Soprano Blog

Watch the latest Soprano Development Update webinar

If you were unable to attend the Soprano Development Update webinar on Thursday 17th August or would like to review what we covered then you can catch up on the latest developments by watching the video of the webinar, below, or by downloading it.

The webinar demonstrates and discusses some of the developments included in the release that is now available for preview.

Soprano release preview 17th August 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the next release of Soprano is now available for preview.
This release includes:

  • Purchasing
    • Searching for a work to order
    • Searching for orders on the Orders page
    • Order State filter
    • Order notes and instructions
    • Open Order improvements
    • Aggregate funds
    • Funds summary
    • Other fund improvements
    • Supplier improvements
    • Purchasing fixes
  • General
    • Item state information
    • Edit item barcode and shelfmark
    • Home site and shelfmark together in item header
    • Work and Item action buttons re-organised
    • Retaining your last search
    • Serial holdings summary
    • Name only in menus
    • ‘Update in progress’ indicator
    • LDS up-to-date check
  • Circulation
    • Quick navigation between circulation tasks
    • Remove item from reservation shelf
    • Borrower search prompt text
    • Borrower email address validation
    • Create Borrower with no Department
    • Borrower reservation in transit
    • Circulation fixes

 

Purchasing

Searching for a work to order

When you click the Create Order button on the Orders page you have the option to search the local database and Base for a work to order or to create a work.  Improvements have been made to the search function so you can now search using keywords as an alternative to a standard identifier and in both cases get a set of records to choose from. Up to five records from the local database and ten records from Base will be displayed.

A keyword search needs to be as specific as possible for the best results.

Clicking the Select button on a local record or the Import button on a Base record brings up the Create Order form.

 

Searching for orders on the Orders page

Searching for orders has been improved so you can now

  • Search for an official order number without having to use the ‘official’ qualifier
  • Search by ISBN or other standard identifier
  • Enter a partial order number or other reference number

  • Carry out a keyword search.This retrieves the same records as a search in Resources, then displays the orders linked to the first record found so may be useful for exact title searches.

 

Order State filter

Complete has been added to the Filter by Order State list in Orders.

 

Order notes and instructions

You can now edit the Notes and Supplier Instructions fields on the Notes tab of an order.

 

Open Order improvements

There is a new Create Open Order button next to the search box on the Open Orders page.

Clicking this takes you to the Begin ordering page where you can search for a work or create one.

 

Aggregate funds

Base and Aggregate buttons have been added to the Create Fund form so that an aggregate fund can be created.

Clicking the Aggregate button brings up a field that enables member funds to be selected from a list. Currently only base funds can be added as members.

Member funds can be added and removed on the Members tab of an existing fund.

The Add Money and Transfer Money buttons no longer display on an aggregate fund and the list of funds you see when you click Add Money on a base fund no longer includes aggregates.

 

Funds summary

The new Funds Summary tab brings up a dashboard of fund information for the current financial year.

Charts on the left of the screen give overviews of spending and usage. On the right there are lists of funds based on levels of expenditure and options for selecting funds.

If funds are selected, they display in a list on the left of the screen, which can be sorted and searched.

Clicking on a fund in the list takes you to the fund record.

 

 

Other fund improvements

A fund’s name, expenditure code and notes can now be edited. Select the pencil control in the record header to bring up the edit form.

When money is transferred into or out of a fund, the commitment and expenditure limits are now adjusted automatically.

A Financial Year filter has been added to Funds. This displays the three most recent financial years specified in the database and defaults to the latest year.

 

Supplier improvements

The status of a supplier is now changed using a button rather than by editing the record.  This screenshot shows the buttons for making a closed supplier Active or Inactive.

The account code used by finance integration now displays on the Supplier page and is editable.

 

Purchasing fixes

Permission to cancel an order. The Cancel button no longer displays if you don’t have permission to edit orders.

Error on confirming an order. An error message now displays if required when you confirm an order on the list of orders. Previously the Confirm button disappeared without giving a message.

Receipting an order for an inactive supplier. This now displays a meaningful error message.

 

 

General

Item state information

More use is now made of the area in the item header between the description panel and the action buttons to give information about the state of the item, so that you can see at a glance anything that might affect what you do with the item. Exceptions are given in red or amber, replacing icons on the top left corner of the item cover image; other conditions are given in blue, as already seen for cases such as in transit. Item state information covers conditions such as: on loan, overdue, reserved, on the reservation shelf, has message/s (with a count of messages and a link to view them), Has Query (now amber rather than blue), in transit, rotation due, and has inter-library loan.

