BiblioCerberus – a digital library firewall

BiblioCerberus – a digital library firewall

February 9, 2013

In partnership with universities and scientific centers we have developed a program which works as a digital library firewall and an internetworking shield for a digitized books and documents depository. While deciding on the name “BiblioCerberus” we wanted to stress the reliability and confidentiality of the documents protected by the system. “Biblio” is the Greek for “book”, and “Cerberus” is a three-headed hellhound who guards the entrance to Hades preventing anybody from escaping.


BiblioCerberus organizes and controls applications' access to electronic documents stored in the library. The aim of the system is to prevent third-party applications from accessing full-text resources, and to allow access only on a page-by-page basis or as a tool for statistical data gathering and analysis in different respects.


The system consists of the following components:

  • Interface subsystem
  • Bibliographical description subsystem
  • Full-text access subsystem
  • Statistical subsystem

The interface subsystem allows third-party applications access to documents through a web service via HTTPS protocol. Authentication and authorization of access are provided by WS-Federation protocol. Bibliographical description subsystem includes modules for interaction with the following specialized library systems: Aleph, IRBIS, Vivaldi, OPAC-Global, MarcSQL Full-text access subsystem enables work with the PDF document format. Statistical subsystem ensures that every query is saved in a statistical database of access to documents including all the parameters. The system has an administrative website for managing access and viewing the statistics.

BiblioCerberus presupposes a flexible license policy and a possibility of redesign and adjustment to the requirements of every client. Besides the license agreement, when the program is launched a maintenance agreement is also signed, which guarantees quick feedback and prompt elimination of any complications.