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Annual survey of PC- and Mac-based library system vendors

Library Systems Newsletter [May 1995]


Each year LSN surveys the library automation industry to get an overview of the market and to facilitate comparison among vendors. The March-April issue described the vendors of multi-user systems using UNIX and other powerful operating systems. This issue is devoted to the vendors of PC- and Mac-based multifunction systems (those using DOS and Macintosh operating systems to support at least three modules, including either circulation or patron access catalog). Not included are vendors offering only a single module such as acquisitions, serials control, or cataloging; or only two modules such as cataloging or a union database and interlibrary loan.

While most vendors included in this issue offer only software packages, this report also includes vendors of “turnkey” systems. While our definition of turnkey includes providing hardware, software, installation, training, and ongoing support from a single source, it is clear that many vendors of PC-based products do not regard installation and training as part of the definition. We have, therefore, decided to accept the more limited scope of hardware, software, and ongoing support as “turnkey.” In next year's survey we will rename these as “packaged” systems.

INTRODUCTION

Unlike the multi-user systems market detailed in the March-April issue, many vendors of PC-based systems do not offer integrated, multifunction systems with a wide range of functionality. While circulation is offered by nearly all PC-based system vendors, and acquisitions and patron access catalog by most, serials control usually is not offered. Very few vendors offer functionality beyond these core modules. In contrast, the multi-user systems discussed in the March-April issue support 10 to 14 modules each.

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 system, a software package, or both; the hardware platform, operating system, and programming language; the number of sales during the past calendar year (both total sales and “new name” sales, the latter representing sales to new customers); the total number of installations; 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, sales and marketing, and other customer support. Major enhancements as reported by the vendors also are included.

SUMMARY

ISCI identified 20 North American companies marketing PC-based automated library systems or software packages. Eighteen responded, including two which offer functionally identical multi-user and PC-based systems. One of them, Data Trek, is included in this issue because the company's focus is PC-based systems. The other, IME, had nearly one-third of its sales and half of its revenues from multi-user systems, therefore it was included in the March-April issue.

Of the 16 vendors discussed, seven offer both turnkey systems and software packages, 10 offer software-only. Because of the proliferation of PCs in place in libraries today, vendors offering turnkey solutions in fact sell turnkey systems far less often than they sell software packages for use on existing equipment.

The respondents sold a combined 90,421 software packages and systems in 1994. The total probably represents 95% of all sales of PC-based library applications software. In 1993, 14 respondents sold 10,760 software packages and systems. The market is obviously growing very rapidly.

The total market for PC-based systems was approximately $80 million in 1994. Follett is the only vendor that reported gross sales of $20 to $25 million, and Winnebago was the only vendor to report gross sales of $15 to $20 million. Data Trek and VTLS each reported gross sales of $5 to $10 million. Chancery Software declined to provide a range of gross sales revenue for either 1994 or 1993, but in 1992 reported sales of between $5 and $10 million. McGraw-Mill School Systems and Nichols Advanced Technologies each reported gross sales of $2.5 to $5 million. Inmagic reported that financial information was not available for 1994 or 1993, but in 1992 reported gross sales of $2.5 to $5. CASPR reported sales of $1 to $2.5 million. All other vendors either reported sales of under $1 million or failed to report this information.

Table 1 ranks the vendors according to the total number of new systems sold during 1994, as reported by the vendors themselves. Table 2 is a ranking of total number of installed and accepted systems, of the vendors reporting at least 400 installations to date. Table 3 shows the number of staff devoted to software maintenance and development, Table 4 shows the number of staff devoted to sales and marketing, Table 5 shows the number of staff devoted to other customer service, and Table 6 ranks the vendors by the ratio of staff to total installations.

Table 1. Number of system sales during 1994

VendorTotal Sales
(1994)
Follett9,268
Winnebago5,000
COMPanion4,000
Inmagic1,600
Data Trek1,319
McGraw-Hill700
Nichols659
CASPR370
Brodart/CRS158
VTLS30
Ringgold29
All other vendors reported fewer than 25 system sales each in 1994.

Table 2. Vendors reporting at least 400 installed and accepted systems

Vendor No. of
Installed Systems
Follett23,000
Winnebago19,000
Inmagic15,000
COMPanion5,700
McGraw-Hill3,400
Data Trek2,884
Nichols2,154
CASPR1,520
All other vendors reported fewer than 400 installations each at the end of 1994.

Table 3. Vendors with at least 5 staff devoted to software maintenance and development

VendorNo. of Software
Maintenance/
Development Staff
Winnebago50
Follett40
Data Trek15
McGraw-Hill12
Brodart/CRS11
COMPanion10
Inmagic8
Nichols8
VTLS8
CASPR5
All other vendors reported fewer than 5 staff each devoted to software maintenance and development at the end of 1994.

Table 4. Vendors with at least 5 staff devoted to sales and marketing

VendorNo. of Sales and
Marketing Staff
Follett61
Winnebago60
McGraw-Hill32
Brodart/CRS25
VTLS21
COMPanion20
Data Trek16
Nichols15
CASPR8
Midwest8
Inmagic7
All other vendors reported fewer than 5 staff each devoted to sales and marketing at the end of 1994.

