Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Migrates to VuFind Discovery Interface

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:40 PM

Andornot was pleased to help Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Library & Information Services migrate several of their web-based library search interfaces to the VuFind discovery interface this summer. 

The NSBS Library has used Inmagic DB/TextWorks for many years to manage a variety of databases, including a library catalogue. Inmagic WebPublisher was previously used to search some of those, and remains available for a few other databases, but now a new VuFind interface provides a single search across:

  • texts, case law reporters, legislation, forms & precedents collections, and other print material;
  • online resources licensed for in-library use; and
  • continuing professional development papers in full-text.

The new catalogue is available at https://catalogue.nsbs.org

Features such as spelling corrections and search suggestions, relevancy ranked results (with more recent items boosted higher in results), and facets to narrow searches provide the features users expect in a web search application.

The design of the new VuFind site was customized to match as closely as possible the main Society website, for a seamless transition between the two. The site adapts to the user's browser, so it's just as usable on a tablet or phone as in a desktop browser.

The initial response from library users has been very positive. 

"I've spoken to quite a few library users who've tried it and are really pleased. Find it really user-friendly. We have gotten emails from lawyers who have clearly discovered an interesting sounding resource via the catalogue and want to know more (is it in-library use only or can they borrow...). Some lawyers also got on board right away with signing up for a user account so that they could use the results management tools, like sending selected results as an email list to us, asking if resources are available." – Deborah Copeman, Librarian, NSBS

The NSBS Library joins a growing number of specialized libraries adopting discovery interfaces to search their collections. While public and academic libraries have offered this more modern style of search to their users for many years, smaller libraries are now able to join them with systems such as VuFind and our own Andornot Discovery Interface.

Contact us to discuss improvements to your library information and online search applications.

Law Society of New Brunswick Library Upgrades Web Catalogue

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 19, 2015 10:19 AM

Andornot recently helped the Law Society of New Brunswick Library upgrade its Inmagic DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO-based library catalogue.  

We started by upgrading the DB/TextWorks database to the latest version available from our Andornot Starter Kit, including attractive query screens, reports and forms, with script buttons for easy navigation.

We then developed a new web interface using a responsive template that works as well on tablet or phone as a desktop browser. This attractive interface incorporates design elements from the Law Society’s main website, while providing maximum usability for searching the catalogue. 

The catalogue search is available in English and French, and allows society members to request items from the library with a simple form.

The new catalogue is available at http://www.nblawlib-bib.ca

"It's been an exciting and informative time with the development and launch of the new catalogue website, led by the exceptional guidance and direction of Jonathan and the team at Andornot. The Provincial Libraries Committee and myself are pleased with the outcome and look forward to patrons accessing and benefitting from the ease of use of the new template and the resources available."  -- Tanya Davis, Provincial Law Librarian

The new catalogue is hosted by Andornot as part of our managed hosting service.

Contact us to discuss improvements that might be possible for your catalogue.

DBTextWorks and WebPublisher PRO Version 15 Upgrade Tips: To Preserve or not Preserve CSS?

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, August 14, 2015 1:12 PM

Inmagic released version 15 of DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO not long ago and many of you have or are upgrading to this new version, to take advantage of some of the great new features, especially in DB/TextWorks.

Please note that when upgrading, special attention must be paid to any forms and query screens inside your textbase that you use on the web. This may be forms that you developed yourself and use with WebPublisher, or they may be forms provided by Andornot as part of our Andornot Starter Kit or Andornot Archives Starter Kit. A change to DB/TextWorks in version 15 may affect the layout of your search pages and results.

The ReadMe file for version 15 notes the following:

Use Cascading Style Sheets to preserve formatting. In the Query Screen Designer and Form Designer the HTML tab of the Screen Properties or Form Properties dialog box includes this new option. Previous versions of DB/TextWorks asked the question each time you used Export Query Screen to HTML or Export Editing Form to HTML. In addition:

  • Whether cascading style sheets (CSS) are used is explicitly specified for each form, rather than for WebPublisher as a whole or by query screen.
  • The WebCSSOpt= DBTWPUB.INI option and the CS= URL parameter have been removed.
  • WebPublisher no longer tries to guess whether CSS will cause overlapping by automatically disabling CSS for forms that include Raw HTMLor Inline Images.
  • When DB/TextWorks upgrades a textbase for use with v15.0, all query screens and forms will be modified to have this option checked. If any of your forms include Raw HTML or Inline Images, which may cause overlapping, you may need to open them in the Form Designer to uncheck this option.

All forms that were provided by Andornot from our Starter Kits should not have Use CSS checked. With forms that you developed yourself, you may or may not wish to have this, depending on your form design.

If you've already upgraded and your web search layout is looking a bit like the morning after a wild night out (e.g. messed up), most likely it's due to the above and you simply need to open each form in the Form Designer, edit the Form Properties, and uncheck this box.

If you need assistance with the above, or have other layout issues, please feel free to contact us.

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.

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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