Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 8 • September 2000
DRA, epixtech Announce Joint Development and Marketing Intent

Data Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) and epixtech, Inc. have announced that they have signed a letter of understanding for the development and joint marketing of an interface between DRA’s proprietary library automation software and epixtech’s Universal Resource Sharing Application (URSA).

DRA and epixtech are working together to provide epixtech’s URSA, an interlibrary loan (ILL) product, to schools and libraries serviced by DRA’s automation systems. In the future, it’s expected that epixtech will provide URSA to dozens of schools and libraries, many of which use DRA’s automation system. epixtech and DRA will together send a letter to DRA’s customers who will be purchasing URSA, promising to work together to provide maximum interoperability between epixtech’s ILL system and the schools and public libraries that have DRA’s automation system installed. Both companies intend to continue to pursue traditional library automation business.

This would include DRA providing an interface between the systems in order to avoid the time-consuming mapping that epixtech’s URSA would require where no standard interface exists. epixtech and DRA will then work to create a method to use DRA’s search engine with epixtech’s ILL software. The development of an interface between URSA and DRA’s proprietary automation systems will provide the capability for all library customers of the two companies to exchange materials.

Although many details of the joint project are yet to be finalized, the two companies have agreed to develop an interface that complies with national standards for circulation of library materials and that will be integrated with DRA’s Web2 products. The outstanding support capabilities of each organization will be available to provide the most efficient solution to customer problems, according to the announcement.

Lana Porter, epixtech’s president and CEO, said: “To my knowledge, this is a very exciting first to occur between competing library automation companies for the benefit of their customers. epixtech and DRA have already begun the necessary programming, working together on a standard protocol that will eventually result in our ILL system, URSA, taking less time to handle transactions. This cooperation could bring about many possibilities in the future that will benefit our customers and the customers of other library automation providers.”

“DRA does not have a stand-alone ILL product, and therefore this cooperative venture allows our customers to participate in materials sharing based for stand-alone ILL systems,” said Mike Mellinger, DRA’s president and CEO. “We consider this joint project a major step toward widening the universe of materials available to our customers. This kind of vendor cooperation is necessary for disparate systems to communicate and interact with each other.”

Sources: Data Research Associates, Inc., St. Louis, 800/325-0888, 314/432-1100; and epixtech, Inc., Provo, UT, 800/288-8020, 801/223-5200;

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