Where it’s helpful and feasible, some detail is included in the label indicating a particular condition. Cases include: a single reservation – the collection site name is given; the item is on the reservation shelf – the expiry date is given; a query – the reason is given; in transit – the destination site name is given. The full text of one forced message is displayed.

Item state alert icons are also given in the Item Description column in outcome rows for Issue, Renew and Return, where appropriate.


 

Edit item barcode and shelfmark

The barcode and the four elements of the shelfmark (Sequence, Size, Class and Suffix) are now included on the item edit form. The shelfmark fields require a forthcoming version of the Local Data Services (LDS).

This allows you to change the barcode number, for example when you’ve had to replace an unreadable barcode, and to change the shelfmark, for example to add one, to change a default, to correct an error or to reflect a move.

In the shelfmark you can select values (or leave no value) for Sequence and Size from menus of your defined values. In the Class number field when you type three or more characters an autocomplete list appears showing existing classification numbers beginning with your string, to help with consistent application of class numbers and so that you know when you add a new classification number to your library.

 

Home site and shelfmark together in item header

The shelfmark is now displayed following the home site in the item header.

 

Work and Item action buttons re-organised

The action buttons on the right of the header of entities such as works, items, funds and suppliers are now organised into groups with labels describing the areas they relate to. Button colour now serves to indicate main and other actions.


 

Retaining your last search

When your resources search query retrieves more than one result, Soprano now retains the query. When you select the Resources tab, instead of getting the Resources front page with Recent Activity, it re-plays your last search query giving you the first page of results with the query in the search box. This supports use cases where you want to act on more than one result from the same query, such as reserving similar works.

A new X button at the end of the search box allows you to clear the box and results, giving you the Recent Activity page with the cursor in the search box ready for your next query. The same can be done by selecting the Resources tab again. Alternatively you can remove the old query ‘manually’ and type a new query in the search box.

 

Serial holdings summary

Your summary holdings statement for the site where you are signed in is now displayed in the Work header.

 

Name only in menus

We’ve made menus consistent throughout Soprano in displaying and being ordered by name only. These include Current Site on the sign in page; Borrower Type, Home site and Department; Item Home site, Status and Type; Reserve Collection site; Update Item Status, Type and Site.

 

‘Update in progress’ indicator

When you submit an edit to the borrower or item header the form closes and the unchanged view may re-display for a while if your LDS has a delay in applying the update. Soprano now displays a spinner below the pencil edit control to indicate that your update is in progress.

 

LDS up-to-date check

In the footer of every page there is a link LDS version that gives you the notice about whether or not your LDS is up-to-date.

 

Circulation

Quick navigation between circulation tasks

At busy service points you need to be able to switch quickly between circulation tasks. To support this, when you select the Home tab a sub-menu bar displays with links to Issue Items, Renew Loans or Return Items From Loan. That enables you to access any of those tasks with one click/tap, when you are in any other of those tasks or on the Home page.

 

Remove item from reservation shelf

The Item detail page now provides a Remove From Shelf button when the item is on the reservation shelf. This provides an alternative option to the facility already offered on the reservation shelf page (accessible from the Home page). The button removes the item from the reservation shelf and sets the reservation status to Uncollected.

 

Borrower search prompt text

The prompt text in the borrower search box in both the Borrowers page and the Home page now indicates more of the types of search available for finding borrowers. You can search for borrowers using name, barcode, institution ID, postcode, date of birth, or email address.

 

Borrower email address validation

Email address input is now validated in Create Borrower and in Borrower > Information > Contacts. In the Borrower Create form if you enter an invalid email address then, on leaving the field, you are advised in red to ‘Please enter a valid email address’:

In Borrower > Information > Contacts when you add or update an email address if you enter an invalid address then when you save the change you get a lightbox overlay advising you to ‘Please enter a valid email address’:

 

Create Borrower with no Department

If your Soprano is configured to show Borrower Department, then in the Create Borrower form you have a Department field. It now includes a ‘none’ option at the top of the drop-down list of Departments, enabling you to register no value for that field.

 

Borrower reservation in transit

In a borrower’s list of reservations, when an item is in transit to satisfy the reservation then Soprano now indicates this in the Status column as ‘In Transit’.

Circulation fixes

Empty pick list notice. When a pick list, either for reservations or stock rotation, has no qualifying items, a notice is now given to make that clear.


Borrower photo disappearing. Borrower photos now display correctly at all screen or browser window widths.
No reservation queue.The message ‘There is no reservation queue for this item’ no longer erroneously displays when a second or subsequent reservation is placed on a work.

 

Release to the live service

This version of Soprano will be released to the live service on Tuesday 29th August 2017.

 

Comments and contact

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the blog, in the Soprano Forum, or contact your Account Manager. To suggest and discuss additional features there is the Soprano Ideas Forum.


