Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Announcing FulfILLment Testing Pilot Project

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The Pacific Library Partnership, consisting of three libraries in California, has contracted with Equinox Software, Inc. to test FulfILLment.  The partnership consists of Los Gatos Public Library, Peninsula Library System (the city of San Mateo only), and Santa Cruz Public Library.  These libraries currently use Koha, Millennium, and Evergreen as their ILS.  Lori Bowen Ayre, The Galecia Group, is serving as a consultant on this project as part of the Open Source – Open Libraries project.  The partners will be testing FulfILLment to see if it can meet their requirements for managing physical item resource sharing between independent library systems.  FulfILLment was developed by Equinox developers with funding from OHIONET and other development partners including:  the State Libraries of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and WiLS.  It is anticipated that FulfILLment version 1.0-RC1 will be available in the spring/summer of 2013.

FulfILLment is generally described as an open source ILL software, but it is so much more.  It is an open source, regional resource-sharing system between disparate ILS.  It was designed to bridge otherwise incompatible software products so that different libraries can continue to use their current ILS while obtaining many benefits enjoyed by libraries using Evergreen in resource-sharing consortia.  The development of LAIs (Local Automation Integrator) in FulfILLment makes this possible by allowing the participating libraries to obtain bibliographic and other relevant information from each library’s current automation system and making this information accessible over the internet.  FulfILLment is also scalable.  If necessary, new custom LAIs can be developed in future versions of FulfILLment to allow even more libraries to join and enjoy all that FulfILLment has to offer.

Get to know your friendly, neighborhood open source ILL better! This week in FulfILLment: Patron and Staff Use

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Below is a brief overview of how patrons will be able to use FulfILLment:

  • Patrons will access the NGDI (next generation discovery interface) through the find elsewhere (customizable) link in their home catalog.Clicking the link will allow them to browse the union catalog of libraries connected through FulfILLment.After choosing the material they want, the patron has to authenticate (if not already logged in) and complete the request.
  • Patrons will be able to specify a need by date.
  • Patrons will be able to opt-in for email notification when a request need by date is expiring and use the link to the request to change the date or cancel.
  • Notifications of cancelations and items ready for pick-up can be made via email or print.Although FulfILLment will not be able to do print notices itself, it will be configurable to output PDFs or it can be integrated with a third party printer like Unique.
  • Patrons will be able to select pick-up location.
  • Patrons will be able to suspend requests that are unfilled and reactivate them at a later time.
  • If a patron requests a serial, the interface will ask for volume and number information.Patrons may also include more specificity (example: article on page 30 by Smith) in the notes field.

Below is a brief overview of how Staff will be able to use FulfILLment:

  • Staff will be able to access a pull list from the FulfILLment interface which will display and print a list of items that have been requested.This list can be run at any time.
  • Staff will pull requested items from the shelf and scan the item barcodes in another FulfIllment interface screen.The system will print a receipt or wrapper upon barcode scan.
  • With proper permissions, staff may use the interface to also edit, delay, or reject a request.
  • If the request is rejected, the system will automatically try to find another copy to fill the request.
  • Staff may search by request ID or any other field title, patron name, barcode, etc.
  • Staff has the option of targeting a specific copy at a specific library when placing a request for a patron.Patrons will not have this option.

Permit me to tell you about…Policies and Permissions in FulfILLment!

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Policies and Permissions in FulfILLment will be very flexible and highly configurable. Read on to learn more.

    • FulfILLment will have the ability to create policies to determine/control patron eligibility. This is flexible down to specific libraries or specific item types.
    • Authorized staff will be able to create org groupings to funnel patrons into searching pre-defined groups (county-wide, regional, state, school, etc.).
    • FulfILLment will allow blocking of material types at specific libraries from filling ILL for all or specific patrons or groups.
    • Circulation policy can be generated from either the owning or lending library policies.
    • When an item is put in transit to a library to fill an ILL request, a brief bib record is pushed to the home ILS system (if the system permits it) to facilitate checkout. If the home ILS does not permit it, then staff will need to create a brief record.
    • The Administration module will allow local definition of what actions staff may perform and at what locations.
    • The Administration module also allows fine granularity of policies and permissions to be set/configured. Here are a few examples:
      1. The ability to configure max requests per patron.
      2. The “Need by date for material can be configured.
      3. Org units can be configured to be valid pick-up locations.
      4. The ability to designate a library to be the lender of last resort.
      5. Renewals will be configurable on a material type or library-by-library basis.
      6. The ability to configure standard processing charges per library. This amount will be visible to patrons in My Requests.

Remember to check back next week. Next week’s post will cover Patrons and Staff Use in FulfILLment.

This week in FulfILLment…Patron Management and Patron Privacy!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Have you been wondering how FulfILLment will handle patron management and privacy? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for an overview of both.

Patron Management in FulfILLment:

Did you know…?

