Soprano Blog

Archive for July, 2016

Soprano, which LDS does it need anyway?

Soprano has developed a lot over this past year, with many new features and functional areas being added to the application. We’ve been very successful in adding these new features in without impacting the existing Alto application (the one on your desktop). We have done this through releasing new content in the Local Data Services (LDS) in a manner which does not break existing applications.

Each new Soprano feature is typically dependent upon features released in preceding LDS versions, so many of the new Soprano features can simple be enabled where LDS is already up-to-date. The following table shows the LMS/LDS version dependency and the related Soprano features.

Alto / LMS Version LDS Version Soprano Feature Area
5.8 2.4 Item request, Rotation plans, Circulation defect fixes, Till defect fixes
5.8 2.3 Acquisitions improvements, Cataloguing improvements, Reservation Shelf Support, Borrower Notifications
5.8 2.2 Tills, ILLs, Acquisitions improvements
5.8 2.1 Subscriptions, Acquisitions, Receipting, ILLs
5.7 2.0 Operator Audit Trail, Operator Password Update, Borrower Messages, Transiting, Circulation defect fixes, Cataloguing defect fixes.
5.6.1 1.10 Cataloguing.

Capita have pledged to support the current and previous versions of our applications, and have done this to help encourage all our customers to receive all the latest software fixes, patches and new features, and also ensure application development is efficient through deprecation of old code that is no longer required.

One new feature within Soprano that is being developed at the moment is the ability to see and override exceptional circumstances while issuing, renewing or returning library stock. At present, all customer’s versions (known as tenancies) are configured with a default set of overrides, and if the operator has permission to apply these overrides, they are automatically applied. This is changing, so that the operator is asked to approve any override, giving visibility of the overrides being applied and assisting the librarian’s choice of whether applying the override is the right thing to do.

The complexity of this change means it is time to remove support for LDS 1.x – that’s any version of LDS 1 – from the issue, renew and return features of Soprano.

If you are using Soprano and have LMS version 5.7 or LMS version 5.8, you will be unaffected by this change and do not need to take any action. Soprano will continue to support LDS versions appropriate for the supported LMS releases.

If you are running LMS version 5.6.1 or older, you will need to upgrade to at least LMS 5.7 in order to retain the functionality in Soprano to issue, renew and return library stock.

If you are unsure which version of the LMS you are running, this can be seen at the top of the Alto application, as shown here:

The Alto version is displayed in the top left of the main Alto application window.

We intend to release the version of Soprano which no longer supports LDS 1.x near the beginning of September 2016. Please ensure that you are running a minimum of LMS 5.7 and LDS 2.0 before September 2016. If you have any questions, please raise a support case through the support portal or contact your account manager.

Soprano release 25th July 2016

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 described in the preview release notice.

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 July 2016

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

This release includes:

  • Item Query
  • Search for borrower by institution ID
  • Inter-library loans lists most recent first
  • Reservations Pick List sort order
  • Funds fixes
  • Performance improvements

 

Item Query

This feature becomes available with LDS version 2.4 and higher. LDS version 2.4 is now available – please open a Support case to request your upgrade.

You can now open, view, edit and close queries on items, subject to appropriate enablements.

To open a new query on an item a new button OPEN QUERY is provided in the Item header. It opens a form enabling you to select the query type and optionally enter a note.
Item Query add new
When the query is saved the item status is automatically changed to Query.  The query is displayed as the item state in the item header, with the option (pencil control) to edit it. If you have the environment variable (in Alto SetConfig) TAL_QUERY_FINESTOP=YES then any potential fine is fixed by storing it with the query details.
Item Query state display
In the work holdings list the STATUS and AVAILABILITY columns indicate the presence of the query.
Item Query in Holdings
When an Item with a query is not on loan you can close the query with a CLOSE QUERY button.
Item Query close not on loan
In Return Items when you return an item with a query the transaction outcome displays an action button CLOSE QUERY, indicating the presence of the query and taking you to the Item Detail page where you can view more detail about the query and close it. The message in the return item transaction outcome tells you of any fine due, including a fine that has been stored with the query.
Item Query in Return Items

 

Search for borrower by institution ID

You can now retrieve a borrower’s details by searching with their institution ID. This is in addition to the existing ways of searching  for a borrower, by name, barcode, postcode, date of birth and email address.

 

Inter-library loans lists most recent first

In the Inter-library loans module, accessed via Tasks, lists of ILLs (all, or filtered) are now sorted with the most recent first.
ILL sorted lists

 

Reservations Pick List sort order

We’ve overhauled the sorting of items by shelfmark in the Reservations Pick List and this fixes an issue with the sorting of a shelfmark with a class number that has no decimal places relative to those with the same number with decimal places.
Pick List sort order

 

Funds fixes

Some issues with funds are fixed in this release:

  • Action buttons (Add Money, Transfer Money, View Orders, View Open Orders) now display when the Transfers tab is selected on a fund
    Fund Transfers tab view
  • When transferring money between funds the Allocation amounts now always show two decimal places.

Fund Transfers Allocation amounts

  • When you press the button to Add Money to a fund, the fund you were viewing is now automatically selected from the drop down list of funds.

Fund Add Money

 

Performance improvements

We’ve made some performance improvements in loading the Orders page under Purchasing, and in the Tills area.

 

Local Data Services (LDS)

To benefit from the features in this and the previous release you will need the latest version of the Local Data Services (LDS), which is now 2.4. That, in turn, requires that you have Alto 5.8. If you need to upgrade, please open a Support case. Please note that Soprano will cease support for LDS 1.x soon.

 

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 Thursday 21st July 2016.

 

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 6th July 2016

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 described in the preview release notice.

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.