Table 5. Vendors with at least 5 staff devoted to customer support

VendorNo. of Customer
Support Staff
Follett53
Winnebago30
COMPanion25
Brodart/CRS18
VTLS16
Data Trek14
McGraw-Hill10
Baker & Taylor8
Inmagic5
All other vendors reported fewer than 5 staff each devoted to customer support at the end of 1994.

Table 6. The relationship between customer support staff and the number of installed systems, expressed as a ratio

VendorRatio of Support
Staff to Installed
Systems
Maxcess1:6
VTLS1:7
Midwest1:22
Michigan State1:50
Ringgold1:58
Data Trek1:208
COMPanion1:228
Brodart/CRS1:239
McGraw-Hill1:340
CASPR1:380
Follett1:434
Winnebago1:633
Nichols1:718
Inmagic1:3,000
Note: Chancery and Kelowna declined to provide appropriate data for calculation.

The vendor reports are arranged alphabetically and are based on information furnished by the respondents. Evaluative reports on the vendors were published in the March-April 1993 and May-June 1993 issues of Library Technology Reports.

VENDOR REPORTS

Auto-Graphics, Inc. offers both turnkey systems and software packages. The two software packages are: IMPACT for CD-ROM, patron access catalog, cataloging, and interlibrary loan; and SLiMS-Small Library Management System. The company did not respond to this year's survey.

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

Brodart Automation offers two products: Precision One Integrated System and Precision One Media Minder. The Precision One Integrated System is offered as both a turnkey system and software-only, but the company notes that its “primary emphasis” is software production. Turnkey systems are available, however, it recommends that hardware be purchased from a local vendor. Precision One Media Minder is offered as software-only. A toll-free number customer support is provided for both products.

Precision One Integrated System is PC 286+-based using MS-DOS 3.3 as the operating system, a proprietary DBMS, and the programming languages are C, C++, and Assembly. It is available in both a standalone and LAN version; the LAN version is not limited to any number of maximum concurrent users. The maximum bibliographic record database is 4GB; the maximum bibliographic record 20KB; and the system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Some 150 software packages were sold in

1994. There were 94 installed and accepted systems (20% public libraries, 5% academic, and 75% school libraries)—91 networked and 2 standalone systems in North America, and 1 networked system in Oceania. All sites were using local cataloging, authority control, online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, and a CD-ROM interface; 90% each were using circulation, inventorying, and a LAN interface; and 10% each were using a BiblioFile and OCLC interface. Precision One's interface was also being used, although no specific percentage figures were given.

Precision One Media Minder uses an IBM or compatible PC hardware platform and the DOS operating system, Btrieve for the DBMS, and Turbo Pascal as the programming language. It is available in both a standalone and LAN version; the number of LAN-version users is limited only by the size of the network. Bibliographic database and record size is limited only by the size of the platform's hard drive. The system is capable of importing/exporting full-MARC bibliographic records, but information is not stored in MARC format. Eight systems were sold during 1994. There were 165 standalone and 80 networked systems—all in North America (5% public libraries, 30% academic, 5% special, and 60% school libraries). All sites were using online patron access catalog, authority control, local cataloging, and inventorying; 95% were using materials booking; 40% were using the report generator module; and 33% were using a LAN interface. For Media Minder, there were 2 staff committed to software development and maintenance, 14 to marketing and sales, and 3 to other customer support.. Enhancements during 1994 included: greater speed and flexibility in barcode generation; greater speed in making/saving a booking; improved handling of restricted items; and improved MARC export.

The company declined to provide information on a range of gross sales or profitability for any product or company-wide. The company has 9 staff committed to software development and maintenance, 11 to marketing and sales, and 15 to other customer support.. The products have a toll-free number provided for customer support. For the Precision One Integrated System, software enhancements and releases are issued twice a year. Enhancements made in 1994 included improved ease of use for patrons and staff. For Media Minder, enhancements are issued as necessary, usually annually. Offices are maintained in Williamsport (PA) and Brantford (Ontario, Canada).

[Brodart/CRS, Inc., P.O. Box 3728, Williamsport, PA 17701; (800) 233-8467 ext. 640; fax (717) 327-9237.]

CASPR, Inc. offers LibraryWorks as a software-only system which runs on Macintosh or IBM or compatible PCs using Macintosh OS or Microsoft Windows, a proprietary DBMS based on MARC standard, and the programming language C++ —in both a standalone and LAN version. For the LAN version, the number of concurrent users is limited only by the size and speed of the network being used; database size is unlimited. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Enhancement releases are made 3 or 4 times a year based on customer maintenance agreements. A total of 370 packages were sold in 1994. The vendor reported 1,044 standalone and 476 networked systems installed and accepted at the end of 1994, almost all in North America. The percentage breakdown is 1% in public libraries, 4% in academic libraries, 18% in special libraries, and 77% in school libraries. All sites were using acquisitions, local cataloging, authority control, circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, ILL, report generator, journal citation files, and inventory control. All sites were capable of utilizing OCLC, RLIN, UTLAS, WLN, BiblioFile, LaserCat, and LAN interfaces—actual use by customers is unknown. A CD-ROM interface was used at half of the sites. Gross sales were between $1 to $2.5 million, with an after-tax profit. There were 5 staff committed to software maintenance and development, 8 to sales and marketing, and 4 to other customer support. The major software enhancement for 1994 was the shipment of the Windows version of the full LibraryWorks system.

