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Annual survey of automated library systems--microcomputer-based

Library Systems Newsletter [April 1991]

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Each year ISCI surveys the library automation industry to get an overview of the market and to facilitate comparison among vendors. This issue is devoted to the vendors of microcomputer-based systems (systems using DOS and Macintosh operating systems). While most of the vendors included offer only software packages, this report also includes vendors of turnkey systems, those which provide hardware, software, installation, training, and ongoing support from a single source. Turnkey vendors assume liability for total system performance. Vendors selling just the software package give the buyer only a guarantee that the software is free of defects. In this survey, PC is used in two ways. As a synonym for microcomputer, PC stands for personal computer. PC also has a more restricted meaning which will be obvious from the way in which it is used. In this more restricted context, PC refers to all microcomputers except for Macintoshes, MACs for short.

INTRODUCTION

Like the multi-user systems market surveyed in the March issue, some vendors of PC-based systems offer integrated, multi-function systems with a wide range of functionality. However, this is perhaps the exception rather than the rule. Circulation is offered by nearly all of the microcomputer-based vendors; serials control usually is not offered. Only a few of the vendors offer functionality beyond the four core modules: acquisitions, serials control, circulation, and online patron access catalog modules.

This survey uses the same methodology employed in previous years. Vendors were contacted, by mail, with follow-up by telephone and fax as necessary. Our queries focused on whether the product was available as a turnkey, a software package, or both; the hardware platform, operating system, and programming language; the number of sales during the past calendar year; the total number of installations; the number awaiting installation and/or acceptance; gross sales for 1990; profitability; the percentage of customers using each module or major function; the sizes of the installed systems; and the number of staff devoted to software maintenance and development and to other customer support. Major enhancements reported by the vendors also are included.

SUMMARY

Twenty-five North American companies marketing PC-based automated library systems or software packages were identified. Seventeen responded, including two which offer both multi-user and PC-based systems. One of the two companies, Data Trek,, is included in this issue because the company's focus is PC-based systems, and it did not break out information about multi-user systems. The other company, IME, is seeking to move up in the market, and is aggressively bidding against CLSI, Dynix, Geac, and the other multi-user system vendors. It usually bids the IBM RS/6000 platform, the preferred platform of market leader Dynix. IME's response, therefore, was included with multi-user systems in the March issue of LSN.

Of the 16 vendors included in this issue, five offer both turnkey systems and software packages, and 11 offer software only. On account of the proliferation of PCs already in place in libraries, vendors offering turnkey solutions in fact sell turnkey systems much less frequently than they sell software packages for use on existing equipment.

The 16 respondents sold 6,761 systems in 1990. The total probably represents 90 percent of all sales of PC-based library applications software. No comparable figures are available for 1989 because too ‘few vendors responded to our survey in that year. When IME's 225 PC product sales are added, the total number of 1990 sales was 6,986, and the installed base increase to more than 33,700.

Four vendors--Auto-Graphics, Follett, The Library Corporation, and Winnebago—reported gross sales in excess of $5 million, but Auto-Graphics appears to have included revenues from bibliographic services. Charles W. Clark and Data Trek's sales were between $2.5 and $5 million each. CTB/Columbia and Inmagic each reported sales of $1 to $2.5 million. Each of the remaining vendors reported sales of less than $1 million.

The following vendor reports are arranged alphabetically and are based on information furnished by the respondents. Libraries seeking more detailed and evaluative information on PC-based library systems should consult the March—April and May-June 1990 issues of Library Technology Reports which contain reports on 25 system by Joe Matthews, Joan Frye Williams, and Allan Wilson.

Ameritech Information Systems purchased OCLC's local library systems products in late 1990, including ACQ35O and SC350. Ameritech offers both turnkey systems and software packages. Both products run on the Wyse PC line, IBM Token Ring, and IBM PCs and compatibles with Wyse DOS or IBM DOS. The company sold 31 ACQ35O systems and 11 SC350 systems during 1990. Five ACQ35O and four SC350 systems were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Its installed base was 100 ACQ35O systems and 175 SC3SO systems-—all in North America. The company reported gross sales of under $1 million for both products, and an after-tax profit. Serials control was in use at 64 percent of the sites and acquisitions was in use at 36 percent of the sites for both products. The company reported that users range in size from a single station configuration to an eight-station LAN. A staff of 12 was committed to software maintenance and development, and 15 to other customer services. Major enhancements for the ACQ35O in 1990 included: established communication links to LS/2000 integrated, multi-user system; provided direct links to vendors; provided alternative LAN configurations (i.e., Novell, StarLan). Major enhancements for the SC350 in 1990 include: revised, check-in function for journals; revised claiming function; established MARC import/export functions; provided extended user interface enhancements (i.e., screens, interruptible routines, improved “help” messages); provided alternative LAN configurations (i.e., Novell, StarLan). Ameritech maintains offices in Dublin (OH), Chicago, Albany, and Raleigh (NC).

