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SRW/U and CQL Version 1.0

Forwarded message on behalf the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency.

The ZING Initiative (Z39.50 International Next Generation), under the auspices of the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency at the Library of Congress, is pleased to announce Version 1.0 of SRW and CQL.

SRW ("Search/Retrieve for the Web") is a web-service-based protocol which aims to integrate access across networked resources, and to promote interoperability between distributed databases by providing a common platform. The underpinnings of the protocol are formed by bringing together more than 20 years experience from the collective implementers of the Z39.50 protocol with recent developments in the web-technologies arena. SRW features both SOAP and URL-based access mechanisms (SRW and SRU respectively) to provide for a wide range of possible clients. It uses CQL, the Common Query Language, which provides a powerful yet intuitive means of formulating searches. The protocol mandates the use of open and industry-supported standards XML and XML Schema, and where appropriate, XPath and SOAP.

The SRW Initiative recognizes the importance of Z39.50 (as currently defined and deployed) for business communication, and focuses on getting information to the user. SRW provides semantics for searching databases containing metadata and objects, both text and non-text. Building on Z39.50 semantics enables the creation of gateways to existing Z39.50 systems while reducing the barriers to new information providers, allowing them to make their resources available via a standard search and retrieve service.

SRW, SRU, and CQL have been developed by an international team, minimizing cross-language pitfalls and other potential internationalization problems. Participants include:

 Theo van Veen, Koninklijke Bibliotheek
 Mike Taylor, independent consultant
 Pat Stevens, OCLC
 Rob Sanderson, Liverpool University
 Ralph LeVan, OCLC
 Allan Kent, RMIT University
 Ian Ibbotson, Knowledge Integration
 Poul Henrik Jorgensen, Portia
 Sebastian Hammer, IndexData
 Janifer Gatenby, PICA
 Matthew J. Dovey, Oxford University
 Larry Dixson, Library of Congress
 Adam Dickmeiss, Index Data
 Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress

The ZING, SRW, and CQL home pages are at:

The Z39.50 Maintenance Agency home page is at:

The SRW and CQL version 1.0 specifications will remain stable for a six- to nine-month implementation-experience period. During this period developers are encouraged to implement the specification (see the implementors page at, join the list of implementors, participate in interoperability testing, and help develop the next version, 1.1. Please direct questions, comments, and suggestions to

Please feel free to forward this announcement to other lists as appropriate.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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