ABCD: Sustaining and Extending the Capabilities of ISIS Software by

Ernesto Luis Spinak Fontan, de Smet Egbert


The paper presents the aims, objectives and capabilities of ABCD, the last in the ISIS-Software family meant for automation of libraries and documentation centres. ABCD software repackages different modules of BIREME documentation technology, as a suite. It is a DBMS with capabilities to manage all database functions in an information handling scenario similar to what (Win)ISIS did on earlier computing systems. It provides for definition of database structures, indexing, searching and formatting output and covers library housekeeping operations like acquisition and circulation. So there is no need for existing ISIS-users to migrate to non-ISIS solutions. Being 'free' and open source, ABCD is expected to become the most used package in the knowledge management scenario. The paper also discuss major functional upgrades in ABCD 2.0 facilitating use of numerous features of the underlying CISIS-technology, the power of ABCD as a digital library solution to retrieve specific piece of information instead of a document, and its UNICODE (UTF-8) compliance that will enable use in non-Latin alphabet environments such as Arab, Sanskrit, Amharic, Persian etc. The severe challenges that projects like ABCD which work for the target group of small organisations in very-low-resources environments may face; both in finances and skills are also outlined.


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