Soprano release 4th July 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the version of Soprano that has been in preview recently has now been released to the live service.

Details of the inclusions are given in the release notice on the Soprano blog.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the Soprano blog, on the Soprano forum and Soprano Ideas or contact your Account Manager or the Soprano team directly.

Soprano release preview 29th June 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the next release of Soprano is now available for preview.

This release addresses issues relating to Borrower Date of Birth.

Date of Birth field on/off toggle in Create & Edit Borrower

You can now create a borrower without setting a date of birth. A new toggle switch next to the Date of Birth field is set on by default. When you click/tap to switch it off, the value selection fields disappear and you can save the form without a date of birth.

In the Borrower Header if there is no date of birth the field value displays as ‘[unknown]’.

The new toggle switch is also given In the Borrower Header edit form. If there is no date of birth the toggle is Off and the date fields are not displayed; click/tap to switch it on to display the fields and set a date of birth.

If there is a date of birth the toggle is set on and the date fields are displayed; if you click/tap to switch it off and save the form then the date of birth is removed from the borrower.

 

Edit borrower no longer setting spurious DoB

Borrower records where there is no date of birth now retain no value for the Date of Birth when you edit some other data in the borrower record, rather than setting it to the current date.

 

Release to the live service

This version of Soprano will be released to the live service on Tuesday 4th July 2017.

 

Comments and contact

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the blog, in the Soprano Forum, or contact your Account Manager. To suggest and discuss additional features there is the Soprano Ideas Forum.

 

Soprano release 28th June 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the version of Soprano that has been in preview recently has now been released to the live service.

Details of the inclusions are given in the release notice on the Soprano blog.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the Soprano blog, on the Soprano forum and Soprano Ideas or contact your Account Manager or the Soprano team directly.

Soprano release preview 15th June 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the next release of Soprano is now available for preview.
This release includes:

  • General
    • Search results – more detail
  • Purchasing
    • Viewing the orders for a work
    • Improvements to the Create Order form
    • Copying an order
    • Order State Filter
    • Supplier reports
    • Order notes
    • Navigating from orders to invoices
    • Receipting improvements
    • Cancelling items on a part received order
    • Shelfmark in Orders
    • New messages when invoice payment or order confirmation fails
    • Last edit information
    • Improvements to the Create Open Order form
    • Deleting an invoice
    • Funds improvements
    • Change the work on an order
    • Claim missing issues for Open Orders
    • Purchasing fixes
  • Circulation
    • Borrower Loans display more information
    • Item sets
    • Circulation fixes
  • Cataloguing fix
  • Operator Profile – View your permissions
  • Tills fixes

 

General

Search results – more detail

Soprano now gives more detail in search results for Resources,  and also in the Recent Activity list. More of the title is displayed with longer titles wrapping over two lines, and edition statements are displayed. Labels are given for the elements after title and authors, for clarity. There is also a concise availability statement giving the site and shelfmark for one site, with preference for the current site, where there is at least one available copy.

Purchasing

Viewing the orders for a work

You can now see the orders for a work on a new Orders tab. You can click on an order in the list to display the full record in Orders.

Alternatively you can click the View In Purchasing button, which carries out a search in Orders on the bib ID of the work.

 

Improvements to the Create Order form

The following fields have been added to the Create Order form:

  • Currency
  • Notes
  • Order type
  • Supplier instructions

You can now order copies for multiple sites and split the cost between funds if required. When you select a fund the amount available to spend is displayed.

 

Copying an order

A Copy This Order button has been added to the Order form to enable you to quickly create a new order from an existing one.  The supplier, price and copy information will be copied into the Create Order form unless the original order is cancelled, in which case the supplier will not be copied.

 

Order State Filter

The four buttons for filtering orders by order state (All, Active, Proposed and Part Complete) have been replaced by a list that includes several new options, including Cancelled to list cancelled orders. Three options linked to supplier reports are outlined below.

 

Supplier reports

The order status reports sent by suppliers now appear in Soprano. The Reports tab on an order record displays a list of the reports with the latest at the top.

The latest report also displays on the Orders list and is indicated in the state of the order on both the form and the list.

You can quickly bring up a list of orders reported as cancelled or not accepted by the supplier by selecting either the View orders cancelled by supplier task on the Home page or Cancelled by  Supplier from the Filter by Order State list. The orders can then be cancelled individually or using the Cancel All button.

Filtering by the order state Requires Reviewing displays a list of orders with specific reports attached. These are reports that may require you to take action, such as Order line accepted, substitute product will be supplied or Order line held: note price change.

