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Public Financial Year Rollover

With Financial Year Rollover approaching for public libraries, we have created two documents to help you through the process:

Financial Year Rollover Guide
Financial Year Rollover Quick Reference Sheet

Both documents have been uploaded to the MySupport Portal under the Documents tab.

If you have any questions or issues please contact the Support Team.

Telephone: 0870 4005400
Email: libraries-support@capita.co.uk
Portal URL: https://mysupport.capita-software.co.uk/Login.aspx

Alto Release 5.8 is now available

We are pleased to announce that Alto 5.8 is now available on general release to all customers.

You will find the release notices and supporting documentation for this release on the MySupport portal.

Please ensure that you download and read the relevant documentation for your operating system prior to downloading the installation package.

Key features within Alto 5.8 are:

  • Interloan requests to the British Library’s BLDSS system can now be sent using Web Services, rather than ARTEmail.
  • There is a new Borrower Notification rule type for informing borrowers that their reservation has been cancelled.
  • A number of defects have been fixed throughout Alto.
  • Authority and bibliographic MARC description files have been amended to include the latest MARC format updates.
  • There are improved warnings in Circulation around issuing and renewing to borrowers whose registration has expired, and issuing to dates in the past.
  • Obsolete ILL report codes can now be suppressed.

New versions of Assure and MarcService are included in this release and a new version of Local Data Services (LDS), version 2.1, is also available, which supports the new Borrower Notifications rule and the use of the new Inter-library loan functionality.  Please raise a support request to arrange your LDS upgrade.

Alto Release 5.7 is now available

We are pleased to announce that Alto 5.7 is now available on general release to all customers.

You will find the release notices and supporting documentation for this release on the MySupport portal.

Please ensure that you download and read the relevant documentation for your operating system prior to downloading the installation package.

Key features within Alto 5.7 are:

  •     Sybase 16 is now supported
  •     Scottish libraries no longer require a separate version of Alto in order to use the NEC smartcard
  •     The Status field on item forms and lists now shows ‘On Loan’ or ‘In Transit’ when appropriate
  •     It is now possible to set more than 255 location profiles and other values held in the TYPE_STATUS table
  •    A new script allows the item ‘last seen’ date to be populated
  •     Additional parameters have been added to Borrower Notifications for auto-renewal and borrower information notifications
  •     A number of defects have been fixed
  •     Authority and bibliographic MARC description files have been amended to include the latest MARC format updates.

New versions of Assure and MarcService are included in this release and a new version of Local Data Services (LDS), version 1.9, is also available.  Although Alto 5.7 will still work with LDS 1.8, the new version supports the new auto-renewal features in Borrower Notifications and many features within Soprano. Please raise a support request to arrange your LDS upgrade.

Alto Release 5.6.1 is now available

We are pleased to announce that Alto 5.6.1 is now available on general release to all customers.

You will find the Release Notices and supporting documentation for this release on the Customer Support Portal.

Please ensure that you download and read the relevant documentation for your operating system prior to downloading the installation wraps.

Key features within Alto 5.6.1 are:

  • Borrower names and addresses containing Unicode characters can now be imported and displayed in Alto
  • Alto user passwords are now subject to a more secure form of encryption
  • Users can be prevented from reusing previous passwords
  • You can configure the automatic renewal of loans about to become overdue, and inform the borrower
  • A number of defects have been fixed
  • Authority and bibliographic MARC description files have been amended to include the latest MARC format updates.

A new version of LDS (1.8) is required for this release.  When raising your support case for the LDS upgrade, please include the date when you are planning to upgrade your LMS, as this will allow us to schedule your LDS upgrade.

 

Alto Release 5.5.1 available

We are pleased to announce that Alto 5.5.1 is now available on general release to all customers.

You will find the Release Notices and supporting documentation for this release on the MySupport Portal or on our web site at http://capita-libraries.co.uk/customer_area/alto/.