[CASPR, Inc., 635 Vaqueros Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086; (800) 852-2777 or (408) 522-9800; fax (408) 522-9806.]

Chancery Software, Ltd. offers a software-only product—known as MacSchool Library Pro—which runs on Apple Macintosh hardware with the Macintosh OS, written in PASCAL, using a proprietary DBMS, and available in both a stand-alone and a LAN-based version. The maximum database size is 65,000 records; the number of concurrent users varies with the LAN system being used. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting MARC bibliographic records. Enhancements are released as required, based on features requested. The company declines to release the number or worldwide geographic location of installed and accepted systems, either stand-alone or networked, but did indicate that 99% of the systems were school systems. The company also declined to indicate how many systems were sold during 1994, in what range gross sales fell, or if an after-tax profit was realized for the year. The company estimated that 1005 of its sites were using local cataloging, authority control, circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, materials booking, report generator, inventorying, and a BiblioFile interface. A LAN interface and an interface to other systems from the same vendor is estimated at 50% of the sites. The company also reports 4-6 staff members committed to software maintenance and development, 20 to sales and marketing, 6 to other customer support. There is a toll free number for customer support. The major enhancement for 1994 was a complete rewrite of the code and release of the MacSchool Library Pro. Offices are maintained in Burnaby, British Columbia and Bellingham, Washington.

[Chancery Software Ltd., 450 - 4170 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5C 6C6 Canada; (604) 294-1233; fax (604) 294-2225.]

COMPanion Corporation offers its product, Alexandria, as both turnkey and software-only on the Macintosh or Power Macintosh hardware platforms using the MAC OS, System 7.x operating systems, a proprietary DBMS, and Pascal and C++ as the programming languages. The system is available in a standalone and LAN version. For the LAN version, the number of concurrent users is limited to 500; the maximum database size is 500KB. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC records. A toll-free number is provided for customer support. Software enhancements are released semi-annually and are available to yearly subscribers. There were 1,000+ systems and 3,000+ software-only packages sold during 1994. At year's end, there were 1,500+ standalone and 4,200+ LAN installed and accepted systems—98% school libraries, and 1% each special and academic libraries. All sites were using local cataloging, authority control, circulation, materials booking, and the report generator modules; 85% each were using inventorying and the online patron access catalog; 80% were using community information (I&R); 65% each were using acquisitions, serials control, remote database searching, a CD-ROM interface, LAN interface, Internet interface, or an interface to other systems from the same vendor; 30% were using Brodart's interface; and 10% were using the ILL module. The company declined to provide gross sales, but noted that it realized an after-tax profit. There were 10 staff committed to software maintenance and development, 20 to sales and marketing, and 25 to other customer support. Major enhancements in 1994 included: integrated access to CD-ROM databases; a patron catalog “self-service” option (allows students to perform item checkout without risk of them performing unauthorized operations); integrated access to Internet; and new circulation Windows commands. The company maintains offices in Salt Lake City, Richmond, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Appleton (WI), Chattanooga, and Atlanta.

[COMPanion Corp., 1831 Fort Union Blvd., Salt Lake City, UT 84121; (801) 943-7277; fax (801) 943-7752.]

Data Trek, Inc. offers Professional Series and Manager Series as both turnkey systems and software-only on PCs, and are available either PC-based or multi-user (using the Digital VMS operating system); however, the company emphasizes PC-based systems. Both systems run on DOS and Windows, and are available in standalone and LAN versions. The maximum number of concurrent users on the LAN versions is determined by the host network limitations. The company does provide a toll-free number for customer support.

