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Annual survey of library automated system vendors

Library Systems Newsletter [April 1985]

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Regular readers of will have followed our reports on various aspects of the systems and services of library automation vendors throughout the year. However, as the scope of these pieces is limited by the need to cover other aspects of library automation and the application of information technologies in libraries, we have devoted this issue to a survey of the activities of the library automated system vendors in 1984. The previous survey, for 1983, was published in Vol. IV, Nos. 4 and 5.

Introduction

The preparation of this year's round-up was more challenging than in previous years. In the past it has been relatively simple to categorize the library-automated system players: those active in the North American market generally offered multi-function integrated library systems with circulation control as the keystone around which additional functionality was designed. The major decision was to determine whether a vendor provided a turnkey system of hardware, software, training, documentation and support, maintenance and ongoing software development, or whether its offering was better described as a supported software package.

For 1984, definition was not so simple. Several companies have developed significant library automation products which provide integrated support for the automation of multiple library functions but do not include circulation control; or multi- function integrated systems which focus only on the control of serials; or systems which currently perform only one major function, provision of an online catalog capability. In this situation, categorization becomes somewhat arbitrary. For the purpose of this year's survey, we have amended our definition of an integrated, multi-function, automated library system to encompass systems which offer either circulation control or patron access catalog and automated support of other functions. Other vendors that do not fit this definition will be described in the May issue.

Although not new to the 1984 survey, the selection of appropriate measures of a vendor's activity is also problematic. This survey uses the same basic methodology employed previously. Vendors were contacted by mail, with telephone follow-up as necessary. Our investigations focused on the number of systems sold and gross sales revenues. As emphasized in the section of the survey devoted to supported software, revenue figures for turnkey vendors are not directly comparable to those for vendors which provide software only. No attempt was made to determine the number of libraries served by the systems. Installations range from single-library systems to shared systems serving dozens of libraries.

Summary

The editors identified some 33 organizations marketing integrated multi-function library systems for super-micro-, mini-, or mainframe computers in North America. At the end of 1984 some 25 of these companies were supporting more than 796 operational systems throughout the world, with another 84 systems awaiting installation or acceptance. Of the total of more than 892 sold systems, at least 232, more than a quarter of the total, had been purchased in 1984.

Among the turnkey vendors, two companies--CL Systems Inc. and Geac--reported gross sales in excess of $20 million. CL Systems Inc. also led the turnkeys with the largest number of installed and accepted systems (235), with Data Phase (66) and Geac (65) virtually tied for second place. However, this year Geac reported only on its North American installations. A comprehensive report on its worldwide installations would have put it well ahead of Data Phase. CL Systems Inc. also reported the highest number of new system sales (26) during 1984, followed by Innovative Interfaces (24). Most of the Innovative Interfaces systems currently support only acquisitions and serials; the patron access catalog function is a relatively recent addition to its INNOVACQ product line. The next highest numbers of new. turnkey system sales were reported by Geac and Dynix, each with 17, and OCLC's Local Systems group with 16 sales.

It appears that the most active supplier of integrated, multifunction software packages for library automation was Systemhouse Business Systems Ltd. which estimated 1984 sales of MINISIS at 30. Other software vendors reporting more than ten sales during the year were Virginia Tech with 23, Battelle with 15, and Northwestern with 11.

Turnkey System Vendors

These companies, presented in alphabetical order, offer libraries a total systems approach which includes hardware, software, software maintenance and development, installation, documentation and training. The vendors included in this section offer multifunction integrated software and systems capable of supporting multiple peripheral devices.

Advanced Library Concepts reported having made all four sales of its AdLib system during 1984, but none of the systems had been accepted by the end of the year. Gross sales were under $1 million. Local cataloging, online catalog, report generator and word processing capabilities were operational at three sites. A staff of eight was working on software maintenance and development. [Advanced Library Concepts, 9343 Tech Center Drive, Suite 175, Sacramento, CA 95826 (916) 364-0340.]

Biblio-Techniques, vendor of the Washington Library Network based Biblio- Techniques Library Information System (BLIS), reports having sold four systems during 1984. Gross sales were under $1 million. None of its five systems had been accepted by the end of the year. The functions that were operational were: acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control and online patron access catalog. Biblio-Techniques has nine staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[Biblio-Techniques, 828 East 7th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501 (206) 786-1111.]

