Sorry to disappoint our readers, but the normal summer tales of Application Development & Operations (AD&O) have been postponed for reasons. Check back next year for the results of our Yachting Regatta, pictures of our Beach Blanket Blowout, and the winning tale from our Campfire Ghosts contest. In the meantime, here are some more mundane matters.
Operations seeks to be good stewards of our systems. Our Reduce, Rebuild, and Retire program has greatly simplified our database servers, placed us on updated Operating Systems, the latest WordPress, and created even more scripts for monitoring, administrating, and reporting on our systems. Sometimes though, we just have to buy new hardware; we are working to specify, purchase and install new servers for an upcoming Sierra upgrade.
In preparation for the move to WorkDay, AD&O has been working closely with Michelle Henley and folks in the Business Office to build a system to transform materials purchases recorded in Sierra into a format that can be uploaded into WorkDay, matching funds codes, purchase amounts, and titles of materials purchased. This system will be going into production for an October 15 go-live date.
We have been working with Halle Mares and Susan Liberator to do a critical evaluation of the Special Collections Registry from a researcher standpoint. Together, we developed methodologies, recruiting strategies, and evaluated the initial User Experience (UX) test sessions. These sessions immediately illuminated several actionable issues. We’ve started these changes and some internal updates, and will be garnering feedback, doing more UX testing, and hope to deploy the changes later in the last quarter of 2020.
We have continued our intensive partnership with the Metadata Initiatives team, including a few catch-up items from the Bulk Edit project, troubleshooting some issues with handle creation, and minor UI fixes. We’ve also started a project to overhaul the Bulk Import module; since we initially developed it about five years ago, we’ve seem substantial changes to the type and content of what is being ingested. We were initially supporting imports of a few spreadsheet pages of scans by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, now the system is hosting audio and video files as well as thousands of Lantern pages. We’re examining the code for ways to simplify, add feedback mechanisms, and optimize operations so it takes just as long as it needs to take, and no more. This work will last through most if not all of the Fall quarter.
We’re continuing our journey of migrating systems to cloud based hosting — it makes sense for us fiscally and strategically. We moved the Special Collections Registry to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and are evaluating it for affordable backup solutions. We’re very interested in using a container paradigm to make it easier for us to manage, scale and develop against. This is a major move for us, so we’re going to keep talking about it for a while!
Other tasks include participating in our Information Security audit, improving our Digital Accessibility expertise, developing notifications for the Patron Load process, minor website changes and troubleshooting, and some accessibility fixes. We are actively updating our Disaster Recovery plan, not ruling out Kaiju attack after this year.
Thanks for reading! Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas.