Track Inmagic DB/TextWorks Database Usage in More Detail

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 30, 2015 1:08 PM

Did you know that you can track quite a bit of detail about database usage in Inmagic DB/TextWorks? Every textbase can include a log file in which can track opening and closing a database, record locking, and record additions and deletions, including the Windows username of the person editing a record.

Time and time again, this log file has proven useful to Andornot and our clients. When errors appear in records, and especially when they have been deleted, perhaps erroneously, checking the log file usually helps clear up the mystery of when and by whom changes or deletions we made. While recovering a backup may be necessary to undo the changes, identifying how it happened goes a long way towards preventing future issues (as does adding passwords and other security to databases).

Full details and options for enabling textbase logs are provided in the help built in to DB/TextWorks. Just press F1 and read the entry for "Textbase log files." Here are some excerpts:

Textbase Log Files 

For each textbase, you can enable a log file to record textbase activity, including record and structure changes. A log file is a standard ASCII text file. It is saved in the same location as the textbase and has the same file name as the textbase, with the extension .log. You can enable, view, print, or delete a log file from within DB/TextWorks.  

Note: A log file does not record activity performed using Manage Textbase Elements.  

To enable a textbase log file 

Choose Maintain > Edit Textbase Structure > Log File.  

In the Textbase Log File dialog box, select Enable Logging to File.  

Select one or two fields with key identifying  information that will be written to the log file. We usually recommend selecting the Record ID field if you have one, plus the Title or similar key name field.

To record user activity in the textbase log file 

You can add a Details = parameter to the [LogFile] section of the <textbase>.ini file if you want the textbase log file to record who is opening the textbase, editing records, and locking records. 

Example:  

[LogFile] 

Details = 2  

 

You can set this to one of the following:  

0 - No enhanced logging 

1 - Logs when a user opens or closes the textbase 

2 - Logs when a user modifies records (and opens/closes the textbase) 

3 - Logs when a user locks/unlocks record (and opens/closes the textbase or modifies records) 

 

The <textbase>.ini file will be located with all the other database files, including the log file.

 

See our series of "Spring Cleaning" blog posts about other recommended textbase management tasks.

Contact us for assistance setting this up, or for any other aspect of using DB/TextWorks.

Enhance Genie with Andornot’s Genie Starter Kit

by Jonathan Jacobsen Sunday, June 28, 2015 8:16 PM

Andornot's Genie Starter Kit is a great way to get up and running with the Inmagic Genie integrated library system quickly and easily.

Out of the box, Genie comes with a configuration suitable for all libraries, with basic search screens, reports and edit screens for each module. Right after installation, you can log in and start cataloguing items, entering borrowers and loaning items, routing serials, and managing orders or interlibrary loans.

However, there are many more features available with Genie that are not pre-configured. Full details of how to add these to your Genie configuration are in the technical notes included with Genie, but requires some study and effort. Configuration files are primarily XML, so to take advantage of these features, you'd need to:

  • study the manual;
  • install a text editor that understands XML;
  • learn a bit about XML so you can edit the syntax correctly;
  • learn tips and tricks from other Genie users;
  • add features to the configuration files; and
  • correct errors that may creep in as you edit the files.

If you need Genie to be available in English and French, another set of steps would be required to adjust the configuration, and some translation may be needed.

Andornot's Genie Starter Kit saves you all of the above trouble, and gives you the benefit of Andornot's years of experience configuring Genie for a wide variety of clients. We know and understand both the Genie system and the many ways in is used in different types of libraries, from law firms to hospitals to government agencies. Our Genie Starter Kit is configured to meet the specific needs of these types of libraries, and includes features such as:

  • Customized search screens, including an All Fields screen in every module that lists every searchable field, allowing ultimate flexibility (especially useful for those coming to Genie from DB/TextWorks).
  • Shortcuts between search screens – hyperlinks instead of drop-downs.
  • Icons in search results to indicate material type.
  • Customized Bookwhere / MARC XML conversion file for importing catalogue records from other sources.
  • Shortcuts, such as links on a Borrower record to view a Borrower's loans, reserves, routed serials and orders, or to edit records added to a selection list.
  • Additional reports, such as Orders by Title, Order Subscriptions, a Loan Receipt, a and a Loan Due Soon reminder.
  • Additional statistics, such as counts of different types of records and loans per year.
  • Reports for batch modification and deletion of records, with appropriate permissions to only Administrators have access.
  • Additional and customized order types, order statuses, payment methods and currencies.
  • Additional fields, such as Borrower Status, Catalog Staff Notes, and URLs for Serial issues.
  • Updated location validation lists that include Canadian provinces and territories.
  • Standardized date format so that every date in Genie uses the same format.
  • Textbase field changes to improve searching and sorting.
  • Can be used in English and French, for bilingual Genie installations.

While you could develop all of the above yourself, it requires quite a bit of time and skill, so why not let Andornot improve your Genie workflow quickly and easily.

Every Genie site we set up uses our Genie Starter Kit, but it's also available for existing Genie sites and users. Contact us to discuss how this kit could improve your use of Genie and help you get more out of your investment in Genie.

The Lowly Email Signature: Misunderstood and Under-Appreciated

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 23, 2015 2:19 PM

At Andornot, we see a lot of email. Most of our communication with you, our clients and colleagues, is via email. We think this is similar for many of you too.

Many times we know you well, so when we see your name or email address in our Inbox, we know exactly who you are and where you work, live and play. But, sometimes, you're new to us, or perhaps one of us knows you and not the others. And that's when we immediately scroll to the bottom of your email to look at your signature to know more about who you are, what organization you work for. Alas, if all we see is:

"thanks, Bob"

it's often hard to answer your inquiry or provide whatever assistance you might be seeking. So much depends on context and fore-knowledge - what software you might have, when and how we last helped you, the nature of your organization (government department, corporation, library, archives), and so on.

