Software for Searching Online Retrieval Systems:
Each of the major online systems has its own software which supports its activities oil a host computer. Many of these hosts have begun to offer private facilities with the help of which end-users can exploit the sophisticated software developed by supporting large databases with many searches. If the user is familiar with the command language of the host then a private file on that system avoids the need for familiarisation with a further software package.
Private file facilities are expensive since a telecommunication charge is incurred each time the host computer is used. The second type of software generated in association with online searching of external databases, enables more economical access to host systems. There are a number of packages, mainly for use on micros, which support online interaction with an external .database and permit the development and editing of search profiles and search outputs locally. The availability of databases on CD-ROM media has influenced the online searching activity to a considerable extent, and obviated the expenditure associated with communications.