The Connector Platform is a set of tools for building and running database connectors: gateways that scrape human-facing web-sites and make the results available for searching and retrieval via standard IR protocols such as the much-loved ANSI/NISO Z39.50 and its more web-friendly progeny SRU and SRW.
This is a useful thing to do for lots of reasons, but we had a specific motivation for constructing this platform: we build metasearching solutions (see MasterKey), using as the metasearching kernel our own UI-independent engine Pazpar2. Pazpar2 uses the standard protocols for searching backends: by design, the engine itself knows about a bare minimum number of ways to do searching, because the focus of that particular software component is not on communications but on very fast, highly parallel searching, merging, deduplication and sorting.
So in order for Pazpar2, and therefore Masterkey, to be able to search the widest possible selection of resources, we need a way to make connectors to those resources that will present them in a form that Pazpar2 can search. Because the connectors provide standards-compliant interfaces, they are also useful in other contexts: among other possibilities, they can be used by other vendors’ metasearch solutions.