  • FulfILLment can automatically create patron records on the fly when an ILL is initiated by a patron or staff member on behalf of the patron by pulling information directly from the home ILS.
  • Standard patron fields will include: names, home library, barcode, DOB, email address, 3 phone fields, unlimited physical addresses, profile, standing, barred, expiration, group, and statistical categories (stat cats). A statistical category is a reportable field in Evergreen Open Source ILS that allows staff to organize and gather information about sets of patrons and/or copies. Examples of commonly used patron statistical categories include residency, age, school district or department. Examples of commonly used copy statistical categories include funding, genre or reading level. (Thanks to Shae Tetterton, Project Manager, Equinox Software, Inc. for this description of stat cats!)
  • FulfILLment will support searching on all patron fields.
  • FulfILLment will prevent patrons from requesting material for which they already have an active ILL request.
  • FulfILLment can track patron fines, charges and overdues.
  • FulfILLment allows staff to create policies to determine/control patron eligibility. This is flexible down to specific libraries or specific item types.

Patron Privacy in FulfILLment:

Did you know…?

  • FulfILLment can be set to remove patron information after ILL transactions are complete.
  • FulfILLment can be set to require confirmation that a patron is sharing their data with a foreign library upon ILL initiation.
  • FulfILLment can be set to retain as much or as little patron data as local policy requires.

Be sure to check back next week for another update. The next post will cover the exciting realm of Policies and Permissions.

FulfILLment coming soon to a library near you!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The beta release of FulfILLment is very near completion. The projected beta release date is January 31, 2012, with a projected release of v1.0 at the end of March 2012.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more updates about FulfILLment, providing additional insight into how it works and highlighting some of its features, so be sure to check back each week.

As mentioned in a previous post, the first version of FulfILLment will work with:

  • SirsiDynix Symphony
  • Polaris
  • Aleph
  • Koha
  • III Millennium

Have you ever wondered how FulfILLment will work? How it will connect to various ILSs? LAI is the answer. The FulfILLment LAI (Local Automation Integrator) is designed to work with multiple protocols (like NCIP, SIP, etc.) for retrieval and processing of data. LAI is implemented as a collection of RESTful web-service interfaces that can map, via an ILS specific connector, to each of the various ILSs in use by libraries in the Next-Generation Library Resource Sharing solution. Records can be manually or automatically loaded. Library Administrators will appreciate that the Reporting Interface will allow for powerful and detailed reporting on any field.

Have you ever wondered what else makes FulfILLment special? My dear Watson, it’s the Next Generation Discovery Interface (aka NGDI). The NGDI is a union catalog for patron and staff use, with different actions available based on log in permissions. Staff will have additional options available to them beyond the options available to patrons. The NGDI, a full-text indexing database, utilizes the same extensible search backend as the Evergreen ILS. It’s templatable so libraries can customize the look and feel. The NGDI will display results based on relevance and faceted for best matching and discovery. To prevent patrons from seeing excessive duplicate titles, records are virtually de-duplicated during the catalog loading phase using a fingerprinting algorithm. Holdings availability information may be configured to display on the results page or full record display. Libraries will be able to specify what data is presented in the brief and full bib record displays. Patrons will appreciate being able to view their outstanding ILL requests via the My Requests page.

Be sure to check back next week for another update. The next post will cover patron management and privacy in FulfILLment.

We’re in the homestretch!

Monday, November 7th, 2011

We are in the final phase of development on the FulfILLment project. Equinox developers Mike Rylander and Michael Smith have been hard at work making improvements, adding functionality to the interface, and making progress on the connectors. The interface now includes transit tracking and enhanced filtering.  The transit tracking UIs allow staff to see ILL transits that are currently in transit. There are many more options for filtering, including allowing filtering by library. Users will appreciate being able to sort the results in a variety of ways. The interfaces are also faster now since some changes were made to the way data is refreshed. Another exciting update is the selection of the final list of connectors to be built as part of the initial development phase of this project. They are (in no particular order):
1. Innovative Interfaces Millenium ILS
2. SirsiDynix Symphony
3. Polaris
4. Ex Libris Aleph
5. Koha
Stay tuned for 2012! It’s going to be an exciting year.

FulfILLment Development Update

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

We are now in the sixth quarter of FulfILLment development at this point in the project. The finish line is nearly in sight. ESI developers, Michael Smith and Mike Rylander have been busy at work streamlining corner cases to make the import of items smoother. The jangle core has been completely integrated into the main body of the FulfILLment code, providing speed advantage. The record ingest is more streamlined now. System tests with the iii connector and the Z39.50 interface have been successful. This will make building future connectors easier. The LAI layer can now pull records in from the iii connector and can show interlibrary loans to and from a library. By the end of this quarter, we hope to have a number of the FulfILLment specific interfaces done. Also, we will have completed more work on the UI and will have more to show in this area. Stay tuned.

