LXXXIII. YAZ functions


This extension offers a PHP interface to the YAZ toolkit that implements the Z39.50 protocol for information retrieval. With this extension you can easily implement a Z39.50 origin (client) that searches or scans Z39.50 targets (servers) in parallel.

YAZ is available at http://www.indexdata.dk/yaz/. You can find news information, example scripts, etc. for this extension at http://www.indexdata.dk/phpyaz/.

The module hides most of the complexity of Z39.50 so it should be fairly easy to use. It supports persistent stateless connections very similar to those offered by the various SQL APIs that are available for PHP. This means that sessions are stateless but shared amongst users, thus saving the connect and initialize phase steps in most cases.


Compile YAZ and install it. Build PHP with your favourite modules and add option --with-yaz. Your task is roughly the following:

gunzip -c yaz-1.6.tar.gz|tar xf -
gunzip -c php-4.0.X.tar.gz|tar xf -
cd yaz-1.6
./configure --prefix=/usr
make install
cd ../php-4.0.X
./configure --with-yaz=/usr/bin
make install


PHP/YAZ keeps track of connections with targets (Z-Associations). A positive integer represents the ID of a particular association.

Example 1. Parallel searching using YAZ()

The script below demonstrates the parallel searching feature of the API. When invoked with no arguments it prints a query form; else (arguments are supplied) it searches the targets as given in in array host.

$num_hosts = count ($host);
if (empty($term) || count($host) == 0) {
    echo '<form method="get">
    <input type="checkbox"
    name="host[]" value="bagel.indexdata.dk/gils">
        GILS test
    <input type="checkbox"
    name="host[]" value="localhost:9999/Default">
        local test
    <input type="checkbox" checked="1"
    name="host[]" value="z3950.bell-labs.com/books">
        BELL Labs Library
    RPN Query:
    <input type="text" size="30" name="term">
    <input type="submit" name="action" value="Search">
} else {
    echo 'You searced for ' . htmlspecialchars($term) . '<br>';
    for ($i = 0; $i < $num_hosts; $i++) {
        $id[] = yaz_connect($host[$i]);
    for ($i = 0; $i < $num_hosts; $i++) {
        echo '<hr>' . $host[$i] . ":";
        $error = yaz_error($id[$i]);
        if (!empty($error)) {
            echo "Error: $error";
        } else {
            $hits = yaz_hits($id[$i]);
            echo "Result Count $hits";
        echo '<dl>';
        for ($p = 1; $p <= 10; $p++) {
            $rec = yaz_record($id[$i],$p,"string");
            if (empty($rec)) continue;
            echo "<dt><b>$p</b></dt><dd>";
            echo ereg_replace("\n", "<br>\n",$rec);
            echo "</dd>";
        echo '</dl>';

Table of Contents
yaz_addinfo — Returns additional error information
yaz_close — Closes a YAZ connection
yaz_connect — Prepares for a connection and Z-association to a Z39.50 target.
yaz_errno — Returns error number
yaz_error — Returns error description
yaz_hits — Returns number of hits for last search
yaz_element — Specifies Element-Set Name for retrieval
yaz_database — Specifies the databases within a session
yaz_range — Specifies the maximum number of records to retrieve
yaz_record — Returns a record
yaz_search — Prepares for a search
yaz_present — Prepares for retrieval (Z39.50 present).
yaz_syntax — Specifies the preferred record syntax for retrieval.
yaz_scan — Prepares for a scan
yaz_scan_result — Returns Scan Response result
yaz_ccl_conf — Configure CCL parser
yaz_ccl_parse — Invoke CCL Parser
yaz_itemorder — Prepares for Z39.50 Item Order with an ILL-Request package
yaz_wait — Wait for Z39.50 requests to complete