CODI 2005 – Day Two (am)

Now You’ve Bought Web Reporter, So What? …So You’ve Bought Web Reporter, Now What? (Thurman Smith – thurman.smith@sirsidynix.com)
As we’ve just put our order in for Web Reporter, I’m trying to attend as many of the Web Reporter sessions as possible!
Thurman based his session on one he runs regularly (that should be freely available on the SirsiDynix web site?)
Here are my notes…

  • Web Reporter has over 100 general reports built in
  • due to differing databases, some of the delivered reports are broken but support are able to fix them
  • desktop client software used by Web Reporter admins, but end users use the web portal (i.e. web browser)
  • Web Reporter comes with 3 levels of users:
    • Web Reporter User – least powerful, can run/print reports (but cannot export to Word/Excel)
    • Web Analyst – also export reports, can create reports from a template (but not from scratch)
    • Web Professional – also create reports from scratch, can save new reports to the public folders (where other users can access them)
  • …there’s also an Administrator login, but it wasn’t too clear when this should be used
  • Web Reporter monitors the named users (rather than simultaneous users), but (ignoring ethics, etc) several users could share the same named login
  • because MetaData is stored in the Horizon database, it gets backed up when you run your main Horizon backup process
  • terminology:
    • facts – columns in the database that contain numeric data that it makes sense to run calculations against (e.g. age, number of CKOs) – facts are not displayed in reports, but are wrapped in metrics
    • attributes – all other columns (e.g. borrower name
    • metrics – calculations on facts (e.g. the number of times a book has been checked out in a month)
    • filters – return a subset of results that make sense (e.g. filter by certain borrower types), this is the same as the SQL “where” clause
    • prompts – allow you to create an option that allows the user to specify specific choices (e.g. which locations do you want to run the report against?)
  • you can create new folders for each user, location, etc and then copy the reports that they want into them
  • some of the Web Reporter reports duplicate Horizon Item Editor reports
  • reports can be easily manipulated – e.g. “page by” location can be dragged down into the report to show all locations in a single report (but only Web Analyst/Pro can do that)
  • to print reports, use the built-in Web Reporter print icon rather than using the web browser print button
  • Web Reporter uses a cache, so that running the same report again will display the cached version – but the administrator can define how long the cached version is valid for (i.e. how long before it becomes stale)
  • metrics must always appear on the right-hand side of the report – you can add more than one metric to a report
  • if you modify one of the default reports, then you should save it to a new folder (or it might get overwritten by a project upgrade)
  • you need OLAP services to get the full functionality (do we even have this?!?!?)
  • easy to add totals to a report
  • you can view the SQL that runs by looking at the “report details” (in one of the drop-down menus)
  • the look & feel for each report can be easily changed using “auto styles”
  • for reports that take a long time to run, use the subscription options to schedule the report to run:
    • make sure that the schedule times are realistic (i.e. not the every 15 minute default)
    • scheduled reports sit in the cache waiting to be viewed
    • try to avoid running scheduled reports at the same time as Day End, etc
    • to email reports to the user, you need to use NarrowCast
  • NarrowCast might be an optional extra purchase (I don’t remember it being listed in our Web Reporter quote – I hope we get it!!!)
  • you need to be careful not to filter by too many options, otherwise you might end up with no results

CODI 2005 – Day One (pm)

For the afternoon, I headed to the Corinthian sessions…
Overview of Corinthian Modules (Jolynn Halls)

  • Horizon 8 brings a few terminology changes – the major one being that locations are now called “agencies”. Agencies can be at a much granular level than a location and they work in a heirarchy that allows sub-agencies to inherit their settings from the parent agency. So, changing a setting at a top level agency also changes the settings in the sub-agencies.
  • All types of records (item, bib, borrower, etc) support “record ownership”, so that audit trails of any changes can be viewed.
  • Calendar exceptions can now be set to repeat automatically (e.g. you just need to set up Christmas Day once).
  • Day End as we know it has gone, and you have much more control over how scheduled tasks (which run on the server) execute – for example, you can set Horizon 8 up to generate hold notifications every hour. As these tasks all run on the server, you don’t need to have a dedicated workstation running 24/7 anymore.
  • All of the CIRC rules have been brought together into a single place.
  • Custom block types – new types can be easily created.
  • All of the interface labels can be easily changed – e.g. “patron” can be changed to “borrower”. Different agencies can use different terminology (e.g. one could have “students”, another “patrons”).
  • Staff accounts can be set to expire on a specific date – useful if you have student workers.
  • The security role manager now supports a hierarchy/tree structure, making it much easier to set up roles and also to allow “read only” access to certain tasks / modules.
  • Indexing has been built into the Horizon client, and it’s also much easier to index everything.
  • Cataloguing sees much more control over the import process, with many more options for overlaying.
  • For CIRC, there’s the ability to display borrower photographs. Also, borrower details are now based on the vCard standard (e.g. separate fileds for first name, surname, etc).

