Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Best-Seller Incorporated

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Best-Seller Incorporated

Article excerpt

3300 Cote-Vertu, Suite 303 Saint-Laurent, Quebec Canada H4r 2B8 telephone: (514) 337-3000 fax: (514) 337-7629 url:


The Best-seller integrated library system was originally developed by Miniciel, a Quebec-based software company specializing in library management applications. Miniciel offered Best-seller in minicomputer and microcomputer configurations designed for specific markets, including academic, public, corporate, and medical libraries. All of the Best-Seller configurations were created-with advanced software development tools from Speedware Corporation. Speedware, originally known as Infocentre Corporation, was founded in 1976 to develop fourth-generation programming languages and industry-specific application programs for Hewlett-Packard's HP-3000 series of minicomputers.

In 1986, Speedware acquired Miniciel and established the Speedware Library Management Division, which was later renamed Best-Seller Library Management Incorporated. The original market-specific versions of Best-seller developed by Miniciel were rewritten and consolidated into a single product that could be adapted to a variety of library requirements. With the introduction of an English-language version, the Best-seller product line acquired bilingual capabilities required in Canadian and European installations.

Best-Seller Incorporated is a private company held by TechnoCap, a Montreal-based venture capital firm that invests in technology companies during the startup or expansion phase. Technocap is the controlling shareholder of Speedware Corporation. In addition to its headquarters, located in Montreal, Best-Seller has a sales office in Calgary. The company closed its U.S. offices in mid-1996.


Best-seller offers two library automation products: the original Best-Seller integrated system, simply known as Best-Seller, and Best-Seller Portfolio, a client/server product announced in 1995. The. original Best-Seller system is available for HP-3000 minicomputers from Hewlett-Packard and for Unix-based computers from Hewlett-Packard and IBM. The HP-3000 implementation, the older of the two versions, runs under the MPE operating system. The Unix implementations, which were announced in 1993, run under the HP-UX operating system on the HP-9000 product line or under AIX on IBM RS/6000 computers. The Best-Seller Portfolio product combines Unix-based servers with Windows-based clients. At the time of this writing, Best-Seller Portfolio did not offer the full range of application modules supported by the original Best-Seller system. The initial implementation is limited to a public access catalog, but additional capabilities are scheduled for future availability. Libraries that currently utilize a Unix implementation of the original Best-Seller system will be able to migrate to Best-Seller Portfolio without purchasing new server hardware.

Best-Seller's integrated library systems are written in Speedware/4 GL, a fourth-generation development tool based on the C programming language. Best-Seller is sold as software for implementation and operation on customer-supplied computer hardware. Alternatively, the vendor will supply complete turnkey configurations that include all hardware and software components required by a given installation. The company supports its installations with training, software maintenance, data base conversion, and consulting services.

Peripheral equipment characteristics vary with the computer platform selected for a given implementation. Generally, Best-Seller's software is compatible with input, output, and storage devices supported by the computers on which it runs. Disk storage requirements will vary with the size of a library's collection and other installation characteristics. Approximate storage requirements are 21500 bytes per bibliographic record, 800 bytes per item record, 1,000 bytes per authority record, and 2,900 bytes per borrower record. …

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