CL Systems, Inc. reports that at the end of 1984 it was supporting 235 installed and accepted LIBS 100 systems of which 29 were multi-processor configurations. During the year 26 systems were sold and at the end of the year nine of these were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were in excess of $20 million and the company realized an after tax profit for the year. Local cataloging, circulation and interlibrary loan capabilities were in use at all sites. Use of the OCLC interface was the next most common feature (102 systems), and the reserve book room function was operational on 81 systems. The online patron access catalog was being used on 77 systems. Acquisitions was operational at 47 central sites and materials booking at 25. Fifteen systems utilized the Mini-MARC interface, and one the WLN interface. Eight systems used an interface to connect with external data bases such as those offered by Dialog and BRS, and one was using the cable TV interface. Fifteen of the systems were utilizing an interface to communicate with other CLSI systems. CLSI's micro processor support systems were being used at 92 installations.

The company reported that a total of 61 staff are assigned to software maintenance and development-in product development, systems support, systems analysis and product management.

[CL Systems, Inc., 1220 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02165 (617) 965-6310.]

Data Phase reports that as of the end of 1984, it was supporting 66 installed and accepted ALIS systems, 11 of which are multi-processor installations. During 1984 two systems were sold, one of which was awaiting acceptance at the end of the year. The company's gross sales for the year were between $10 and $15 million. Local cataloging and circulation control were implemented on all systems, and the OCLC interface was available at all sites. The report generator was in use on 11 systems, acquisitions on four, patron access catalog on five, and materials booking on two systems. The MiniMARC interface was being used at two installations. The company has 40 staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[DataPhase, 9000 West 67th Street, 2nd Floor, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202 (913) 262-5100.]

Data Research Associates markets ATLAS, an integrated automated library system, and a standalone Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). DRA reports that at the end of 1964, 16 ATLAS systems and 13 LBPH systems were installed and accepted. Three of the ATLAS systems are configured around multiple processors. The sale of six ATLAS and four LBPH systems during 1984 resulted in gross sales of between $5 and $9 million, and an after tax profit for the company. Eight of the systems sold during 1984 were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of the year. These were the only systems awaiting installation and acceptance. All ATLAS sites were using the local cataloging capability, and the circulation/interlibrary loan software was operational on 14 systems. The online patron access catalog was implemented at eleven sites, and newspaper indexing at five. Six installations were using the materials booking component, and three the COM catalog production routines. A union listing facility was in use at three sites. One site was using the acquisitions software. A cable TV interface was also available but not being used. Word processing, report generator and inter-system interfacing are part of the basic package, available at all ATLAS sites.

ATLAS handles bibliographic utility linkage through NETCAT, a vendor-supported cataloging facility which accesses OCLC and RLIN. Three sites were using this facility. Sixteen staff are committed to software maintenance and development.

[Data Research Associates, Inc., 9270 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-3276 (314) 432-1100.]

Dynix reports that it was supporting 22 automated library system installations by the end of 1984 and, having sold 17 systems during the year, had eight systems awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross revenue from sales was between $1 and $4 million but the company did not realize an after tax profit for the year. All installed sites were using circulation, local cataloging and global authority control together with the report generator and word processing capabilities. The patron access catalog function was operational at ten sites. Five installations were using interfaces to connect with other Dynix systems. The company had a staff of 21 committed to software maintenance and development.

[Dynix, 1455 West 820 North, Provo, UT 84601 (801) 375-277O.]

Electric Memory Inc. reports that it was supporting four EMILS/3000 systems at the end of 1984, and one was awaiting installation or acceptance. The company made all of its five system sales during 1984, resulting in gross revenues of under $1 million and an after tax profit for the year. The circulation, online catalog, interlibrary loan, report generator and word processing modules have been implemented on all four operational systems. Six staff are working on software maintenance and development.

[Electric Memory Inc., 656 Munras Avenue, P.O. Box 1349, Monterey, CA 93942 (408) 646-9666.]

This year Geac reported only on its North American installations. (In 1983 it had also reported on its overseas sites which then numbered nineteen.) By the end of 1984 Geac was supporting 65 systems in North America, nine of which were multiprocessor installations. During the year, 17 systems were sold, five of which were waiting installation at the end of the year. Gross sales for the library division of the company were in excess of $20 million. The modules most commonly implemented were circulation (64), local cataloging (51) and patron access catalog (43) Acquisitions was in use at 23 sites. Interlibrary loan, materials booking and report generator functions are configured as part of the circulation module and were available at all sites using that module. Seventeen online interfaces to OCLC were in use, and five UTLAS interfaces. The company had contractually committed to deliver RLIN, WLN and MINIMARC interfaces. A cable TV interface was under development and one site was using the system to access the systems of data base vendors such as Dialog and BRS. Interfaces to allow communications among separate Geac systems were in use as was the electronic mail capability. Three of the library system installations had also purchased Geac ' s separate word processing system.

