FRBR model:

1. GROUP (bibliographic entities) 2. GROUP (responsibility/ownership entities) 3. GROUP (subject entities)

The software consists of three user interfaces. A DOS interface (character based) supports all the functions of the prototype: record browsing, searching, navigating and editing. A MS-Windows and a WEB interface allow just to browse, search and navigate the database.

A technical paper presenting the IFPA software will be shortly published in a special issue devoted entirely to the FRBR, i.e. in the no 3/4 (2004) of the Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, and in the monographic publication Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Hype, or Cure-All?, both published by Haworth Press. You can also get the paper preprint version.

You can also download the presentation of the IFPA, I held at the CDS/ISIS II World Meeting, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil, September 20-23, 2005.

Note that the IFPA is not a stable software and will probabily never become such. It is therefore not suitable for production use, but for testing purposes only. Its main goal is to show the flexibility of the CDS/ISIS environment applied to the FRBR context.

The DOS and the Windows IFPA interfaces can be downloaded here. The modules developed to manage the FRBR data are distributed with the GNU GPL license, while the ISIS underlying software (DOS and MS-Windows versions) is a proprietary software copyrighted by UNESCO, even if it is free of charge; the WEB based GENISIS and WWWISIS are both freeware. Please note also that since the IFPA is a prototype, very poor documentation is provided with the package.

A on-line demo of the WEB interface is accessible here. This demo database contains almost all the examples cited in the "FRBR Final Report".
The performance of the server is quite poor, so be prepared! (NEW!) Now the interface works with Internet Explorer 6 too!

Please send your feedback to the IFPA author.

Page last update: August 7th, 2006.
Thanks to Alan Hopkinson for his precious suggestions.