Soprano Blog

Soprano Development Update Webinar 18th January 2017

To keep up to date with the latest Soprano developments please register for the webinar on Wednesday 18th January 2017 at 2.00 pm. This free webinar is open to all customers.

In this webinar we’ll demonstrate the latest Soprano developments, explain what’s coming next and give you an opportunity to raise any specific questions that you may have.

Please click here to register for the webinar.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

In the meantime you can keep up with the latest Soprano news and information on the Soprano blog and on the Soprano Forum, and propose and discuss ideas in Soprano Ideas.

Soprano release 14th December 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.

Update. This release switches off Query functionality when your LDS version is between 2.4.0 and 2.5.0 to avoid a serious issue that was discovered and could potentially occur in other libraries. This also affects the Transit feature since it is logically connected with Query functionality.

Both Query and Transit are restored when you have LDS 2.6, which is available now when you open a Support case to request it.

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 7th December 2016

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

  • New Home page derived from Tasks
  • Faceted search results
  • Spelling suggestions
  • Other search improvements
  • Work Holdings display changes
  • Default home site in Create Borrower
  • Borrower Reservations list filter
  • Circulation and Stock Management fixes
  • Create Work MARC record mappings
  • Inter-Library Loans display changes
  • Invoices
  • Displaying a fund
  • Funds list
  • Open Orders list
  • Serial holdings filters
  • Acquisitions fixes
  • Performance improvements
  • Various security fixes

 

New Home page derived from Tasks

The Tasks page has been re-labelled Home, its contents have been re-organised and it is now the first tab and the default page when you sign in.

The Borrowers and Resources search boxes and action buttons are included at the top of the Home page, enabling you to search or initiate other key actions directly from this page. These are subject to the same enablements as on the Borrowers and Resources pages.

The tasks continue to be relevant to your location and subject to your enablements (more on this under ‘Circulation and Stock Management fixes’, below). The Purchasing and Inter Library Loans groups of tasks remain the same; the other tasks are now divided into two, more clearly defined groups: Reservations, and Stock Management.

home-page

 

Faceted search results

Facets for Location, Format and Collection are now available to refine search results. They are given as drop-down menus below the search box, showing the top five terms. Your current location is given as the first option in the Location facet menu (when it has at least one result) followed by four more in frequency order, enabling you to quickly limit results to the current location to help users find a local resource.

Your facet selections are shown above the search box, since they set the context of your search. They are retained on a new search, enabling you to explore within a limited set such as items in your branch library. You can remove selections in random order by clicking the x next to a selection either on the line of selections or in the relevant facet menu.

facets

 

Spelling suggestions

Soprano now offers an alternative spelling of your query where appropriate, in the form: You could try this search instead: {alternative}. It works with single and multiple word terms; for example: ‘cognative psycolgy’ gets the suggestion ‘cognitive psychology’. Suggestions are given both when there are no results and when there are some results where the alternative also has substantial results.

spelling-suggestion

 

Other search improvements

When you open the new Home page the cursor is in the Borrower search box by default, enabling you to immediately enter a query (if you’re enabled) or scan a borrower’s barcode. Similarly, when you open the Borrower page or the Resources page the focus is in the search box.

We’ve made single-word formats and locations searchable as keywords without needing expert qualifiers. For example testament dvd bromsgrove. We’re continuing to work on enabling this also for multi-word terms and names.

 

Work Holdings display changes

The Holdings tab is now the first in the line of tabs for a Work and it is the one that is open by default whenever you access a Work detail page.

Front line user services staff tend to be only interested in items that users can access and use, whilst other items, such as those that are withdrawn, can be a hindrance in the Work Holdings list. On the other hand, having a complete picture can be important for acquisitions and cataloguing work.

