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Annual survey of automated library system vendors

Library Systems Newsletter [March 1987]


Once a year the Editors of LSN systematically survey the library automation industry to get an overview and to facilitate comparison among vendors. This issue is devoted to our latest survey of the vendors who offer integrated, multi-function turnkey systems—those which in— dude hardware, software, installation, training, and ongoing support from a single source. The April issue will include the individual survey results for the library automation vendors who offer software packages only for supermicros, minis and mainframes. The previous survey, for 1985, was published in LSN Vol. VI, Nos. 4 and 5, April and May 1986.

INTRODUCTION

The integrated multifunction system has now come of age. Almost all major vendors are now committed to providing acquisitions, serials control circulation and patron access catalog modules—and in some cases, additional functionality—besides. Virtually all of them could deliver at least three of these basic modules by the end of 1986 with the fourth coming during 1987. Carlyle Systems and Innovative Interfaces, two vendors which have in the past chosen to limit the scope of their software, announced during 1986 that they have launched major development efforts and will have all of the four basic modules by the end of 1987 or early 1988.

This survey uses the same methodology employed in previous years. Vendors were contacted by mail, with telephone follow-up as necessary. Our queries - focused on the number of installed and accepted systems, the number of sales during the past calendar year, the number awaiting installation and/or acceptance, gross sales, profits, number of staff committed to software maintenance and development, and the number of customers using each module or major function. We made no attempt to determine the number of individual libraries being served by the systems, because these numbers are continually changing and a “library” can be as small as a single terminal branch or a large research library with over 100-terminals.

In several cases, the figures supplied by the vendors do not balance with figures supplied for previous years. In other cases we were unable to elicit responses from some of the vendors and had to extrapolate the data from other sources. The usefulness of this survey is primarily in checking to see which companies are still actively marketing and supporting their products, to identify corporate changes and new companies, and to help spot possible trends.

SUMMARY

The editors identified some 31 organizations marketing integrated multifunction library systems or software packages for supermicro, mini or mainframe computers in North America. Two-thirds of these vendors offer turnkey systems and the other third software packages only. Vendors which offer both turnkey and software only options (for example, UNISYS and VTLS) have been included in the turnkey summary.

At the end of 1986 the 20 turnkey vendors included in the survey were supporting more than 1,000 operational systems throughout the world, and another 100 or so systems were awaiting installation or acceptance. Of this total of more than 1,100 turnkey systems sold since 1974, slightly over 200 had been contracted for during 1986. That number was slightly higher than that for 1985, when the vendors reported having sold just under 200 systems, but lower than for 1984 when over 230 systems reportedly were sold. Quite frankly, the Editors were somewhat surprised by the apparent flatness of the market.

Among the turnkey vendors, only one company—CLSI—reported gross sales in excess of $30 million. Geac reported sales of just under $20 million. All others realized sales of under $10 million for the year.

CLSI also led the turnkeys with the largest number of installed and accepted systems (277), with Geac (138) in second place. VTLS ranked third (74) and OCLC Local Systems was fourth (72). (The figure for OCLC Local Systems does not include the former Data Phase ALIS II accounts which may opt for OCLC support.) Dynix followed in fifth place (66) and DRA in sixth (48). No other vendor reporting had more than 21 sites.

CLSI also reported the highest number of new system sales (36) during 1986, followed by Dynix in second position (31), OCLC Local Systems in third (28), Geac in fourth (21), DRA in fifth (18), and Innovative Interfaces in sixth (16). Carlyle was seventh (13), VTLS was eighth (11), and INLEX was ninth (10). No other vendor reported selling ten or more systems during the year.

CLSI led the industry in the number of staff devoted to software maintenance and development (over 100). Geac followed in second place with 60. Both CLSI's and Geac's figures reported this year are at least 20 persons higher than those for last year. DRA was in third place (27), OCLC in fourth (26), VTLS in fifth (21), Innovative Interfaces in sixth (17), Dynix in seventh (12), Carlyle in eighth (11), and INLEX in ninth (10). No other vendor reporting, committed ten or more staff to software maintenance and development.

