Newsletter #3, Feb. 27, 2005

Newsletter #3, Feb. 27, 2005

Its time for another Aleph Implementation Update newsletter. Theselittle missives could use a more catching title. If any of you can thinkof a good moniker, please send it in to me. If I end up using your ideaI’ll give you some kind of prize (how about a much sought afterNovanet pen in beautiful Novanet green!)

In this newsletter:

Implementation Web site
Hardware arrival
Data Extraction
Kickoff meetings and Initial training
Upcoming Events

A lot has happened in the two weeks since my last update.

Many of the documents I’m talking about in this newsletter areavailable on the much-anticipated (right?) Implementation Web site (/member/aleph/index.html).After a week or so of design (and after breaking some of the scriptsthat make it work) I’ve finally got it ready. It is in two parts:public and members only. The public site holds these newsletters andother publicity. The member’s area requires a login. If you arenot sure of the login please contact your NSOC member or the Novanetoffice. The members’ area will hold documents generated by andfor NSOC and the working groups and any documentation associated withthe project.

The hardware for Aleph arrived last week and Dylan (when he wasn’tbreaking off important switches – is there a theme here?) gotit all unpacked and set up in its new home at the Dal machine room.Sun installed the operating system (Solaris) on Tuesday and Wednesday,and Dylan finished the configuration by Thursday evening. We have officiallypassed it on to Ex Libris, and they will take the next week or so toinstall Oracle (the database) and Aleph. As I mentioned in a previousnewsletter, we need to have this all in place so we can get ready forthe next bit of work – actually testing our data (patrons, bib’s,orders, etc.) in Aleph.

This segues nicely into the next bit of good news. We have chosen thecompany Convergent Library Technologies to perform the data extractionfrom Advance and to work with Ex Libris and ourselves to migrate thedata to Aleph. Convergent is a division of Webclarity Software Inc.which produces library related software like BookWhere, a Z39.50 windowsclient. I am pleased to report that Convergent has assigned their Directorof Technology to head up our extraction; Scott Nickerson. Yes, its thatScott Nickerson. I know that we all will be happy to be in such capablehands. A comparison of the Convergent and GEAC quotes is available onthe web site under the ILS Steering Comm. page.

Convergent has already done a small sample extract of 1000 bib recordswith associated holdings and authority records which we sent to ExL(I’m tired of typing their name) on Friday. The purpose was forExL to get a start on our data conversion in preparation to our kickoffmeetings (more later).

The Data Migration team (DMT) met on Feb. 18th to begin work on answeringa set of system, conversion and configuration questionnaires that wewill use during the Kickoff/Conversion Analysis meetings (more later).The DMT will be enlisting the help of NSOC and the functional groupsto complete as much of the questionnaires as possible. Many of the questionswe just can’t answer at this time, since we don’t know enoughabout how Aleph works. The questionnaires and associated guides areavailable on the web site.

Here’s the later. Our initial meetings with ExL will begin onMarch 14. Planning meetings and training will take place that week andthe week after. Documents associated with these meetings are availableon the web site under Documentation. Here is the schedule and a briefdescription.

March 14 – Kickoff meeting

The Kickoff meeting is intended to provide the ExL and Novanet projectteams with a high-level overview of the Implementation project planand schedule. Attendees: NSOC, ILS Steering Committee, myself, Dylanand Todd Morris, ExL Project Manager, Leah Bokar, ExL Project Librarianand Sara Johnson, ExL Director of Implementation Services.

March 15 – System Conversion/Analysis meeting

This meeting is intended to provide an overview of Aleph, confirm theconfiguration of the system and to prepare us to fully complete thesystem, conversion and configuration questionnaires. Attendees: NSOC,myself, Dylan and one Data Migration team rep. from each of the functionalareas, plus the three from ExL.

March 16 – Systems Training

This is intended to provide Dylan and myself with the training to beable to manipulate Aleph configurations and their Oracle tables. Attendees:Dylan, myself, Todd and Leah.

March 21 – 24 – Initial Overview Training

These four days of training will provide attendees with the skillsnecessary to navigate around the Aleph clients in order to be able totest the data that is migrated and converted from Advance to Aleph.Attendees: NSOC, myself, Dylan, the Data Migration team, Todd and Leah.

Upcoming Events

Initial Meetings with ExL
Working with Convergent to extract data from Advance
Debut of the Project Timeline