The filters Cancelled by Supplier and Requires Reviewing check for EDI reports only on the assumption that you will take any action required (e.g. cancellation) at the point of adding a manual report. Another filter, With Reports, shows orders with reports added manually as well as via EDI. The filters take into account the last thousand reports added. Reports added manually show on the Reports tab of the order and in the State column.

 

Order notes

Order notes are displayed on a new Notes tab on the order form.

 

Navigating from orders to invoices

There is now a button to enable you to move directly from an order or open order to the invoice(s) it is linked to. The button shows the number of invoices concerned.

 

Receipting improvements

A message now displays when an item is successfully receipted on the Order form. This advises you what to do with the item if necessary. In this example the item has automatically been put in transit to its home site because Auto Transit is enabled:

If you receipt an item in error you can now undo the receipt provided the item is at Received status. An Undo Receipt button displays against the item on the Order and on the Item screen.

 

Cancelling items on a part received order

A Cancel button now appears against the outstanding items on a Part complete order.

 

Shelfmark in Orders

The Shelfmark column in the Items list on an order is now populated.

 

New messages when invoice payment or order confirmation fails

A more meaningful message now displays if paying an invoice or confirming a proposed order fails.

 

Last edit information

When and by whom an order or open order was last edited now displays in the record header.

 

Improvements to the Create Open Order form

The following fields have been added to the Create Open Order form:

  • Currency
  • Delivery site
  • Notes
  • Order type
  • Subscription start
  • Subscription end

When you select a fund the amount available to spend is displayed.

The button for accessing this form has moved from the Open Orders tab on a serial work to the work header.

 

Deleting an invoice

A Delete button now displays on the list of invoices and the Invoice form for an EDI invoice at Potential status. This changes the status of the invoice to Deleted to enable it to be removed from the database by the edi_inv_delete.pl script.

 

Funds improvements

Soprano now distinguishes between the Closed and Not Active fund statuses and it is possible to filter funds by status.

The Create Fund button is also new. This gives you a form for creating a base fund.

The commitment and expenditure warnings can now be amended. Select the pencil control to bring up the edit form.

The Members tab on an aggregate fund has been enhanced to show the full hierarchy of funds rather than just listing the top-level members.

Change the work on an order

Sometimes you need to change the work being ordered; for example when the supplier reports that a new edition is available.

Next to the work title in the header of an order a pencil control now allows you to open a form where you can select an alternative work. The form comprises a search box and a list of results with the option to select a result as the new work; there is also an option to create a new work. By default the results of a search by the title of the original work on the order are shown.

 

Claim missing issues for Open Orders

Under the Holdings tab for a serial work there are two new columns: Expected Date and Claims. The Claim button in the Claims column creates a Potential claim. An alert to view all claims (Potential, Active and Sent) for issues in subscriptions for the current site is given at the top of the Holdings list, with a link to view them.

You can click the Claim button on a Potential claim to make it Active so that it will be sent to the supplier.

On the Home page under Purchasing a new option Review potential claims displays for enabled operators. It gives you a list of all potential claims concerning Open Order Subscriptions for the current site. A potential claim may be generated automatically with reference to the prediction pattern where the issue is late or has been skipped (the next issue has been received), or it may be generated ‘manually’ as described above. You can ‘Accept’ a claim to make it active so that it will be sent to the supplier, or you can reject it. The serial work description is linked to the work page allowing you to review the holdings to help make a decision.

 

Purchasing fixes

Cancelled order items. Items now display on a cancelled order instead of the message ‘There are no items on this order yet’.

Invoice Pay button. The Pay button now displays on an invoice that just has a charge on it provided the charge amount matches the amount payable.

View proposed orders. The task View new quotes has been renamed View proposed orders.

Acquisitions breadcrumb trail. When you’re at a detailed level in acquisitions, the breadcrumb now includes the area you’re in (such as Orders, or Funds) as a separate part of the breadcrumb trail, and you can click to go back to that level.

 

Circulation

Borrower Loans display more information

More information is displayed in the list of a borrower’s current loans (under the Borrower > On Loan tab). The item barcode is now in with the Item Description, and there are two new columns: Loan Type and Renewals. The Renewals column shows the count of renewals and the quota; this can be toggled between unseen and seen renewals by checking or unchecking the Renew As Seen box at the top of the list. When the item is reserved this is alerted with a count of the reservations in a label under the Due Date. The column heading of the check box column at the end of the rows is now All / None and you can click each of those words to check or uncheck all of the boxes.

 

Item sets

It is now possible to link together items into a set which can be issued and returned together. This feature requires Local Data Services (LDS) version 2.8.