To help with this we’ve provided two filter options at the top of the  Work Holdings list: Active and All. The default is Active. The buttons include the count for each category so that you can see if there are more in the All category. The Active category is filtered according to the TAL_IN_STOCK environment variable or else TAL_NOT_IN_STOCK, so you have control over which items are included or excluded according to their status. If neither environment variable is specified then Active displays all copies.

work-holdings-active

work-holdings-all

 

Default home site in Create Borrower

When you create a new borrower record the Home Site now defaults to the current location where you are signed in.

 

Borrower Reservations list filter

We’ve introduced a filter under the Borrower Reservations tab with options Active and All. By default the Active filter is selected, displaying only reservations at Waiting collection, Active and Not Yet Effective status. This will mean the page will load more quickly when there are many historic reservations.  To see all reservations including historic ones, select All.

 

Circulation and Stock Management fixes

Due date in fine charge fix

In the Current and All Charges for a borrower, where the type of charge is Fine, Soprano now displays the correct due date that was exceeded to incur the fine.

due-date-in-fine-charge

 

Add borrower photo fix

You can now add or change a borrower picture. Click/tap the picture area in the borrower header to navigate and upload an image from your local file system.

borrower-picture-upload1

 

Process reservations year published fix

Two-digit years occurring in the year published field of MARC records no longer trigger an error when scanning an item into Process Reservations.

 

Create borrower when no search results – fix

The Create Borrower button is now always displayed after a borrower search, including when there are no results, enabling you to immediately add the borrower.

create-borrower-when-not-found

 

Update item site task default site

The task Update item site on the Home page has a field Set site to, which now defaults to the current site where you are signed in, making it easier to perform the common job of changing the site of some items to the site where you are.

 

Suppressing Tasks on the Home page

It is now possible to suppress all the Tasks on the Home page. The enablements required for each task to display are given in the following table:

suppress-tasks

 

Manage shelves re-named to Manage areas
On the Home page we’ve re-named the Task Manage shelves to Manage areas to use the more accurate term ‘areas’ and to be consistent with its use already in lists.

 

Create Work MARC record mappings

We’ve improved the quality of the mapping of data from Create Work to the resulting MARC record. In the MARC Leader the Encoding level and the Descriptive cataloguing form now denote ‘Preliminary level’ and ‘ISBD punctuation omitted’. Field Indicator values are now set correctly. Dates, when entered, are now included in contributor fields (700/710/711 $d). Publication details now map to field 264, not 260. Multiple instances of notes fields are all included. Some LDS changes are in the pipeline to deal properly with fields 005, 035 and 040.create-work-marc-mappings

 

Inter-Library Loans display changes

The elements of an ILL request have been re-arranged to facilitate the request processing workflow. The header has been re-organised to show the requester first, to reduce the amount of information about the requested item and to include the supplier. Full details of the requested item are given under a Request tab.

request-main-view

Details of the request such as Supplier, Requirements, Delivery, Site and Dates are now re-organised under a tab labelled Fulfilment, whilst supplier reports are now included under a History tab.

ill-fulfilment

 

Invoices

Creating an invoice has been added in this release and as a result the way in which invoice lines display has changed.

The Invoices page now has a CREATE INVOICE button next to the search box.

create-invoice-button

This gives you a form for entering the invoice number, supplier, invoice and payment due dates, amount payable and invoice currency. There are Invoice and Credit Note radio buttons for specifying the type of record you are creating (Invoice is set by default).

create-invoice-form

When you click CREATE INVOICE, the Invoice page displays the details you have entered and you can add invoice lines and charges as required.

invoice-form

Clicking Add invoice line displays fields for entering the order number, unit price and quantity, and buttons for adding tax, charges and discount, together with Cancel and Save buttons.

invoice-line

When you type in the order number, information on the number of copies ordered and received and the unit price pops up.

order-info

Clicking on this transfers the information to the Unit Price and Quantity fields.

Invoice-level charges are added via the Add Charge or Discount button.

