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For the Advanced User

Although ProQuest Direct SiteBuilder includes the Link Editor and Page Update Service to make editing ProQuest Direct links simple, you may sometimes want to construct an automated system which generates links dynamically. Dynamic link generation is a powerful method for building customized interfaces to ProQuest Direct functionality and content.

For example, librarians may want to take advantage of the Search for Publication link to enhance their OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogs). The second section below briefly outlines the necessary steps.

Dynamic Link Generation

By generating links dynamically, your systems may control link parameters and adjust their values based on user input. Applications of this method include: customized search interfaces, current-awareness services (timed searches), and ProQuest Direct-enhanced OPACs. The latter example, integrating ProQuest Direct with your OPAC system, is described below in detail.

The method you use to implement your system will depend on your specific application. The following steps describe the general method to follow when generating links dynamically.

  1. Use the Master Link Generator to obtain master links for your system. Master links do not contain settings for most of their parameters, so your system will be able to fill these parameters in with values as needed.

  2. Store the master links in your system, using a configuration file or similar means.

  3. Read the section in this guide titled Anatomy of a ProQuest Direct Link. This section will describe the syntax for adding parameters to your master links.

  4. Read the sections in this guide that describe the parameters for the Search by Word, Search for Publication, Article Retrieve, and Article Availability links. Any of the parameters described in these sections may be added to the appropriate master links to generate complete SiteBuilder links.

  5. Write the code for your system that adds parameters to your master links. Once links are complete, they may be embedded in dynamic HTML pages or submitted to the UMI servers directly via an HTTP client.

Enhancing Your OPAC System

All publications available from ProQuest Direct have an associated, unique publication ID. By storing publication IDs in your OPAC database, you can provide Search for Publication links to users browsing your catalogue. When the user clicks a link in a title's record, a list of issues available for the publication through ProQuest Direct will display. Here are the basic steps for making it work; the specifics will vary depending on the nature of your OPAC and the way that you work.

  1. Create a new field in your OPAC database, naming it something like Publication ID.

  2. Go to the ProQuest Direct Title Lists page on the UMI website.

  3. Select the database products included in your account subscription.

  4. Select at least the Title and ProQuest Direct publication ID as included columns.

  5. Generate the title list; the list of titles with their corresponding publication IDs.

  6. Populate the new Publication ID field in your OPAC database with the publication IDs from the title list you generated in the previous step.

  7. Use the Master Link Generator to generate a master Search for Publication link. (Don't forget to include appropriate Access Control settings!) Store the link in your OPAC using a configuration file or similar means.

  8. Configure your OPAC's record display function to display a link to the publication if the Publication ID field has a value. The link is generated by appending the value in the Publication ID field to the master Search for Publication link. The value is appended in the format: &Pub=xxxxx.