Chris asked the group whether there were any showstoppers that would prevent the upgrade from proceeding on Sunday, March 13. No LIS members reported any significant problems and agreed that the upgrade could proceed as scheduled at 7pm on 3/13/2005.
Chris and Gracemary reported on their experience at the conference. The three and a half day annual SIRSI Superconference was held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN. There were over 1000 customers, 31 vendors, and numerous SIRSI employees in attendance. If anyone would like to access the presentations connect your browser to: http://www.superconference.info. When accessing a powerpoint, word document, pdf file, or other presentation aid you will be prompted for a login and password. Please contact Systems for this information.
Highlights from this discussion are listed below.
a. Change in Workflows client names - with the release of the Java based Workflows client, SIRSI announced that the new Java client will now be known as the "J" client and the existing Workflows client will be referred to as the "C" client.
b. New Unicorn Software Releases change numbering scheme - instead of including a year in the software release number (eg. 2003.1.4.5), for the foreseeable future SIRSI will generically identify their software releases. The next version of Unicorn will be called GL3.0. According to Berit Nelson, VP for Product Management, "The GL stands for "Global", which reflects both the move to the WorkFlows Java client being multi-platform and also the capability of supporting character sets that are supported by Unicode and, with GL3.0, the option of moving to support for Unicode in the Unicorn server. The move away from use of the year to name versions should allow all of us to communicate more clearly about functionality or corrections available in a given release."
c. The Superconference presenter discount is decreasing next year from $250 to $200. Next year's conference will be the last year with a separate DRA business meeting.
d. Pat Sommers, CEO of SIRSI, reporting on the complexity of supporting the Unicorn software in his annual address, noted that there are 2,862 possible variations of Unicorn. This figure was arrived at by multiplying 54 possible OS/DB combinations of Unicorn installed times 53 named versions currently supported.
e. ERM (Electronic Resources Management) - SIRSI is developing an ERM product that will be integrated with the new J client. They are not developing a standalone product. To start SIRSI is assembling an ERM Review Forum comprised of large academics and other sites interested in participating. The Review Forum will begin by evaluating the 200+ fields recommended by the Digital Library Federation.
f. SIRSI has a SIP2 server compatible with RFID systems and is exploring partnerships with RFID providers to offer a SIRSI branded solution. Chris attended a presentation on RFID implementation from four public libraries. The implementation strategies were interesting and the benefits are worthwhile but the cost is still quite high.
g. SIRSI continues to make progress developing support for Unicode. Unicode is slated for release in 2006. The system requirements are 1) the Oracle version of Unicorn, 2) approximately 50% more available disk space and memory than is currently needed for Oracle, 3) "J" client (the old "C" client is not being developed for Unicode support), 4) Unicorn version GL3.1 (version of Unicorn to be released in 2006), and 5) the Unicode server extension (additional software product.)
In addition, SIRSI will support the entry of non-Roman scripts in three ways. They are 1) the Symbol table helper in WorkFlows, 2) Microsoft international keyboards, and 3) Microsoft supported IME (Input method editor). How will browse results be sorted when you have a mix of Roman and non-Roman scripts? SIRSI's answer is that they will sort these results using the "unicode collating sequence". The unicode collating sequence is defined as "a set of rules that determines how character strings are compared, searched, and alphabetically sorted and provides a standard way to put names, words or strings of text in sequence." What font is being tested to present search results in iLink? SIRSI's answer is that they are testing the Microsoft Arial unicode font.
h. SIRSI is currently beta-testing the ability to use Pay Pal to accept payment of fines/fees via the OPAC. They plan to support other e-commerce solutions such as VeriSign later in 2005. They also plan to add a credit balance field to the patron record.
i. The system administration API tools will be updated in 2005 to accept XML input and provide XML output.
j. Support for Linux will be added with the release of GL3.0.
k. SIRSI will support a single sign-on to the OPAC for sites that use LDAP/Athens. This change will add an new ID field to the patron record and will be provided to all sites at no-charge.
l. SIRSI is developing their own portal product (think myRutgers) that brings together their web-based products/interfaces such as iLink, Rooms, SIRSI Single Search, and SIRSI Resolver.
m. SIRSI is participating in the Normative Data Project (NDP). The NDP is a "centralized, national data repository for library collections data and circulation transactional data from contributing North American public libraries." "The goals of this cooperative effort are to 1) compile transaction-level data from libraries throughout North America, 2) link library data with geographic and demographic data on communities served by libraries and, 3)empower library decision-makers to compare and contrast their institutions with real-world industry norms on circulation, collections, finances, and other parameters." SIRSI will make NDP data available to Directors Station customers at no extra charge. For more information on the Normative Data Project connect your browser to: http://www.librarynormativedata.info.
Stephanie Bartz and Bob Warwick reported on the status of the iLink implementation. IPAC is currently evaluating iLink's delivered features and, right after Spring Break, will send a message to RUL_EVERYONE to solicit feedback from library faculty and staff. Bob is working on modifying screen layout, searching functionality, pull-down lists, and many other customizations. iLink is still on schedule for a rollout sometime in May between the Spring and Summer semesters.
There are 1,848,849 bib records. This is a 12,439 record increase over last month.
Chris reported that SIRSI is preparing for our software install. One of SIRSI's project managers emailed a document outlining the a general implementation schedule.
The next LIS meeting will be held on April 14, 2005 at 1:30 in the TSB conference room.