The Professional Series uses a proprietary DBMS and the C programming language. The maximum database size for bibliographic records is 500,000 (500,000 item records and 500,000 patron records); the system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting records in full-MARC format without losing tags or subfields. Major upgrade releases are shipped every 12-18 months, at no charge to clients with an active software support subscription. Minor updates are released on an “as needed” basis and are free to all clients. There were 26 turnkey systems and 319 software modules sold during 1994. Total installations at the end of 1994 were 102 standalone and 206 networked systems, mostly in North America. The company noted that it does not sell network licenses, and these figures were estimated. The installed systems were 8% public, 18% academic, 71% special, and 3% school libraries. Some 90% of the sites were using the local cataloging module (including authority control); 81% were using the online patron access catalog; 76% were using circulation; 31% were using acquisitions; 5% were using serials control. Databridge includes the capability to use OCLC, RLIN, WLN, BiblioFile, and LaserCat interfaces; 85% had a LAN interface; 69% had a MARC interface (via Databridge); and 27% had a graphical user interface. (Inventory and ILL modules are in development; records were not kept on the number of Bites using electronic mail, community information, remote database searching, CD-ROM interface, Internet interface, or OSI interface to other systems.) Major enhancements for 1994 were: library specified system management; user-defined format of dates displayed; ability to make global changes/deletions to item-level fields via utilities; user-defined format of the phone number field; new format integration in Version 2.1; satellite cataloging (allows expanded import of both bibliographic and item-level information; MARC records can be imported into the acquisitions consideration file; USMARC authority records can be imported into Databridge and converted to DTI authority records; a separate overdue processing program is now available which will process all fines and/or generate overdue notices and output them to disk; new ability to allow/disallow users' access to override due dates, change/forgive fines, change patron/item information, override traps, accept fine payments, use Self-Circulation only (purchase separately); new capability to scan books to be checked out without the delay of one-by-one checkout; and library-specified default display format for records viewed in OPAC.

The Manager Series uses dBase IV as the DBMS, and C and Clipper 5.2 as the programming languages. The maximum database size is 250,000 bibliographic records, 250,000 item records, and 250,000 patron records; and the system is capable of taking in and outputting records in full-MARC format but not storing them. Major upgrade releases are delivered every 12-18 months free to clients with an active software support subscription. Minor updates are released on an “as needed” basis and are free to all clients. There were 98 turnkey systems and 876 software modules sold during 1994. Total installations at the end of 1994 were 763 standalone and 1,813 networked systems installed and accepted-630 standalone and 1,511 networked systems in North America, 96 standalone and 284 networked systems in Europe, 24 standalone and 10 networked systems in Asia! Oceania, 13 standalone and 6 networked systems in South America, and 2 networked systems in Africa/the Middle East, respectively. The company noted that it does not sell network licenses, and these fi9uree are estimated. The installed systems were 5% public, 13% academic, 69% special, and 13% school libraries. Some 72% of the sites were using the local cataloging module (including authority control); 51% were using circulation (including inventorying); 44% were using serials control; 35% the online patron access catalog; 28% were using acquisitions; 9% were using report generator; 5% were using materials booking. Databridge includes the capability to use OCLC, RLIN, WLN, BiblioFile, and LaserCat interfaces; 50% had a LAN interface; 32% had a MARC interface (via Databridge), and 7% had a graphical user interface. Records are not kept on the number of sites using electronic mail, community information (I&R), remote database searching, CD-ROM interface, Internet interface, or OSI interface to other systems. Major enhancements for 1994 were: integrated main menu; global set up and utility options; variable length field storage; online help; pick lists; and multi-index browse lists.

Gross sales for 1994 were reported in the $5-$l0 million range, with an after-tax profit. The company has 15 staff committed to software maintenance and development, 16 to marketing and sales, and 14 to other customer support. Offices are located in Carlsbad, Los Angeles, Bend (OR), Chicago, Columbus, New York, New England, Toronto, Paris, Colchester (U.K.) and Sydney.

[Data Trek, Inc., 5838 Edison Place, Carlsbad, CA 92008; (619) 431-8400 or (800) 876-5484; fax (619) 431-8448.]

Follett Software Company offers both turnkey and software only products—Alliance Plus, Catalog Plus (also Maccatalog Plus for Apple lie and hg with the Macintosh operating system using C++ as the programming language), and Circulation Plus (also MacCirculation Plus for Apple lie and hg with the Macintosh operating system using C++ as the programming language), Sneak Preview Plus, and Union Catalog Plus. The systems operate under MS-DOS and Windows NT; and C and C++ are the programming languages. The DBMS for all systems is “C Tree” by FairCom. A LAN version of both the DOS and Macintosh systems is available. The maximum number of concurrent users is dependent only upon NOS license agreements; the maximum database size is unlimited for the circulation and OPAC modules—no specific information was given for the bibliographic or item database site. The systems are capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. A toll-free number is provided for customer service. Enhancements are released as needed, but schedules for annual upgrades are available for purchase. The company sold 270 turnkey systems during 1994, and 8,998 software packages. The installed base for North America was 22,331 standalone and 18,447 networked systems; for Europe, 12 standalone and 19 networked systems; for Asia/Oceania, 25 standalone and 20 networked systems; South America, 26 standalone and 28 networked systems; and 2 standalone and 1 networked system for Africa/the Middle East. By library type, there were 1,309 public library systems, 333 academic systems, 500 special systems, and 37,805 school systems. (The company noted that the total number of systems was based on 23,000 sites/institutions that utilize one or more Follett Software Company systems—Catalog Plus or Circulation Plus. Therefore, the installed and accepted system numbers, when totaled together, were higher than the 23,000 individual sites.) Forty-seven percent of the sites were using the local cataloging module; 94% were using circulation; 48% were using inventorying; and 21% had the CD-ROM interface. Gross sales were $20-$25 million, with an after-tax profit. A staff of 40 was committed to software development and maintenance, 61 to marketing (both inside and outside sales); and 53 to other customer support. Major enhancements were the release of completely rewritten versions of the flagship software programs (Circulation Plus, Catalog Plus, Alliance Plus, Textbook Plus, and PHD Plus). Included in this release was 1~!acSearch Plus Station which offers cross-platform searching to the Catalog Plus database. These products work “standalone” or fully networked in a multi-user environment. The product components are plug-and-play intelligent, sharing the same database. The Union Catalog Plus OPAC module is written in Windows. Union Catalog Plus OPAC enables users to share MARC etc. among schools and to facilitate resource sharing..