When we see something like:

Bob Jones
Chief Archivist
Smallville Archives
Tel: 605-555-1212
bobjones@smallvillearchives.com

Joy! We know who you are and how best we can help you. All that from just 5 lines of text at the bottom of an email. And all so easy to set up in your email client. A signature can be appended to every outgoing email, both to colleagues within your organization, but most importantly, to those in the wide, wide world who haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting you.

But why stop at just your contact info? Your email signature is a great opportunity to let people know more about you and what you're doing. For example:

  • include links to your LinkedIn profile or Twitter page,
  • add a message about a project you're working on,
  • list your latest blog post,
  • invite people to contact you for help with information management or research, or
  • remind people to return books to the library! 

The possibilities are endless. It's marketing, but it's useful, informative, helpful marketing. People appreciate these messages, much more than say, a billboard.

Further reading:

Tags: Outlook | tips

Library and Archives Canada Announces New $7.5 Million Funding Program for Local Documentary Heritage Communities

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:25 AM

Library and Archives Canada has announced a new $7.5 million funding program for local documentary heritage communities.

This program is a great opportunity for archives, museums, historical societies and other cultural institutions to digitize their collections, develop search engines and virtual exhibits for them, and other activities that preserve and promote their valuable resources.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Increase access to, and awareness of Canada's local documentary institutions and their holdings; and
  • Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada's documentary heritage.

The program is aimed at non-governmental organizations specifically, including:

  • Archives;
  • Privately funded libraries;
  • Historical societies;             
  • Genealogical organizations/societies; 
  • Professional Associations; and
  • Museums with an archival component.

Businesses, government and government institution (including municipal governments and Crown Corporations), museums without archives, and universities and colleges are not eligible.

Types of projects which would be considered for funding include:

  • Conversion and digitization for access purposes;
  • Conservation and preservation treatment;
  • The development (research, design and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including travelling exhibits;
  • Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes;
  • Increased digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to day-to-day activities);
  • Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity; and
  • Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities.
  • Collection, cataloguing and access based management; and
  • Commemorative projects.

Two categories of funding available:

  • small projects under $15,000; and
  • large projects up to $100,000.

Further program details, requirements  and application procedures are available at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/documentary-heritage-communities-program/Pages/dhcp-portal.aspx

The program runs from June 12 to September 4, 2015, so there's only a short window to prepare a proposal and seek funding.

How can Andornot help?

Andornot has worked with many clients on the types of projects which would qualify for this grant. Some examples are detailed in these blog posts:

We have extensive experience with digitizing documents, books and audio and video materials, and developing systems to manage those collections and make them searchable or presented in virtual exhibits.

Contact us to discuss collections you have and ideas for proposals. We'll do our best to help you obtain funding from this great new program.

New search interface for Interior Health - policy and procedure documents, guidelines and protocols.

by Kathy Bryce Monday, June 08, 2015 10:07 AM

Interior Health contacted Andornot to discuss possible options for providing better access to their policy and procedure documents, guidelines and protocols.  These were available in several locations and were indexed in separate PDF’s depending on service area.  Maintenance of this system of indexes was becoming problematic and unsustainable. Interior Health needed an easy to use search interface for clinical staff to quickly find and link to the documents, whether they be on their SharePoint intranet, a vendor site or part of their subscription to Mosby’s Nursing Skills. 

Interior Health already owned a copy of Inmagic DB/TextWorksand the library staff were familiar with it, so we created a new database to catalog these documents.  The intranet search application pulls data from DB/TextWorks and is powered by our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI) to provide a faceted, discovery style interface geared to be as simple and uncluttered as possible. AnDI features spell checking with Did you mean functionality to catch common misspellings and typos, and staff have added some common acronyms to the records to ensure that documents can be found using nursing jargon.

We were able to extract data from multiple PDF’s and SharePoint lists to build the ClinicalCareFindItinitial database and batch modified records to populate additional fields. As a result, searches can be refined by Interior Health site, practice area, agency responsible, format and keywords.   We also note which source document or manual a specific guideline is part of.  The relevance ranking of the search results was adjusted to ensure that Interior Health (IH) wide documents always appear first. This approach really helps IH staff quickly locate the policy or protocol they are seeking.

Behind the scenes, the database also tracks who developed a document, when it was endorsed, and review dates to allow library staff to better manage the administrative side.  The search interface is hosted by Andornot with access restricted by IP Address to Interior Health staff.

Since the launch the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments from nursing staff included:

  • WOW oh WOW.  My brief interaction with the Clinical Care find-it has been an incredible experience so far.  Congratulations!!!!
  • A thing of beauty doesn’t describe this work well enough.  It is definitely the birth of an amazing solution.  I had a look at it yesterday, and it is a very intuitive piece of work.
  • OMG! It IS a thing of beauty.

And from the person responsible for administering the system:

  • As far as managing workload the drudgery of adding links to 5 separate indexes x 3 alternate titles/keywords (so sometimes 15 entries for one link/document!!!!) has been almost eliminated.  Now there is only “ONE” and it’s great!

This project is a good example of how library staff can assist other groups within an organization to better organize and improve access to their information and resources.  Prior to the start of this project Interior Health had looked to develop a new system internally, however library staff were able to convince them to utilize their existing software and Andornot’s expertise and hosting service to create an efficient and easy to use new system.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you provide improved search access to any collection.

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