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HotMeta is a suite of components for building web-based metadata portals for online and offline information holdings. It consists of:
  • the Broker: a web-enabled OAI-PMH 2.0 compliant metadata repository and query engine,
  • the Gatherer: a web crawler / document indexer for extracting metadata from HTML documents,
  • the OAI Harvester: client software for harvesting metadata from OAI-PMH 2.0 repositories, and
  • utilities for database, metadata record and user account management, statistical reporting and metadata record validation.

Key features of the Broker include:
  • a tailorable web-based end-user interface for metadata querying and browsing,
  • simple and complex metadata query support with phrases, term exclusion, word stemming, stop words and one or two levels of AND/OR/NOT operators,
  • highly tailorable result-set and metadata record formatting, including multiple formats and record ranking schemes,
  • support for tailoring and/or internationalization of end-user error messages,
  • support for the MetaCart "shopping trolley", printing and cut-and-paste friendly display modes,
  • query refinement using an add-in GuideBeam hyper-indexer,
  • user session management with rights-based access control and record audit trails,
  • can be configured to use of SSL and/or an external LDAP directory service,
  • can be configured to run as an OAI-PMH 2.0 compliant OAI Repository,
  • support for Dublin Core, AGLS (AS5044) and ANZLIC metadata schemas, or site specific metadata schemas,
  • support for self-hosted "static" web pages, or use of an external web server,
  • support for metadata quality control using access control aware workflows and metadata validation,
  • support for custom metadata workflows and custom access control schemes via Java plugins, and
  • support for hot-linking to MetaEdit for metadata input, editing and vetting.

Key features of the Gatherer include:
  • web crawling, directed web harvesting and local file harvesting,
  • compliance with robot exlusion conventions using "Robots.txt" files and HTML tags,
  • extensive control and tuning parameters for web crawling,
  • permissive parsing of HTML documents,
  • tailorable raw metadata filtering and validation of gathered records,
  • use with MetaEdit for vetting and editing of gathered records before publishing, and
  • special handling of gathered records in the Broker for efficient vetting of re-gathered records.

Key features of the OAI Harvester include:
  • works with any compliant OAI 2.0 repository,
  • a GUI-based tool for managing the harvest schedule,
  • support for periodic and once-off harvesting,
  • support for incremental harvesting and deletes,
  • can save harvested records to files, or upload them directly to the Broker,
  • can perform non-lossy harvesting from other HotMeta Brokers using the "dstc-reg" format, and
  • integrates with HotMeta's quality and access control mechanisms.

The HotMeta utilities include the following:
  • utilities for starting and stopping the Broker, and checking that it is responding to requests,
  • utilities for import and export of records from the Broker in a variety of formats,
  • utilities for managing the Broker's database tables, including 'dump' and 'restore' functions for backup and metadata migration,
  • utilities for managing HotMeta user accounts and related security tables,
  • migration utilities for regenerating files (e.g. web pages) from templates,
  • a utility for generating statistics on metadata record accessions,
  • a PERL utility for generating statistics on Broker usage, including
  • most active clients and most popular queries, and
  • a utility for validating records in the repository and/or checking that URL-valued elements (i.e. links) can be resolved.

The HotMeta Broker, Gatherer, Harvester and utilities are implemented in Java™ for portability.

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