I’ve put together a page listing each of the CODI 2005 sessions along with (hopefully!) all the PowerPoint, handout, podcast, blog, etc links.
Please feel free to re-use the link or to circulate it.
If you have any additions or corrections, please email them to me:
d.c.pattern [at] hud.ac.uk
Planning for Hardware: It Doesn’t Have to be Hard (Tim Hyde – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tim’s presentation covered a lot of the same ground that Jolynn’s Planning for 8.0 and 4.2 did. In fact Tim’s session was really a summary of what many of us had seen throughout the 3 days. As one of the final CODI sessions it was ideal – we didn’t want any new shocks or dropping of bombshells 🙂
Tim started off by summarising the Horizon 8, and listed the main new features as:
- state-of-the-art uPortal
- record ownership
- agency modelling
- support for native open SQL databases (Oracle, DB2, MS SQL)
- full Unicode support
- total Java/J2EE solution
- UniMARC, MARC21, MARCXML…
- Kerberos encryption
- thin client (can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Tim also shed some more light on the lack of Sybase in that list of databases: apparently Sybase isn’t 100% Unicode compliant so, until Sybase resolve that, SirsiDynix won’t certify it for use with Horizon 8.0.
For those of you who are thinking about running HIP 4.0 or the Horizon 8.0 application server under Windows 2003, you need to be aware that Microsoft currently limits the Java Virtual Machine to using a maximum of 2GB RAM. In other words, if you load your hardware up with 8 GB of RAM, then HIP/Horizon ain’t going to use it all!
The official hardware recommendations won’t be available until the end of Jan 2006. However, the unofficial word is that if your current hardware is recent, isn’t being stressed out by running Horizon 7.x, and (ideally) has some room for expansion (e.g. extra CPUs or extra memory), then that chances are that it will be suitable for running Horizon 8.0.
For small to medium sized libraries, you should be able to run the application and database servers on the same box, but large libraries should look to run them on separate servers. Every session I’ve been to where that has been stated, a hand has always gone up and someone has said “can you define what you mean by small, medium and large?”…
Yeah – a medium sized library is one that’s smaller than a large one, but bigger than a small one.
(paraphrasing Tim Hyde, SirsiDynix)
Finally, clustering options won’t be available until the release of Horizon 8.1 (Q2/Q3 2006).
Tailored Just for U: uPortal Customised for Academics (Dennis Todd)
The HIP 4 admin tool is built on the 8.0 code base and will run on any desktop that can run Java.
Dennis had prepared a useful “HIP 4.1 Customisation Parameter List” document, but it wasn’t too obvious where this was going to be available to download from.
Dennis also introduced some of the new HIP 4 terminology:
targets – anything that HIP 4 can search against (e.g. Horizon database, Z39.50 targets, Digital Library, etc)
common codes – groups together similar result/search attributes from the targets so that a single author keyword search could match against authors, composers, editors, etc – whatever was closest to the concept of an “author” for that particular database or resource (MetaLib sites will already be familiar with this “lowest common denominator” idea)
A hint from Dennis – change the quick search (in the portal properties record) so that it searches against more than just the Horizon database.
template user – the “look & feel” that a logged in user gets
template guest user – the “look & feel” a non-logged in user gets
…make sure that the “system admin” box is ticked for both of the above!
When you log into HIP to make changes to those templates, firstly save the layout and then click save template user – don’t do it the other way around!!!
Remember that guest users shouldn’t have a “preferences” tab.
Anyone who is set up as a “system admin” gets a “manage channels” icon so that they can add new channels to HIP.
In HIP 4, new tabs are added in HIP – not from inside the Java HIP admin tool.
Dennis stressed the importance of getting your templates set up exactly how you want them before going live. If you decide to make changes after going live, then any patrons who had already logged in won’t get to see those new changes.
That raised the question of exactly when do you make those changes – if you’re busy upgrading from HIP 3.x to HIP 4.x, then you don’t have the luxury of saying to your patrons “Hey – the PAC’s not going to be available for a couple of weeks, because we want to play around with it first and make it all pretty for you!”.
Someone suggested that you disable logins until you’ve got the “logged in” template set up – but that would mean patrons wouldn’t be able to make requests or renew items via the PAC.
The only solution seems to be that you need to plan ahead and decide in advance what you want to appear in your HIP and how it should be laid out. Then, once you’ve finished the upgrade, cross your fingers and try and set it up as quickly as possible!
Planning for 8.0 and
4.0 4.2: Decisions You Need to Make (Jolynn Halls)
The title of this had changed subtly – with 4.0 long gone and 4.1 nearly here, plans are already afoot for HIP 4.2.
Jolynn rattled through some of the PowerPoint slides, so some of my notes aren’t complete, plus the discussion kinda jumped around a bit.
