Thursday, April 16, 2009

Authenticating Drupal users against III / Millennium

The Millenium (III) Integration module for Drupal now has a VERY experimental module that uses screen-scraping to allow authenticating users against an III system using their library credentials (barcode/ID, last name and PIN).

This is done using a bit of screenscraping and using the "usual" Drupal API hooks.

The neat side of doing this is you could, in theory:
  • [optionally] share your currently loaned items with other users or publicly
  • receive custom alerts while navigating within the Drupal site ("you owe the library $$")
  • when looking at an item imported via Millennium module for Drupal, see a message informing this item is one you currently have/is overdue, etc.
  • let users make some/all of their loaned items public (in profile? RSS? etc)
  • Mash up any of the previous with other Drupal modules (imagine "Your Friend checked out this book, and rated it ****", or "Subscribe to your friend's checkout feeds", etc.)
Here's a screenshot of how this shows under the /user Drupal path:

Now, of course this is teh fragile, using screenscraping and stuff. Current options are: (1) $hell out for Patron API module for III, (2) use SIP (which still requires a module), or (3) keep at this;

How can YOU help? If you have an III system at your command, you could provide me with a temporary login to test against.