BLCMP's major new integrated library system, Talis, was also officially launched at the Library Resources Exhibition. It is an entirely new design (not based on BLS), conceived according to open systems principles and operating on UNIX (AT&T) platform. Talis is based on the Sybase relational database software. It is modular in design and used SYBASE's Structured Query Language, with the aim of incorporating future changes in technologies. It will run on an Ethernet LAN and uses TCP/IP protocols. The system complies with X-Open guidelines and POSIX standards.
Connection to the BLCMP database is of course still possible; this is normally achieved through a dedicated line, but BLCMP are also developing X.25 access to enable pay-as-you-go access. They hope that this will be available in the near future. Either terminals or PCs can be used as workstations. The system is also capable of running under Windows if required.
The BLS system will still be supported, but BLCMP believe that most existing customers will eventually migrate to Talis because of its open strategy. It is also designed to be more user-friendly than BLS. A highlight bar, for example, is used in the OPAC (and other modules) to select items to search from the displayed index. Boxes are stacked upon the screen as the user progresses through a search; it is then possible to back-track through your original steps. If the Windows operating system is used, different modules can be run at one time and displayed on the screen.
The first installation will be at the Westhill and Newman College Libraries in Birmingham in the Autumn. The John Rylands University of Manchester is the first major university library to select Talis. It is hoped to install acquisitions software at Manchester in the Autumn and further modules in early 1993.