FOLIO Terminology

The list of terminology and definitions is designed to provide a common framework and language for community members to use when discussing FOLIO. The definitions have been left at a deliberately high level to provide for flexibility and to avoid unintentionally excluding common usage. This approach also recognizes that the definitions as they currently stand may not be in a completed or detailed enough state. This point was emphasized at the Tri-Council meeting on April 13, 2023, particularly around Platform, there was distress over the fact that there are many valid and important uses of the word Platform (e.g. Platform Minimal or Okapi-Stripes Platform) and these current definitions do not reference/acknowledge these terms. As such, this work is ongoing and definitions will continue to be refined appropriately.

FOLIO is an acronym: the “Future Of Libraries Is Open”. This adjective can be used to describe a platform, project, product, or community, among other things.

The FOLIO Project is a community effort to create an open-source library services platform. The FOLIO Project has a governance model that defines three councils and their roles, membership, and other groups.

The **FOLIO Library Services Platform (LSP)[^1] **, is open-source software that implements a Library Services Platform including traditional LMS / ILS and other functionality. The FOLIO LSP is the Product of the FOLIO Project. This is the actualized output of the project, including both code and documentation describing functionality and use.

The term FOLIO Platform (see 2016 visualization) refers to the architecture and foundational components of the FOLIO Product that support the suite of apps that make up the full FOLIO LSP. The FOLIO Platform may be used by other projects, such as Project ReShare.

A FOLIO App is a cohesive set of functionality that fulfills a defined business purpose and has a user interface (whether that’s a GUI or API) within the FOLIO LSP. An App is composed of one or more FOLIO Modules.

FOLIO Modules are software components which comprise FOLIO Apps (see platform overview & module types ).

The FOLIO Community is a community of individuals and organizations involved with the FOLIO Project. The community includes libraries, vendors, subject matter experts, developers, documentation writers, etc. The community is open to all, whether affiliated with a FOLIO Member Organization or not. Community members must follow the FOLIO code of conduct.

[^1] A Library Services Platform, or LSP, was a term first coined by Marshall Breeding to distinguish next generation library management systems from the legacy “Integrated Library System” The definitions and differences between LSPs and ILSes, used in part for marketing purposes, admittedly are flexible and along a continuum. We do not endeavor to provide our own separate, more specific definition, but rather use the term LSP to describe the FOLIO product because we think it is most consistent with what the FOLIO product is and its place in the library management system marketplace.

Last modified May 8, 2024