During 1994, Follett Software Company established a business relationship with major market industry leaders in order to provide turnkey systems. It reports a strong relationship with Hewlett Packard and Intelligent Electronics to provide hardware, integration, and installation of complete library automation products.

[Follett Software Company, 809 North Front Street, McHenry, IL 60050; (815) 344-8700 or (800) 323-3397; fax (815) 344-8774.]

IME Systems, Inc. offers The Information Navigator (TINLIB) as a PC DOS-based system and a multi-user, UNIX-based system. The application is identical in both. The company realized over $1 million in gross sales of multi-user systems for 1994, and thus was included with the multi-user vendors in the March-April, 1995 survey.

Inmagic, Inc. offers a software-only product known as INMAGIC Plus for Libraries. It is a PC-based product which also runs on networks and on multi-user platforms. The hardware platform is IBM or compatible PC5, DEC VAX/MicroVAx, running DOS and VMS operating systems, and it is written in C and Fortran. The company reported the sale of 1,600 software packages (including both single-user and network versions) during 1994, with over 15,000 packages installed worldwide—70% in North America. A breakdown by library type consisted of 80% special libraries, 10% school libraries, and 5% each academic and public libraries. Revenue figures were not disclosed. Since the product is not sold by module, no figures were available. However, the company reported that all sites were capable of having the following modules: acquisitions, local cataloging, authority control; circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, ILL, materials booking, report generator, journal citation, inventorying, and community information, as well as OCLC, RLIN, UTLAS, BiblioFile, and LAN interfaces and interface to other systems from the same vendor. No current figures were available for 1994; but in 1993, 5 sites supported 100-199 devices; 6 supported 60-99; 30 had 30-60; 70 had 16-29; 275 had 8-15; 2,500 had 2-7; and 3,500 had only 1 device. The company reported a staff of 8 committed to software maintenance and development, 7 to sales and marketing, and 5 to other customer support. The major enhancement during 1994 was the availability of the imaging capability. The company also reported that a Windows version is expected to be released in Summer 1995. In addition to its headquarters in Woburn, the company reported authorized dealers located all over the U.S., and in Canada, Australia, and Europe.

[Inmagic, Inc., 800 West Cummmings Park, Woburn, MA 01801; (800) 229-TEXT or (617) 938-4442; fax (617) 938-6393.]

ISM Library Information Services (formerly Utlas International) offers a software-only product known as M/Series 10. The company did not respond to this year's survey.

[ISM Library Information Services, 3300 Bloor Street West, West Tower, Etobicoke, Ontario M8X 2X2 Canada; (416) 236-2287 ext. 280; fax (416) 236-7489.]

Kelowna Software Ltd. offers its Library 4 product as a software-only Macintosh system, both standalone and in a LAN version. (Because of Apple ADSP restrictions the LAN version is limited to 125 concurrent users.) The system operates under the Macintosh OS operating system using 4th Dimension, Pascal, and C as the programming languages. The database is limited to 16 million records per file. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Enhancements are issued monthly through the company's BDS, or semi-annually through the upgrade department. (Four upgrades were made in 1994 due to the Power Mac and System 7.5.) A toll-free number is provided for customer support. The major enhancement for 1994 was a Power Macintosh native version. The company stated that Library 4 is one program, all modules were included but provided no indication of the number of sites using what number/type of interface. No other information was provided. The company has authorized dealers in Vancouver and Houston.

[Kelowna Software LTD, 200-2000 Spall Road, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9P6, Canada; (604) 860-4123; fax (604) 860-4240.]

Maxcess Library Systems, Inc. offers its namesake product as both turnkey and software-only systems on 486-or Pentium-based hardware using DOS or Windows NT as the operating system, and ANSI Standard M as the DBMS and programming language. It is offered in both a standalone and LAN version—with a maximum of 128 concurrent users. The maximum database size is limited only by disk space. The system is capable of taking in,.. retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Enhancements are released approximately twice yearly as part of software maintenance. A toll free number is provided for customer support. Three software packages were sold during 1994, bringing a total of 10 installed systems—7 standalone/3 networked—all in North America (9 special libraries and 1 academic library). Gross sales were under $1 million and an after-tax profit was realized. All sites were using the online patron access catalog, circulation, authority control, and local cataloging modules; 75% were using an OCLC interface; 50% had a LAN interface; 5% were using acquisitions; and 1% had serials control. Two staff members were committed to software development and maintenance, 1.5 FTE to marketing and sales, and 1.5 FTh -to other customer support. The major enhancement for 1994 was the release of acquisitions and serials integrated with the product.

