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Annual survey of automated library system vendors Part II: software only vendors

Library Systems Newsletter [April 1988]

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Eleven organizations responded to the survey of automated library system software for the integrated support of multiple library functions. In addition to software, these vendors provide libraries with varying levels of assistance in configuring hardware, installation, training, and ongoing software development. The most significant difference from the companies offering turnkey systems is that software-only vendors will not give contractual guarantees that hardware and software will work together to achieve a negotiated level of performance.

All of the software packages offer cataloging or data base creation capabilities, circulation and online patron access catalog support, and either acquisitions or serials control functions. The majority--BiblioTech, DOBIS/Leuven, Easy Data, the Georgetown University Medical Center Library Information System, NOTIS, and Techlib/STACS--support all these functions, and more. The move towards significant integrated functionality confirms the trend towards maturation noted in the turnkey vendors detailed in previous issue.

The software-only vendors offer systems to "fit" a wider range of library sizes than do turnkey vendors. The vendors surveyed reported installations ranging from support of a single terminal to more than 400 terminals. Because of different charging and licensing structures, software-only vendors are less able than turnkey vendors to detail the size and hardware configurations of their installed systems. Nor are the revenue reports of the two groups comparable; turnkey vendor revenues include both hardware and software sales, software- only vendors generally report only software sales.

Of the software-only companies disclosing revenues, NOTIS led with $2.5 to $5 million; all other reports were for amounts of less than $1 million from library software products. Sydney Development Corporation--reclassified for this survey--reported the highest number of new system sales (91) during 1987. It was followed by NOTIS (25), Information Dimensions Inc.'s TechLib (16), and Georgetown University Medical Center and Comstow each with five new software sales.

Sydney also reported the highest number of installed systems (244) followed by NOTIS (91) , TechLib (81), Comstow (32), and Georgetown (25). No other vendor reported more than ten software installations, although the Editors judge that IBM DOBIS/Leuven may also meet this criterion if worldwide installations are tallied.

Comstow Information Services markets the BiblioTech software for DEC VAX minicomputers and the DEC PD? 11/23 through 11/70 line. It reported five software sales in 1987, bringing the number of installed and accepted systems to 32. Gross sales were under $1 million and the company realized an after-tax profit. All sites utilize the local cataloging, authority control, serials control, on-line patron access catalog, journal citation files, inventorying, report generator, and word processing modules. Eighty-eight percent have implemented the interlibrary loan capability, 78 percent have circulation operational, and 50 percent utilize acquisitions. LAN interfaces are used in 47 percent of installations, the OCLC interface in 15 percent, and the BiblioFile interface in six percent of sites. Five sites support from eight to 15 terminals, 25 sites from two to seven terminals, and two sites have single- terminal systems. The company reports that eight staff are committed to software maintenance and development.

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

The Dahlgren Memorial Library reported that it was supporting 25 installations of the Georgetown University Medical Center Library In formation System at the end of 1987. All were single processor installations on DEC PDP/ll or VAX machines. Five systems were sold during the year, and four of these were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were under $1 million and information on profitability was not available. Acquisitions, local cataloging, authority control, circulation and inventory, serials control, online patron access catalog, OCLC interface, word processing and report generator capabilities are available at all sites. Eighty percent of the installations use the journal citation capability. An audiovisual booking option is available. Seven sites were supporting from 60 to 90 terminals, 21 sites from 30 to 59 terminals, and two sites each support from 16 to 29 terminals. The Library reports having nine FTE staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[Contact; Georgetown University Medical Center, Dahlgren Memorial Library, 3900 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington, D.C.; telephone (202) 667-1176.]

The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library is supporting seven installations of the City of Midland Library Circulation System, including the one system sold during 1987. The software runs on IBM System 38 hardware. Gross sales revenues were under $1 million, and information on profitability is not available. All sites were using the circulation and report generator functions, 43 percent had implemented acquisitions, and the online patron access catalog was in use at 14 percent of sites. Six of the installations support between two and seven terminals; one site supports 16 to 29 terminals. The Library has three FTE staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[Contact: Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, 17 West St. Andrews, Midland, MI 48640-2698.]

B.C.E. Library Automation Systems was supporting three installations of its Interactive Library Processing System (IALPS) software on NCR ITX and IBM System 36 hardware at the end of 1987. None were multi-processor installations. Two systems were sold during the year, and both were awaiting installation. Sales were under $1 million for 1987 and the company reported an after-tax profit on its library operations. All sites have all system capabilities: acquisitions, local cataloging, circulation, online patron access catalog, and a BiblioFile interface. A COM catalog option is in use at some sites. Report generator and word processing capabilities are available from the hardware vendor. One site was supporting between 16 and 29 terminals; each of the other sites supported from eight to 15 terminals. The company reports three staff committed to software development and maintenance. Authority control capabilities are the focus of current developments efforts.

[Contact: H.C.E. Library Automation Systems, P.O. Box 18265, Fort Worth, TX 76160; telephone (817) 498-6350.]

IBM responded by phone, stressing its commitment to actively marketing and developing its multifunction integrated automated library system software, DOBIS/Leuven, and citing recent installations including the City of Mesa, Arizona, and Broome County, New York. The software can be mounted on a variety of processors including the IBM 4300 and the IBM 30xx series. In keeping with company policy, information on total installations and capabilities was not released. The Editors estimate that there may be as many as ten DOBIS/Leuven sites in the United States, and up to 100 installations of various versions of the software worldwide. The software supports local cataloging, authority control, acquisitions, circulation, serials control, and patron access catalog, and that OCLC and RLIN interfaces are available.

[Contact: IBM Corporation, Academic Information Systems, 472 Wheelers Farm Road, Milford, CT 06460; telephone (203) 783-7385.]

