2.3.3 CONSUMER INTERACTION

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There are many types of interactions between the Consumer and the OAIS. These interactions include questions to a help desk, requests for literature, catalog searches, orders and order status requests. The ordering process is of special interest to the OAIS Reference Model, since it deals with the flow of Archive holdings between the OAIS and the Consumer.

The Consumer establishes an Order Agreement with the OAIS for information. This information may currently exist in the Archive or be expected to be ingested in the future. The Order Agreement may span any length of time, and under it one or more Data Dissemination Sessions may take place. A Data Dissemination Session may involve the transfer of a set of media or a single telecommunications session. The Order Agreement identifies one or more AIPs of interest, how those AIPs are to be transformed and mapped into Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) and how those DIPs will be packaged in a Data Dissemination Session. The Order Agreement will also specify other needed information such as delivery information (e.g., name or mailing address), rights information (e.g., usage restrictions, authorized Consumers, or license fees) and any pricing agreements as applicable. There are two common order types initiated by Consumers: the Event Based Order and the Adhoc Order.

In the case of an Adhoc Order, the Consumer establishes an Order Agreement with the OAIS for information available from the Archive. If the Consumer does not know a priori what specific holdings of the OAIS are of interest, the Consumer will establish a Search Session with the OAIS. During this Search Session the Consumer will use the OAIS Finding Aids that operate on Descriptive Information, or in some cases on the AIPs themselves, to identify and investigate potential holdings of interest. This may be accomplished by the submission of queries and the return of query responses, e.g., result sets, to the Consumer. This searching process tends to be iterative, with a Consumer first identifying broad criteria and then refining these criteria based on previous search results. Once the Consumer identifies the OAIS AIPs of interest, the Consumer may provide an Order Agreement that documents the identifiers of the AIPs the Consumer wishes to acquire, and how the DIPs will be acquired from the OAIS. If the AIPs are available, an Adhoc Order will be placed. However, if the AIPs desired are not yet available, an Event Based Order may be placed.

In the case of an Event Based Order, the Consumer establishes an Order Agreement with the OAIS for information expected to be received on the basis of some triggering event. This event may be periodic, such as a monthly distribution of any AIPs ingested by the OAIS from a specific Producer, or it may be a unique event such as the ingestion, or creation, of a specific AIP. The Order Agreement will also specify other needed information such as the trigger event for new Data Dissemination Sessions and the criteria for selecting the OAIS holdings to be included in each new Data Dissemination Session.

The Order Agreement does not have to be a formal document. In general an OAIS will have a general pricing policy and maintain an information base of the electronic and physical mailing addresses of its users. In this case, the process of developing an Order Agreement may be no more than the completion of a World Wide Web form to specify the AIPs of interest.

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