The development of a completely new PIID/M-PIID database software started in 2000. Learning from former experiences with licensing, only OpenSource software ought to be used (apart from the operating system). After some detours and turbulences in the past two and a half years as of October 2002 a beta version of the new software finally reached user testing while the fourth edition of the M-PIID was being prepared.

The new software is being developed under MS Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 and will probably run without changes on Windows XP too. Written in the scripting language Python using the cross-platform OpenSource programme library wxPython, it is relatively easily portable to Linux and, in the near future, Mac OS X.

The new system is extensible and further adaptable to the developing needs of the agency especially regarding the integration and unification of huge numbers of entries from the national agencies. Publisher data is represented in Unicode, meaning no more cryptic surrogate representations for special characters.

Axel Roepke

(For reading the full version of this text, click here.)