Magazine article Information Today

GIS's Polaris 1.3 Provides Telephone Notification

Magazine article Information Today

GIS's Polaris 1.3 Provides Telephone Notification

Article excerpt

Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) has announced that Polaris 1.3, the latest version of its integrated library automation solution, supports a fully customizable telephone notification utility.

According to the company, the Polaris Telephone Notification utility is based on a foundation of proven technology, quality, and reliability: Parity Software's VoiceBocx control and Dialogic voice boards. The utility is easy to install and maintain, the company claims. Messages are prerecorded, but the voice files are stored in a format that allows sites to customize each notification, Changes to messages and utility configuration options are made through the completely graphical Polaris System Administration interface. Sites can choose two-four-, or eight-port hardware. All hardware is preconfigured by GIS and includes licenses for the required third-party software.

Todd Geraty, the GIS software engineer who designed and implemented the Polaris Telephone Notification utility, said that the addition of telephone notification will save Polaris sites thousands of dollars each year in staff and mailing costs. "An average-size library produces 1,500 holds, overdue, and fine notices each week. That equals 78,000 notices going out each year. If it costs approximately 50 cents to create a notice--including postage, printer, and special paper for notices--the library is spending around $39,000 in a single year on printed notices. It's not hard to see how the Polaris Telephone Notification utility pays for itself within the first month," said Geraty.

The notification utility was developed as a Windows NT service using Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, and both the Active and Standard Template Libraries. The utility uses Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) technology to interface with the Polaris application. Each phone line operates independently, yet can communicate with each other when needed. Bill Schickling, vice president of product development at GIS, believes his staff has developed one of the most sophisticated and interactive library telephone notification systems on the market. "Like Polaris itself, the notification utility exploits the latest technologies. It's implemented using Polaris' N-tiered architecture, so the Windows NT Service runs in the background--no login required--and the COM business objects take advantage of our implementation of Microsoft Transaction Server and SQL Server," Schickling said. …

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