Direct database access to OCLC Connexion’s local save file

Code4Lib Journal, 38


A feature of OCLC’s Connexion cataloging client unknown to most librarians is the ability to directly work with the Microsoft Access database underlying the local save file. This article provides an overview of the metadata made available through this method, including fields that cannot be accessed through the regular Connexion interface, and discusses factors to be considered when deciding whether to migrate the data to another database system instead of continuing to work with Access. Descriptions of three projects illustrate how this functionality has been applied to efficiently catalog a gift collection, find OCLC numbers for e-books, and create bibliographic records for Early English Books Online/Text Creation Partnership titles using data from multiple sources. With the option to rely only on common, off-the-shelf software, this method of directly accessing the local save file database offers a way to expand Connexion’s functionality for those unable or unwilling to work with OCLC APIs. Other benefits include the ability to import external data and to use SQL for more advanced querying. A number of limitations are also discussed, and their implications for metadata access and use are explored.