Portfolio Skills

Delve into our background: Browse through a selection of our projects based on our skills and see some of the innovative software, applications and web services we have created for and with our clients. We develop for many platforms and work with Windows, UNIX, Linux and OS X servers.

NBD Biblion – Rotunda Digital Showcase

NBD Biblion – Rotunda Digital Showcase

NBD Biblion

Rotunda Digital Showcase

NBD Biblion – Rotunda Digital Showcase

In 2009  H2 Interactive asked BSL to help design and develop a ‘Digital Showcase’. The original concept was created by H2 Interactive. The reason? They were looking for an innovative and attractive way to present and promote books, CDs and other multimedia titles to the public.

So our software developers converted their concept into a product: the Rotunda Digital Showcase. As a result, libraries and bookstores throughout the Netherlands use Rotunda. They can create their own digital shop window – a virtual bookcase with books, DVDs, CDs and even games. Displayed on a large touchscreen, visitors can browse through virtual bookcases divided into different categories and themes. They can then find more information about each title by touching the digital cover. In addition, they can order or reserve these titles directly. Hence this unique form of presentation stimulates book sales and lending in libraries. Rotunda is sold, distributed and supported by NBD Biblion.

Rotunda digital showcase

“Rotunda is very easy to manage. You can quickly set up and add your own bookshelves. And embedding movies is easy as well. A really nice addition.”

Product Manager, NBD Biblion

NBD Biblion promotional video…

Create your own bookcase promotions

The Rotunda digital showcase runs on Windows computers connected to touchscreens. The software consists of custom web services, an Oracle database and a Content Management System (CMS). This CMS is linked to an extensive NBD Biblion media database, with a description of all the available (media) titles. So Rotunda editors can quickly and easily create their own ‘bookcases’ by selecting from the NBD database. In addition, they can add YouTube videos and other online media. The editors can send this selection via the internet to other Rotunda screens. As a result, the public can view the selections on Rotunda screens located anywhere in Holland. So an ideal way centralise the production and promotion of new / themed titles. What’s more, editors can update the selection at any time. An easy way to present up-to-date content linked to current events and campaigns. 

Create your own bookcase promotions

The Rotunda digital showcase runs on Windows computers connected to touchscreens. The software consists of custom web services, an Oracle database and a Content Management System (CMS). This CMS is linked to an extensive NBD Biblion media database, with a description of all the available (media) titles. So Rotunda editors can quickly and easily create their own ‘bookcases’ by selecting from the NBD database. In addition, they can add YouTube videos and other online media. The editors can send this selection via the internet to other Rotunda screens. As a result, the public can view the selections on Rotunda screens located anywhere in Holland. So an ideal way centralise the production and promotion of new / themed titles. What’s more, editors can update the selection at any time. An easy way to present up-to-date content linked to current events and campaigns. 

At BSL, you’re at the right address for…

Software updates

Technology and internet standards have evolved since NBD Bblion released the first Rotunda digital showcase. Public libraries naturally need to follow these changes. So software applications linked to their websites must also be updated. NBD Biblion therefore asked BSL to work on a number of updates. Their aim? To fully integrate Rotunda with the websites and catalogs used by libraries. As a result, we  recently launched a completely new version. Our engineers first updated the software so that it can be used on new versions of Windows. Secondly we improved the performance, designing the software for a new generation of processors. And finally we made the communications with library services more secure.

Development of touchscreen applications

BSL has lots of experience developing touchscreen applications. This is because (multi-touch) touchscreens can be used to present products to the public in an innovative and attractive way. Most noteworthy, editors can quickly and easily update virtual bookshelves. Consequently they can be shared and reused on multiple screens. Also at multiple locations. As a result, sharing bookshelves with other users mean that a top 10 only needs to be maintained once. So other editors can simply subscribe to the shared bookshelf or bookshelves and immediately show them on their own Rotunda.

Central web management

Managing content using a central CMS has major advantages. The data is centrally available to all authorized users. They can also manage this date from any workstation with an internet connection. So Rotunda editors centrally manage the content used by Rotunda digital showcase screens. Hence the Rotunda software connects to the central database to retrieve and display the data. When editors modify the data in the CMS, Rotundas throughout the country automatically update their contents to display the latest data. 

This is a unique solution, combining new touch-screen technology with content that was already available within NBD. Combining existing resources with new technology is one of the quickest ways to develop new products, and adding value. If you’ve got ideas for making your content available, within mobile apps or online, please get in touch! We’ll show you how.

 

Martyn Simpson

Director, Bright Side of Life

NBD Biblion – MIPS Media Production System

NBD Biblion – MIPS Media Production System

NBD Biblion

Media Information and Production System (MIPS)

NBD Biblion – Media Information and Production System

NBD Biblion offers products, services and expertise in the field of media and content. They are the largest supplier of information and purchase advice for Public Libraries and (school) media centers in the Netherlands. They also supply many of the books available in libraries. For this reason, hundreds of new titles of books and other media arrive at NBD Biblion every week. Each title is then classified and reviewed by NBD editors and reviewers. As a result they can provide up-to-date information about every newly published title.

