Friday, March 26, 2010

ILLiad Update – Genie Powell

Genie says thanks to all attendee’s – biggest attendance ever.

Presentations will all be available on the website by next week, also some of the Int’l ILLiad Conference updates will be included on Atlas’ Facebook, twitter and flickr. "The official Twitter Hashtag for the conference is #illiad10 so feel free to follow along or add your own input if you're attending. We'll link to a stream of those tweets from the conference web site as well once the conference starts. And don't forget you can follow Atlas Systems on Twitter - we're @atlassystems . If you have any questions about the web site or the conference, send us an email at"

Other news; Atlas is hiring 2 positions; a developer and support person.

ILLiad 8

Old version had a few troubles...
People said ILLiad 8.0 was slow – opening a request in 7.4 fast, but 8, takes 10 seconds. It wasn’t a server or firewall issue, it was a layer around the server.

So Atlas fixed all that and it is as fast or faster than 7.4.
Reviewing cool new features; looking up users, viewing both borrowing and document delivery requests, and more.
Documentation site: ILLiad release notes with lots of details.

But wait, it gets much better than that...
Atlas added a new feature, it came in the last update as new scripts that allow you to open a browser in ILLiad, and run a web service. What do these look like?

They add new tabs in ILLiad, along side the OCLC and holdings tab, the script tabs included in the recent ILLiad update include a Google and Google Scholar service for articles, and Amazon for loans. Actually, with a little simple programming, you can create actions to do with web services (within the ILLiad client)

Cool feature is that these web services can import data into ILLiad, I know - while looking at Amazon – click on Import, and the script can pull in the price – you pick field to fill.

These are extremely powerful new tools that can expand what ILLiad does – streamline the processing by automatically looking up the citation in various web services; Amazon, Google, Bing, Web OPAC (for call # and location), UPS, Netflix, Dissertations Express, and more...

Web OPAC searching – script if your ILS’s Z39.50 isn’t reliable.

Article requests now automatically have Google, Google Search, and can have your Open URL look up as threaded searches (no delays in a request opening) That means you can fill borrowing, document delivery, and lending requests for articles even easier now - no need to look up manually.

Shipments tab – UPS Tracking code allows you a quick look up for an item that was shipped.

Atlas will soon post the documentation to activate these scripts, and some instructions. More on Lua:

Also, Atlas will create some Atlas approved folder for lua scripts - ideally the community shares them. We can share these to really make powerful service extensions and automate so many staff functions; manual searches in Amazon, Google, and digital library (output or input)?

There was much amazement at how seamless this all worked in ILLiad, but it also was amazing to see how people were struck with realizing they were given powerful keys to unlocking many manual web services workflows that complicated their lives. This changes the playing field for ILL - it is rapidly moving into the service request business in libraries - a request could be either an ILL or acquisitions request, but it also helps process that into reserves, digital libraries (receiving and input stages), and much more. Kudos to the Atlas Systems folks for their creativity - ILLiad was always flexible, but now, easily adaptive to web services makes our lives so much easier, with potential to transform the very nature of library functions; acquisitions, etc. Next week, we want to create a netflix tab, and a OCLC connexion tab, maybe a course management tab - wow, so much fun work ahead after a wonderful conference is refreshing - fun homework - let's change what and how we do things with cool lua scripts on tab at a time.

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