Jenny Levine’s mention of my work with Innovative’s XML Server Wednesday drew a lot of attention, but there’s little online public discussion of Innovative to give some of my comments context.
Innovative started started development on their XML Server product quite a while ago (five years, yes?), before later standards like MARC XML had any traction. They did it to create another very useful product, their AirPAC, a online catalog for mobile phones and handheld devices, and without any clear demand for XML Server from customers. A lot has changed between then and now, but that early decision to build an XML architecture was a bold one at the time.
Jenny has it right when she says “everyone we’ve met at Innovative is great.” I feel lucky to have had some great conversations with the folks working hard to improve products like XML Server and the Web OPAC. They’re truly outstanding people who deserve credit for a lot of great work.
Innovative has a lot of customers to keep happy, and anybody who knows anything about libraries knows how complex a job they have. My comments — and I think Jenny’s too — represent our real excitement for the future of libraries and that healthy tension between customer and vendor that can often lead to great developments.