Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Contec C2

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Contec C2

Article excerpt

Vendor: Contec Data Systems, North America

1730 Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 127

San Mateo, California 94404

(415) 655-4060

Fax: (415) 655-4061


Demo Available: Yes Version: 0.1 Beta Modules/Prices: Client/server-based product. Pricing varies by size of library. At the low end, prices start at $50,000 for a complete system.


Client Micro: Pentium PC with 8 MB and a color Super VGA monitor is recommended. Operating System: Windows 3.1+ Server: Pentium PC with 16+ MB or a Unix box, depending on the size of the database. Server Operating System: MS DOS 6.0+ or Unix LANs Supported: Novell, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT


                   Fair        Good        Excellent
                   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

Features                                       8
Data Storage                                       9
Performance                                        9
Ease of Use                                        9
Documentation                                  8
Customer Support                               8

Overall Rating                                   8.6


                            1   2   3   4   5   6  7
Simple and Natural Dialog                       6

Minimum User Memory Load                        6
Consistency                                     6
Feedback                                        6
Shortcuts                                       6
Error Prevention                                6

Overall Rating                                  6.0


C2, from Contec Data systems, a New Zealand-based company, is a Windows-based integrated library system that employs client/server architecture. The C2 application software is split between the client and the server. Since the early 1980s, Contec has been developing and supporting Catalist, an automated library system using the Advanced Revelation database management system. Catalist has a character-based user interface.

C2 provides these basic modules. an Online Public Access Catalog, Cataloging, Circulation, Inventory and Reporting, Acquisitions, and Serials Control. Contec plans on marketing C2 to the following segments of the marketplace: large and small academic libraries, large and small public libraries, and large and small corporate/special libraries.

The graphical user interface employed by C2 uses Microsoft Windows. The initial C2 window presents a series of oversized, colorful, labeled icons as seen in Figure 1. These include. OPAC, Enquiries, Database, Borrowers, Circulation, Reporter, Acquisitions, Serials, Tools, Branch Management, About C2, Exit, Help, and Comms.


Among all the systems in the marketplace, C2 is unique in that it retrieves records using a ranked retrieval algorithm rather than the traditional alphabetical listing or Boolean keyword search strategy.

As shown in Figure 2, the starting point for any search is the Search window. The user enters a word or phrase in the search request area (located in the center of the screen) and then clicks the Start Search button. This initial OPAC window also contains an image of the library and a number of icon/buttons that allow the user to change languages. All the instructions and data labels that appear on the screen can be changed to the selected language, e.g., English, Maori, French, Deutsch, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, and Spanish. The bottom of the window displays messages about the library and has three buttons that allow the user to view Options (other versions of the OPAC), Exit, and receive Help. While visually attractive, the window is very cluttered, especially with all of the text displayed in the News area in the lower lefthand corner of the window (which can be changed by the library or removed). …

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