- you need to look forward to 8.0/4.2 like any other upgrade and plan accordingly
- you need to plan on getting staff involvement earlier than with other upgrades – there’s much more they need to learn
- you need to be on the current releases (7.4/4.1) …apparently Jack has promised there will be an upgrade path from 7.3x? (Jolynn: “He’s the man!”)
- you need to relish change 🙂
- staff need to understand and implement the new functionality
- take advantage of any training (web sessions available from December, although some will be chargeable)
- requires Java JRE 1.5 on the admin workstation – you can run different versions without any problems – use the Java App Cache (javaws.exe)
- new indexing paradigm – all indexing done on the app server for both Horizon and HIP (instead of separate indexes for StaffPAC, etc)
- one unified User/Patron database
- uses filters instead of separate indexes
Hardware… (official specs released in Jan 2006)
- Horizon 7.x architecture – two tier model
- Horizon 8.0 architecture – three tier model (DB server, app server, clients)
- lower client bandwidth
- less CPU
- app & DB can be combined onto one server (small to medium sized library)
- for medium to large libraries, you’ll need 4 servers (app server being the beefiest)
- for security reasons, you don’t want HIP + app + DB on single server
- Web Reporter will be a requirement for 8.0 and would usually sit on a separate server
- client hardware specs available by Jan 2006
- Database Server – DB2 V8, MS SQL Server 2000/2005, or Oracle 10g (that’s right – no Sybase!)
- Application Server – Linux 4.0 AS/ES, Solaris 10, or Windows 2003
things that change in Horizon 8.0
- different DB structure
- agency vs location
- record ownership
- security (roles/staff users)
- user interface/presentation (navigation/hot keys)
- inheritance (sharing codes/rules)
- library type (Horizon vs Corinthian)
Before moving to Horizon 8.0, you need to think about and understand your existing:
- policies & procedures
Highlights of the 8.0 modules…
- VIP against multiple vendors
- create and copy budgets spreadsheet
- carry forward defaults
- EDI from client (auto invoicing and response loading)
- research from selections and POs
- open with from MARC record to PO
- approval plan loading
- processing centers
- quick entry of invoice lines using order ID
- access to MARC record from PO and Selection
- MARC record lists
- items lists
- spine label config
- import/export profile tag action
- import profile enhanced match points for overlay
- import/export profile scheduling
- MARC Editor non-MARC view & overview template
- URL verification
- MARC Batch Editor
- Syntax & Validation Label expections
- patron photos
- request groups
- linked patrons
- email patron from check in
- batch requests (by title/patron)
- calendar exceptions
- circ rules/codes inheritance
- custom blocks
- ID patron access
- display of student and/or outreach patron data dependent on Patron Type
- notification preferences
- broadcast searching
- limiting on a browse search
- multiple search tabs open at the same time
- indexing (HIP & Horizon)
- Serials CKI
- Routing lists
- Pattern setup
- copy pattern and pub pattern templates
- MARC Holdings support
- Claims Management
What should you be doing now?
- review existing Horizon policies & procedures
- prepare for new UI
- participate in training
- upgrade to the most current versions
- allocate time…
- look at your current hardware
Finally, Jolynn cleared up the situation with TeleCirc…
Basically, Edify were slow in coming up with a version of their software (which underpins TeleCirc II) which would work with Windows 2003 Server. As Microsoft no longer support Windows 2000, Dynix were unhappy with Edify not coming up with a Windows 2003 version of the product. So, Dynix began evaluating solutions from Talking Tech. In the meantime, Edify finally came up with a new version (I think it’s v9.5) that does work with Windows 2003.
The outcome of all that is that there will be two solutions that work with Horizon 8.0 (one from Edify and a new one from Talking Tech). If you don’t already have TeleCirc, then you’d need to decide which solution to use and then buy the hardware and software.
If you already have TeleCirc, then you can either:
- a) move to the Talking Tech solution – you will need to pay to get a new license and also replace the telephony hardware card in your TeleCirc server (as that hardware isn’t compatible with their software)
- b) stay with TeleCirc – you will need to upgrade your server to Windows 2003 and also upgrade TeleCirc to the latest version, but you can still use your existing telephony card
The dropping of Sybase as a DB option surprised me, although at Huddersfield we’d been thinking about possibly moving to MS SQL or Oracle… I guess now we don’t have a choice about moving!
It’s going to be interesting to see what the recommended hardware specs are for the servers. At Huddersfield, we run Horizon on a top end Sun V240 with the Sybase database held on our SAN (storage area network) – even when running complex reports, the server barely breaks into a sweat. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the server will still be powerful enough to run both the database and the application servers.
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:
- “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
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- Kids PAC – channels
- multi language
- Howard Country – created their own skin
ERM (PowerPoint slides)
- processes can be allocated to individuals, with automatic alerting to let them know when new tasks are ready
Web Reporter 1.4
- generate notices (send via NarrowCast)
My notes from Ed Riding’s ERM Module session are here (login required).
