Philip Johnson has been a software developer for over 33 years and has been involved with Abraquest since 2005. He is the director of Spherical Software Limited (www.sphericalsoftware.com), the company that owns Abraquest.
Abraquest Release 2.8
This post explains what to expect in the next release of Abraquest, version 2.8 - the Unattended Issue/Return release. As with all updates, this update is free for all Abraquest Software Assurance customers.
There have been many changes with the last couple of releases of Abraquest, 2.6 and 2.7, and we have wanted to settle down these versions before getting too carried away with more changes, especially as some customers need to install Abraquest with the help from their IT departments.
However, the main features of this release were originally promised for just after christmas, so while working on this release we are taking into account feedback from customers from the recent releases and adding this feedback to the main planned feature in 2.8 for release around the end of February/early March.
Release 2.8 is all about pupil identification, as a totally optional feature that can be turned on in the System Configuration option on the Base Data menu in the system admin login.
When turned on it will allow a barcode number to be entered / scanned for each pupil and staff member, and a new Issue / Returns module will allow the pupil to interact with Abraquest without teacher being in the room. This is all additional to the existing features of Abraquest. It will just appear as an additional menu option when the teacher or sysadmin is not logged in.
The great thing about this though, as outlined in our Future Developments page, is that once the pupil is identified more securely than allowing them to select their name from a list, more things are possible, e.g. the reviews and reservations systems could be improved, we could have features like "other boys in your class/year have read x, y, z...".
Initially we will just allow identification by pupil bar code, although we can easily add more options should demand be there.
So as always, this is the start, where we go from here depends on you, our customer, giving us feedback and helping to guide us into giving you the features you will find useful.