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Development Strategy and Direction

Press Release: Ameritech Library Services [January 23, 1993]

NOTIS Systems, Inc. firmly believes that the future of library automation depends on functional, integrated, open systems.

The company supports this philosophy through its commitment to the client/server model for distributed computing, the Z39.50 standard protocol for information retrieval and the TCP/IP network, and UNIX-based products. All are designed to meet customers' needs of expanded patron access, greater system flexibility, affordability, easy integration, better resource utilization, vendor independence, and seamless collection sharing with other institutions.

Client/Server -- An Open Systems Architecture

Library automation systems will continue to become more modular and flexible, enabling patrons to handle more of the search process themselves. To allow for this distributed computing, a client/server model allows for a mix of machines and platforms that best fits customers' needs. It delivers a variety of information in an affordable way. Since 1990, all NOTIS development has been guided by the client/server model.

Z39.5O - The Open Road

NOTIS works with the two United States groups that promote adoption of Z39.50 -- Z39.50 Implementers Group, sponsored by the Library of Congress and Z39.50 Testbed Group, sponsored by the Coalition for Networked Information. This ensures that NOTIS customers have access to the latest version of the standard. Already, NOTIS products have been connected to the University of California's Melvyl database, OCLC FirstSearch and EPIC services, RLIN and CitaDel databases, and the AT&T Z39.50 server. NOTIS is the first vendor to commercially deliver a Z39.50-based product.

UNIX - Compatibility in Action

As libraries move away from proprietary computer environments, they are taking advantage of the hardware independence that the UNIX operating system offers. NOTIS understands the libraries' requirements for powerful, affordable and easy to learn UNIX-based products and recently introduced InfoShare, for locally mounted databases using the 239.50 protocol.

Future Enhancements

NOTIS maintains an open pipeline with both current and potential customers to keep abreast of their needs and drive future development. Based on this input, NOTIS will continue to strengthen its commitment to fully integrate new developments with current products.

Product Summary

The family of NOTIS products constitutes a complete, integrated information system. They are designed to expand patron access and to support open systems through the use of client/server architecture and the Z39.50 protocol for information retrieval, as well as the TCP/IP protocol for networks. Customer needs and market influences drive the continual process of new product development.

1993 Product Introductions

NOTIS Document Delivery System

Patrons can now immediately receive sought-after articles with the NOTIS document delivery system. It links bibliographic and article citation files available in the NOTIS system with commercial image servers, enabling patrons to have their needed document printed or faxed automatically to them. Accounting and billing functions are included and can be activated on a database-by-database level.


ProPAC, the first graphical client based on the Z39.50 open systems protocol, makes it easy for patrons to access and search any 239.50 compliant server, including NOTIS' InfoShare, OCLC FirstSearch and EPIC services, and RLIN and CitaDel databases. It also works as a front end to the NOTIS Library Management System (LMS) as well as the NOTIS database access systems and the NOTIS collection sharing system.It is based on Windows and uses pull-down menus, icons, and graphic buttons for point and click use. ProPAC is available for the Apple Macintosh (System 7), MS-Windows for IBM compatible PCs (3865X and above), and X-Windows (for UNIX-based workstations.)

1992 Product Introductions


InfoShare is a UNIX-based server for locally mounted databases that utilizes the Z39.50 open systems protocol. It provides easy database searching for patrons and staff through a common interface to all databases. All searching can be done from the same device and InfoShare supports multiple simultaneous users. In addition, it provides a hook to holdings so patrons can quickly learn where their needed materials are located and if they are currently available. As a UNIX product, InfoShare offers vendor independence and the ability to use low cost storage media (SCSI disk).

PACLink / PACLoan

PACLink and PACLoan are the two components of the NOTIS collection sharing system that may be used together or separately. Together they expand patron access to materials by enabling patrons at one site to use the home catalog user interface to search a variety of local and remote databases to find the materials they need. Without switching terminals, they can request loans as they search.

The PACLink/PACLoan combination is the first system to combine access with interlibrary loan requests.

PACLink allows patrons to search other libraries' collections through the use of the 239.50 standard for library information retrieval, and through compatibility with TCP/IP. Patrons are able to search remote library catalogs via the Internet.

PACLoan enables patrons to initiate online ILL loan and document delivery requests from an OPAC terminal. Patrons simply enter a command to request materials, and PACLoan automatically logs and tracks these requests. Through a graphical workstation, library staff monitor these requests quickly and easily.

Existing Products

Library Management Systems

NOTIS Classic

NOTIS Classic automates all of the major functions necessary for managing a library's collection, including: online public access catalog (OPAC), circulation, cataloging and authorities, acquisitions and fund accounting, serials control, management reports, and database management.


KeyNOTIS bundles all of the functions of NOTIS Classic with the necessary hardware, providing a turnkey automation system. It was designed especially for libraries without technical staffs.


The Multiple Database Access System (MDAS) provides a seamless user interface to external databases mounted locally along with the NOTIS OPAC. MDAS can significantly expand a library's information services at a predictable cost without additional equipment or patron training.

View Citation
Publication Year:1993
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:January 23, 1993
Publisher:Ameritech Library Services
Place of Publication:Evanston, IL
Company: NOTIS Systems, Inc.
Subject: Z39.50
Record Number:3544
Last Update:2022-09-16 16:07:34
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00