Monthly Archives: January 2011

Aleph v20 Upgrade – pt. 2 of 2

TO: SUNY Libraries with Aleph Regions housed on the SUNYConnect Shared Servers at ITEC

The v18-v20 upgrade calendar for the DEV and PROD regions of the campuses on the shared servers Delaware, Saranac and Seneca is available at the Aleph Support Portal at

The calendar starts with **MUST READ** notes. Please review these notes as they provide valuable information that campus staff must be aware of regarding the upgrade.

Contact me as soon as possible if there are any problems with the date of your campus PROD upgrade to v20. Given the number of campuses and the complexity of scheduling, the OLIS can consider re-scheduling a campus PROD upgrade only if there is a **SIGNIFICANT** campus activity going on at the same time that would prohibit library staff from checking their v20 PROD environment when it becomes available.

The differences between Aleph v18 and v20 will not require regional Aleph training. Refer to the TRAINING note on the attached calendar for additional information. A list of major highlights in Aleph v20, along with more information about Aleph updates, is available through the Aleph Support Portal at:

Because the OLIS and ITEC staff are heavily involved in preparing for the upgrade, some v18 support requests might not be addressed until after the v20 upgrade. Please be assured that the OLIS and ITEC will continue to support urgent issues related to server access and major PROD functionality problems. The types of requests that will be re-evaluated after the v20 upgrade relate to requests for new initiatives and changes in functionality that already work. Examples include support requests for help with:
• new indexes
• batch data loads EXCEPT for PLIFs
• table edits EXCEPT for tab16, 17 and 31 (Circ changes needed every semester)
• new functionality that the campus had not previously implemented
• optional global data changes (reclassifications, new collection codes, transfers, etc.)
• new printed products and changes to overdues

Also, there are types of requests that the OLIS and ITEC are not able to support. While this is not new, hopefully this review will be helpful. Examples include:
• requests not specifically related to Aleph (workflow questions, basics of cataloging, implementing external search forms)
• requests to disable or override features in Aleph that actually do serve a purpose (such as disabling document validation errors – bib record does not have a 245 [title] field)
• requests to support non-standard functionality (serials pattern data in the campus 50 library rather than in the 60 library)
• WebOPAC and GUI customizations beyond what is needed for functionality
• support for 3rd party applications/products outside of any required Aleph configuration (ILLiad, OCLC Connexion, printers, labeling software, Macros, LDAP)

We appreciate your understanding as we all work together to move from v18 to v20. Additional information regarding the upgrade will be provided to campuses when their v20 Aleph DEV regions become available.

Thank you

Aleph v20 Upgrade – pt. 1 of 2

TO: SUNY Libraries with Aleph Regions housed on the SUNYConnect Shared Servers at ITEC

The OLIS and ITEC are currently planning an Aleph upgrade from v18 to v20.

Why upgrade?
The SUNY/Ex Libris Aleph contract recommends that SUNY install a new version of Aleph with 24 months of Ex Libris’ announcement of the availability of a new version and that it is mandatory that SUNY stay within 3 releases of the most recent version of the software [per Appendix I, Section 7(c)].

The upgrade will position the SUNY community to be on a stable Aleph release that will be supported for a number of years. As libraries want to offer more robust search, discovery, and delivery capabilities to their patrons, a re-evaluation of traditional library systems should be undertaken to incorporate resource-sharing strategies and shared services in support of research, teaching and learning. Discussions will be held with the SUNYConnect Advisory Council and the SUNY Council of Library Directors Executive Board regarding timeframes, scope and vision for moving forward.

Moving to Aleph v20 will buy the SUNY community time to:
a. determine the types of new and/or enhanced services libraries wish to offer (and what services might eventually be phased out)
b. determine the types of software/products/systems needed to support those services
c. investigate and evaluate available open source and commercial software/products/systems in support of those services
d. implement selected software/products/systems across SUNY

Based on the anticipated Aleph general release dates noted below, SUNY could continue with Aleph v20 until 2016. This would provide time to develop and employ strategies to move beyond Aleph to systems and services that would more effectively support our library patron communities.

Aleph v20 Upgrade Timeframes:
• DEV region upgrades – late March, April, May 2011
• PROD region upgrade – June, July, early August 2011
• Campus upgrade calendar will be distributed to the SUNY Library community in a separate posting

A list of major highlights in Aleph v20, along with more information about Aleph updates, is available through the Aleph Support Portal at:

General release dates of Aleph versions
• v16 2004 (Ex Libris ended support December 2009)
• v18 2006
• v19 2008
• v20 2009
• v21 scheduled for 2011
• v22 scheduled for 2014

Thank you