PROVO, Utah—November 2, 2004—Dynix, the world's leading provider of automation technologies, solutions, and services for libraries, today announced the general availability of Universal Resource Sharing Application 4.0. The product has completed extensive quality assurance testing and is now ready for purchase and implementation by new customers. URSA 4.0 is the most powerful interlibrary loan system available to libraries and contains a subset of the functionality found in Horizon Information Portal 4.0, which will be in general availability on December 15.
URSA 4.0 automates ILL request placement through patron self-service requesting, enabling users to autonomously request books, journal articles, specific volumes from a set, or multiple items while enjoying the freedom to select desired lending terms, pickup locations, and need-by dates. URSA 4.0 is fully integrated with Horizon Information Portal 4.0, utilizing a powerful Z39.50 search engine. Through the integration with Horizon Information Portal 4.0, URSA de-duplicates search results, provides home-library authentication, and makes Web-based fill-in request forms available.
“We are very pleased to be announcing the general availability of URSA 4.0 for new customers,” said Dynix Vice President of Product Management Steven Nielsen. “Though our Universal Resource Sharing Application is already widely recognized as the industry-leading product for interlibrary loan, URSA 4.0 will help libraries provide a new standard in service while making the ILL process absolutely seamless for staff to administer.”
The URSA 4.0 borrower-user interface is fully Web-based and uses style sheets that can be easily localized and customized. The administration-user interface is a robust and efficient thin-client application, written in Java Swing and designed for high productivity. Each library and consortium profiles its own policies regarding borrowing and lending. Additionally, the product is easy to regionalize, with all data elements, error messages and help files translatable into non-English languages and scripts.
URSA 4.0 supports NISO Z39.83, the recently adopted NCIP standard, yet also works with many systems that have not yet added support for NCIP, through the use of proprietary services. The power of URSA inter-operability allows a consortium comprised of different ILS systems to work together seamlessly, eliminating the need for member libraries to use the same product for users to search across multiple sites and place a request. Through technology found in URSA 4.0, Z39.50 allows users to search across multiple ILS systems, and NCIP enables request management between disparate ILS systems, including the creation of item information and automatic user notifications.
URSA provides end users with significant time savings while creating substantial cost savings for libraries. On average, a traditional ILL request takes approximately 16 days, whereas current URSA customers report an average of just four days to fill requests within their consortia, resulting in a much higher pickup rate for loaned materials. Traditional interlibrary loan requests cost approximately $26 per request, but URSA customers report an average of $8 per request. Most of the savings occurs through the automation of tasks that are performed manually in traditional interlibrary lending. Staff time accounts for up to 75 percent of ILL request costs.
URSA 4.0 provides enhanced statistical reporting over previous versions of the product, including cross-tabulation of activity reports, detailed borrowing and lending reports, and new reports for lender billing and for tracking copyright information. In release 4.0, reports can be customized for a variety of applications and exported in Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, HTML, and comma delimited formats. An adapter is also available to dump URSA statistics into the Director's Dashboard of Horizon Web Reporter.
Request Manager in URSA 4.0
URSA 4.0 is delivered as a Dynix ASP solution, allowing for convenient use without any need for libraries to purchase and maintain their own servers for resource sharing. The ASP solution provides several components, including the URSA application and database, an NCIP Gateway to communicate with non-NCIP library systems, an optional ISO ILL Gateway, and links to local circulation systems. Horizon Remote Patron Authentication may be added for customers that require additional user-authentication services.
URSA 4.0 will be in general availability for existing customers during the fourth quarter of 2004. Individuals interested in purchase information or a demonstration of the product should contact their Dynix sales consultant or call 1-800-288-8020.
Dynix is the global leader in new-name sales of library management systems and has the largest installed customer base of any library technology vendor. As a committed advocate of the library community, Dynix serves academic, special, school, public, and consortium libraries in over 40 countries. Dynix has more than 100 professional librarians on staff and proven experience in software leadership. Since 1983, Dynix has provided customers visionary technology solutions that support the latest industry standards and offer intuitive functionality. For complete corporate information and a guide to Dynix products and services, visit www.dynix.com.