Information Dimensions, Inc. reported 1987 sales of 16 Techlib/STACS packages, bringing the number of installed and accepted systems to 81 at year's end. Five more systems were awaiting installation. The software, used in conjunction with Battelle's BASIS Text Information Management System (TIMS), runs on a wide range of hardware including DEC VAX; DEC 10 and 20; IBM 43xx series, 370 and 30xx; CDC Cyber and 6000; and the Wang Vs. The local cataloging, circulation and online patron access catalog modules are installed at all sites; acquisitions at 70 percent; authority control (thesaurus), serials control and interlibrary loan at 30 percent of installations; the OCLC interface at 50 percent of sites, and the RLIN interface at 10 percent. Ten percent of systems interface with other Techlib installations. The report generator is used at all sites, and word processing capabilities at five percent of installations. Because the software generally resides on corporate computers which handle a variety of applications, information on the number of terminals devoted to library applications is not available.

Nor are specific revenue figures for the product. The company as a whole has annual sales revenues of between $10 and $20 million. Eight staff are devoted to library products software maintenance and development.

[Contact: Information Dimensions, Inc., 655 Metro Place South, Dublin, OH 43017- 1396; telephone (614) 761-8083.]

Municipal Software was supporting six installations of its MUNIS library automation system software at the end of 1987. The two systems sold in 1987 were awaiting installation or acceptance. The system operates on IBM System 36 processors; there were no multi-processors installations. The company, which provides IBM-based products for governmental entities, realized between $1 and $2.5 million in gross sales from all system products, and achieved an after-tax profit for 1987. All MUNIS sites utilize the local cataloging, circulation, and online catalog functions; 50 percent use the report generator; and five percent the LAN interface. Although available, word processing was not in use at any library installation. Each site supports between eight and 15 terminals. The company reported that it has a staff of 15 devoted to maintenance and development of its entire software product line.

[Contact: Municipal Software, 3021 Gateway Drive, Suite 290, Irving, TX 75063; telephone (214) 518-0728.]

NOTIS Systems, Inc. reported 25 new system sales during 1987 and a total of 91 installed systems. Revenues for the year were between $2.5 and $5 million. The organization, which became a for-profit corporation on 1 September 1987, did not realize a profit for the calendar year, The NOTIS software runs on IBM 4300 series mainframes and compatibles. It offers support for acquisitions, local cataloging, authority control, circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, and interlibrary loan. OCLC and RLIN interface are operational, as are journal citation file and community information capabilities. A report generator, word processing software, and LAN interface are available.

The company does not maintain information on the number of terminals at user sites, nor on processor configurations. NOTIS reported that 30 staff are committed to software development and support.

[Contact: NOTIS Systems, Inc., 1007 Church Street, 2nd Floor, Evanston, II 60201; telephone (312) 866-0150.]

Pennsylvania State University Libraries responded to the survey but indicated that marketing of the LIAS library automation software has been discontinued. Resources are being focussed on the development of additional system components. The software operates on IBM 4300 series machines. By the end of 1987, there were two installed and accepted LIAS systems. Both supported local cataloging, circulation, and online patron access catalog. An RLIN interface and an interface to remote data base services were also operational. Eight full-time staff were committed to software maintenance and development. One installation supports over 400 terminals, the other 30 to 60 terminals. Both are multi- processor configurations.

[Contact: LIAS Program Office, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; telephone (814) 865-1818.]

The Pueblo Library District reported that it was supporting nine installations of its Pueblo Library System software for the Unisys' System 80 line. One software package was sold in 1987 and that was awaiting installation. Software sales were under $1 million, and the institution did not realize an after-tax profit. All installations use local cataloging, authority control, circulation, inventory, and online patron access catalog capabilities. Ten percent have implemented acquisitions and the OCLC interface. Two installations support between 60 and 99 terminals, three from 30 to 59 terminals, one 16 to 29 terminals, and three are supporting eight to 15 terminals. The Library has two staff committed to software maintenance and development.

[Contact: Pueblo Library District, 100 E. Abriendo Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004; telephone (719) 543-9600.]

Sydney Development Corporation, the vendor of the Easy Data Library System, reported sales of 91 packages in 1987, bringing its total to 244. The vendor did not report how many of the new sales were for IBM-PCs and compatibles, and how many for Digital VAX minis; but at least 75 of the users have only a single workstation. The vendor is not currently a Digital OEM, and, therefore, must be considered a software only vendor.

The company did not provide information on revenue or profitability. All of the sites were using local cataloging, authority control, and online catalog. Approximately two-thirds were using circulation, acquisitions, and serials control. Two-thirds had interfaces to OCLC, MiniMARC, or Bibliofile. Forty-four of the sites had eight to 15 terminals and 125 supported between two and seven terminals. The company did not report the number of staff committed to software development and maintenance.

[Contact: Sydney Development Corporation, 600-1385 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V9; telephone (604) 734-8822 or (800) 663-6951.]

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View Citation
Publication Year:1988
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 8 Number 04
Issue:April 1988
Page(s):25-29
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Company: Comstow Information Services
B.C.E. Library Automation Systems
IBM Corporation
Information Dimensions, Inc.
Open Text Corporation
Municipal Software
NOTIS Systems, Inc.
Sydney Development Corporation
Products: Biblio-Tech Library Software
Georgetown LIS
City of Midland Library Circulation System
InterActive Library Processing System
DOBIS
Techlib/STACS
BASIS Technical Library Systems
MUNIS
NOTIS
LIAS
Pueblo Library System
Easy Data Library System
Libraries: Georgetown University -- Medical Center Library
Grace A. Dowe Memorial Library
Pennsylvania State University
Pueblo Library District
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:4428
Last Update:2022-08-07 00:41:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00
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