The company reported that it had 35 staff devoted to supporting the library system software, and 18 committed to software development.

[Geac, 350 Steelcase Road West, Markum, Ontario L3R 1B3 Canada (416) 475-0525.]

Innovative Interfaces was supporting 32 installations of its INNOVACQ system in the United States at the end of 1984. There were also five installations in Canada, but these are not included in the following figures. All installations use a multi-processor design. During the year 24 systems were sold, and five were awaiting installation or acceptance by year's end. Gross sales were between $1 and $4 million and the company realized an after tax profit. All installations were using INNOVACQ's report generator; the acquisitions module was operational on 30 installations, and serials control on 17. One installation was using the patron access catalog module. The OCLC interface was used by 14 installations, and the RLIN and UTLAS interfaces were each used at two sites. INNOVACQ also supports interfaces to the systems of other automation vendors, such as CLSI, and major book vendors including Blackwell North America and Baker & Taylor.

A staff of six is committed to software maintenance and development, and the company also uses several consultants in this area. [Innovative Interfaces, Inc., 1409 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 (415) 527-5555.]

M/A-CON Information Systems, Inc. (formerly M/A-CON Sigma Data) reports that it was supporting 17 libraries using the DATALIB automated library systems by the end of 1964. Thirteen of these were served by standalone systems, the rest were used by the company's time-sharing system. Six standalone systems were sold during the year, and four were awaiting installation or acceptance. The library division of the company realized an after tax profit for 1984 and reported a FTE staff of 14 committed to software maintenance and development. Acquisitions capabilities were operational at 12 sites. Local cataloging, global authority control, circulation and patron access catalog functions were operational at nine sites.

[M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc., 5515 Security Lane, Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 984-3636.

OCLC Local Systems was supporting 14 installed and accepted LS/2000 systems by the end of 1984. During the year 16 systems were sold, resulting in total sales of 32 systems for the two years 1983 and 1984. Of these systems, 18 were in various stages of installation and/or acceptance. Gross sales for 1984 were between $1 and $4 million. All of the completed installations were using the cataloging and authority control modules, eight were using circulation and the OCLC interface, and seven were using the patron access catalog capability. OCLC has 20 staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[OCLC, Inc., Local Systems Division, 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017-0702 (614) 764-6000.]

The Sedna Corporation reports that it was supporting three installations of its Sedna Information Management System (SIMS) at the end of 1984. One system was sold during the year and two were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales for the year were under $1 million. Local cataloging, global authority control and serials control were operational at two sites; acquisitions and patron access catalog at one site each. The report generator capability was in use at three sites. Five staff are committed to software maintenance and development.

[Sedna Corporation, 970 Raymond Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55114 (612) 647-1101.]

The Sirsi Corporation reports that at the end of 1984 it was supporting seven installations of its Unicorn Collection Management System. Five systems were sold during the year, resulting in an after tax profit. Local cataloging, circulation, patron access catalog and interlibrary loan are in use at all sites. Acquisitions and serials control are each operational on one installation. Four sites were using the interface to remote data base vendors and the system's word processing and report generator capabilities, and three the OCLC interface. The system also supports electronic mail and a Marcive interface. Global authority control, materials booking and a cable TV interface were reportedly under development. Three staff are committed to software development and maintenance.

[Contact: Sirsi Corporation, 8106-B South Memorial Parkway, Huntsville, AL 35802 (205) 881-2140.]

The Sperry Corporation reports that it was supporting four installations of the PALS Automated Library System at the end of 1984. Two were multi-processor installations. During the year, three systems were sold, and two of these were awaiting installation or acceptance. The modules in use at one or more sites were online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan and the report generator. The company indicated that four staff are committed to software maintenance and development for the system.

[Sperry Corporation Computer Systems, P.O. Box 500, Blue Bell, PA 19424-0001 (215) 542-4011.]