[Maxcess Library Systems, Inc., 3930 Knowles Avenue, Suite 204, Kensington, MD 20895; (301) 564-1350; fax (301) 493-6542.]

McGraw-Hill School Systems sells the Columbia Library System as both software-only and turnkey systems for 286-, 386-, 486-, or Pentium-based IBM or compatibles using DOS 5.x or later. The DBMS is Ocelet, and the programming languages are C and Pascal. The system is sold LAN-ready; the maximum database size is 100,000 bibliographic records, 300,000 transactions/yearly, and 30,000 patrons. In response to the question of the maximum number of concurrent users, the company replied that one user had 250 stations that could access via a Novell network. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Enhancements are released annually and sent to all sites on support. A toll-free number for customer support is provided. During 1994, the company sold 700 software packages, bringing its total system installations worldwide to 3,400-3,000 in North America and 400 in Asia/Oceania (5% public libraries, 8% academic libraries, 2% special, and 85% school libraries). Gross sales were in the $2.5 to $5 million range, with an after-tax profit. All sites were using the report generator module; 99% each were using the circulation and inventorying modules; 97% local cataloging, authority control, and online patron access catalog; and 5% each were using serials control and acquisitions. Some 97% of the sites could import the OCLC, RLIN, UTLAS, WLN, or BiblioFile interface; 80% had a LAN interface; and 60% had an interface to other systems from the same vendor. There were 12 staff committed to software development and maintenance, 32 to marketing and sales, and 10 to other customer support. Major enhancements for 1994 were a simple OPAC for children and a cross-references product. In~ addition to the home office in Monterey, the company maintains offices in Denver and Vancouver. (McGraw-Hill School Systems, Columbia Library System, 20 Ryan Ranch, Monterey, CA 93940-9703; (800) 663-0544; fax (408) 393-7214.]

Michigan State University offers the MicroMARC product as software-only for IBM or compatible PCs using MS-DOS as the operating system and a proprietary DBMS. There is no LAN version. The maximum database is 99,999 records. The system can take in, retain, and output full-MARC records. Software enhancements are released as needed. A toll free number was not provided. The vendor declined to report the number of sales during 1994, but did report that there were 200+ systems installed in North America, 50% academic (there was no information given on the remaining 50%). Gross sales were under $1 million; MSU is a non-profit institution. A staff of 4 worked on software development, 2 on marketing and sales, and 4 on other customer support. Sites were indicated to be using acquisitions, local cataloging, authority control, OPAC, report generator, inventorying, OCLC interface, RLIN interface' and a WLN interface—however, no percentages or numbers were given as support. There was no major enhancement or upgrade; development work of a new system utilizing the USMARC integrated format was ongoing during 1994.

[Michigan State University, University Archives & Historical Collections, EG13 Library Building, East Lansing, MI

48824; (517) 355-2330; fax (517) 432-1446.]

Midwest Library Service offers its MATSS system as both turnkey and software-only. The system runs on any 386ex or faster PC using MS-DOS 3.3 or higher, a 5MB hard disk with a minimum of 2MB of RAM; the DBMS is B-Tree Filer, and Turbo Pascal is the programming language. Both a standalone and a LAN version are available-the maximum number of concurrent users on the LAN version is limited only by the LAN itself. The maximum database size is 10MB per 8,000 acquisitions records. The system accepts but does not retain or output full-MARC bibliographic records. A toll-free number is provided for customer support. Product enhancements are released yearly. The company sold 2 software packages during 1994. There were 57 standalone and 9 networked systems, all in North America, 98.5% academic and 1.5% public libraries. Gross sales were reported of under $1 million, with an after-tax profit. All sites were using acquisitions and report generator modules, as well as OCLC, RLIN, WLN, BIP Plus, BiblioFile, LAN, and CD-ROM interfaces. There were 3 staff committed to software maintenance and development, 8 to marketing and sales, and 3 to other customer support. Major enhancements for 1994 were the creation of an invoice/credit history file by invoice or credit memo number; user-created customized lists of status types, order types requester names, and currencies; BNA/Midwest Library Service Approval records will be supported; and status reports on disk will update database records automatically.

[Midwest Library Service, ‘11443 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Louis, MO 63044; (800) 325-8833; fax (800) 962-1009.]

Nichols Advanced Technologies, Inc. offers its products, Athena and MOLLI, as software-only. Both Athena and MOLLI are delivered with several MARC record interfaces including USMARC, as well as non-standard MARC records such as BiblioFile. A toll-free number is provided.

