August 03, 2004

Distributed vs. Federated

Distributed search seems to be one of the new buzz-phrases floating around. As near as I can tell this refers to things such as being able to search each persons holdings (aack - librarian speak!) on a peer-to-peer network. It also refers to being able to search several libraries catalogs at once with a standard like Z39.50

I always heard the type of search we offer on our website referred to as "federated search". It searches many disparate databases at once and offers all of the results to the user.

But are these two really different? Or is it just distributed on the admin side and federated on the user side? All I know is, there's a lot of jargon out there. And I hate the fact that I can't tag these posts with categories. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

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