The co-operative alliance formed in 1997 by Pica and ALS International (ALSi) which was previously known as EuroLIB has been renamed PALLAS. PALLAS products will be suitable for both university local libraries and public libraries of all sizes and will be available in four languages, English, Dutch, French and German. The alliance of Pica and ALSi brings together two leaders in the field of European library automation and forms a powerful and unique combination of systems and experience.
The first developments will be made available for public libraries and this new product has been named Concerto. New Concerto components will be installed by ALSi during early 1999 to its existing customers and provides an evolutionary path, thus securing their investment in their current systems for many years to come.
The new library system from the ALSi-Pica alliance inherits the latest developments of both ALSi and Pica. While offering state of the art intranet and standards based solutions for both universities and public libraries, it also provides a migratory path for ALSi Meritus customers. The product is standards based, using RDBMS, Z39.50, UNIX and Windows NT servers and intranet WWW based thin clients.
The use of WWW browser technology as the standard client for all public, student and staff access has enormous advantages. The seamless integration of multimedia, rich fonts, large character sets (Unicode) and third party databases is guaranteed by the architecture.
The Circulation, Catalogue, Acquisitions and Serials modules use open standard interfaces. The use of ISO ILL, Z39.50, XML and HTML allows the ready integration with other systems, catalogues and data sources wherever they may be. Although designed to make use of high speed campus LANs, the system is respectful of the WAN requirements and bandwidth limitation of large networks of public libraries.
The distributed approach with optional easily maintained NT servers in branches allows the rich functionality to be made available at all points without fast expensive WANs. Integration with other services being only dependent upon them having either suitable open connectivity or local availability. The system is intended to support co-operative cataloguing structures with a central resource. In addition full function local cataloguing will be provided including authority file/authority control and title linking. In this arrangement cataloguing is primarily done centrally and is integrated by online updating of the local catalogues. This arrangement supports many other services too, including interlibrary loans. A seamless integration with a central cataloguing resource (i.e. Pica co-operative catalogue) will be optionally available.
For the largest of public library services, distributed circulation features combined with co-operative cataloguing will provide fully scalable systems to extend beyond the largest existing PALLAS alliance installations which currently have over 1,000 terminals.
For further information please contact:
ALS International Ltd, ALSi House, Argyle Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AD, UK. Tel: (01438) 230023. Fax: (01438) 235000. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.als.co.uk