Athena, a new product in 1994, runs on PC-based and Macintosh hardware using either Windows or System 7 as the operating system, FoxPro as the DBMS, and C++ as-the programming language. The system is available in both standalone and LAN versions. The number of concurrent users supported under the LAN version is unlimited; the maximum database size is 250,000 bibliographic or item records but unlimited circulation or patron records. The system can take in, retain, and output full-MARC bibliographic records. Enhancements are typically released twice yearly at no charge to customers with technical support (free for the first year). There were 269 systems sold in 1994; there were 89 standalone and 180 networked systems, all in North America (93% school libraries, 2% special, 3% academic, and 2% public libraries). All sites were using the local cataloging, circulation, authority control, online patron access catalog, report generator, and inventorying modules; 1% each were using acquisitions and serials control.

MOLLI runs on PCs using the MS-DOS operating system, dBase as the DBMS, and C and compiled dBase as the programming languages. The system comes both standalone and as a LAN version. The number of concurrent users for the LAN version is unlimited; the maximum database size is 150,000 bibliographic or item records and unlimited circulation or patron records. Enhancements are typically released twice yearly at no charge to customers with technical support (free for the first year). There were 390 system sales during 1994, bringing the total installed sites to 1,885, all in North America, 939 standalone and 917 networked systems, broken down as follows: 4% public libraries, 2% academic, 9% special, and 85% school libraries. All sites were using the local cataloging, circulation, online patron access catalog, authority control, report generator, and inventorying. The major enhancement for 1994 was the completion of AQUI 2.0 (acquisitions).

The company's 1994 gross sales revenues were between $2.5 and $5 million with an after-tax profit. There were 8 staff committed to software maintenance and development, 15 to marketing and sales; and 3 to other customer support. In addition to LaCrosse, Nichols maintains an office in Edmonton, Alberta.

[Nichols Advanced Technologies, Inc., 3452 Losey Blvd. South, LaCrosse, WI 54601; (800) 658-9453 or (608) 787-8333; fax (608) 787-8337.]

On Point, Inc. offers a software only package, known as TLC (Total Library Computerization). The company did not respond to this year's survey.

[On Point, Inc., 2606 36th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 338-8914.]

Ringgold Management Systems, Inc. offers Nonesuch Acquisitions, Nonesuch Catalog Control System, and Nonesuch Circulation as both turnkey and software-only DOS-based products. Both come as standalone and LAN versions. The maximum number of concurrent users for all three is unlimited by the product. Enhancements are issued annually as part of maintenance support. Toll-free customer service is not provided.

Nonesuch Acquisitions runs under the DOS/Windows operating system, and uses BASIC as the programming language. The maximum database size is 240,000 items or records. The system is capable of taking in full-MARC bibliographic records, but cannot retain or output them. Sales and installations for 1994 totaled 13 standalone systems and 8 networked systems, all in North America (57% public libraries, 48% academic, and 5% special libraries). Fifteen percent of the sites each had an interface to other systems from the same vendor and a CD-ROM interface; 50% had an OCLC interface; and 10% had a WLN interface. Major enhancements for 1994 were improvements in handling of multiple copies charged to different locations.

Nonesuch Catalog Control System runs under the DOS/Windows or Windows NT operating system, any DBMS providing SQL Service, and uses visual BASIC/SQL as the programming language. The software has an unlimited maximum database size; limitations come from the DBMS and the size of disks used. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. There were 3 networked sales/installations in North American at the end of 1994 (67% public libraries and 33% academic libraries).. All sites were using local cataloging, authority control, circulation, online patron access catalog, and electronic mail, as well as remote database searching, a LAN interface, an interface to other systems from the same vendor, and a CD-ROM interface; 67% each had an OCLC interface and an Internet interface; and 33% each had a WLN and BiblioFile interface. The 1994 major milestone was the end of beta testing and first production release.

Nonesuch Circulation uses the DOS, Windows, or UNIX operating systems, and the COBOL programming language. The maximum database size is 1 million records. The system is capable of taking in but not retaining or outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. There were 5 DOS networked sales/installations in North American at the end of 1994 (40% public libraries and 60% academic libraries). All sites were using circulation, ILL, inventorying, and electronic mail, as well as remote database searching, a LAN interface, and an OCLC interface. Some 40% each had an interface to other systems from the same vendor and an Internet interface; 80% had a CD-ROM interface; and 20% had a BiblioFile interface and community information (I&R) module. The major enhancement for 1994 was integration with Nonesuch Catalog for maintenance and inquiry.

The company's gross sales for 1994 were under $1 million; the company did not provide information on its profitability. There was 1 staff member committed to software development and maintenance, .5 FTE to marketing and sales, and .5 FTE to other customer sales.

[Ringgold Management Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 368, Beaverton, OR 97075-0368; (503) 645-3502; fax (503) 690-6642.]