[Ameritech Information Systems, 4930 Blazer Memorial Parkway, Dublin, OH 43017; (614) 793-5511 or (919) 876-6936; Fax (614) 764-0723 or (919) 878-9799.]

Auto-Graphics, Inc., offers both turnkey systems and software packages. The software requires an IBM XT/AT/PS2 with MS-DOS 3.3. The programming language is higher “C.” The company sold six new systems in 1990. Six systems were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Its installed base was 28 systems—all in North America. The company reported gross sales in the $10 to $20 million range, and an after-tax profit. (These sales figures appear to include income from tape processing and CD-ROM services.) All sites were using online patron access catalog; 90 percent were using authority control; 30 percent were using interlibrary loan; 20 percent were using local cataloging; and 3 percent had community information. Some 20 percent of the sites had interfaces with other systems of the same vendor; and 20 percent had local area network interfaces. Five of the sites had from 200-399 terminals; and six had 100-199; six had 60-99; three had 30-60; two had 16-29; five had 8-15; and one had 2-7 terminals. A staff of 20 was committed to software maintenance and development, and 15 to other customer service. Major enhancements in 1990 included: SharePAC link to OCLC ILL subsystems; and IMPACT/SLiMS small library management system added to broaden functionality to include circulation. The company maintains offices in Pomona, Sacramento, Parker (CO), Springfield (NJ), Niantic (CT) and Phoenix (MA).

[Auto-Graphics, Inc., 3201 Temple Avenue Pomona, CA 91768; (800) 776-6739; Fax (714) 595-3506.]

CASPR, Inc., offers software-only systems which run on Apple Macintosh hardware. The operating system is Mac OS, and the programming languages are “C” and Assembler. The vendor declined to report the number of sales and the number of sold systems awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. The company reported that over 100 systems were installed and accepted by the end of 1990—all in North America. The company reported gross sales figures of under $1 million, and claimed to have an after-tax profit. All sites were using local cataloging, circulation, report generator, and inventorying; 30 percent had online patron access catalog; and 20 percent had acquisitions. Some 70 percent of the sites had remote data base searching; and 70 percent had local area network interfaces. Five of the sites supported 60-99 terminals; 10 had 30-60; 10 had 16-29; 16 had 8-15; 40 had 2-7; and 40 had only 1 terminal. Five staff were devoted to software maintenance and development at the end of 1990, and two staff were committed to other customer support. Major enhancements included a MARC tag table and faster indexing.

[CASPR, Inc., 2011 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014; (408) 446-3075.]

Charles W. Clark Company, Inc., offers a software only product known as MOLLI, as well as peripheral products. MOLLI runs on IBM PC/XT/AT/PS2 or compatible computers. The operating systems are PC-DOS and MS-DOS, and the programming language is “C” with dBase. The vendor reported sales of approximately 200 packages during 1990, with none awaiting installation and/or acceptance at year end. The company was supporting 900 installed systems at the end of 1990—-with 800 in North America. Gross sales were in the $2.5 to $5 million range, and the company claims it realized an after-tax profit. Because MOLLI is an integrated program, all sites have the same software capability for MARC record import. All sites were using local cataloging, circulation, the online patron access catalog module, report generator (using dBase III or IV), and inventorying. All sites had the OCLC interface, UTLAS interface, WLN interface, and BiblioFile interface. Remote data base searching, a LAN interface, and interface with other library systems from the same vendor were also in use at all sites. Two of its clients supported 16-29 terminals; 50 had 8-15; 250 had 2-7; and 500 had only 1 terminal. The company reported that two staff were assigned to software maintenance and development, while five staff were assigned to other customer support. Major enhancements during 1990 for MOLLI Release 4.0 included: display MARC record; changing display formats; searchable notes; improved long display format; circulation status of other copies; simpler quick search; simpler call number search; MARC print option in bibliography; manipulate full MARC records; faster entry/exit in enter records; proof list range; change existing records remained; improved keyword generation; additional print options in indexing reports; automatic holdings records; reassigned accession numbers; simpler define a collection; change collection ID; more information in display collection status; and expanded import file function.

[Charles W. Clark Company, Inc., 170 Keyland Court, Bohemia, NY 11716; (800) 247-7009; Fax (516) 589-6131.]