Creating an item set

Create a Work and an associated Item to represent the set. On the Item Detail page a new button is provided: Convert To Set.

When you press the button Soprano confirms that the item has been converted to a set and it prompts you to add items to the set by entering their barcode numbers under a new tab, Contents. A blue label Item set in the header indicates that this item represents a set, whenever you view this item.

Note: Once an item has been converted to be a set parent it cannot be changed back again.

Items added to the set display in a list below the input field.

You can select a child item in the list to view its item detail page. Membership of the set is indicated in the item detail page header by a blue label In item set, together with the set name (the title of the work for the set), which is a link to the set parent item. A button allows you to remove the item from the set.

 

Issue and return an item set

Currently to issue an item set you issue each item in the set. A notice is given with a Confirm button: Item is part of a set – issuing this item will issue the parent too.

Similarly, to return an item set you return each item in the set. A notice is given with a Confirm button: Item is part of a set – returning this item will return the parent too.

Further development is planned to streamline the item set issue and return workflows.

 

Circulation fixes

Return ILL item from loan. You can now return an ILL item from loan to a borrower. A notice displays in the transaction outcome row that the item is an inter-library loan, alerting you to return it to its home site from where it can be returned to the supplier, rather than shelving it.

 

Reserve: entering the borrower number. On the reserve page with the item already present (typically having come from pressing the Reserve button on the Work), the focus is now in the Borrower Barcode input box so all you need to do is scan the borrower’s card. When you enter the borrower number the reservation is no longer immediately placed. This allows the warning of a charge to be displayed and for you to select the Collection Site before pressing the Reserve button to submit the reservation.

Dummy loans no longer displayed in Item History. When an item that is not on loan is ‘returned’ at a self-service point or in Alto, this transaction has been shown as a loan in Soprano Item History with the borrower shown as ‘DEFAULT’. Such transactions no longer display as loans.

Item barcode issues. You can now create a new item without a barcode, for example for an ebook or a non-loanable item. When you add a barcode to an item, Soprano now disallows it if the barcode already exists.

 

Classification disappearing from item shelfmark – fixed. Editing the item header information no longer results in the classification in the shelfmark disappearing.

Edit a borrower’s email address. We’ve fixed the bug where this deleted the email address.

Create borrower when change borrower photo not allowed. Global permission to change borrower photos is configurable in the Admin Console for each Soprano tenancy. When not allowed, some fields in the Create Borrower form could not be edited – this is now fixed.

Limited Access Sites and Reservations. To support libraries that loan between limited access sites and other sites, Process Reservations now allows you to transit reserved items between a limited access site and another site, or between two limited access sites.

Column heading labels in issue, renew, return. In the outcome rows in Issue, Renew and Return, the column headings ‘Fee’ and ‘Messages’ have been changed to ‘Charges’ and ‘Notices’ to use established terminology and to avoid ambiguity.

Offline transaction update problem fixed. Transactions recorded offline were failing to update when connectivity was restored if the user had moved to a different page, typically by signing in again when connectivity was available, with Soprano sending the transactions when on the Home page. Such updates now succeed.

Performance. Borrower search now requires at least one alpha numeric character, to avoid a slow response response when only non-alpha-numeric characters were entered.

Item Query alert icon. A specific icon indicating that the item has a query is now displayed in the item description area of the item header. This is in addition to the existing alert and information about the query given between the item description area and the action buttons.

 

Item Home Site label. The label for the site of an item as displayed in the Item header has been changed from ‘Current Site’ to ‘Home Site’, reflecting common terminology.

Borrower near expiry alert in Issue. An icon alerting that the borrower is near their expiry date is now displayed in the borrower card in the Issue Items page.

 

Cataloguing

Upload MARC record fix. This fixes the bug where Soprano went offline when uploading a MARC record replacement.

 

Operator Profile

View your permissions

In the black ID bar at the top of Soprano you can already click on your name and the cog icon to open your operator profile page where, if enabled, you can change your password. That profile page now includes the complete list of Soprano permissions indicating which of them are active for your operator profile at the current site. These permissions are expressed in Soprano terms; most of them are configured via the LMS SetConfig application.

 

Tills

Tills fixes

Refunds as negative amounts. Refunds in Tills are now shown in X Reports and Z Reports correctly as negative amounts, and with the correct total.

 

Connected till remembered by browser. We’ve fixed the bug so that your connected till is remembered in Firefox and IE (as well as in other browsers) when you close the browser then open it and sign in.

 

Local Data Services (LDS) requirements

Some of the new Purchasing features, and the Item sets feature in Circulation require LDS version 2.8. To request an upgrade to your LDS, please open a Support case.