VTLS, Inc. offers Micro-VTLS, as both turnkey systems and software-only for PCs using DOS as the operating system, in both standalone and LAN versions. The DBMS is FoxPro, dBase III, or dBase IV; Clipper is the programming language. There is no system limitation on either the number of concurrent users nor the size of a database; the only limitation is the size and speed of a customer's hardware. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. General enhancement releases are usually quarterly; releases that include optional subsystems are usually released annually. General releases are free of charge to all Micro-VTLS Maintenance Agreement clients. There is a toll-free number provided for customer support. The company sold 30 software packages during 1994, bringing the total number of installed systems to 119 (3 standalone/1l6 networked)-0/75 in North America, 3/10 in Europe, 0/2 in South America, 0/1 in the Middle East, and 0/28 in Asia (58% were public, 42% special, and 19% academic). All sites were using the authority control and online patron access catalog modules; 90% were using circulation; 80% local cataloging; 15% community information (I&R); 10% interlibrary loan; and 2% each were using the acquisitions and serial control modules. A LAN interface was at 98% of the sites; 80% each had a Micro-VTLS dedicated OPAC interface, remote database searching, and an interface to other systems from the same vendor; 40% had an OCLC interface; 30% had a CD-ROM interface; 10% had a BiblioFile interface; and 5% had an Internet interface. Gross sales for 1994 were between $5 and $10 million, with an after-tax profit. VTLS reported that a staff of 3 was committed to software maintenance and development (an additional 5-person team is available as needed); 8 to sales and marketing (2 in international sales, with 11 other agents throughout the world), and 2 dedicated to Micro-VTLS with a 14-person general customer services staff.

Major enhancements during 1994 included: a dedicated OPAC (increases the performance of 386 systems by 50%); 50% increase in the performance of circulation, reindexing, and word searching; new report to collect statistics for checked-out items; overdues listed in call number order by item class and date range; printing of patron labels for overdue reports and reserve notices; new book lists and inventory control, estimated collection value report; and cataloging and patron registration reports.

VTLS has offices in Helsinki, Barcelona, Long Beach, Fillmore (NY), and Houston, in addition to its headquarters office in Blacksburg. Agents are also located in Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, Thailand, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. (VTLS, Inc., 1800 Kraft Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060; (800) 468-8857 or (703) 231-3637; fax (703) 231-3648.]

Winnebago Software Company offers CIRC/CAT as both turnkey systems and software-only that runs on PCs, Macintosh, PowerMace, etc. The operating systems are MS-DOS and Macintosh; the DBMS/programming language is Btrieve and Assembler Pascal for PCs, and C-Tree/C/C+ for Macintosh-based systems. CIRC/CAT is offered in both a standalone and LAN version. System limits on the number of concurrent users and maximum database size are determined by the size and speed of the hardware. The system is capable of taking in, retaining, and outputting full-MARC bibliographic records. Software enhancements are usually released annually. A toll-free number for customer service is provided. During 1994, the company sold 1,000 turnkey systems and 4,000 software packages, bringing its installed system base to 14,000 standalone/5,000 networked worldwide. A breakdown by library type consisted of 90% school libraries, 5% public, 3% academic, and 2% special libraries. All sites were using the inventorying, report generator, and local authority control modules; 95% were using circulation; 70% each were using circulation and local cataloging; 25% were using electronic mail; and 10% each were using the acquisitions, serials control, interlibrary loan, journal citation files, and community information (I&R) modules. A LAN interface was at 74% of the sites; 50% had a CD-ROM interface; 40% each had an interface to other systems from the same vendor and remote database searching; 30% each had a BiblioFile and Information Database interface; 10% each had an Internet interface, a WLN interface, UTLAS, RLIN, and an OCLC interface. The company reported gross revenues of $15-$20 million and an after-tax profit. A staff of 50 was committed to software maintenance and development, 60 staff members were committed to sales, and 31 to marketing; 30 staff were committed to other customer support. Major enhancements for 1994 included the local authority module; advance booking; multi-lingual catalog; and the Information Database Access interface.

[Winnebago Software Company, 457 East South, Caledonia, MN 55921; (507) 724-5697 or (800) 654-3002; fax (507) 724-5711.]

Permalink:
View Citation
Publication Year:1995
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 15 Number 05
Issue:May 1995
Page(s):41-54
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Company: Auto-Graphics, Inc.
Brodart, Inc.
Caspr, Inc.
Chancery Software, Ltd.
COMPanion Corporation
Data Trek, Inc.
EOS International
Follett Software Company
IME, Ltd.
Inmagic, Inc.
ISM Library Information Services
Kelowna Software, Ltd.
Maxcess Library Systems, Inc.
McGraw-Hill School Systems
Michigan State University
Midwest Library Service
Nichols Advanced Technologies Inc.
Sagebrush Technologies
Ringgold Management Systems, Inc.
VTLS, Inc.
Winnebago Software Company
Products: Impact/SLiMS
Precision One Integrated System
Precision One Media Minder
LibraryWorks
Macschool Library
Alexandria
Professional Series
Manager Series
Catalog Plus
Alliance Plus
Circulation Plus
TINLIB
Information Navigator
Inmagic Plus
M/Series 10
Library 4
Maxcess
Columbia Library System
MicroMARC
MATSS
MOLLI
Athena
Nonesuch Catalog Control System
MicroVTLS
CIRC/CAT
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
Library automation systems -- microcomputer based
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:7648
Last Update:2021-11-17 12:27:41
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00