Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

International Library Systems

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

International Library Systems

Article excerpt

COMPANY BACKGROUND

International Library Systems (ILS) Corporation develops and markets information management software for library automation and related applications. ILS was founded in 1989 through a management buyout of the Library Systems Division of Sydney Development Corporation. In the early 1980s, Sydney Development was Canada's leading supplier of computer software packages for industry-specific applications. Its offerings included a library automation system that it acquired from Easy Data Systems Limited of Vancouver. That product, originally marketed as the Easy Data integrated library system, was renamed the Sydney Library System. It was initially designed for Datapoint minicomputers. Versions were subsequently introduced for VAX minicomputers running under the VMS operating system and for Ibm-compatible microcomputers running under MSDOS, making Sydney Development one of the first companies to offer integrated library software of comparable functionality for both minicomputer and microcomputer configurations. The original Sydney Library System is described by Banks (1991), Desmarais (1986), Edgell (1988), Fasmire and Guyton (1987), Houthuijs (1988), Ladd (1988), and Lighthall (1987).

At the time of the buyout by ILS, Sydney Development had installations in approximately 240 libraries worldwide. Merilees (1989) reported that minicomputer implementations of the Sydney Library System held 10 percent of the Canadian market for large library systems. The SydneyPLUS library automation system, the subject of this report, was introduced in 1992 as a replacement for the original Sydney product. Matthews and Parker (1993) describe its microcomputer implementation.

International Library Systems Corporation is a private, employee-owned Canadian company. Its staff is organized into three groups: research and development, client services, and sales and marketing. In addition to the Sydneyplus Library Automation System, ILS offers an electronic document imaging system and records management software. The company maintains its headquarters in Vancouver and regional offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, and Sydney, Australia. The Sydneyplus system is marketed in Europe through an authorized distributor, Soutron Ltd. ILS is currently negotiating distribution arrangements with companies in India, Kuwait, and Mexico.

COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT

The Sydneyplus library automation system is sold as software for implementation and operation on customer-supplied computers. Installation can be performed by a library without on-site assistance from ILS. Sydneyplus is available in microcomputer, minicomputer, and client/server implementations. All versions offer comparable application functionality, although performance will vary with processor characteristics. The microcomputer version, which is outside the scope of this discussion, operates on Ibm-compatible hardware, under MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows, in standalone or local area network configurations.

The minicomputer version of Sydneyplus is available in OpenVMS and Unix configurations. The Openvms implementation, which dates from the 1980s when the Openvms operating system was known simply as VMS, runs on any VAX or Alpha computer. The Unix implementation was introduced in 1993. It is available for several popular Unix computer platforms, including IBM RS/6000 systems running under AIX, release 3.2 or higher; HP-9000 series computers running under HP-UX, release 9.0 or higher; and Sun SPARC processors running under Solaris, release 2.3 or higher. The Unix version of Sydneyplus can also operate on IBM-compatible microcomputers running under SCO Unix release 3.0 or higher. Libraries equipped with other Unix computers should contact ILS for compatibility%information. The Unix version of Sydneyplus can support VT100, VT220, or VT320 terminals, as well as microcomputers equipped with Vt-emulation software. The Openvms version of Sydneyplus supports VT220 and VT320 terminals, as well as microcomputers equipped with appropriate emulation software. …

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