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New on FDSys – Capability Statements

Although we at FGI missed it when it first came out in early September, the main FDSys site now has a page for vendors wishing to work with Harris Corp, the FDSys Master Integrator.

On this page you can currently find requests for vendor capabilities on Search and Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). The next request for capabilities will be for content management systems.

I highly recommend looking at the Excel formatted “matrix documents” as I find them easier to understand than the FDSys System Requirements documents. I’m happy to report that the following features are explictly requested in the search matrix:

  • The system shall allow users with an established user account and profile to enter or store queries, preferences, and results sets or portions of results sets.
  • The system shall provide the capability to automatically execute saved searches on a schedule defined by the user.
  • The system shall provide the capability to notify users when automatically executed searches return results.

If implemented as requested and depending on whether depository profiles could be programmed into a search, these capabilities could help depositories and other institutions to better promote awareness of new digital materials. It could be the “electronic shipping list” that New Electronic Titles just isn’t because of its length.

I think this new page will be helpful to vendors and potential users alike. The only disappointment is that the FDSys Blog did not fulfill this promise made back in August (emphasis mine):

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Capability Submissions

Over the next several months, GPO will be requesting capability submission statements for components of FDsys. This information will be conveyed via GPO’s FDsys Web page and this blog. Vendors interested in receiving notifications of submission statement requests are encouraged to subscribe to the FDsys blog’s Atom feed, as the blog and Web page will be updated simultaneously.

A quick glance at the FDSys Blog shows only one posting between 8/31 and 10/8, and that is a September 15, 2006 FDSys Update. The update does mention capability assessment requests, but offered no links to the request page. Also, this language made it sound like FDSys hadn’t posted them yet, despite appearing on the FDSys web site September 3, 2006:

The FDsys team has updated the technology capability statement process, and meetings with key suppliers are being scheduled. Initial focus areas will include Search, Infrastructure, and Content Management Systems.

While I’m not saying that FDSys was hiding anything, more complete information on the blog would be very welcome since they promised to update the blog and the main web page simultaneously. Maybe they could put an RSS feed on the main FDSYS page like they do for FDLP Desktop and then close down the blog, which hasn’t gotten many comments anyway. Then there would just be one source to check for new FDSys news.

Even if the FDSys blog closes, it was still a noble effort on the part of GPO staff. It wasn’t their fault that neither documents librarians nor vendors seem to be much inclined to comment.

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