Friday started off with a session about the RFID implementation at Middlesex, with Alan Hopkinson, Tim Pond (D-Tech Direct), and Gregor Hotz (Bibliotheca). We’re planning to implement RFID at Huddersfield during 2006.
Next up, James Castle (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) and myself did a 45 minute session entitled “HIP Ideas”. James talked about the issues involved with setting up multi-language subject indexes. You can find my presentation (“Break Your HIP!”) here. Once again, many thanks to eagle-eyed Polly who spotted what had caused the “wheels to fall off” my live floor plan demo!
Finishing off the morning, Jill Osborne (Dynix) gave a series of HIP 4 demonstrations – here are my brief notes:
- the built in spellchecker is able to offer a range of possible correct spellings (similar to Google’s “did you mean xxx?”)
- the optional “Thesaurus Expanded Search” includes synonyms for each search term
- printer friendly versions of search results and full bib pages are available
- the ADA and Kids HIP profiles won’t be available until HIP 4.1
Finally, Jill ran through some of the things that won’t be carried across from a HIP 3 to HIP 4 upgrade:
- XSL stylesheet changes
- some look and feel options
- any tabs or subtabs that are links
…like many at the conference, I can’t wait to get my hands on HIP 4!
Sadly, we had to rush off after Jill’s session to get back to the airport on time.
Many thanks to everyone involved with organising the conference – especially the Dynix staff!
Thursday started with a demo of Web Reporter from Phil Coles – here’s my notes from the session:
- 140 reports supplied as standard
- reports processed on the Web Reporter server, using live data from the Horizon database (i.e. no data mining)
- reports can be scheduled to run overnight
- reports can be exported as PDF, Excel, CSV, etc
- new reports can be created from scratch, or you can use one of the existing templates
- current version of Web Reporter is not Unicode compliant, however the Horizon 8 version will
- no knowledge of SQL required
- handles non-January financial years
- SQL can be imported from ReportSmith
This was followed by a presentation from Eric Keith (VP Operations, SirsiDynix US) about the company’s current and future developments – my notes from the session are available here.
Finishing off the morning sessions, Polly Dawes (Bradford), and Ian Haydock & Jan Broad (Staffordshire) ran a session about Telecirc – including a live demo via mobile phone! We’re hoping to finally get Telecirc running live at Huddersfield by the start of the new term.
Starting off the afternoon, Phil Coles gave a short presentation about HIP 4 and Horizon 8 before attempting a live demo – unfortunately technical gremlins caused one or two problems with the demo. Here’s my notes about HIP 4:
- works with Java v1.4.2, although Dynix are currently testing it with more recent releases of Java
- allows pickup locations, search types, limits & sorts, and search location defaults to be set
- built in spell checker and thesaurus
- borrower history display
- list of new and/or top circulating items
- tighter integration for consolidated searching
- Lucene indexing/search engine
…and about Horizon 8.0:
MFHD (MARC Format for Holdings Data) support
- e-commerce integration
- Electronic Resource Management (ERM) module
- one-click sorting of colums
- more integration between Horizon 8.0 and Web Reporter
- new acquisitions workflows available
- notes fields are all 1,500 characters (although Phil thought this can easily be increased if required)
- EDI functionality built into Horizon (i.e. no need to use separate FTP software)
- graphical serials prediction
This was followed by “Moving to MARC21”, with Ray Delahunty (Dynix UK), Polly Dawes (Bradford) and Ian Jennings (Huddersfield). It highlighted the two extremes of converting to MARC21 – Bradford had very few problems running the conversion under Dynix ILS, but the Huddersfield conversion (under Horizon) was a long and fairly painful process! Hopefully future conversions under Horizon will be much smoother.
The last session of the day was “My Favourite SQL” with Tim Fletcher (Birkbeck) and myself. I’ve uploaded my presentation (“Using SQL to Create Web Based Reports & Applications”) here. I’ll upload the advance notices Perl script as soon as I’ve finished debugging and documenting it.
Towards the end of the session, Anders Fåk (Linköping University) gave a quick demonstration of their web based reports (which uses Microsoft .Net and Crystal Reports) – very impressive stuff!
In the morning, Jill Osborne from Dynix gave a very impressive demonstration of the new HIP 4 administrator interface.
One of the biggest problems I found with HIP 3 (and below) was doing the admin configuration – the options were here, there and everywhere. HIP 4 brings everything together into a single (fairly) intuitive interface. If this is a taster of things to come with Horizon 8.0, then the wait will be well worth it.
There’s some more notes from Jill’s presentation here.
The afternoon saw a very honest keynote speech from Peter Gethin. Peter’s style might not be to everyone’s taste, but it marks the start of what should be an interesting few years for SirsiDynix.
If anyone is looking for the “Systems Managers Forum” presentations from Tim Fletcher and myself, then you can find them here.