Web access in RIMMF

Note: This original version of this page described how to enter proxyserver settings; that info has been moved to the How-to section

RIMMF uses the internet to access the following resources:

Resources that provide information (like help files) are accessed using Internet Explorer (via the SHDOCVW.DLL installed on every Windows system). However, RIMMF includes an option for the user to display help files using their default browser.

Resources that provide cataloging data (typically, cataloging records in XML, MARCXML, JSON, and RDF) are accessed directly using Winsock.

We don't think any of these sites, or RIMMF's access of them, pose a threat to your computing environment (let us know if there is evidence to the contrary).

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Internet access problems

Its not possible for us to troubleshoot internet problems, unfortunately. But we can offer the following hints.

Does it work at home?

We are, for the most part, librarians whose work requires us to access metadata on the internet. Yet we cannot tell you how many times users have had problems using Search & Retrieve at work, only to find that the same steps work perfectly at home.

Is the site up?

If you cannot connect to a site in RIMMF, use your browser to see if you can run the same search outside of RIMMF. For example, LC occasionally performs maintenance on their sites after midnight US time, but this may coincide with afternoon work hours in other parts of the world.

The main LC servers use port 210 (z3950).

Even though LC provides access to their Z3950 servers through a gateway, port 210 must still be specified. If you can get through to VIAF or ID (both of which run over the default HTTP port, i.e., 80), but not BIB or NAF, then port 210 may be blocked at your location.

Is your DNS working properly?

RIMMF uses DNS to access its resources. For example, the DNS path to the page you are now reading is

http://www.marcofquality.com/

whereas without DNS that path would be

http://216.92.142.166/

If a search source doesn't seem to work, and you suspect a DNS problem, switch to using IP Address: In the Search & Retrieve tool (F3), right-click anywhere on the 'Search sources' (left panel) and select 'Use IP Address for searches'.

Is your web access via a proxy server

If your web access is routed through a proxy server, RIMMF should automatically use that connection (RIMMF tries to use the default internet settings of your computer).

If you need to manually set a proxy server, follow the steps here (and please let us know if this works, as we seem to think most proxying is auto-configured these days)

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Testing for problems

A simple internet connectivity test (from RIMMF's point of view) is available on the “Tools|Download Web folder” form; once there, click 'Test HTTP'.

This option runs the following tests (as of Update 150921):

1. Download RIMMF text using DNS address

If this test fails, the test is repeated using an IP address. If the test then succeeds, the assumption will be that your DNS service is impaired. This problem will need to be fixed in order for any of the other tests to succeed.

2. Download an XML text file

If this test fails, and the first test succeeds, then one assumption might be that you are being blocked from accessing XML content (the typical MIME type returned by cataloging sources is application/xml)

3. Download and unzip .ZIP content

If this test fails, and the first test succeeds, then one assumption might be that you are being blocked from accessing ZIP files. ZIP files are used when creating a RIMMF Ball.

4. Access SRU/Z39.50 Gateway EXPLAIN page

If this test fails, and the first test succeeds, then one assumption might be that you are being blocked from accessing port 210 (the Z3950 server port).

5. Search known name on VIAF

This test simply fetches a VIAF record (in JSON format) for a known name. We cannot think of a reason why this test might fail, except for a loss of internet connectivity.

6. Retrieve Marcxml record via permalink

This test simply fetches a MARCXML record using a permalink (ie.http://www.lccn.gov/) for a known resource. We cannot think of a reason why this test might fail, except for a loss of internet connectivity.

7. Access HTML content from rballs.info

If this test fails, and the first test succeeds, then one assumption might be that your web access is being routed through some sort of censorship device, and that the term 'rballs' triggered the failure!

8. Access SRU/Z39.50 via RIMMF Gateway

If this test fails, and the first test succeeds, its possible that some sort of filtering on your network has blocked the attempt to access SRU/Z39.50 via the RIMMF Gateway. However, as this gateway is experimental and designed primarily for debugging, failing this test may be inconclusive.

9. Access SSL content

This test tries to download a page from the RDA Registry project on github, which is hosted on an SSL server. If it fails, assuming the server is up (which it probably is), it may indicate that the version of RIMMF being used does not have SSL capability. It may also indicate that the SSL libraries installed when RIMMF was installed have gone astray.

1) Note: rimmf.com and rimmfdata.com are owned and operated by TMQ Inc
details/webaccessinrimmf.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/02 09:59 (external edit)
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