10 Ideas to Improve your Web Presence and Help Your Users Find You

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:40 AM

As the air gets crisper and precipitation drives us indoors, Fall is a great time to reflect and to find energy for new projects and adventures.

Have you thought about the web presence your museum, archive or library collection has? Are you providing users with modern tools to help them research your records and share them with others. Here are 10 ideas to read on a blustery Fall day, and that could add some sparkle to your website and online collections.

  1. Upgrade to a more modern search engine, such as our Andornot Discovery Interface, with features users expect when searching. For example, see how we helped Forestry Innovation Investment with their ThinkWood Research Library.
  2. Add ever more historic content to attract users interested in local history and genealogy, like the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives did with back issues of the Arnprior Chronicle newspaper.
  3. Add a map interface so users can browse geographically, like the one we built for the Ontario Jewish Archives.
  4. Have lots of documents? Why not index the full text of them, then when a user searches for keywords, take them directly to the most relevant page in the PDF. No more downloading and repeating the search within the PDF to find the right page. Learn more.
  5. Get out in front of Community Engagement by adding the Disqus commenting system to your search results, so users can more easily discuss items in your collection, help identify people and places, and provide feedback to you.
  6. Make sure your website or search engine is mobile friendly. Google and other search engines now place mobile-friendly results higher in their rankings. And make sure you have a sitemap and permalinks so your collection can be easily indexed by Google and Bing.
  7. Planning to digitize large works, such as maps, paintings, or architectural drawings? Will users be able to see the fine detail in the resulting images on your website or in your search engine? Our Image Zoomer can help, by allowing users to easily zoom in on specific areas of a large image, without having to download that very large file.
  8. Is your website looking dated? Maybe it has the digital equivalent of large shoulder pads or flared pants? Time for a refresh? Let us help with a Content Management System and new graphic design, like we did recently for PRCVI (the BC Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired).
  9. Can't attract the attention of your own IT staff to help with your website or software? Why not have Andornot host it?
  10. On a tight budget? Consider our low-cost Digital History Hub platform for putting collections online and making virtual exhibits.

Contact us to discuss any of these ideas, and ones of your own.

PRCVI Launches New Website, powered by Umbraco

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:13 AM

The Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) is a long-time Andornot client and has just upgraded their website to a new one powered by the popular Umbraco Content Management System.

https://www.prcvi.org

Hosted by Andonot, this new website was specifically designed to meet accessibility guidelines and provide a positive experience for visually impaired users. The primary function of PRCVI is to provide British Columbia School Districts and Group I or II Independent Schools with alternate formats of provincially recommended learning resources and with specialized equipment to support the educational needs of students with visual impairments.

Rather than come up with an entire design from scratch for the new site, PRCVI chose a theme from uSkinned.net, a provider of designs and starter kits for Umbraco. This package provided both a visual design and all the pre-built components - HTML, CSS, JS, Templates, Document Types, etc. - that an Umbraco site needs. It was easy to install and allowed PRCVI staff to immediately focus on migrating content to the new site.

PRCVI’s website includes two instances of our Andornot Discovery Interface, for searching the PRCVI Library Catalogue, and a database of Vision Teachers located throughout British Columbia. Both of these were upgraded to match the template of the main site, for a seamless transition. Users can search the entire new website as well as the library catalogue separately, from search boxes in the site header.

Andornot hosts Umbraco-powered sites for a number of clients, and continues to recommend it as a solid Content Management System for any website. Contact us to discuss your needs for self-managed online content.

Inmagic Releases DB/TextWorks Version 17

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:11 AM

Inmagic has released version 17 of the its popular desktop database management system, DB/TextWorks, with several new features, such as:

1. Undo Record Deletion

Ah, we've all done this... deleted a record we didn't mean to, or worse, clicked Batch Delete instead of Batch Modify and wiped out hundreds or thousands of records. Oops. Of course, we all have robust backup systems (right?) so we've been able to recover from our mistake without too much grief.

But now we can recover deleted records with a couple of clicks within DB/TextWorks. This new feature needs to be specifically enabled for each DB/TextWorks user (in Tools > Options).

Once active, whenever you delete a record, a copy of it is first written to a CSV text file in your User Files directory. This applies both to single record deletions and to batches. The file is stored for 5 days, so you have a short window in which to realize your mistake, but there is no limit to the number of records that can be stored this way. There is then a new menu option (Records > Undo Delete Record(s)) to recover the most recently deleted records, working backwards through all deletions.

One important caveat is that fields in your textbase which are Automatic Number, Automatic Date and similar system-generated fields will most likely not be restored to their original values, but rather set to new ones. For example, if you have a field that stores the date a record was created, when you undo record deletion, the restored records will have today's date as the created date. A small price to pay for the ease of recovering from a mistake, though.

Savvy Windows users who want to rely on this as an even longer term insurance policy could get around the 5 day storage period with a script that runs nightly on their PC to copy the CSV text files to some other folder for permanent storage, where they won't be deleted. (Contact us if you need help with something like that).

2. Search for Duplicate Records

A new entry on the Edit menu, "Browse Duplicated Terms", opens the Query Choices Browser with a new radio button option, "Duplicated Terms", selected. This shows all entries in the selected field which are present in more than one record. In other words, where the Term Index shows all entries, this omits all those that appear in a single record only.

This feature is useful for fields that ought to be unique, such as Call Number in a Library Catalogue or Accession Number in an Archival Accessions or Descriptions database. You,ll quickly be able to see, find and correct inappropriate duplicates.

3. Send Report as Mail supports specifying alternative port

This feature is handy if you use a service such as SendGrid to send bulk emails to addresses stored in a DB/TextWorks databases, as these sorts of services often require that you use a specific port, rather than the email default port of 25.

Bug Fixes

Also addressed in this release are fixes several issues that appeared in the previous one:

  • Specified sort in Genie report is ignored.
  • Dead URL Link Checker: cannot handle TOC info (pound sign) in URL. The checker is more robust, but some URLs still may not be handled correctly (Due to obsolete WinHTTP stack in 32-bit window).
  • Copy Special operation may not include all data in a record.

If you upgrade from a version prior to 15 directly to 17, be sure to read the instructions about the necessary upgrade to your textbases as well as the software. If you're already using version 15, 15.5 or 16, you'll have done this already.

Customers with a current Inmagic maintenance subscription will receive emails from advantage@inmagic.com with instructions for downloading this release. As always, contact us with any questions about this new release, to check the status of your maintenance subscription, or for help upgrading.

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