Two communication protocols for distributed libraries : Z39.50 and HTTP

This paper aims at putting in perspective two communication protocols, Z39.50 and HTTP (the protocol used by the WWW), likely to play an important role in the design of large internetworked library systems. We first give short overwiews of these protocols and we then try to highlight the key points in what they differ from each another. For the sake of illustration we introduce a few real examples of how they can be used to design distributed libraries and information systems. In conclusion we propose exploring the possibility of a convergence of Z39.50 and HTTP.