TURNKEY SYSTEM VENDORS

The following companies are turnkey system vendors. They offer libraries a single source for hardware, software, installation, training, and ongoing support; and normally assume responsibility for total system performance, rather than just for the software:

Advanced Library Concepts which reported making four sales of its AdLib system during 1984, did not respond to the 1985 LSN survey. Their 1986 survey form was returned by the U.S. Postal Service, but a competitor's widely circulated claim that the company has gone Out of business is not so. The Editors determined that the company has relocated its offices to Honolulu and has been redesignated Advanced Library Concepts, a division of Advanced Libraries and Information Inc. The company reports that it is in a period of reorganization from a primarily development company to a market driven company. Private venture capital is providing the source of the additional funding necessary to attempt such a transition. The company claims a current total of six installations, two of its low end Advance product and four of its Aloha upper end product. Three of the latter four are in the continental U.S. and are afforded mainland—based service. Seven systems, all in Hawaii, were sold in 1986 and six of these were awaiting installation at the end of the year.

Gross sales were reportedly under $1 million. The company declined to comment regarding profitability. Four persons are committed to software maintenance and development. Modules available at all six installations include: local cataloging, authority control, circulation, online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, report generator and word processing. An Acquisitions module, in prototype, is at one site on the mainland. One site is using a BiblioFile interface, and another a remote data base searching interface. Two sites are using an interface to other Advanced Library Concepts systems.

[Advanced Library Concepts, a division of Advanced Libraries and Information Inc., P.O. Box 62059, Honolulu, HI; (808) 942—9773 .]

Biblio-Techniques, vendors of the Washington Library Network based Biblio- Techniques Library Information System (BLIS), which reported having sold seven systems during 1984 and 1985, went out of business during 1986. The majority of the libraries which purchased the software appear to be committed to retaining their systems and working directly with WLN. While there has been discussion and a joint development program among former Biblio-Techniques customers, nothing had happened by the end of the year.

In 1984, Carlyle Systems Inc. began offering its TOMUS turnkey system to support data base creation and maintenance, and online catalog functions. During 1986 it sold thirteen systems, up from seven last year, bringing its three-year total to 21. Three of these systems were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of 1986. The company reported gross sales of between $1 and $2.5 million but declined to disclose profit data. It also declined to disclose the number of sites using each module, but confirmed that the following modules and interfaces were in use at one or more sites at the end of 1986: local cataloging, authority control, circulation, and online patron access catalog; and interfaces with OCLC, Faxon, and Innovative Interfaces. Eleven staff were committed to software maintenance and development, an increase of three since last year. The company plans to introduce acquisitions and serials control modules in 1987 and an enhanced circulation module by early 1988.

[Carlyle Systems Inc., 5750 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608; (415) 654—2600.]

CLSI reported that at the end of 1986, it was supporting 277 installed and accepted LIBS 100 systems of which 55 were multi-processor configurations. Thirty-six systems were sold during 1986. At the end of the year, three of these were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were in excess of $30 million, and the company realized an after tax profit for the year. CLSI was not able to quote the number of users of each software module, however, the following modules and interfaces are installed and operational: acquisitions, authority control, local cataloging, circulation, online patron access cataloging, interlibrary loan, materials booking, serials control, and interfaces with OCLC, WLN and MiniMarc. Their DataLink interface to connect with external data bases such as BRS and Dialog is operational, as are a cable TV interface and an interface to communicate with other CLSI systems. CLSI reports having developed an interface with Geac and Data Phase systems. The report generator is scheduled for delivery in the spring of this year.

The company reported that more than 100 staff are assigned to software maintenance and development.

[CLSI, 320 Nevada Street, Newtonville, MA 02165; (617) 965—6310.]

Data Phase did not respond to the survey, presumably because the company is no longer marketing systems. The Data Phase ALIS II software was sold to OCLC in late 1986. OCLC will be providing limited software support and maintenance as it begins the process of having these sites “migrate” to its LS/2000 system. Data Phase earlier had sold the rights to its ALIS III software to UTLAS.

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

Data Research Associates (DRA) markets ATLAS, an integrated automated library system, and a standalone Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). DRA reported that at the end of 1986, 48 systems were installed and accepted. Seven of the ATLAS systems are configured around multiple processors. The sale of 18 systems during 1986 resulted in gross sales of between $7.5 and $10 million and an after tax profit for the company. Thirteen of the systems were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of the year.

