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.

Literatuurplein, a Literary Treasure Trove

Literatuurplein, a Literary Treasure Trove

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Literatuurplein – a Literary Treasure Trove

Literatuurplein – a Literary treasure trove

Literatuurplein.nl is a unique concept created by Jef van Gool. Most of all it’s an extensive website which stimulates interest in Dutch Literature and promotes an interest in reading. Together with the software company “the Dutch Republic“, they launched a first version of Literatuurplein back in 2004. Unfortunately, the site didn’t meet their expectations, so they turned to BSL for advice. We were asked to investigate how the software was written and to suggest how it could be improved. Our advice was:

  • design a new data model and use a more advanced database
  • introduce a virtual book concept (representing multiple editions)
  • add high-performance, flexible free text search technology
  • adopt a modern Java platform

The client took this advice to heart. As a result they decided to rebuild the product, and they asked BSL to carry out the work. We designed and developed a completely new Literatuurplein over a period of 4-5 months. The new site was an immediate success. Furthermore, due to the good partnership, we’ve continued to work on many follow-up projects. First of all adding many new features, but also modifying the site as the library infrastructure and standards changed.

Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist
Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist

Move with the times

During the development of a new Literatuurplein.nl we switched to an Oracle database and Oracle Text. The use of Oracle Text enabled us to introduce an intelligent search engine, making content in the site easier to maintain and to find. In the years that followed, our developers have continuously improved the technology and infrastructure of the website.

In 2012, the new product owner, Stichting Bibliotheek.nl (or BNL), asked BSL to adapt Literatuurplein to their own house style. At the same time, we added a major new feature – the users were given the opportunity to personalize their home pages. In addition, we introduced a wide range of widgets so that public libraries throughout the Netherlands can use Literatuurplein contents on their own websites. We currently provide more than 20 library services (such as literary news, and a literary agenda) using Literatuurplein web-services. As result, hundreds of libraries make use of Literatuurplein content in the Netherlands.

In 2015 Literatuurplein was taken over by the Royal Library (KB). Their first priority was to integrate the BNL infrastructure within their organization. At the end of 2016, KB asked us to update the site so that it meets current standards. Most noteworthy, the site became fully responsive – easy to use on both mobiles and desktop browsers.

Move with the times

During the development of a new Literatuurplein.nl we switched to an Oracle database and Oracle Text. The use of Oracle Text enabled us to introduce an intelligent search engine, making content in the site easier to maintain and to find. In the years that followed, our developers have continuously improved the technology and infrastructure of the website.

In 2012, the new product owner, Stichting Bibliotheek.nl (or BNL), asked BSL to adapt Literatuurplein to their own house style. At the same time, we added a major new feature – the users were given the opportunity to personalize their home pages. In addition, we introduced a wide range of widgets so that public libraries throughout the Netherlands can use Literatuurplein contents on their own websites. We currently provide more than 20 library services (such as literary news, and a literary agenda) using Literatuurplein web-services. As result, hundreds of libraries make use of Literatuurplein content in the Netherlands.

In 2015 Literatuurplein was taken over by the Royal Library (KB). Their first priority was to integrate the BNL infrastructure within their organization. At the end of 2016, KB asked us to update the site so that it meets current standards. Most noteworthy, the site became fully responsive – easy to use on both mobiles and desktop browsers.

Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist

“BSL believes it is important to keep up with current trends and developments. With more than four million visitors a year, Literatuurplein is an intensively used website. Therefore it’s important that the site is accessible by all users. Since the use of  site on mobile devices is increasing, creating a fully responsive website was our number one priority.”

Roderick

Front-end Developer , Bright Side of Life

A great success

Literatuurplein has been a well-known and established name in the world of Dutch literature for years. The website attracts no fewer than 4,000,000 visitors annually. Literatuurplein now contains information describing more than 700,000 books, and more than 320,000 authors. There are more than 3,500 news items to be found.

New articles are added each day, and new titles are imported and updated using sources such as NBD Biblion and Centraal Boekhuis automatically. In addition, a team of editors adds new content such as reviews, columns, podcasts and videos. Because of the extensive literary agenda, Literatuurplein visitors are always aware of literary events and radio and TV programs with literature as their theme.

 

“With regard to technical development and infrastructure management, The Bright Side of Life in Breukelen has been a particularly constructive and creative partner for all these years.”