Sydney Dataproducts Inc., the vendor of the Easy Data Library System was unable to report on its 1984 sales in time for this survey. However, in 1963 the company had reported a total of 18 system sales. Four of those installations utilized multi-processor configurations. On the installed systems, the most popular applications during 1983 were local cataloging and global authority control, capabilities which were utilized by all the installations. Acquisitions was in operation on eleven systems, and six employed the circulation module. The online patron access catalog function, designed for skilled/ experienced users, had been implemented at three sites. A Marcive interface was being used by four libraries, and an RLIN interface by one. Tape loading interfaces were supported for WIN and UTLAS. Four libraries were using the system's word processing module.

[Sydney Dataproducts Inc., 11075 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (213) 479-4621.]

Systems Control, Inc. reports that it was supporting three SCICON installations by the end of 1964, one of which was still in the process of being accepted. There are also two other installations of the system, but these do not receive maintenance support from the vendor. One system was sold during the year. The local cataloging module, report generator and OCLC interface were being used by five sites, and circulation control and online catalog modules by four. Two sites were using the interlibrary loan capability and the materials booking system, and the global authority control capability, MiniMARC interface and word processing capabilities were each used by one installation. The company has three staff devoted to software maintenance and enhancement.

[Systems Control, Inc., Commercial and Industrial Systems, P.O. Box 10025, Palo Alto, CA 94303 (415) 494-1165.]

Universal Library Systems reports that it was supporting 29 installed and accepted ULISYS systems by the end of 1964. Two were multi-processor configurations. Three systems were sold during the year, and two of these systems were awaiting installation or acceptance. The company realized gross sales of between $1 and $4 million and achieved an after tax profit. All installations were using the circulation, local cataloging and interlibrary loan modules, and 26 had implemented global authority control. Twelve installations were using the patron access catalog software, five the reserve book room, and one each of the acquisitions, materials booking, and newspaper indexing modules. Seven systems made use of the OCLC interface, two were using the UTLAS interface, and one the WIN interface. Word processing software is supplied as part of the operating system and ULISYS enables different libraries using the system to have dial access to the other installations. Universal has 15 people committed to software maintenance and development.

[Universal Library Systems, 205-1571 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7V lA6 Canada (604) 926-7421.]

Vendors of Supported Software

These companies offer libraries supported software packages which include ongoing software maintenance and development, and varying degrees of support with documentation and training. Some of the software vendors are also beginning to give libraries assistance in configuring the hardware on which to mount the software. Comparisons cannot be drawn between the gross revenues of supported software vendors and turnkey system vendors, as the figures for the latter include a large component of hardware sales.

The Battelle Software Products Center reports that there were 22 installed and accepted BASIS Technical Library Systems at the end of 1984. Fifteen systems were sold during the year, resulting in gross sales of library software of between $1 and $4 million. The library division of the company realized an excess of income over outgo during 1964.

Circulation, acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control, serials control, interlibrary loan, report generator and an OCLC tape interface were all operational. Battelle has a total of 19 staff committed to software maintenance and support. The group is responsible for the company's basic BASIS software as well as for the library systems based on that software.

[Battelle Software Products Center, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201-2693 (614) 424-6424.]

Comstow Information Services, vendor of the Biblio-Tech Library Software reports that 13 libraries were using the software by the end of 1984. Five packages were sold during the year, one of which was awaiting installation and acceptance. All users had implemented the acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control, patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, word processing and report generator modules. Circulation was operational on ten systems, and serials control on eight. Two systems were using the OCLC offline interface and the remote data base service interface. Gross system sales were under $1 million, but the company realized an after tax profit. Five staff were committed to software maintenance and development.

[Comstow Information Services, 302 Boxboro Road, Stow, MA 01775 (617) 897-7163.]

During 1984 the Georgetown University Medical Center Library made six sales of its Library Information System. Gross sales were under $1 million. Four systems were operational by the end of the year and six were awaiting installation or acceptance. The four fully operational systems were utilizing the local cataloging, global authority control and OCLC interface components of the system, and three installations were using the acquisitions, circulation and online patron access catalog modules, together with the report generator. Serials control was being used in two installations, interlibrary loan in one. The system's word processing capabilities were being used at five installations. The MiniMEDLINE component, available as part of the LIS or as a standalone system, was being used at six sites. Georgetown had six staff assigned to software maintenance and development.

[Dahlgren Memorial Library, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3900 Reservoir Road, Washington, DC 20007 (202) 625- 7673.]

