Carlyle Systems, Inc., celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. Carlyle, which began as a vendor of proprietary online catalog and circulation systems--including both hardware and software--has evolved into a vendor of Unix-based open systems and software supporting a broad range of functionality.
The first commercial version of Carlyle's catalog system (TOMUS) was designed to reduce the high cost of telecommunications. It used a device developed by Carlyle called a remote processor, first installed at the New York Public Library in the spring of 1984. Each library terminal connected to a processor, which connected to the mainframe. Carlyle subsequently incorporated a proprietary data base management system to manage variable-length records, with variable-length fields and subfields. This not only increased storage efficiency, but made it possible to rewrite software without affecting the data base. Finally, the interface processor was developed, which incorporated true parallel processing and modularity, allowing Carlyle to move away from relatively expensive mainframe technology.
By September 1984, a network of eight New York State institutions had installed TOMUS, Carlyle's online public access catalog, and in November, a complete, stand-alone OPAC system was installed at the New York Public Library and at Rice University in Houston. The company grew steadily through 1987 when the Carlyle catalog was installed at 44 institutions. It then went through two turbulent years, including a brief period in Chapter 11.
Beginning in 1989, Carlyle initiated a new systems methodology and marketing effort. The strategic redirection focused on open systems and a complete line of library automation modules. Carlyle's online catalog (TOMUS) and cataloging system (CATIE) , were reconfigured to operate on a Unix-based platform, the industry's most popular operating system. CAROLINE, Carlyle's new circulation system, was also developed on this platform. Carlyle's fully integrated library automation system, the IS/90 Series, was introduced in January 1991. CASS, the acquisitions and serials subsystem, was introduced at the 1991 ALA Annual Conference.
Carlyle is one of several companies which have moved away from proprietary products to open systems. The others include CLSI, Geac, and Innovative Interfaces. Like Carlyle, Innovative Interfaces has moved beyond a limited number of modules to a fully integrated system with a broad range of functionality.
Carlyle has recently moved beyond the industry as a whole by introducing MCMANIS, a collection and image management system that gives access to records and associated images via state-of-the-art imaging technology. MCMANIS incorporates ImageQuery, a versatile imaging system that provides online access to digital images.
[Contact: Carlyle Systems, Inc., 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403; (415) 345-2500; Fax (415) 349-3874.]