Jef van Gool

Product Owner

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

Expert in search technologies

BSL has a broad experience in developing complex online database solutions. This expertise came in handy during the management of the contents of Literatuurplein. Literary databases are often very complex…

  • authors’ names are often written in different ways – and sometimes misspelt by users when searching
  • authors may use pseudonyms –  and publishers use varied notations
  • books exist in multiple editions – with some attributes shared (eg: titles), but some separate (ISBN / EAN)
  • users often search for partial titles – requiring special matching rules
Trends & developments

It is important that websites go along with current trends and developments. Even the most beautiful and technical websites are not up-to-date after a few years. That is why it is important to update the technical aspects of the website after a number of years. This is the perfect time to take a critical look at the design and content of the website. Are there functions that are missing or functions that are used too little?

Long-term support

When a software product has gone into production, users often need support and maintenance for the longer term. That is why we offer our customers a range of flexible support services. In the case of Literatuurplein this means 7 days a week support to the KB and its Literatuurplein users.

You’re welcome to get in touch with me if you have a project in mind, or want to discuss how best to approach your next development project.

Caroline

Relations Manager, Bright Side of Life

BoekWijzer App – literature at your fingertips

BoekWijzer App – literature at your fingertips

BoekWijzer app

Literature at your fingertips

BoekWijzer app – our guide to Dutch literature

Books, books and more books. Our BoekWijzer app is the Dutch literary app. Boekwijzer delivers up-to-date information about every title available in the Netherlands to your mobile or tablet. We give you access to the entire catalogue of Dutch literature. And it’s pocket-size! So with BoekWijzer you have a wealth of literary information at your fingertips. What’s more, you can order books via the app as well. Our Boekwijzer app also brings you the latest news and articles from the Dutch newspaper ‘De Volkskrant‘ and the literary website ‘Literary Nederland‘. And we publish interesting literary articles in the Boekwijzer blogs almost every week!

A mobile bookshop

Our Boekwijzer app gives you access to a database of more than 630,000 books! But with so much content, users can sometimes find it tricky to find what interests them. For this reason, we make a pre-selection of interesting titles to make the app as user-friendly as possible. Using information from Bol.com we provide an overview of their ‘Best sellers’, ‘Best rated’ books and ‘Recent releases’. If you then click on an item in the list, you will see more information about that  title. And if you want to order a book directly via the app, that’s easy to do with a single click.

Literature at your fingertips with the BoekWijzer App
Literature at your fingertips with the BoekWijzer App

Search and find

You can use the search function to search through the entire assortment of available titles. And it doesn’t matter if you are unsure how to write an author’s name (for example, Mullisch or Mulish?). That is to say we have designed BoekWijzer to handle common spelling mistakes.

Furthermore, you can use a wildcard “*” (star) when searching:

– pari* will find “paris” as well as “parijs”
– colo*r will find “color” as well as “colour”

Search and find

You can use the search function to search through the entire assortment of available titles. And it doesn’t matter if you are unsure how to write an author’s name (for example, Mullisch or Mulish?). That is to say we have designed BoekWijzer to handle common spelling mistakes.

Furthermore, you can use a wildcard “*” (star) when searching:

– pari* will find “paris” as well as “parijs”
– colo*r will find “color” as well as “colour”

Literature at your fingertips with the BoekWijzer App

Privacy  

BSL respects your privacy – the only information we gather is that needed for using the app. This means that we share no personal information, the app has no In-App-Purchases, and it’s advert-free.

BSL first developed the Boekwijzer app in 2014. The latest version was released in March 2017.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

The BoekWijzer App is a great example of what we do best. Building apps for iOS and Android that access online databases, placing information in the palm of your hand. We develop native apps using Swift and Java, but also cross-platform hybrid apps based on Phonegap/Cordova. If you want your data made accessible via mobile apps, get in touch.

Martyn Simpson

Director, 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.
(more…)

NBb Web Services Brochure

NBb Web Services Brochure

NBb Web Services Brochure

NBb Web Services

As a result of our expertise and the success of the Boekbalie (Book Repository) development, NBb asked BSL to develop a series of web services for exclusive use by its own members, giving them direct access to information available in the database underlying the Literatuurplein and Book Repository sites…
(more…)

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