About ISIS

The ISIS family of information storage and retrieval software, since its creation under the name of Integrated Set of Information Subroutines by ILO in the 60's, has evolved in the last 30-40 years through different implementations, using different operating systems, programming languages and functionalities, and under different sponsoring and coordinating institutions.

The following main ISIS implementations have had historical importance and/or wide dissemination: OIT IBM DOS, IDRC HP MINISIS, UNESCO CDS ISIS OS/CICS, UNESCO CDS/ISIS Mini-micro, UNESCO WINISIS and BIREME CISIS, WWWISIS and ISISDLL. BIREME has cooperated with UNESCO in the development of the WINISIS version, whose primitives are CISIS based. CDS/ISIS Mini-micro version is the standalone implementation most used worldwide while WWWISIS is probably the most used for web-based applications.

It is well known the remarkable contribution the ISIS family brought worldwide along the years to the operation of computer based information storage and retrieval systems (ISRS) particularly for developing countries. It is probably one of the most important international contributions to the early digital inclusion of an entire cultural and scientific sector, in this case, libraries and information centers around the world. ISIS has been an efficient solution to empower these organizations to be able to streamline their information processing activities by using modern (and relatively inexpensive) technologies.

The evolution of the ISIS family of software is due mainly to institutional commitments, but we also need always to remember and homage Mr. Giampaolo Del Bigio for his life dedication to ISIS and his commitment to the dissemination of ISIS technology around the world, as an UNESCO international servant. And the network of ISIS users UNESCO promoted worldwide.

BIREME – the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, a specialized center of PAHO/WHO, located in São Paulo, Brazil, led the dissemination of ISIS in Latin American and Caribbean, and with a team of systems analysts and programmers (historically led by Abel Packer and Adalberto Tardelli, but the team is continuously renewed) developed new implementations of the software, pioneered the use of ISIS in CD-ROM and implemented the most complexes online applications with high volume of records and number of access.