CTB/Columbia Computing sells software packages for IBM PCs as well as peripheral products from their own catalog. The operating system is DOS, and the programming languages are “C” and PASCAL. The company reported sales of 650 packages in 1990; 300 awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. The total number of installations at the end of 1990 was 1,050-750 in North America. Revenues' were between $1 and $2.5 million. The company reported that it realized an after-tax profit. All of the sites had a report generator module; 95 percent were using local cataloging; 40 percent each were using authority control, circulation, and inventory; 7 percent had serials control; and 5 percent had acquisitions. Twenty percent were using a local area network interface. Two of the sites supported 100-199 terminals; more than 10 had 30-60; more than 50 had 8-15; 700 had 2-7; and 300 had only 1 terminal. The company had seven persons devoted to software maintenance and development, but could not calculate the number of staff devoted to other customer support. The major enhancements in 1990 included: upgrades for Catalog (2.03), Circulation (2.04), Install (2.04), Marc Interface (1.08), and Report Writer, in Utilities (2.05).

[CTB/Columbia, 8101 East Prentice Avenue, Suite 700, Englewood, CO 80111-2911; (604) 688-8501; Fax (604) 688-8145.]

Data Trek, Inc., offers both turnkey systems and software only for PCs and Macs using DOS and Macintosh operating systems. It also offers a VMS version for Digital VAX computers. The programming language is “C” with dBase. The company provided no break-out of its data by system type. Of the systems installed, at least 95 percent are believed to be microcomputer-based. The company reported 300 sales during 1990, with none awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. The vast majority apparently are PC-based. The total number of installations at the end of 1990 was l,550—750 in North America.

Revenues were between $2.5 and $5 million. The company refused to disclose whether or not it realized an after-tax profit. It also did not disclose the percentage of sites with each module/submodule. The company had 24 persons devoted to software maintenance arid development, and 18 committed to other customer support. The major enhancements in 1990 included the development of the new VLS professional series. The company maintains offices in Carlsbad, New York, Paris, London, and Sydney, and has distributors in Germany, Italy, and Spain.

[Data Trek, Inc., 5838 Edison Place, Carlsbad, CA 92008; (619) 431-8400; Fax (619) 431-8448.]

Follett Software Company offers software only for IBM compatibles with hard disk drives. The operating system is DOS; and “C” is the programming language. The company sold 2,500 systems in 1990, bringing the total number of systems sold to 12,500—12,000 in North America. No systems were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. The company reported gross sales of $10 to $20 million, with an after—tax profit for the year. All of the sites were using a circulation module; and 15 percent were using the online patron access catalog. Seven percent had an LC-CD authorities interface; 3 percent had a WLN interface; and 20 percent had a LAN interface. Of the 12,000 North American 5.nstallations, 1,500 had 2-7 terminals, and 10,500 had only 1 terminal. The company reported a staff of nine was committed to software development and maintenance, and 145 to other customer support (80 field trainers, 25 consultants, 30 technical support, and 10 customer service). The major enhancement in 1990 was Alliance Plus, a CD of enhanced MARC records which includes interest level, reading level, review sources, and annotations. The company maintains additional offices in Santa Clara and Santa Rosa, California.

[Follett Software Company, 809 North Front Street, McHenry, IL 60050; (800) 323-3397; Fax (815) 344-8774.]

Foundation for Library Research, Inc. is offered as a software only package. The hardware is IBM PC or compatible with graphics card, parallel printer, and 640K RAM. The operating system is DOS 3.3, and programming is done using dBase 111+. The company sold 25 systems during 1990, bringing the total installations to over 120 (all but one in North America), with one awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Revenues were reported at under $1 million, and the company is a non-profit organization. All of the sites were using authority control, online patron access catalog, report generator, and inventorying modules; and 95 percent each were using local cataloging and circulation modules. Three percent each were using an LC-CD authorities interface and a BiblioFile interface. Ten sites supported 8-15 terminals; 100 supported 2-7; and 10 supported only 1 terminal. The company had a staff of three committed to software maintenance and development, and a staff of three committed to other customer support. The company did not report any major enhancements during 1990.

[Foundation for Library Research, Inc., 2764 U.S. 35 South, Southside, WV 25187; (304) 675-4350; Fax (304) 675-6124.]