Circulation, interlibrary loan, local cataloging, community information file, report generator and OCLC interface were operational on 48 systems. The online patron access catalog had been implemented at 27 sites, and Library for the Blind and materials booking were operational at 17 sites. Five libraries were using authority control, and two were using the acquisitions module. A cable TV interface was also available but not being used. Word processing, was being used at two sites. One site was using the RLIN interface and two were using a BiblioFile interface. Interfaces to UTLAS and WLN are said to be under development. Two libraries are using a remote data base searching interface, while 5 are using an interface to other DRA sites. Serials control only recently has been released. Twenty-seven staff are committed to software maintenance and development, an increase of two over the previous year.

[Data Research Associates, Inc., 1276 North Warson Road, P.O. Box 8495, St. Louis, MO 63132-1806; (800) 325—0888, (314) 432-1100.]

Dynix reported that it was supporting 64 automated library system installations by the end of 1986, having sold 31 systems during the year. This is an increase of more than 55 percent over the number it reported in 1985. Thirty-three of these systems were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of the year. All installed sites were using local cataloging, global authority control, and the report generator. Thirty-eight sites were using circulation, twenty-five the online patron access catalog, and over twenty were using word processing. Twelve libraries had OCLC online interfaces, two had an RLIN interface, two had a WLN interface, and five were using the BiblioFile interface. One installation was using the serials control module, and three were using the community information module. One library was operating a cable TV interface, 10 were using the remote data base searching interface, and at least thirty-five were using an interface to enable communication with other Dynix sites. The company has a staff of 12 committed to software maintenance and development. Gross revenue from 1986 sales was between $2.5 and $5 million, and the company realized an after tax profit for the year.

At the end of the year principals in the company arranged a buy-out of Eyring Research, the owners for the past two years.

[Dynix, 1455 West 820 North, Provo, UT 84601; (801) 375-2770.]

Electric Memory Inc. was sold during 1986 and reorganized as INLEX, which is discussed elsewhere in this article.

Geac reported 138 installed and accepted systems, all of which were multiprocessor installations. During the year, 21 systems were sold, three fewer than last year. A total of fifty—six sites were waiting installation or acceptance at the end of the year. Gross sales for the library division of the company were between $10 and $20 million, down from the $20+ million reported last year. Though its fiscal year is not yet complete, the company estimates that the library division will realize an after-tax profit. Over the course of the last several months, LSN has documented the significant financial troubles faced by Geac and its attempts to work clear of the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11. Many of the problems appear to be attributable to dramatic changing in the banking and financial industry, the largest sector of Geac's business. Although company officials had indicated in early 1987 that an announcement of sales or new investments in one or more of the company's divisions likely would be forthcoming soon and that such a move by Geac would go a long way towards restoring it to financial health, as LSN goes to press, no announcement has been received.

The modules implemented in North America only include: circulation (73); local cataloging (85); authority control (18); and patron access catalog (52). Acquisitions was in use at 28 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. Twenty libraries were using online interfaces to OCLC, and 8 UTLAS interfaces, 5 RLN interfaces, 5 WLN interfaces, and 2 MiniMarc interfaces are in use. A cable TV interface was in use, 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. Six of the library system sites also had purchased Geac's word processing module. Nine sites have installed serials control. The company reported having 60 staff devoted to supporting the library system software, up from 35 reported last year.

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

INLEX reports having sold 13 installed and accepted systems at the end of 1986. Ten systems were sold during the year, with 9 awaiting installation and/or acceptance. The company failed to note the number of libraries which had installed each of its software modules, but the following were operational in at least a single site: circulation; online patron access catalog; report generator; OCLC, WLN and BiblioFile interfaces; and a dial—up catalog capability. Gross sales were reported as under $1 million, but the vendor would not say whether it realized an after—tax profit. Ten staff were committed to software maintenance and development.

[INLEX, P.O. Box 1349, Monterey, CA 93942; (408) 646—9666.]

Innovative Interfaces was supporting 66 installations of its INNOVACQ system at the end of 1986. Sixteen of these were sold during 1986, the same number as last year. Six of these were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the close of the year. All installations use a multi—processor design. Gross sales were between $2.5 and $5 million and the company realized an after tax profit. All installations had INNOVACQ's report generator and its acquisitions module; 59 have the serials control module. Seven sites have patron access catalogs, five use the local cataloging module, and one site has circulation control. The OCLC interface was used by 35 installations, the RLIN and UTLAS interfaces by 8 and 3 sites respectively. INNOVACQ also supports interfaces to the systems of other automation vendors, including CLSI (7 sites), Data Phase (now OCLC) ALIS II (1), Gaylord circulation system (1) and interface with LCS at Ohio State University (1). It also supports interfaces with major book and serial vendors including Blackwell North America, Baker & Taylor, Couts, Midwest, Faxon and EBSCO. A staff of seventeen was committed to software maintenance and development at the end of the year, an increase of nine over the number reported last year. The company will be introducing circulation and patron access catalog modules in 1987.