Please ensure that you download and read the relevant documentation for your operating system prior to downloading the installation wraps.

Key features within Alto 5.5.1 are:

  • Obsolete borrower types, item types and item formats can now be suppressed, so they are not visible within Alto.
  • A number of defects have been fixed
  • Authority and bibliographic MARC description files have been amended to include the latest MARC format updates.
  • A new environment variable  is included for the use of libraries experiencing a problem with reservation charges not being generated when a reserved item is collected.
  • Ad hoc emails can now be sent via LDS, if the Alto client PC is not able to communicate directly with the SMTP server.

There have been some changes to the MarcService to prevent it stopping unexpectedly. If you have had problems with this service please raise a case and we will supply you with the latest version.

To minimise end user disruption, if you haven’t already upgraded to Alto 5.5 we recommend that you upgrade straight to Alto 5.5.1.  You must still load each server upgrade in turn, including 5.4.1, but you need to load only the latest (5.5.1) version of the client software.

Don’t forget that for the main Alto 5.5 you need to schedule your upgrade with Capita Support, so that the files can be released to you and LDS can be upgraded.

Alto 5.4.1 is now available on general release

On 28 January BDS will begin to supply bibliographic records catalogued using the RDA rules.  The main difference that will be seen is the use of the new 264 field for publication details.

We have now released Alto 5.4.1 to allow you to use these records.  The release consists of a small server upgrade and a new Alto client version, plus an updated set of Usemarcon rules and a change to the Zebra indexing rules.

The Usemarcon and Zebra changes are not dependent on the Alto release and should be implemented before 28 January.  If they are not, the implications are as follows.  For any record that you import containing field 264:

1. The Place of publication, Publisher and Date display fields in the WORKS table will not be populated.  These are normally seen in the Work field at the top of forms such as Item and Order in Alto.

2. The publication data will be absent from the WORK_SUBFIELD table.  This means that any scripts that read publication data from the WORK_SUBFIELD table, such as those that produce ILL requests and orders, will not find the data.

Such records would need to be edited to replace the 264 field with 260, or dummy edited after the new Usemarcon rules have been loaded.

For Assist Managed Customers, we will be in contact over the next few weeks to schedule in the Usemarcon and Zebra changes required.

For those libraries that have a bespoke set of Usemarcon rules, an updated set will be sent to system managers via email.

The Alto 5.4.1 release itself includes these features:

In Bibliographic Search:

  • In the Bibliographic Search results grid, the Publisher and Date fields show the contents of the new RDA 264 field if there is no 260 field in the record.

In Cataloguing:

  • A new bibliographic template is supplied, which sets the Leader Descriptive Cataloguing Form code to ‘i’, as appropriate for RDA records, and displays the 264 field instead of 260.  This template is only used if the new environment variable TAL_CAT_RDA is set to ‘YES’.
  • The Quick Manage Work form now reads publication data from field 264, if present, when displaying an existing record.  When creating a new record, it will create field 264 if the new environment variable TAL_CAT_RDA is set to ‘YES’.

In System Management:

  • A new environment variable, TAL_CAT_RDA, can be used to indicate that the library is now creating catalogue records following RDA.  This controls the template that is used when creating bibliographic records.

You will find the release notices and upgrade files at http://capita-libraries.co.uk/customer_area/alto/.  You will need your Members’ Enclosure username and password to access the files.  The files are also available via the FTP server.

Ideas Forum for Alto

We now have 32 customers registered, and a few new ideas have been raised this month. We will be focussing on priorities determined by customers in Ideas for part of each Alto release from now on, so we would encourage you to use this opportunity to let us know what developments are most important to you. We are particularly interested to find out which aspects of Reservations you would most like to see changed in Alto 5.3. You can use Ideas to raise completely new issues, or to let us know which of the existing PERs and Defects you would most like us to work on. See the previous Alto blog for more details on how to access and use Ideas for Alto.