Frequently Asked Questions


How does BookWhere work?

BookWhere uses Z39.50 which is the name of an American national standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer search and retrieval.

As an Internet user you are probably familiar with the basic concepts of TCP/IP. This is the protocol that supports the communication between the various computers on the Internet. You are probably aslo familiar with a Web browser (like Netscape). Web browsers use HTTP (Hyper Text Transport Protocol) to send you information. This protocol exists between the TCP/IP stack and the browser interface. As such, you don't need to be concerned with how it works.

A Z39.50 protocol stack exists between the TCP/IP stack and the BookWhere interface. It allows BookWhere to communicate with machines using a standard search and retreival "language". Just like HTTP you don't really need to understand how it works, the software takes care of the details.

Just like your Web browser can "talk" to any Web server, BookWhere can "talk" to any machine that has implemented the Z39.50 standard. A fairly extensive list of databases that can use this standard is included with BookWhere.

When you use a Web browser the usual dialog between your PC and the Web server is very simple...."give me the data corresponding to this URL". Z39.50 is different in that it allows for searching of the database held by the remote machine. For example..."Do you have any books on Art?" While Z39.50 is a complex protocol, BookWhere users can search these databases using a simple yet powerful graphical user interface (GUI). Back to Top

What do I need to be able to run BookWhere?

You will need a PC running Microsoft Windows 8, 7, or Vista. You will also need an Internet connection.

Back to Top

What kind of material can I find with BookWhere?

At the present time it is primarily libraries that have implemented Z39.50 searching. Libraries put a wide variety of materials into their collections apart from books. Video tapes, movies, audio tapes, maps, kits and all other materials aquired by libraries are currently freely available.

In the U.S.A. and Canada there are databases of Government information being made available. Using BookWhere the resources of the largest single producer of information are now at your fingertips.

Back to Top

Will this work with my firewall?

BookWhere will work with MOST commercial firewalls. BookWhere (and Z39.50) use ports 210 (2210 for the Library of Congress) to communicate. Your firewall needs to be configured to allow communication on these ports. To see which port is used by a particular system go into the Host Configuration dialog. Select a database and press Modify Host. Then select Advanced to view the port number.

Back to Top

Why is this different than Web search engines?

These Web based search tools provide access to information sources that can be indexed on the Internet. These sources are limited to Web pages, FTP sites and various electronic archives.

BookWhere gets you into the databases that are not available to these search engines. These databases represent billions of dollars worth of published information.

Back to Top

Is it legal to use the MARC records retrieved?

BookWhere-Pro allows libraries to export MARC records to their local automation systems. We do know that if you are in the U.S.A. you are permitted, even encouraged, to copy records from the Library of Congress for your own use.

Organizations that want to charge for this service (for example OCLC, Research Libraries Group and ISM Library Information Services) require that you establish an account (subscription). This account information (User I.D. and Password) can be specified in BookWhere and provide you with authorized access to these databases.

Most databases do not require you establish an account. The MARC records are sent to your PC without any explicit restrictions on use. It has been recommended that if you intend to regularly use specific databases to derive cataloguing that you contact the institution involved and obtain permission.

Back to Top

Are educational discount prices available?

Students and faculty at educational institutions can purchase BookWhere from Balboa Software for a
substantial discount for personal use. Site licenses and multiple copy discounts are also available. Contact Balboa Software for more details.

You can download a free demonstration version of BookWhere on the Web.

For more information or to order BookWhere or other products, contact:

Balboa Software
P.O. Box 3751
Scottsdale, AZ 85271-3751 USA

ORDERS/INFO: 800-763-8542, 480-632-1901 or 
FAX: 480-632-6097 

Balboa Software Home Page | Library Master | Data Magician | BookWhere

Copyright © 2007, 2014 Balboa Software. All rights reserved. Library Master is a trademark of Balboa Software.
Data Magician is a trademark of Folland Software Services. BookWhere is a trademark of WebClarity.