This site offers historical information on the development of ABCD until version 1.2beta.

Releases starting from 1.2beta are not under BIREME/PAHO/WHO responsibility.

For up-to-date information about ABCD development, maintenance and new releases, please, see the following references:

ISIS Users List



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Welcome to ABCD project

ABCD stands for "Automatización de Bibliotecas y Centros de Documentación" (Spanish), which means: Library and Documentation Centers Automation. Its development was promoted and coordinated by BIREME, with the support of VLIR.

ABCD is web-based integrated library management software comprising the main basic library functions. This kind of library application is a long held aspiration for the ISIS community, since the first MS-DOS version came out more than 20 years ago. Several library automation systems were developed during this period and are still in operation worldwide. BIRME EMP previous system was limited to the circulation services. The main characteristics of ABCD are the coverage of the main library functions, its web centrality and its development and maintenance under the methodology of Free and Open Source Software.

Main functions

  • Definition of any number of new databases (similar to Winisis), which includes: FDT, PFT, FST, and worksheets directly on the Web, or copying from existing ones either from the Web or from Winisis on a local hard disk,
  • Cataloguing of books and serials, independently of the format: MARC, LILACS, AGRIS, etc.
  • End-user searching (OPAC),
  • Loans circulation,
  • Acquisitions,
  • Statistics,
  • Library services like SDI, barcode printing, quality control, etc.
  • Compatible with CDS/ISIS database technology for the bibliographic databases, i.e. reading ISIS-databases and making use of ISIS Formatting Language for producing output and indexing of records;
  • Run on both Windows and Linux platforms;
  • Use of MARC-21 cataloging formats and other current standards or protocols (Dublin Core, METS, Z39.50...);
  • Published as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) with the accompanying tools for the developer community;
  • Multi-lingual;

General Considerations

  • ABCD is aligned with the CISIS/1660 version 5.2 platform, and will eventually be made compatible with later versions. This means that the inverted file entries are 60 characters long, and will increase in length in the ISIS-NBP based version.
  • ABCD is compatible with programming languages accepted by the GNU licences, i.e. PHP, Java, Javascript, Python, etc. The current version of ABCD is written in PHP v.5 and IsisScript.
  • The system is totally language independent. The product is available in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese and can be translated into other languages in the same way the CDS/ISIS applications always were.


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