[Innovative Interfaces, Inc., 1409 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; (415) 527—5555.]

Library Information Systems, which took over the Pomona Public Library and the State Library of Alaska accounts from the now defunct CTI, has two systems operational. The vendor sold one system in 1986 which was awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Gross sales were under $1 million. The firm did not realize an after— tax profit. Modules in use include: local cataloging (3); circulation (3); online patron access catalog (3); inter— library loan (3); report generator (3); word processing (3); WLN interface (2); OCLC interface (1); and materials booking (1). Three staff are devoted to software maintenance and development.

[Library Information Systems, Inc., 840 Irvine Avenue, Suite S—210, Newport Beach, CA 92663; (714) 631—0784.]

M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc. did not respond. A year ago it reported that it was supporting 16 systems using the DATALIB automated library system software by the end of 1985. Two systems were sold during 1985. The company had reported 17 sites a year earlier—thus suggesting the loss of some accounts. The customers contacted by LSN were not aware of any new sales made during 1986. The company refused to quote sales figures at the end of 1985 or to answer whether it made an after-tax profit. Acquisitions capabilities were operational at nine sites at the end of 1985. Local cataloging and global authority control were operational at 11 sites, circulation at nine sites, patron access catalog at 12 sites, and serials control at two. Six staff were committed to software maintenance and development at the end of 1985, a drop of eight from the end of the previous year. Again, no 1986 information was obtainable for this survey.

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

OCLC Local Systems was supporting 72 installed and accepted LS/2000 systems by the end of 1986. It sold 28 systems during the year. Of these systems, 20 were in various stages of installation and/or acceptance. Gross sales for 1986 were between $7.5 and $10 million. The company did not report an after-tax profit since it is a non-profit organization. Seventy-two of the sites were using local cataloging and authority control. Sixty—nine sites were using circulation, 44 online patron access catalog, 61 electronic mail, 28 interlibrary loan and 3 serials control. Sixty-six systems had an online OCLC interface. OCLC had 26 staff committed to software maintenance and development, a reduction of 6 from last year.

[OCLC Local Systems Division, 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, OR 43017—0702; (614) 764— 6000.]

The Sedna Corporation did not respond. A year ago it reported that it was supporting five installations of its Sedna Information Management System (SIMS). The company said that it had sold one system during the year and none was awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales for the year were under $1 million. The company did not realize a profit. The company appears to have been doing considerable development work during 1986, but there were no announcements of new sales. Local cataloging was operating at four sites, global authority control at three, acquisitions and serials control at two, patron access catalog at three, and materials booking at one. The report generator capability was in use at all sites. Five staff were committed to software maintenance and development at the end of 1985. Again, no 1986 information was provided for this survey.

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

The SIRSI Corporation did not respond to the 1986 survey, though it reportedly had 13 completed installations as of the middle of 1986. A year ago the company reported that as of the end of 1985 it had sold 9 of its Unicorn Collection Management Systems, seven of which were awaiting installation or acceptance by the end of that year. Gross sales for 1985 were under $1 million, and the company did realize an after-tax profit. It appears that the company made at least six sales during 1986, all small systems. The Unicorn system reportedly includes modules for acquisitions, circulation, academic reserves, enhanced public access, serials check-in and control, electronic mail and bulletin board. The system also offers global authority control, materials booking, interface to remote data base vendors, word processing and report generator capabilities. Interfaces to OCLC and RLIN, are each operational on at least one installation. The system reportedly also supports a MARCIVE interface. Six staff were committed to software development and maintenance at the end of 1985.

[SIRSI Corporation, 8106-B South Memorial Parkway, Huntsville, AL 35802; (205) 881—2140.]

The Sperry Corporation, now renamed Unisys, reported that it was supporting seven installations of the PALS Automated Library System at the end of 1986, the same number it reported last year. The vendor has two other sites which require no support. Three sites were multiprocessor installations. During the year, four systems were sold, with none awaiting installation or acceptance. The modules in use include: circulation (5); online patron access catalog (7); and interlibrary loan (1). Acquisitions, local cataloging serials control and an OCLC interface are reported in testing. Sperry reported gross sales of between $2.5 and $5 million, and that it realized an after—tax profit. The company did not report the number of staff committed to software maintenance and development for the system.

