The invention concerns a system for managing resources, which can take the form of (a) computer-compatible information, such as data files and programs, and (b) non-computer-compatible information, as data contained on microfiche, and (c) physical objects. The resources are located at graphically diverse sites.
The invention contains a descriptive profile for each resource, and allows any user to search all profiles, and to search the profiles according to "fields" (a database term), such as by location of the resources, or by category of the resources. The user can order delivery of a selected resource, and the system causes delivery of the resource to be executed, irrespective of the form (eg, physical object) of the resource.
The invention allows a provider of a new resource to limit access to the resource, by identifying users who are authorized to obtain access to the resource. Non-authorized users cannot obtain access to the profiles of these resources.