Posts Tagged ‘OHIONET’

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.