When the value of the invoice matches the amount payable the PAY button displays.

pay-button

Please note: invoice lines for part orders (i.e. where the number of items invoiced is less than the number of items on the order) and split rate VAT cannot currently be handled.

 

Displaying a fund

You can now bring up the record for a specific fund by selecting it from the list available on the Funds page.

fund-filter

 

Funds list

An Available column has been added to the Funds list to show at a glance the amount available to spend (i.e.  Fund Value minus Committed and Spent).

funds-list

 

Open Orders list

The list of open orders now includes a Funds column. To accommodate this, the Supplier column has been changed to display supplier codes rather than names. You can select a fund to go to the fund record.

open-orders-list

 

Serial holdings filters

Serial issues on the Holdings tab of a work can now be filtered by Location (i.e. delivery site) and/or Year only. The extraneous Volume and Issue filters have been removed.

holdings-filters

 

Acquisitions fixes

Search in Orders, Open Orders and Invoices is no longer case-sensitive. This means, for example, that entering order number zz16000001 will match order ZZ16000001 if it exists.

Purchasing and its subordinate options now only display if you have the requisite permission. This operator, for example, does not have permission to view funds so the Funds option does not appear.

permissions

The RECEIVE button on the Item page now works correctly. This displays when you enter the barcode of an item that is on order and you are logged in at the item’s home site.

 

Performance improvements

When you select a borrower’s Information tab the page should load more quickly.

 

Various security fixes

We continually seek to improve the security of our web applications. In this release we’ve fixed issues relating to JavaScript injection and implemented httpOnly and Secure for cookies where possible, which mitigates the cross-site scripting risk.

 

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 14th December 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 22nd September 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 September 2016

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

  • Borrower Type displayed in Process Reservations
  • Performance improvements
  • ILL item barcode displayed in ILL form
  • Reading older Danish Model RFID tags in the Soprano Wrapper
  • Fund summary progress indication bars
  • Miscellaneous fixes

 

Borrower Type displayed in Process Reservations

The borrower display in the Process Reservations form now includes the borrower type. This allows you to identify cases such as distance learners where you may wish to post the item to the borrower rather than put it on the reservation shelf or transit it to another branch.

process-reservations-with-borrower-type

 

Performance improvements

A borrower’s reservations list should now load more quickly.  This will be more noticeable with longer lists.

 

ILL item barcode displayed in ILL form

When an ILL requested item has been received and a barcode has been entered in the item record, that barcode number is now displayed in the ILL Request form, letting you know that that part of the process has been done.

ill-form-with-item-barcode

 

Reading older Danish Model RFID tags in the Soprano Wrapper

Some RFID tags that date from before the rigorous standardisation that now exists can be problematic to read. Software that reads them needs to apply special treatment. This has now been implemented in the Soprano Wrapper (which enables Soprano to communicate with devices such as tills and RFID tag readers via the computer device being used to access Soprano).

 

Fund summary progress indication bars

The Fund Summary page includes progress bars illustrating the proportions of the fund that have been committed and spent. Problems with the display of the bars in some browsers has been fixed.

fund-progress-bars-in-ie

 

Miscellaneous fixes

  • In Borrower search, some issues with the correct retrieval and sorting of borrowers are now fixed.
  • In Create Work the work import feature is now working again rather than giving an error. From Resources, choose Create Work to get the Create Work form; put a new ISBN into the Identifier field and press Get Work.
    create-work-get-work
  • In the Orders list a bug where some orders would lack bibliographic data from the Work has been fixed.

 

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 22nd September 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 12th August 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 4th August 2016

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

This release includes:

  • Alert that an item is an inter-library loan
  • MARC record download and upload
  • Fund Summary  information re-organised
  • Performance improvements
  • Local Data Services (LDS) version notice
  • Miscellaneous fixes

 

Alert that an item is an inter-library loan

In the header of an item that is an inter-library loan some information is now given about that state, following the same pattern as for other states such as in transit. This includes a blue label ‘Interloan’ together with the request number, the requester’s name and the name of the supplier. Those three attributes are hyperlinked, allowing the operator to navigate respectively to the request, the requester, and the supplier.

