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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.

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