We created the Media Information and Production System (MIPS) specifically for this purpose. A custom title registration and production system  for managing many NBD production processes. NBD Biblion now uses MIPS to describe and catalog hundreds of new titles every month. In particular the software regulates and monitors the planning and workflow. It  can therefore monitor the progress of each title through the system. In addition, the software manages payouts to reviewers, exporting the details for processing by Equens.

NBD Biblion - Media Information and Production System (MIPS)
NBD Biblion - Media Information and Production System (MIPS)

Oracle Text search technology

We firstly produced a complete functional and technical design. This was based on use of a central Oracle database and advanced search technology. Our engineers then went on to develop the Media Information and Production System. MIPS consists of a number of customized Windows applications, web applications and web services. We initially made use of Autonomy for indexing and classifying the database contents. However, we later introduced Oracle Text search technology. This is a standard part of Oracle, and is ideal for indexing unstructured text/XML information. We could therefore combine both structured (SQL) and unstructured searches, making data more easily accessible.

Oracle Text search technology

We firstly produced a complete functional and technical design. This was based on use of a central Oracle database and advanced search technology. Our engineers then went on to develop the Media Information and Production System. MIPS consists of a number of customized Windows applications, web applications and web services. We initially made use of Autonomy for indexing and classifying the database contents. However, we later introduced Oracle Text search technology. This is a standard part of Oracle, and is ideal for indexing unstructured text/XML information. We could therefore combine both structured (SQL) and unstructured searches, making data more easily accessible.

NBD Biblion - Media Information and Production System (MIPS)

MIPS Connectivity

  • PICA (OCLC) – part of the title data is maintained using the Common Automated Cataloging System (GGC). In MIPS this data is imported and integrated with content that is maintained within MIPS. When exchanging data with other systems, title data is merged and exported as if from a single source.
  • MoM (More over Media) – MoM is closely connected to MIPS. It serves as a publication platform for the delivery of reviews, text abstracts and author profiles.
  • Website reviewers – MIPS includes a web application for use by third parties who enter and update reviews.
  • FRS asset management system – a link has been developed with the BSL asset management system FRS. FRS manages multimedia documents, such as book covers, tables of content, flap texts. The integration means covers  can be retrieved and displayed using the title, author, ISBN and other search attributes. 

At BSL, you’re at the right address for…

Expert in search technologies

BSL has expertise in using a range of search technologies. These include Autonomy, ExaleadOracle Text, Elastic Search and Sybase FTS.  These technologies can index documents, spreadsheets, webpages and multimedia so that the entire content can be searched. The search engines use language intelligence to recognize words, sentences and synonyms. As a result, our software can find contents almost instantly. Even within archives containing millions of documents. We can also use automatic classification and semantic technologies to select the most relevant information. And to extract meaning from the content.

Continuous improvement

We have made many improvements since we first delivered the Media Information and Production system. In particular, we have also added many new features. These changes usually arise from feedback from the NBD Media production team. Not only from the content managers, but  frequently from content editors/reviewers too. NBD Biblion consequently uses MIPS within more and more production processes. As a result, the content is re-purposed. Furthermore, we have also integrated the system with external processes and systems.Third parties have access to MIPS information using web-service API’s designed and developed by BSL.

Simplification of complex processes

The Media Information and Production system transforms the complex workflow procedures and media management activities carried out by NBD Biblion into a series of easy-to-use software modules. Using this unique system, another key point  is that NBD Biblion can now manage the entire production workflow in-house.

It was a wonderful and challenging project. We created the functional / technical design, the Oracle data model and user interfaces. We’ve integrated MIPS with many systems, including links to national web platforms using XML and web-services. It’s  included many facets of modern ICT projects, and used successfully by our customer for many years. We’ve continuously enhanced MIPS to meet their changing needs, and changing standards. It’s a system about which all of us are very proud.

Eric

Software Architect, Bright Side of Life

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein

The Netherlands Public Library Association promotes the interests of its members, including management of its flagship Literatuurplein web site (Literatuurplen.nl). At the start of the project BSL completely rewrote the software and improved the underlying database using high-performance search technology. We added new features to make the site even more user-friendly. Our journey didn’t end there – we have since added many different content types, creating a unique title database, and a custom CMS designed specifically for the Public Libraries editorial team. The site now provides web services and title information to many libraries throughout the Netherlands.
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NBD Biblion MIPS Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MIPS Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MIPS Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MIPS

NBD Biblion aims to provide its customers with up-to-date and accurate information about every new publication as quickly as possible after it appears. To this end, BSL developed the Media Information Production System (MIPS), providing NBD Biblion with a comprehensive custom-made title registration- and production system.

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NBD Biblion MoM Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MoM Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MoM Brochure – Dutch Language

NBD Biblion MoM

NBD Biblion’s MoM (More over Media) system is a publication platform for title data and additional information, based on BSL’s FRS asset management system for managing and publishing large numbers of multimedia documents. Numerous library systems make use of MoM and FRS, with public libraries being the largest user.
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