Interloan alert

Local Data Services (LDS) version required: the current latest version.

 

MARC record download and upload

The option to view the MARC record for a work was released recently. Now, when viewing the MARC record, you have the options to download it as a file to your local machine, and to upload a replacement record.

The downloaded file is a MARC 21 record in the Format for Information Exchange (ISO 2709). It is named {BibID}.mrc, for example 123456.mrc.

The Upload option opens the file navigation window on your machine so that you can find and select the file to upload. It must be a single MARC 21 record in the Format for Information Exchange (ISO 2709) and the control number (in field 001) must match the BibID of the record that you want to replace. The file is checked for these requirements and an error message is displayed when the file does not conform.

This means that you could use a third party tool, such as MarcEdit, to edit a MARC record. Currently, if you want to ensure the record is valid in detailed ways, for example Leader and 008 lengths and values,  you would need to use an external validation tool.

MARC upload

LDS version required: the current latest version.

 

Fund Summary information re-organised

The Fund header no longer has the Committed and Spent dials, and the information under the Summary tab has been supplemented and re-organised to give appropriate information clearly.

The summary now shows:

  • Fund value: the amount, annotated with the Allocated and Carried forward amounts. On an aggregate fund the annotation also states the number of funds (including the current one) from which the Fund Value is summed
  • Committed: the amount committed for items that have not yet been paid for, annotated with the number of items.
  • Spent: the amount, annotated with the number of items and the amount as a percentage of the Fund value
  • Total committed: the amount, annotated with the number of items and the amount as a percentage of the Fund value
  • Uncommitted: the amount not committed from the Fund value
  • Notes: displayed on the right-hand side of the page

The Commitment and Expenditure warning amounts are displayed on a Base fund at the foot of the summary, as previously.

Base fund summary

LDS version required: 2.3 or higher (i.e. for access to Funds).

 

Performance improvements

We’ve made some changes that should mean that:

  • The Work Holdings tab page  loads more quickly
  • The Borrower Current charges and All Charges tabs pages load more quickly
  • The Invoices list and any filtered view of it should load more quickly.

LDS version required: As required for the specific features.

 

Local Data Services (LDS) version notice

In a recent blog post we clarified the relationship between Soprano feature areas and LDS versions, as well as the Alto/LMS version required for a given LDS version. The blog post also explains that soon Soprano issue, renew and return will no longer work with LDS versions 1.x, so you should ensure that you are running a minimum of LMS 5.7 and LDS 2.0 before September 2016.

To help remind you to upgrade, this release displays a notice when you sign in if your LDS version is lower than 2.0 and  your operator enablements include Utilities – limiting the notice to the more enabled staff. The notice tells you that your current version of LDS is unsupported and to contact us to arrange an upgrade. To continue working you can select any tab (Borrowers, Resources, etc.).

LDS version unsupported notice
Additionally, you can find out about your current version of LDS when you are signed in to Soprano by setting the URL in the browser address bar to

https://soprano.capita-libraries.co.uk/{tenant name}/support/version

If the version is lower than 2.0 then you will see the notice mentioned above.

If it is supported but not the latest then you will see a notice recommending that you upgrade.

LDS upgrade recommended notice

If it is up to date than you will see a notice confirming that.

LDS version up to date notice
LDS version required: Any.

 

Miscellaneous fixes

  • When there are no results for a filtered Orders list, rather than getting an error you now see in the results area a notice: ‘There are no orders matching your query’.
  • Reservation fees and miscellaneous charges are now listed with the correct type name on till receipts, rather than appearing as fines.
    Till receipt charges names
  • When submitting a newly created borrower the PIN is now saved.

LDS version required: As required for the specific features.

 

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 11th August 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, 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.