Environmental scan of commercial systems

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Last updated September 27, 2014.

Following the halt of Horizon 8.0/Corinthian development, the Library began an immediate scan of the ILS environment in early 2007. To do a quick survey of possible replacements, the Library’s systems staff arranged for conference calls with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to discuss their implementation of Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium and with Boston College Library for a discussion of its implementation of Ex Libris’ Aleph system. A tabulation of the results of those discussions is at: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/staffweb/depts/ils/projects/ilsreplacement/systemsevaluation.html.

Contacts were also made with Oxford University and New York University about their work with VTLS on its new system, but the discussions led to the conclusion that this was not a production-ready option.

Of all the options available at that time, only Aleph seemed reasonable given our requirements, and Ex Libris did an on-site, day-long demo for the Library. Its preliminary, informal price quote was surprisingly low, but a later formal quote was significantly higher. In the end, the Library could not justify such a significant investment on a system that, while meeting most of the functional requirements, would not give the Library a more technologically up-to-date platform than it already had.

Ex Libris invited the Library to be a development partner on what eventually became Alma, its next generation ILS. However, the Library was reluctant to commit to another vendor’s new system development project. The fact that Ex Libris’ ownership changed in 2007 (bought by a private equity firm, as SirsiDynix had been) was also not encouraging. So the Library declined to participate.

By this time, other developments were suggesting other alternatives.