Deployment Stories: RESULTs

13th August 2008

RESULTs (Resource Exchange & Support for Users of Learning Technologies) is a UK academic project, funded by JISC and developed collaboratively by UMIST and Warwick University. It aims to produce a ``first stop'' web portal for the Learning Technologies community, guiding users towards LT resources and opening up forums for discussion and feedback.

At the core of RESULTs lies a relational database containing metadata records describing various resources, and positioning those resources in a structured hierarchy of categories relevant to the Learning and Teaching community. The contents of this database are viewed and edited primarily by means of the Web interface at

Because RESULTs is part of the JISC Information Environment, one of the five steps that it's required to fulfil is to make its metadata available via Z39.50 as Dublin Core XML records, in accordance with the specifications in Functional Area C (Cross-Domain Search and Retrieval) of the Bath Profile for bibliographic and metadata searching and retrieval. (JISC requires Z39.50 support because, more than any competing protocol, Z39.50 is amenable to the construction of multi-target gateways that allow multiple collections to be searched as though they were one.)

The RESULTSs database is implemented using MySQL, a very popular Open Source relational database package. The task facing the RESULTs developers, then, was to provide Bath-compliant Z39.50 access to their MySQL database.

Enter zSQLgate! The RESULTs project's Technical Lead, Steven Richardson, was easily able to install it and configure it for the RESULTs database and the Bath Profile. He writes:

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 08:43:31 +0000
From: Steven Richardson

Just to say a big thank you for your software and all your help. I didn't know anything about Z39.50 a week ago and now I have a server up and running that links into MySQL database and is searchable through a PHP/YAZ script on my home page. Wonderful! [...] The meeting went well yesterday, I stunned everyone into silence, even with the simple search I got working!

And RESULTs Project Manager Jay Dempster adds:

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 12:32:19 +0000 From: Jay Dempster <>

May I take this opportunity to say thank you very much for your collaboration with RESULTs. We very much appreciated the chance to utilise the excellent tool you have developed for Z39.50. A group of national folks we presented RESULTs to last week, were most impressed.

I am particularly interested in providing zSQLgate, together with any necessary consultancy, support or new development, to other projects in the JISC Information Environment. Please contact me on <> if I can help you in any way.

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