Corinthian System Administration and Overview of Security (Shelley Neville, aka The ACQ Queen)
Some of Shelley’s presentation repeated things Jolynn had covered in her session (see above), so I’ve missed those out…

  • You can create sub-administrators for each agency (aka location).
  • There’s a new feature called a “protected domain” – this basically defines the data(base) areas relevant to each agency, e.g. you can set it up so that location A can’t change location B’s data.
  • No need to set up a different agency/location if you want to have different CIRC rules for a portion of the stock (e.g. at Huddersfield we currently have a separate Short Loan location because the CIRC rules need to be different than for the main stock).
  • Creating new agencies is easy, as they automatically inherit the settings from their parent agency – from there, you can easily go in and make any relevant changes (i.e. exceptions).
  • Staff can log in with a common login, but you can set up certain transactions to require the staff member to log in using their own username/password. For example, you could log your CIRC desk PCs in using a common login, but to override a fine, the member of staff would need to authorise it by entering their own personal login. That means you get a proper audit trail.
  • Almost everything generates an audit trail, so you can easily see who broke/deleted things.

CODI 2005 – Day One (am)

Following on from Pat, the Horizon 8 development team got 10 minutes each to wow us with the new features in each module – the biggest cheer of all was for the graphical prediction pattern tool in the Serials module 🙂
For what it’s worth, here are my brief notes of those features:

  1. ACQ
    • “research” button that shells out to a chosen web site (e.g. Amazon / Dawson EnterBooks, etc)
    • multiple VIP
    • hold can be placed on patron selections, ready for when stock finally arrives
  2. CAT
    • record management – easy method of creating item lists from multiple search criteria
    • batch edit of items in any item list – these changes can be temporary (changes can be restored later on) or permanent
    • URL checker – item level, built in web browser, easy change of 856 link via browser, schedule full URL check of catalogue (inc. domain exclusions)
  3. CIRC
    • quick access of patron records from nav bar
    • multiple email addresses from patrons
    • patron records can be easily linked together
    • checked out items automatically appear on screen
    • requests can be grouped and prioritised
    • requests groups – can set up many requests, but have them cancelled when X copies have been fulfilled
  4. Serials
    • check-in – pre check-in notes (e.g. processing instructions), quick access to check-in history, audit trails (inc. staff info)
    • graphical calendar for prediction patterns
  5. HIP 4.1
    • Kids PAC – channels
    • ADA
    • multi language
    • Howard Country – created their own skin
  6. ERM (PowerPoint slides)
    • processes can be allocated to individuals, with automatic alerting to let them know when new tasks are ready
  7. Web Reporter 1.4
    • generate notices (send via NarrowCast)

My notes from Ed Riding’s ERM Module session are here (login required).

CODI 2005

Sunday afternoon
Well, it turned out that half of Minneapolis got to Hell’s Kitchen ahead of us, and the wait for a table was 90 minutes. Instead, we finished up at Caribou Coffee (next door to Brit’s Pub) for breakfast.
We wanted to get something to feed the Loring Park squirrels with, but all we could find at Target was a catering sized pack of “Squirrel & Critter food” …so, we ended up buying that!
Within minutes of arriving at Loring Park, we were surrounded by dozens of hungry squirrels – a few are even tame enough to eat straight from your hand:

CODI 2005

Sunday morning
The start of our 2nd full day in Minneapolis and the last of the jetlag has finally gone. Outside it’s grim and murky – ideal for making the English abroad feel just like they’re back home 🙂

…at least the weather here is still better than what we left behind in the UK:

Yesterday morning we wandered off to try and find somewhere for breakfast but, after strolling up and down Nicollet Mall and Marquette Ave South, the best we could find was a small Starbucks. So today, we’ve done a bit of research and decided the nearby Hell’s Kitchen looks like a good place to go!
We were surprised how few people there where walking around the streets at 9am on a Saturday morning. It wasn’t until we were heading back to the hotel that we realised that they’ve got more sense than to wander around on a chilly morning – they’re all using the Skyway system. I can’t think of a single city in the UK that has one of these.
After freshening up, we walked up to Nicollet and jumped on the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit and went to the Mall of America ($1.50 each way). My jetlag caught up with me, and the huge 50ft Snoopy in the center of the Mall started looking really surreal – I half expected it to come alive and start a rampage 😀
Bryony was well chuffed with the Hello Kitty store, although the promised appearance of the eponymous feline at 12pm failed to materialise. Given my hazy jetlagged state, that was probably a good thing!
In the afternoon I headed off to the Summit meeting, whilst Bryony went to Loring Park, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the Walker Art Center.

CODI 2005 – Minneapolis

Bryony and myself are off to the CODI (Customers of Dynix Inc) Conference in Minneapolis at the start of November and I’m hoping to blog as much as the conference as possible.
As there’ll be several other conference blogs, I might go for a UK slant on things – so expect stuff like “by ‘eck – it cold enough here to freeze the knickers off a vicar’s wife!” and other comments about the weather & lack of decent tea making facilities 😉
At the moment, the only other blog URL I’ve got is for Kelli Staley’s ‘Brary Web Diva (www.kellistaley.com/blog.htm).
As a Brits abroad, I suspect we might have to go and gawp at the Brit’s Pub. Apparently it’s exactly like stepping into a real pub in the UK – it’s got pictures of the Royal family on the wall and a bowling green on the roof.
Bryony’s also discovered that there’s a “Hello Kitty” store in the Mall of America, so I suspect she might spend at least half of the week in there!