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.

VuFind Version 5.0 Released

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, July 16, 2018 5:37 PM

Version 5.0 of VuFind, the popular open-source discovery interface, was released today, a year after the last major release (4.0). 

This version improves the software’s compatibility with recent language and operating system releases and adds several significant new features.

Some key additions:

  • New features to improve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including optional user-initiated account removal and support for encrypted session data.
  • Significant improvements to the "Channels" interface for serendipitous resource discovery, including a streamlined user interface and several new channel providers (such as "new items" and "trending items").
  • Improved support for rendering geographic data.
  • PHP 7.2 compatibility.
  • Optional user access to their own account history.
  • Upgrades to the latest Solr, SolrMarc and Zend Framework component versions.

Additionally, several bug fixes, new configuration options, performance enhancements and minor improvements have been incorporated.

Although VuFind was largely developed by and for academic libraries, we've found applications for it in other organizations, including smaller specialized libraries. Our blog has details of selected projects. In general, we recommend VuFind for organizations with purely bibliographic records and little or no need for customization, a custom graphic design, integration of other features or content, etc. For organizations with those requirements, our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI) is a perfect choice.

In comparison to the release schedule for VuFind Andornot’s own Andornot Discovery Interface, which shares the same Apache Solr search engine as VuFind, is continuously upgraded with each project we use it for. Earlier sites built from AnDI can be upgraded as needed, and we’ve begin doing so upon request by clients. Upgrades include any new features and bug fixes added or made to AnDI since the initial build of the site, plus upgrades to key components, such as Solr, .Net versions, Javascript libraries, and more.

Contact us to learn more about VuFind or AnDI and how either might offer your users an improved search experience for your collections and resources.

Tags: VuFind

Andornot's July 2018 Newsletter Available: News, Tips and Tricks for Libraries, Archives and Museums

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, July 04, 2018 9:08 PM

Tags: newsletters

Snazzy up your DB/TextWorks databases!

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, July 04, 2018 10:58 AM

DB/TextWorks has been around since the late 1990’s and we sometimes come across clients with databases that were developed almost that long ago!  Two recent projects we are working on involve rationalizing older databases to modern standards.   It’s amazing how old, ugly, inefficient interfaces can be spruced up through the use of one of our kits for libraries, archives and museums.  We use these as a starting point, and after updating field names to be as descriptive as possible, we import our query screens, report and edit forms and adjust these to show the clients fields.  If you have report designs you like, you can do this too!  Under Maintain > Manage Textbase Elements you can import and export forms from one database to another.  We like to color code our databases and it’s possible to open the exported forms in Notepad or other text editor and carefully edit to replace background colors. Archives_Accessions

Inevitably requirements change over the years, so we help clients review how fields are being used, and suggest adding or deleting fields to better handle their needs.  We also make sure to add automatic number and date fields, appropriate validation and substitution lists and work with clients to clean up their data by batch modifying or updating values through the validation lists. After so many years working with DB/TextWorks we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves, and often export data, adjust it in other software and re-import to split or combine fields.

If you need assistance with your databases, please check out some of our past blog posts that provide various suggestions for improvements.  Note that some of these reference older versions of DB/TextWorks so the location of functions may not be identical.

Spring Cleanup series:

Give your databases a new lease on life and contact us for a quote to help you love them again!

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