Northwestern University reports that it made eleven sales of its NOTIS software during 1984. By the end of the year 19 systems were installed and accepted and four were awaiting installation. In the period under consideration, gross sales revenues were under $1 million. The modules that were operational on various NOTIS installations were: acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control, circulation, serials control, and the patron access catalog. A MARC tape interface and the OCLC interface were also being used, as were word processing and CON output capabilities. Northwestern has 19 staff devoted to software maintenance and development.

[Northwestern University Library, 1935 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201 (312) 492-7004.]

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries are supporting two installations of the Library Information Automated System (LIAS), one in a multi-processor configuration. One system was sold during 1984 and there was none awaiting installation or acceptance. Penn State received revenues of less than $1 million from LIAS during the year. The local cataloging and online patron access catalog functions are operational on both installations, and the circulation and word processing capabilities have been implemented on one system. The RLIN interface and the interface with remote data base service vendors are each being used on one system. Penn State has a staff of eight persons devoted to software maintenance and development.

[LIAS Program Office, E 1 Pattee Library, University Park, PA 16802 (814) 865-1818.]

Systemhouse Business Systems Ltd., the North American agent for the MINISIS system software, reports that as of the end of 1984 approximately 100 systems were in use throughout the world. As many of the systems are made available to developing countries by the International Development Research Centre, it is inappropriate to report in terms of system "sales." However, SHL estimates that 30 new installations were arranged during 1984. Three systems were pending installation in North America, and five in other parts of the world. During 1984 the company realized MINISIS-related revenues of between $1 and $4 million, and made an after tax profit on this aspect of its business.

The capabilities supported by the version of the system designed to support library automation include: acquisitions, cataloging, authority control, circulation, serials control, patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, and materials booking, A report generator and generalized MARC interface are also available. Some ten persons are committed to MINISIS software development and maintenance. Other versions of MINISIS are available to support records management and museum inventory systems.

[Systemhouse Business Systems Ltd., 2827 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1V OC4 Canada (613) 526-0670.]

Virginia Tech reports that it was supporting 51 installations of the VTLS software by the end of 1984. During the year 23 systems were sold, and six of these were waiting installation or acceptance by year's end. The modules operational at user sites were: circulation, local cataloging, global authority control, online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, materials booking, and the OCLC and MiniMARC interfaces. The systems have the capability of interfacing with other VTLS systems. Some libraries also use their library system hardware to support word processing software. Virginia Tech reports that it has a staff of twelve people committed to software maintenance and development. (Center for Library Automation, 416 Newman. Library, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (703) 961-6452.]

The Washington University School of Medicine Library reports that it made one sale of its Bibliographic Access & Control System (BACS) software during 1984. At the end of the year it was supporting two installations, both multi-processor systems, and had one system awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were under $1 million. Acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control, circulation, serials control, patron access catalog, report generator, word processing and an interface to provide linkage with other BACS systems were all operational at two sites. One site was using the interlibrary loan capability, one the OCLC interface, and one the interface to remote data base services. Three people are committed to software maintenance and development.

[Washington University School of Medicine Library, 4560 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110 (314) 454-3711.]

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View Citation
Publication Year:1985
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 5 Number 04
Issue:April 1985
Page(s):25-32
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss and Judy McQueen, Contributing Editors
Company: SIRSI Corporation
Advanced Library Concepts, Inc.
Battelle Software Products Center
Biblio-Techniques
CLSI
Comstow Information Services
DataPhase Systems, Inc.
Data Research Associates, Inc.
Geac
Electric Memory, Inc.
Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
OCLC Local Systems
Dynix Systems, Inc.
M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc.
Sperry Corporation
Systemhouse Business Systems, Ltd.
Systems Control, Inc.
Sydney Dataproducts, Inc.
Sedna Corporation
Universal Library Systems
Washington University -- School of Medicine Library
VTLS, Inc.
Products: AdLib
BASIS Technical Library Systems
Biblio-Techniques Library and Information System (BLIS)
Biblio-Tech Library Software
Bibliographic Access & Control System (BACS)
DATALIB
Easy Data Library System
Georgetown LIS
LIBS 100
LIAS
Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
NOTIS
Georgetown LIS
LS/2000
MINISIS
PALS Automated Library System
Sedna Information Management System (SIMS)
ALIS
SCICON
ATLAS
INNOVACQ
ULISYS
Unicorn
DRA
Libraries: Washington University -- School of Medicine Library
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:4121
Last Update:2022-08-07 02:02:16
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00
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