Magazine article Information Today

Cibbarelli's Surveys User Ratings of VAX VMS-Based IOLS Software

Magazine article Information Today

Cibbarelli's Surveys User Ratings of VAX VMS-Based IOLS Software

Article excerpt

Librarians were invited to rate integrated online library automation systems (IOLS) software running on DEC VAX/VMS computers. Ratings were received for BiblioTech, DRA, Inmagic, Libertas, MultiLIS, SydneyPlus, TechlibPlus, and ULISYS.

The categories surveyed were:

* Documentation--the written and online documentation for the software

* Service/support--often this is in the form of telephone or e-mail support

* Training--formal classes in the use of the product

* Product reliability--amount of downtime due to IOLS software problems

* Product capabilities--features and functions available

* Ease of use--how quickly can users succeed with using the system

* Vendor's integrity--were the contracts negotiated honored; were promises kept?

* Overall satisfaction--all in all, how much do you like this software?

Survey methodology:

The announcement of the survey was included in Information Today (October 1994).

An invitation to participate was also submitted to the following Internet listservs: PACS-L, MLA-L, LIBREF-L, ELDNET-L, BUSLIB-L, BIBSOFT, and ARLIS-L, MULTILIS.

A letter was mailed to each of the VAX/VMS IOLS vendors: Atlantic Rim Information System's Aristocat, Comstow Information Services' Bibliotech, BRS Search C, Data Research Associates' DRA Software, Cordant's Datalib, Ameritech Library Systems' Dynix Marquis (recently renamed Horizon), Gaylord Information System's Galaxy, Dahlgren Morial Library's Georgetown University Library Information System, Inmagic Inc's Inmagic, Data Trek's Manager Series, JES Library Automation Consulting Services' ULISYS, OCLC's BasisPlus and TechlibPlus, Sobeco Group's MultiLIS, International Library Systems' SydneyPlus. The letter included a copy of the survey and urged each of the vendors to encourage their clients to participate.

A total of 16 responses were received. All respondents to this survey requested to remain anonymous.


Numbers in parentheses refer to the total number of individuals selecting this response.

Standard deviation is calculated only for those charts which include more than 10 respondents. For this survey, that includes only the AVERAGE chart. All comments and charts included in this article are from surveys received during August, September, and October 1994.



Comstow information Services' BiblioTech

BiblioTech is an IOLS package which has been available on VAX/VMS platforms


since 1981. Fifty-eight installed sites were reported in the 1994 edition of The Directory of Library Automation Software, Systems, and Services. Corporate and special libraries are their primary customer base. Mere are also several school sites. User ratings for the Unix version of BiblioTech were included in this column in October 1994. The VAX/VMS software is based on DRS, a DBMS/4GL language which provides powerful report writers. In addition to having all standard IOLS features and functions fully developed, BiblioTech also has thesaurus building capabilities. Compatibility with the Z39.50 standard is now in development.

BiblioTech Users Comments:

"BiblioTech met and then exceeded all of our initial expectations! With BT we have been able to push the envelope and integrate a number of other functions such as networked CD-ROMs, Internet connectivity, etc.

"I believe that BT is certainly a very competitive product for the market it serves (special libraries) and the features it supports. Another BiblioTech user commented, "Although the screens are not as thrilling, all modules actually work and have since 1986. In my conversations with other librarians, I am told this is unusual."

Comstow Information Services, Lynda Moulton P.O. Box 277, 249 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA 01 451-0277 phone: 508/772-2001; Internet address: 70302. …

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