Why Are We Changing the Core Client/Server Product?
There are several benefits to changing development plans for Horizon. The core client/server product is based on a stable platform. Additionally, the product has proven to be reliable, with current installations numbering over 40 sites. By consolidating client/server efforts, we believe our customers will benefit from the synergies of a stronger development team.
Why Did We Base the New Client/Server Product on the Marquis Software?
Our decision was based on careful consideration of the following:
- All core modules are already developed. The Marquis software has been installed in libraries for more than three years with catalog maintenance, authority control, circulation, public access, serials, Z39.50 support, and acquisitions.
- Performance characteristics are known. Some aspects of software performance, that is, how it performs in a library under normal operating conditions aren't fully known until the software is put into production or full-scale use. Over 40 sites currently use Marquis.
- It already offers a broad range of portability. The Marquis server software operates in Unix, OS/2, DEC VMS, Microsoft Windows NT, and Novell Netware environments. Network options include TCP/IP, Novell, and Banyan. The client software is available for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, and asynchronous character.based terminals. Library staff client software is available for OS/2.
- Its core design is built to support all types of libraries. Half the Marquis installation sites today are academic special libraries, including consortia. This summer, Dynix will install its first client/server systems in public libraries.
- A non-English version is already developed. Marquis already supports multiple versions of the US MARC as well as the UniMARC format used widely in Europe. The software supports the ALA extended character set and already has multilingual capabilities. In fact, six of the Marquis installations are in non-English speaking countries.
- Sybase database manager used by Marquis provides a solid foundation. Interbase, the database manager used by NOTIS Horizon, has not delivered a number of promised enhancements to its software. In addition, recent announcements about the possible sale of Interbase by Borland created further about wisdom of recommending it to our customers.
The client/server software is currently available for installation as Release 3.1, with Release 3.2 scheduled for this fall. There are already plans for enhancements in a number of areas. Our development team, along the original NOTIS Horizon beta sites, will review the current product and make further recommendations to incorporate key functionalities. We will provide details of the next release to our customers by the end of the summer. Under the leadership of John Kolman, the Evanston team will implement many of the key enhancements recommended by staff and customers.
What Will Be the Name of the Consolidated Client/Server Product?
The name of the product for academic libraries will continue to be NOTIS Horizon.
What Modules Are Available Today?
Work on the Marquis software began in 1989 with the first installation in February 1991. All of the modules are in their second or third release, so they are stable and quite mature. The mod-ules currently available are:
- Catalog maintenance with full MARC authority control
- Serials control
- Public access
- Z39.50 services
The Course Reserve module is currently under development. Testing is scheduled to begin in July, and the module should be available as part of Release 3.2. Additionally, to fill the needs of academic library customers in England and Australia, the Course Reserve module has further special-ized features called "advanced book-ing." These allow materials in the reserve collection to be scheduled or booked for use. The advanced booking features are also scheduled to be available later this fall.
What Libraries Use Marquis Today?
Of the 45 Marquis installations today, 27 are in academic libraries, and 18 are in special libraries. East Carolina University has the largest database currently installed, with just under 1 million titles