 

To preview this release

You can preview this release by inserting ‘-demo’ into your tenancy URL after the word ‘soprano’: https://soprano-demo.capita-libraries.co.uk/{your tenancy name}. Please remember that it accesses your live data.

 

Release to the live service

This version of Soprano will be released to the live service on Tuesday 27th June 2017.

 

Comments and contact

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the blog, in the Soprano Forum, or contact your Account Manager. To suggest and discuss additional features there is the Soprano Ideas Forum.

 

 

 

Watch the latest Soprano Development Update webinar

If you were unable to attend the Soprano Development Update webinar on Thursday 11th May or would like to review what we covered then you can catch up on the latest developments by watching the video of the webinar, below, or by downloading it.

The webinar covers numerous developments coming soon, chiefly in Acquisitions but some also in other areas, including:

  • View Orders for a Work
  • View Notes and Reports on an Order
  • View and manage Orders cancelled by supplier
  • More detail in Create order
  • More information when paying an Invoice fails
  • Control over verifying and paying by the same person
  • Additional fields on Open Orders
  • Messages shown when receipting issues
  • Filter Funds by status
  • Create Fund
  • Manage Claims for journal issues
  • Borrower current loans additional information
  • Alert when return item is an ILL
  • Till refund bug fix
  • Create Item without a barcode
  • View operator enablements
  • Local Data Services
  • and more

 

Soprano release 22nd March 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the version of Soprano that has been in preview recently has now been released to the live service.

Details of the inclusions are given in the release notice on the Soprano blog.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the Soprano blog, on the Soprano forum and Soprano Ideas or contact your Account Manager or the Soprano team directly.

Soprano release preview 15th March 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the next release of Soprano is now available for preview.
This release includes:

  • Circulation exception handling
  • Borrower On Loan adjustments
  • Sorting borrower loan history
  • Re-use new borrower details as a template
  • Analysis and Interest in Create Borrower
  • Borrower type in borrower search results
  • Borrower expiry imminent – alert
  • Delete a borrower
  • Renewing loans – new features
  • Printing Reservation and Transit slips
  • Mark items as seen – exception alerts
  • Item statuses in drop down lists
  • Pick items for stock rotation
  • Reservations Pick List richer bib data
  • Offline developments
  • Circulation fixes
  • Local Data Services (LDS) requirements

 

Circulation exception handling

Many kinds of exception can occur in Issue, Renew and Return. The home site of a returned item may be elsewhere, or the item may be reserved for collection at the current site or at some other site. There may be a hire charge associated with an item being issued. A borrower wishing to renew a loan may be blocked due to excessive fines, or have reached their unseen renewal limit.

This release of Soprano handles a wide range of circulation exceptions, taking account of the operator’s enablements and environment variables to determine behaviour, and giving appropriate notices and options.

Soprano treats an exception as either Ignorable, Notifiable, Confirmable or Terminal. These categories determine the information and other content given in the transaction outcome row.

An exception is ignored when it:

  • Is not relevant to the transaction, such as in Issue or Renew when the item’s home site is not the current site
  • Can be dealt with silently, such as in Issue when the item is reserved by the borrower and the reservation can be automatically updated to Collected status
  • Concerns the borrower and is indicated as an alert on the borrower as displayed at the top of the Issue/Renew/Return page.

Exceptions Ignorable Issue Borrower exceptions

Notifiable exceptions do not warrant an interruption to the transaction but there is value in displaying an alert in the outcome row. This is often the case in Return Items, where there is usually no need to hold up the return transaction. An example in Return Items is when the item’s home site is elsewhere. In Return and Renew when a fine is incurred the amount is displayed. In Issue or Renew when the borrower’s account expires before the loan due date, the alert text varies depending on whether the due date has been reduced to the expiry date according to the TAL_AUTOCHOP environment variable setting.

Exceptions Notifiable Renew Autochop

Exceptions Notifiable Return Send to home site

Confirmable exceptions interrupt the transaction and require confirmation to be completed. They allow the operator to decide whether or not to go ahead, perhaps in some cases after consulting the borrower. They are usually exceptions where the operator has an override enablement. Examples in Issue and Renew include where the borrower is blocked or has reached a limit, or a charge will be incurred.

Exceptions Confirmable Issue Hire charge

Exceptions Confirmable Renew Blocked borrower

In Return there is less reason to interrupt the transaction, but it occurs when the item has a message, which may be about checking that everything is present and correct.

Exceptions Confirmable Return Item message

An exception is terminal when it cannot be overridden by any operator. Some cases in Issue and Renew are where no due date can be found because there is no loan rule or because the rule disallows issue or renewal, perhaps because the item is reserved or because of the item type and/or borrower type. In these cases the operator may be able to try again with a manual due date.  Other examples include where the item is reserved awaiting collection by another borrower; the item is already on loan; and, the borrower’s account is expired or deleted.