[Unisys, P.O. Box 500, Blue Bell, PA 19424—0001; (215) 542—4312.]

Sydney Dataproducts Inc., the vendor of the Easy Data Library System, did not respond. It also failed to respond to the 1984 and 1985 surveys. In 1983 the company had reported a total of 18 system sales. Anecdotal evidence suggests that recent sales have been slow. In 1983 four of the 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 11 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 WLN and UTLAS. Four libraries were using the system's word processing module. Again, no recent information was supplied for this survey.

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

Systems Control Inc. has not responded for the past two years. At the end of 1984, it reported that it was supporting three SCICON installations, one of which was still in the process of being accepted. There were also two other installations of the system, but these did not receive maintenance support from the vendor. 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, Mini MARC interface and word processing capabilities were each used by one installation. The company has three staff devoted to software maintenance and enhancement. The company is said by some of its customers to be limiting its work to custom development, rather than to off-he-shelf systems.

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

Universal Library Systems did not respond to the survey, but it reportedly was supporting 30 installed and accepted ULISYS systems by the end of 1986. Three were multi-processor configurations. No sales figures for the year were ascertainable. Three systems were sold during the previous year, 1985, and the company reportedly realized gross sales of between $2.5 and $5 million and achieved an after-tax profit. In its previous response, the company noted that all installations were using the circulation, local cataloging and interlibrary loan modules; as many as 20 had implemented global authority control; twenty-five installations were using the patron access catalog software; one each the acquisitions, materials booking, word processing, and newspaper indexing modules; fifteen systems were using the OCLC interface, three were using the UTLAS interface, and two the WLN interface. As of last year, Universal had 11 people committed to software maintenance and development, a drop of four from the previous year, Again, no 1986 data was supplied by this vendor.

[Universal Library Systems, 205-1571 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1A6 Canada; (604) 926—7421.]

Virginia Tech, last year, reported that it had become an OEM for Hewlett-Packard and could bid a turnkey system for those libraries requiring a single contract In most cases, however, it continues to bid software only in joint responses with local Hewlett-Packard offices. At the end of 1986 it was supporting 74 installations of the VTLS software and 27 MicroVTLS sites. During the year 11 packages and systems were sold, an increase of one over last year. Five VTLS and 5 MicroVTLS sites were awaiting installation or acceptance by year's end. The organization would not disclose revenue information, though it did report a profit. The vendor did not detail how many sites were using each module. The modules operational at one or more user sites were: serials control; local cataloging; global authority control; circulation; online patron access catalog; interlibrary loan; report generator; and the OCLC, RIIN, WLN, MiniMarc and BiblioFile 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 and local data base searching. Acquisitions is available, though not yet installed. Status control, an interface to Library of Congress data base on videodisc, network intelligent link and a packet radio support are available. Virginia Tech reported that it had a staff of 21 people committed to software maintenance and development at the end of 1986, a reduction of 1 since last year.

[Center for Library Automation, 416 Newman Library, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061; (703) 961—6452.]

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View Citation
Publication Year:1987
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 7 Number 03
Issue:March 1987
Page(s):17-24
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss and Hal Espo Contributing Editors
Company: Advanced Library Concepts, Inc.
Biblio-Techniques
Carlyle Systems, Inc.
CLSI
DataPhase Systems, Inc.
Data Research Associates, Inc.
Dynix Systems, Inc.
Electric Memory, Inc.
INLEX, Inc.
Geac
Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Library Information Systems, Inc.
CTI Library Systems Inc.
M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc.
OCLC Local Systems
Sedna Corporation
SIRSI Corporation
Unisys
Sperry Corporation
Sydney Dataproducts, Inc.
Systems Control, Inc.
Universal Library Systems
VTLS, Inc.
Products: AdLib
Biblio-Techniques Library and Information System (BLIS)
TOMUS
LIBS 100
ALIS II
ALIS III
ATLAS
DRA
Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
Dynix
Inlex/3000
GLIS
INNOVACQ
DATALIB
LS/2000
Sedna Information Management System (SIMS)
Unicorn
PALS Automated Library System
Easy Data Library System
SCICON
ULISYS
VTLS
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:7341
Last Update:2021-11-17 12:27:41
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00