Update on 4th Quarter 2010 FulfILLment Development

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

During the fourth quarter of 2010, development continued on the FulfILLment project. FulfILLment is more than halfway completed at this time. Equinox Software, Inc. developers’ Mike Rylander and Michael Smith completed more backend and database work as they continued to integrate and extend the Jangle Core implementation for use with FulfILLment to facilitate inter-operation with end-point ILS’. Work also continued on the LAI connectors, with the second iteration of the Evergreen connector complete, including the framework for configuration file-based connectors for other ILS’. The developers continued to refactor and refine staff and automated workflow design as the specific capabilities of LAI Connectors are planned and designed.

Additionally, progress was made on the User Interface (UI) as well. On the Borrower ILL list, staff will be able to view a list of outstanding ILL transactions for which their institution is the Borrower. On the Borrower ILL request list, staff will be able to view a list of ILL requests for which their institution is the Borrower.  Finally, regarding the Lender ILL request list, staff will be able to view a list of ILL requests for which their institution is the Lender. It is anticipated that the remaining UI development in this area will be completed during this quarter.

No software development project would be complete without testing, testing, and you guessed it, more testing. In keeping with this mantra, full-system load testing is already underway. We started with the throughput testing for MARC import and are pleased to report initial results currently indicate approximately 30 records/second per stream, with stream count limited by number of CPUs.

We’ll have more updates for you in the future as we continue to make progress.

Plays Well with Others and Shares its Toys

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We’ve recently finished the third quarter of development on the FulfILLment project and are into the fourth quarter. FulfILLment is still on schedule for completion by the end of the fourth quarter in 2011. Thank you to OHIONET and all of the other development partners who continue to make this development possible.

Mike Rylander and Michael Smith (both developers with Equinox Software, Inc.) continued to work on the backend and database. Their work makes it possible to place holds directly on metarecords from the main result screen in FulfILLment. They also continued to work on the Jangle Core, which facilitates communication with other ILS. Development also continued on the patron, item, and record caching. This means information can be cached within FulfILLment for the purpose of managing ILL requests and transactions. The Evergreen connector is substantially complete, which means the foundation is in place to build other LAI connectors. Finally, some more development was completed on the UI components for the Next Generation Discovery Interface.

What does all of this mean for libraries? It means that every aspect of FulfILLment is being designed so that it plays well with others, others being other ILS. So, libraries which are happy with their current ILS can still keep it because FulfILLment will be able to communicate with it. However, FulfILLment will also have the scalability of Evergreen and be able to handle the needs of large scale, consolidated consortia. It will combine the best of both worlds. The icing on the cake – FulfILLment shares its toys (i.e., it’s open source software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL), so there will be no licensing fees to budget for.

FulfILLment – plays well with others and shares its toys. That’s good news for libraries and the communities they serve.

Enter the Spork

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Enter the Spork

Over the last eight months I have been actively working on a new project for Equinox and under contract from OHIONET called FulfILLment, the goal of which is to create a hybrid physical/virtual union catalog and ILL system for seamlessly sharing resources between libraries, regardless of the ILS each library happens to use.

The thinking behind FulfILLment is simple — take the power and scalability of the Evergreen circulation environment, where we have nearly full a priori knowledge of global system state and strong algorithms to help get items to patrons, and project that up to an ILL environment which, heretofore, has typically had little global state information.

Evergreen and FulfILLment have been, at the code level, the same project thus far. Many of the recent improvements to Evergreen that I’ve been involved with can be credited, partially if not completely, to work on FulfILLment, including in-db ingest and import rulesets, search speed enhancement, true facets and new features in BibTemplate. This symbiotic relationship will, of course, continue because much of what both systems do is very similar on a high level.

Even accepting that Evergreen and FulfILLment will facilitate similar ends at the institutions that use them — specifically, getting items into the hands of users — and will share a great deal of internal code and structure, we’ve now reached a point where the details of many of the common goals of the two have been tackled. And so, on August 2, 2010, Evergreen grew a spork.

FulfILLment now has its own identity and will now rise or fall in its own Subversion repository, on its own server, with its own mailing lists and (though I hope there will be a lot of crossover) its own community.

It’s not a f-f-f … f-f-f … you know, that f-word, because FulfILLment will not compete with Evergreen. They will serve different purposes and constituencies, and there will always be things one can do that the other cannot. And, they will feed (on) each other, both in terms of specific code and conceptual design, moving forward. FulfILLment is, in the best possible sense of the term, a derivative project based on Evergreen.

So that’s the code part, but Open Source is about the community, right? This is an open call to all: jump right in! Grab the code (not much different than trunk Evergreen today, but that will be changing fast), join the mailing lists (not much traffic, but if you join then that can change!), hop in the IRC channel (#fulfillment on FreeNode). Dip your toe in, ask questions. This should be a fun ride — it was the first time around with Evergreen — and the more the merrier.

–miker