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CXIII. 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.

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 RDB 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.

YAZ is available at You can find news information, example scripts, etc. for this extension at


Compile YAZ (ANSI/NISO Z39.50 support) and install it. Build PHP with your favourite modules and add option --with-yaz[=DIR]. Your task is roughly the following:

Example 1. YAZ compilation

gunzip -c php-4.3.X.tar.gz|tar xf -
gunzip -c yaz-2.0.tar.gz|tar xf -
cd yaz-2.0
./configure --prefix=/usr
make install
cd ../php-4.3.X.
./configure --with-yaz=/usr/bin
 make install

If you are using YAZ as a shared extension, add (or uncomment) the following line in php.ini on Unix:
And for Windows:

On Windows, php_yaz.dll depend on yaz.dll. You'll find yaz.dll in sub directory dlls in the Win32 zip archive. Copy yaz.dll to a directory in your PATH environment (c:\winnt\system32 or c:\windows\system32).


The IMAP extension cannot be used in conjuction with the recode or YAZ extensions. This is due to the fact that they both share the same internal symbol.

Note: The above problem is solved in version 2.0 of YAZ.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 1. YAZ configuration options

For further details and definition of the PHP_INI_* constants see ini_set().

Resource Types

This extension has no resource types defined.

Predefined Constants

This extension has no constants defined.


PHP/YAZ keeps track of connections with targets (Z-Associations). A resource represents a connection to a target.

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 array host.

Example 2. Parallel searching using Yaz

$num_hosts = count ($host);
if (empty($term) || count($host) == 0) {
    echo '<form method="GET">
    <input type="checkbox"
    name="host[]" value="">
        GILS test
    <input type="checkbox"
    name="host[]" value="localhost:9999/Default">
        local test
    <input type="checkbox" checked="1"
    name="host[]" value="">
        Library of Congress
    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[$i]);
        yaz_range($id[$i], 1, 10);
    for ($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_ccl_conf -- Configure CCL parser
yaz_ccl_parse -- Invoke CCL Parser
yaz_close -- Close YAZ connection
yaz_connect --  Prepares for a connection to a Z39.50 target (server).
yaz_database --  Specifies the databases within a session
yaz_element --  Specifies Element-Set Name for retrieval
yaz_errno -- Returns error number
yaz_error -- Returns error description
yaz_get_option -- Returns value of option for connection
yaz_hits -- Returns number of hits for last search
yaz_itemorder --  Prepares for Z39.50 Item Order with an ILL-Request package
yaz_present --  Prepares for retrieval (Z39.50 present).
yaz_range --  Specifies the maximum number of records to retrieve
yaz_record -- Returns a record
yaz_scan_result -- Returns Scan Response result
yaz_scan -- Prepares for a scan
yaz_schema --  Specifies schema for retrieval.
yaz_search -- Prepares for a search
yaz_set_option -- Sets one or more options for connection
yaz_sort -- Sets sorting criteria
yaz_syntax --  Specifies the preferred record syntax for retrieval.
yaz_wait -- Wait for Z39.50 requests to complete
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