Exceptions Terminal Renew Item reserved

In this example the notice that the ‘Item is reserved – due date may be restricted’ is superfluous and we’ll stop it from displaying in a future release.

Exceptions Terminal Issue Borrower expired

Supervisor override

When an exception could be overridden but the operator lacks the required enablement, or their override level is insufficient to override a borrower or item message, then Soprano offers the option for a supervisor with the required enablement or level to sign in and complete the transaction. The session of the original operator is temporarily suspended. Several transactions can be overridden in this way at once by selecting the required outcome rows. When completed (i.e. after pressing the Override button), the supervisor is automatically signed out and the original operator’s session is resumed. The transactions are logged in the database as created by the supervisor.

Exceptions Supervisor override

The following video (nine minutes) gives an introduction to the handling of exceptions in Soprano:

 

 

Borrower On Loan adjustments

The On Loan tab is now placed first and is the default open tab when you visit a borrower page. It has switched places with the Profile tab.

Under the On Loan tab there is no longer the option to Return the item. You probably have the item in hand, so you can go to the Return Items page via the button in either the Home page or the Resources page, and scan the item to return it.

 

Sorting borrower loan history

You can now sort a borrower’s loan history. Click the column headings to sort, descending or ascending, by Title, Author, Borrowed date or Returned date. The default order is Returned date descending.

Borrower loan history

 

Re-use new borrower details as a template

When you create a borrower record you now have the option to carry forward some data from this record to the next. This would, for example, expedite the enrolment of a family.

Re-use borrower details option

Clicking Reuse Borrower Details brings up a new borrower form with the following fields populated from the previous record:

  • Last name
  • Guarantor
  • Borrower type
  • Home site
  • Department
  • Postcode
  • Address details
  • Phone number
Re-used borrower details in new borrower

Re-used borrower details in a new borrower form, showing the fields that have been populated from the previous record.

 

Analysis and Interest in Create Borrower

The create borrower form now includes fields for adding Analysis and Interest labels. They behave the same as the existing fields in the Borrower > Information > Membership edit form – click in the field to get a menu of labels to select from. You can add multiple labels into each field, and remove individual labels.

Analysis and Interest in Create Borrower

 

Borrower type in borrower search results

The Borrower Type now displays instead of Status in the borrower search results list.

Borrower type in search results

 

Borrower expiry imminent – alert

When a borrower’s account is due to expire within one month, Soprano will now display an amber alert on the borrower picture and against the expiry date under the Information tab.

Borrower expiry imminent alert

Clicking the Reset button will update the borrower’s expiry date in accordance with your configuration settings.

 

Delete a borrower

Borrowers can now be set to Deleted status in the borrower header edit form. Select the pencil control to open the edit form. Two radio buttons are displayed at the bottom of the form, allowing you to switch the status between Active and Deleted.

Borrower status in edit form

At Deleted status it is no longer possible to issue anything further to the borrower, or renew anything they have on loan. It is possible to return items that may be on loan to them – the borrower information is displayed in grey and their deleted status is indicated.

Borrower status alert in Return

 

Renewing loans – new features

Soprano now has a dedicated page to renew loans. You can access it via a new Renew Items button on the Home page and the Resources page.

Renew Items button on Home

You can quickly renew loans by scanning the item barcodes. You can specify whether a renewal is seen or unseen (the default is Seen) and you have the option to set a manual due date.

Renew loans page

Renewal from the borrower On Loan page also now includes the Seen/Unseen setting and the option to set a manual due date. Instead of the Renew button against each item you now find a tick box, and there is a Renew Selected button instead of Renew All. Loans are selected for renewal by default unless they were issued today and are not due back today.

Renew borrower loans

The Renew Selected button takes you to the new Renew Items page with the outcome(s) displayed.

 

Printing Reservation and Transit slips

When satisfying a reservation or transiting an item for a reservation the system now offers the option to print a slip to go in the item.

Print slip Satisfy reservation

Print slip Transit for reservation

 

Mark items as seen – exception alerts

When an item is scanned in the task Mark item as seen Soprano will now report the following conditions and offer options to resolve them:

  • The item is in transit
  • It is on loan
  • It belongs to another site
  • It has a query
  • Its status has the code WDN

Mark items as seen - exception alerts

 

Item statuses in drop down lists

The drop-down list of item statuses that can be assigned in the Update item status task and in Add Item has been amended to exclude values that are reserved for use by the system, such as Order Sent and Received. Furthermore, when Soprano finds that the current status of the item is such that the requested change is not valid, it gives a notice indicating that the change has not been performed – for example, when the current status is 10 meaning ‘Query’.