Inmagic, Inc., offers software only for PC5, networked PCs, and Digital VAX, running DOS and VMS operating systems. The company did not report the number of sales during 1990 nor the number of systems awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the year's end. In total, over 5,000 packages have been sold worldwide—3,000 in North America. The company reported gross revenues for 1990 in the $1 to $2.5 million range and did not realize an after-tax profit. The company declined to report the percentage of sites using each module, but did report that acquisitions, local cataloging, circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, report generator, and journal citation files modules were in use. An OCLC interface, BiblioFile, RLIN, and UTLAS interfaces were in use through conversion programs; and a LAN interface was also in use. The company did not provide the number of terminals at user sites. The major enhancements during 1990 included: new search capabilities, expanded report options, and global modify/delete. In addition to its headquarters in Cambridge, the company reports authorized dealers located throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

[Inmagic, Inc., 2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140; (617) 661-8124; Fax (617) 661-6901.]

LEX Systems offers software only systems using PCs with MS-DOS and Microsoft Quickbasic, Turbo “C,” and Assembler programming languages. The vendor reported sales of seven systems during 1990. The total number of systems installed at the end of 1990 was 37--all in North America. Two of the sites were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Sales were reported at under $1 million, and it did not realize an after-tax profit. The company declined to report the percentage of sites using each module, but did report that local catalog and circulation were in use at most sites. An OCLC interface, BiblioFile interface, and a LAN interface were also in use. Three sites were supporting 2-7 terminals; 34 were supporting only 1 terminal. The company had a staff of two committed to GLIS software maintenance and development, and one person committed to other customer support. The major enhancement for 1990 was the addition of the circulation control module. The company also maintains an office in Vancouver.

[LEX Systems, Box 1438, Pincher Creek, Alberta TOK lWO Canada; (403) 627-2431; Fax (403) 627-4957.]

Library Automation Products offers software only packages, which run on IBM PC-AT, PS/2, and compatibles; standalone or on a LAN. The programming language is “C,” and the file manager is Btrieve. The company reported no sales during 1990, keeping its total number of installations at 175--170 in North America. Revenues were under $1 million, and the company did not realize an after-tax profit. Some 60 percent each of the sites had local cataloging, serials control, and the online patron access catalog modules; 50 percent were using acquisitions; and 30 percent were using circulation. Half of the sites were each using an RLIN interface, an UTLAS interface, a WLN interface, and a BiblioFile interface. Two sites supported over 400 terminals; three had 100-199; 10 had 30-60; 15 had 16-29; 25 had 8-15; 30 had 2-7; and 90 had only 1 terminal. A staff of eight was committed to software maintenance and development at the end of the year, no staff was committed to other customer support. The major enhancement during 1990 was that Version 4 of the serials control module entered Beta testing.

[Library Automation Products, Inc., 352 7th Avenue, Suite 1001, New York, NY 10001; (212) 967-5418; Fax (212) 967-5457.]

The Library Corporation offers both turnkey and software only for standalone and network applications run in a PC environment. The product is known as BiblioFile. The hardware is IBM PC compatibles with CD-ROM and hard disk drive, and the operating systems are MS-DOS 2.0 (standalone), MS-DOS 3.0 (network); and Novell. It runs on a proprietary DBMS, and the programming language is “C.” The company reported 769 sales in 1990, and claims its worldwide customer base is 2,886—2,663 in North America. It had 70 systems awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Total sales were between $5 and $10 million, with an after-tax profit claimed. Half of the sites were using the report generator module; 89 percent were using local cataloging; and 24 percent were using community information. The online patron access catalog module was in use at 17 percent of the sites; 15 percent had authority control; 3 percent had inventorying; 2.9 percent had circulation; and 2.7 percent had acquisitions. All of the sites were using the BiblioFile interface; 7 percent were using an OCLC interface; 2 percent each were using the RLIN interface, UTLAS interface, and WLN interface; and 1 percent was using a LC-CD authorities interface. Approximately 5.5 percent had a LAN interface; 5 percent had remote data base searching; and 4 percent could interface with other library systems from the same vendor. Two sites supported 200-399 terminals; one had 100-199; two had 60-99; two had 30-60; one had 16-29; 29 had 8-15; 162 had 2-7; and 2,687 had only 1 terminal. A staff of 15 was committed to software maintenance and development at the end of the year, and 36 were committed to other customer support. The major enhancements in 1990 included: PAC—significant speed and capacity improvements, generic keyboard PAC, software only PAC, dial-in PAC access, 99 levels of scoping, ILL, and support for High Sierra; Circulation--additional reports, reserve item processing and full' No compatibility. The company also maintains offices in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Toronto.

[The Library Corporation, Research Park, Inwood, WV 25428; (304) 229-0100 o~ (800) 624-0559; Fax (304) 229--0295.]

