AUSTIN, TEXAS, March 12, 1999 - To facilitate the sharing of information between various K-12 software applications, Nichols Advanced Technologies, developer of the Athena library automation system, is taking part in the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) initiative. (For more information on the SIF, visit www.schoolsinterop.org.)
The initiative, led by Microsoft, is designed to ensure that school software applications - such as library, cafeteria, transportation, and student information management programs - work together to meet the needs of today's schools and districts. Software solutions, like the Athena library automation system, that follow the SIF blueprint will work seamlessly together. By using a standard set of specifications, the SIF will reduce redundant data entry, allow data to be exchanged among different applications, enable schools to create powerful reports by accessing data from different applications, and allow educators to deliver reports securely via the Internet.
Nichols' involvement in the SIF initiative stems from a commitment to help libraries and schools run more efficiently. Nichols is working to ensure that Athena meets the defined standard formats for shared data, that it meets the standard naming conventions for this data, and that it adheres to the rules of interaction among software applications.
D. Bruce Butler, president of Nichols Advanced Technologies stands firmly behind the SIF. "Schools and especially school districts will greatly benefit from solutions that meet the Schools Interoperability Framework guidelines. By ensuring that Athena matches the SIF blueprint, we are helping educators optimize the performance of their software," he said. "For example, with the SIF, when a school district uses Athena to manage their libraries and NCS's SASIxp to manage their administrative functions, the two systems can share data and run more efficiently - saving valuable time and resources."
Athena is the best-selling library automation system for Windows and is rated #1 by the American Library Association's Library Technology Reports (L.T.R.). The L.T.R. report rated 36 library automation systems in twelve categories and awarded Athena the highest ratings in 10 of the 12 categories considered and the highest ratings overall. Athena provides circulation, searching, cataloging, Internet solution options, cross-platform capabilities (Windows, Macintosh, and DOS), and related functions for large and small public, academic, corporate, and school libraries and school districts.
Austin, Texas-based Nichols Advanced Technologies, which has additional offices in Edmonton, Alberta and La Crosse, Wisconsin, provides powerful, easy-to-use library solutions for all major microcomputer systems. Founded in 1983, Nichols delivers library automation systems, retrospective conversion services, barcode readers, and automation supplies.