 

Pick items for stock rotation

The Home page has two new options:

  • Pick items for stock rotation
  • Pick items for stock rotation in area

Stock rotation Pick items options

The Stock Rotation Pick List shows the items that are due for stock rotation and that are on the shelf at the login site. Select Pick items for stock rotation in area to choose which area of the library (defined in Manage areas) you want to look in for items due for stock rotation, or select Pick items for stock rotation to see the list for the whole site.

The list is the equivalent of the pick list produced by the script item_rotate.pl except that it excludes items which are in transit.

At the shelf, as you find each specific copy (the barcodes need to match) you can use the tick to remove the item from the list or the X to move it to the bottom of the list if you have not found it.

Stock rotation Item pick list

Having collected items from the shelves, the next step is to Process picked items (in Tasks). Here you scan each item and Soprano directs you to put it into transit to its new home site.

Stock rotation Process picked item

If required, an item can be issued to someone after it has been put into transit. Soprano automatically takes it out of rotation transit and issues it to the borrower. When it is returned, Soprano will either automatically set it in transit and indicate that it should be sent to the relevant site for rotation (when Auto-transit is set on), or offer a Transit button (when Auto-transit is set off).

Stock rotation Return Auto-transit

When the item arrives at its destination site you need to scan the item in Resources to display the Item details page and then click the Complete Transit button.

Stock rotation Item Complete transit

 

Reservations Pick List richer bib data

The item descriptions in the Reservations Pick List now have more title information and they include edition statements, enabling you to more easily identify the requested item at the shelf.

Res Pick List richer bib data

 

Offline developments

Terminology: Soprano Offline now uses the terms Issue and Return rather than Check-out and Check-in.

Offline_terminology

A new offline option has been provided for renew. When selected you are prompted to enter the borrower and item barcode to record the renewal and then click the Renew button.

Offline_renew1

The system confirms that the renewal has been recorded.

Offline_renew2

The offline queue information has been updated to show an estimate of the amount of space remaining on the device. This displays whenever the queue is accessed.

Offline device capacity

 

Circulation fixes

  • The Return Items page now displays a row for each item returned rather than just the last two items. The row now includes the item barcode. The display persists until the operator moves away from the page or it times out.

fix1

  • The Process Reservation button no longer displays when a reserved item is returned if the reservation is not yet effective.
  • A borrower without a primary course is no longer assigned the first entry in the list of courses when their details are edited. The Primary Course field displays ‘No Primary Course’ when the record is being edited and it is blank when the record is saved.
  • The ILLs tab on a borrower record now shows the correct report if more than one report is received on the same day by taking account of the time the report was added.

 

Local Data Services (LDS) requirements

The exceptions handling work in this release has built on a structural change that we introduced in LDS 2.0. That means that, with this Soprano release, LDS 1.x is no longer supported. This realises a change that we initially gave notice about in a blog post last July.

As always, the new Soprano features work best with the latest version of LDS, currently LDS 2.6. Further improvements, chiefly more informative handling of some of the exceptions, will come with LDS 2.7 which will be available after this Soprano release is live.

 

To preview this release

You can preview this release by inserting ‘-demo’ into your tenancy URL after the word ‘soprano’: https://soprano-demo.capita-libraries.co.uk/{your tenancy name}. Please remember that it accesses your live data.

 

Release to the live service

This version of Soprano will be released to the live service on Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

 

Comments and contact

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the blog, in the Soprano Forum, or contact your Account Manager. To suggest and discuss additional features there is the Soprano Ideas Forum.

 

Watch the latest Soprano Development Update webinar

If you were unable to attend the Soprano Development Update webinar on Wednesday 18th January or would like to review what we covered then you can catch up on the latest developments by watching the video of the webinar, below, or by downloading it.

The webinar covers:

  • Demonstration of recent features, including aspects of:
    • Circulation
      • Manage reservation shelf — Pick reserved items improvements — Filters on Borrower ILL Requests and Reservations — Borrower Add a charge — Borrower Notifications — Resources search improvements — Item Query
    • Inter-library loans
      • Manage ILL Requests — Process unverified requests
    • Purchasing
      • Create Invoice/Credit note
  • In development, coming soon:
    • Renew with seen/unseen, manual due date, etc
    • Circulation exception handling

Since the webinar ran out of time, we’ve made a follow-up video, further below, to give you a more complete view of the circulation exception handling features that are coming soon.

 

Circulation exception handling video. Please note: a more up-to-date remake of this video is available in the release notice for the March 2017 preview release of Soprano.