Here at SPIRES we've been worried for quite some time that our software infrastructure was getting old. SPIRES continues to be a useful service for the community, but the time it takes the administrators to change things in the system is increasing, as we continually run up against the cracks of a 30-year-old system. Our recent survey revealed not only a strong user base, but also let us know that our users want more from us that we can currently provide.
Fortunately, CERN, DESY, Fermilab, and SLAC have joined forces to rectify the situation by creating INSPIRE. By combining the successful SPIRES database, curated at DESY, Fermilab, and SLAC, with the Invenio digital library technology developed at CERN, INSPIRE will offer the functionalities and quality of service which the high-energy physics user community has grown to expect from SPIRES. It will develop long-sought improvements providing access to the entire corpus of the HEP literature with full-text Google-like search capabilities and enabling innovative text- and data-mining applications, among a host of other desired features tailored specifically to the HEP community.
I've just come back from DESY, where we announced this project and got lots of positive feedback from our colleagues at other information services like arXiv, ADS, and journal publishers. I'm excited too, as our team at the four labs is very strong and I'm happy that we will finally be able to deliver many of the services that users have been requesting for years, but haven't been able to provide.