The Latest on CONTENTdm: New Capabilities, New Possibilities

Excerpts from OCLC’s presentation. Their full presentation will be posted online after the conference.


CONTENTdm 5 will use Webalyzer for reports.


CONTENTdm will be added to the FirstSearch Base Package and will include

Full-function CONTENTdm hosted by OCLC

3 Project Clients for collection building (items also may be added with the simple web add form or Connexion digital import)

3,000 item limit and 10 GB storage

Available May 1, 2009


Digital Collection Gateway

Improve access and presence for digital collections

Synchronize non-MARC metadata with WorldCat




1. Unicode

Full support of Unicode for importing, storing, displaying and searching Unicode languages

OCR support expanded – 184 languages

Supports the creation of ditial collections in any language


2. Find Search Engine (used for WorldCat)

Find search engine integrated into CONTENTdm software

More robust capability and the ability to offer additional search features


Faceted searching

Spelling suggestions

Unicode searching

Search in any language


3. Controlled Vocabularies

Adds efficiency to colleciton building by providing pre-loaded thesaurifor cataloging

Integration with OCLC Terminologies Service

Providing nine new thesauri for CONTENTdm users


4. Reports

More robust, scalable reporting module integrated into software

Provides expanded reports

Views by collection and item


5. Flexible workflows

Added more options for approving and indexing items

New batch and subset handling of pending items

One-click approve and index on demand

Scheduling options for approve and index

Background processing


6. Registration

New registration process added during installation

One-click sends server information to OCLC

Registered servers called once a month to gather data on usage


7. Project Client

New client application replaces old version

New programming language

New, more intuitive interface

Unicode support

More robust

Project Settings Manager – Metadata Templates

Different templates for different file types

Images, JPEG, JPEG2000, TIF

PDF, compound objects, URL, audio, video

Options for generating data from different file types

Images – Colorspace, Bits per sample

PDF – Extracts content from embedded fields (application, author, date modified, date created, etc.)


8. File Transfer

Replaced FTP with custom HTTP transfer protocol

Uploading items occurs in the background

Continue working while items are uploaded

Pause process and resume later


9. EAD

New import process and display options

Custom metadata mapping

Full text searching

Search term highlighting within EAD

Multiple display veiws

XML web service

Users control metadata mapping and display


10. Capacity

Increased capacity throughout application

Supports more collections, items for batch processing, and metadata fields.

Expand metadata schemas to incorporate preservation metadata or more custom fields

Faster batch processing and conversion from existing databases

The New ILLiad 8.0 Interface

Genie Powell – Atlas wants to show what is happening with ILLiad 8.0 while it is under development rather than completely finishing the product and then unveiling it to a lot of surprise and disappointment.

The current Atlas plan is to have no additional updates between 7.4 and 8. This upgrade is primarily dealing with the ILLiad staff client.

The ILLiad client doesn’t really look like everything on staff computers because it’s running on code that was written twelve years ago. ILLiad 8 will be a complete code rewrite. Atlas is planning the design so that users can run the 7.4 and 8.0 clients side-by-side.

The new code rewrite will give new plug-ins for scanning and database connectivity. The rewrite will also help streamline the amount of time that you have to spend talking to the database. Many of the changes are under-the-hood and not immediately apparent. However, there will be a new look to the client. There will be no database changes in the 8.0 release.

Under ILLiad 8.0 the status list is in alphabetical order at first use. Users can rearrange the list and put it in the order that is meaningful to them. Users can also create their own categories and move certain statuses under that category. This can be done for the entire department or for a single user.

Under the new user interface, the barometer can be removed if a particular user doesn’t want to see that report. There will also be an option for fast user switching: staff can switch between multiple users without having to completely close the client and re-login.

ILLiad 8 is using the ribbon concept adapted from Office 2007. Anything users want to do on a form is available from a ribbon. Search forms will search multiple data fields from a single search box. Search results open in tabs so that users can see multiple search results within a single client.

Staff users can move, rearrange, and rename the layout of elements on the screen. There is also an option to restore the layout to the default settings.

In ILLiad 8 the print option uses the selected Word file, an Excel spreadsheet instead of a DBF file, and it will print directly to the default printer without ever actually opening Word. With the change the chances of you losing the data source in the Word file are practically nil.

Under ILLiad 8 the plan is to put e-mail templates in the database rather than have them exist as separate text files.

Atlas plans to release the ILLiad 8.0 preview in spring 2009.

With the move from 7.3 to 7.4 there will be some small database changes. The new client will run under Windows XP or Vista. Current problems in web reports will be resolved with the 7.4 upgrade.

Give the man a break!

Much has been made of President Barack Obama’s attachment to his BlackBerry. At the end of a long period of struggle and compromise, he is able to keep a portable device that will let him stay connected with friends and colleagues as well as news of interest (rumor has it -White Sox scores). This means that Obama has become the first president to use e-mail while in office. There are many restrictions imposed on the President and his use of the device, but at least he is able to maintain some measure of connectivity.


MSNBC recently carried a story that said, “Barack Obama is the first wired president, ready to exchange e-mail with close friends and advisers. When do the rest of us get to read them?”


Give the man a break already! He has been in office for just a few days and people are already trying to poke around in his presidential records? Beyond the natural nosiness of people, what reason is there for starting this discussion so early in his presidency? Read the Presidential Records Act and move on.


Reference: Yost, Pete. “Wired President: Obama creates an e-mail trail.” MSNBC. January 23, 2009. Available at