Library Interface Systems, Inc. (LISI) offers both turnkey systems and software packages. The hardware environment is the Apple Macintosh, and the programming languages are THINK and PASCAL. The company reported selling 245 systems during 1990, bringing its total to 354—350 in North America. Twenty of the systems were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at the end of the year. Gross revenues were under $1 million, and the company realized an after-tax profit. Approximately 99 percent of the sites were using circulation; 98 percent were using the report generator; 95 percent were using the online patron access catalog; 85 percent were using local cataloging; and 65 percent were using the inventorying module at the end of 1990. One percent was using an OCLC interface. Ten sites supported 8-15 terminals; 320 supported 2-7; and 20 supported only 1 terminal. Two staff were committed to software maintenance and development, and three to other customer support. The major enhancement during the year was faster and easier import/export. The company also has an office in Atlanta.

[Library Interface Systems, Inc., 4924 18330 Minnetonka Blvd., Wayzata, MN 55391; (612) 473-7240; Fax (612) 473-1629.]

Richmond Software Corporation offers Mac the Librarian, a software package that runs on the Macintosh with the Double Helix programming language. The system is new; therefore, no sales were reported and no installations have been completed. Gross revenues were reported at under $1 million, and an after-tax profit. Ten staff were committed to software maintenance and development, and 15 were committed to other customer support at the end of 1990.

[Richmond Software Corporation, P.O. Box 1744, Roswell, GA 30077-1744; (800) 222-6063.]

TKM Software, Limited, sells only its software package—MicroCAT—which operates in a PC environment under DOS, and in a multi-user environment under SCO Xenix. The programming language is “C.” The company reported 17 sales during 1990, bringing its total to 29--22 in North America. The company reported gross revenues of under $1 million, and reported an after-tax profit. All sites were using local cataloging and the online patron access catalog; and 10 percent each were using inventorying and circulation. All sites were using a BiblioFile and UTLAS interface; 30 percent had remote data base searching; and 20 percent had a LAN interface. The company reported having four people committed to software maintenance and development, and one committed to other customer support. The major enhancements during 1990 included the addition of more screens for customization and ease of use, and improved documentation.

[TKM Software, Limited, Box 1525, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6N3 Canada; (204) 727-3873; Fax (204) 727-3338.]

Winnebago Software Company offers software only systems that run on IBM PCs and compatibles. The operating system is MS-DOS; the DBMS is Btrieve, and the programming languages are Turbo Pascal, “C,” and Assembler. The company reported sales of over 2,000 systems during the year, bringing its total to 8,600—8,500 in North America. Approximately 100 systems were awaiting installation and/or acceptance at year's end. The company reported gross revenues of between $5 and $10 million and realized an after-tax profit. Ninety-five percent of the sites each were using circulation, report generator, and inventorying; 85 percent each were using the online patron access catalog, local cataloging, authority control, and community information; and 1 percent each were using interlibrary loan and materials booking. One percent each of the systems had the OCLC interface, RLIN interface, UTLAS interface, WLN interface, and BiblioFile interface. Three percent of the systems interface with other library systems from the same vendor; and 75 percent each had remote data base searching and a LAN interface. Ten sites had 30-60 terminals; 500 had 16-29; 2,000 had 8-15; 3,500 had 2-7; and 2,500 had only 1 terminal. A staff of 15 was committed to software maintenance and development, and 10 staff were committed to other customer support. The major enhancements which were made in 1990 with the Winnebago CIRC/CAT program include the ability to enter and edit the MARC record, add material on the fly and globally edit subject fields of material records. The user has also been given more circulation commands to choose from, i.e., Special Reserve. Many new reports have been incorporated. With the online catalog, Winnebago CAT, the user now has the ability to perform keyword searches on authority added entries and additional note fields. The company has some 40 offices throughout the United States and overseas.

[Winnebago Software Company, P.O. Box 430, 310 West Main Street, Caledonia, MN 55921; (507) 724-5411; Fax (507) 724-2301.]

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Publication Year:1991
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 11 Number 04
Issue:April 1991
Page(s):31-38
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Company: Ameritech Library Services
Auto-Graphics, Inc.
Caspr, Inc.
Charles W. Clark Company, Inc.
Nichols Advanced Technologies Inc.
Sagebrush Technologies
CTB/Columbia Library System
Data Trek, Inc.
Follett Software Company
Foundation for Library Research, Inc.
Inmagic, Inc.
LEX Systems
Library Automation Products, Inc.
The Library Corporation
Library Interface Systems, Inc.
Richmond Micro Software
TKM Software, Ltd.
Winnebago Software Company
Products: ACQ350
SC350
Impact/SLiMS
MOLLI
Columbia Library System
Circulation Plus
BiblioFile
Mac the Librarian
MicroCat
CIRC/CAT
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
Library automation systems -- microcomputer based
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:7427
Last Update:2022-08-06 22:47:52
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00
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