|P is for Practical|
Best way to aggregate many silos of data into a search formby MyMonkName (Acolyte)
|on Nov 30, 2011 at 19:38 UTC||Need Help??|
MyMonkName has asked for the
wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:
I have something of a chicken and egg problem and a vision of what could possibly transcend it. I'm looking for opinions on how to do it.
At my job, we have many different databases that are curated by experts in their respective fields. Til date, these databases are served up in distinct web forms with lots of knobs and doodads. The users of these databases are used mainly by librarian types who sift and sort to get the information they want via the aforementioned doodads. These are all served from an array of mutually unintelligible technologies, of course.
The problems I see are that (1) Ostensibly only experts are using these resources, not the public at large, (2) the databases don't talk to each other, necessitating a bunch of repetitive searching through different web forms to find the right information. I think there should be a unified, googlish search page that returns all the information we have on a given term in one shot.
At the same time, I'm not interested in frog-marching anybody into the One True Solution, mainly because I'm not a masochist, but also because the experts who maintain the silos actually do know what they are talking about content-wise, and maybe they have good reasons for doing what they are doing. If it turns out that they are wrong though, then I'll have the data to show them why (e.g., more people are using the information and the world did not end.)
So my notion is to build a lightweight front-end to all these databases. A couple of criteria I've thought about already are:
- No live communication, replication (in the broad sense of the term) instead. The data doesn't grow that fast, and I don't want my app to be tending to a herd of unruly xmlhttprequests if I can help it.
- As simple as possible. I'm not very interested in administering a heavy duty PostGreSQL system or something like that.
Whatever the shape of the backend system's data, the front end would likely consist of not much more than a snippet of text and a link to the record on the backend webserver/db.
What kind of solutions spring to mind? What should I watch out for? Obviously, I'd be using Perl to get it done. Something trendy, like a NoSQL database? XML or JSON? SQLite?