March 13, 2007

SirsiDynix changes?

Word from the CODI (Customers of Dynix Inc.)listserve was just received that SirsiDynix has stopped all development and rollout of the next iteration of the NHU-PAC software known as Horizon 8.0. This improvement path seems to have landed on the scrap heap of now dead software. The new and, hopefully, improved path is being called Rome. I hope there's no correlation between this new path and the HBO series of the same name, that's coming to an end in the next couple of weeks!

To allay fears of NHU-PAC's end-of-life jitters, it is helpful to know just what is the relationship between NHU-PAC and Horizon. The relationship is analogous to the lights on the dash board of a car and the mechanics ability to effect changes within the performance of a car. The NHU-PAC is, to simplify, the lights and gauges on the dashboard. You can do somethings but alteration of the database is impossible from the web interface. At NHAIS Services we work under the hood. The tool we use is Horizon 7.3.4. To stop development of the tool we use is disconcerting, but not completely unexpected. SirsiDynix was recently bought by an investment group known as Vista. Naturally, any investor looks to maximize returns. Unfortunately, the maximization seems to include trimming some of the software products at SirsiDynix.

I have a request into our liaison at SirsiDynix as to the next steps for us to move to the new version of the ILL module of NHU-PAC. The request was made this past Thursday, 3/12/2007. I can now see why there wasn't a more timely response.

SirsiDynix has a great track record in keeping software functioning long after development has ceased. There is no reason to think that the current software and hardware configurations will simply not be supported. In fact, the yearly maintenance fees have been paid so there is a contractual agreement between SirsiDynix and the State Library to keep us going through 2009.

The NHAIS Board has empowered a committee to look into the Next Generation of NHU-PAC. There is a meeting scheduled for later this month to finalize the survey of NHAIS users to find out what is good, bad, or indifferent about the current system and how to improve the next one. We are looking to the future, however, the future may be here quicker than we think.

As more information becomes available it will be posed here under this topic.