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.
Accessing Abraquest using a web browser. Is this required?
Following a telephone conversation with a prospect, this post asks the reader what they think about web based access for Abraquest.
This is definitely something for next term because we currently have a backlog of requests for Abraquest, where the customer has made a suggestion and will be rewarded by a months free Abraquest Software Assurance for each suggestion. These will take until June to clear for sure.
Firstly a little bit of history. Abraquest was developed originally as a tool for our chartered librarian, to help with her work of cataloguing books for schools.
When Maeve retired in 2013, the CD containing approx 3 million books that she used to take round with her, was uploaded into the cloud, so that Abraquest could access it without Maeve and the CD being there. Since then additional cloud based features have been added, that is:
- Enhanced book search features used when adding new books to the library.
- Abraquest online backup.
- Error and diagnostic reporting.
So Abraquest is "Cloud enabled", while the Abraquest data itself is on the local PC. Without wanting to bore the reader with technicalities, this puts us in a position of easily enabling web based access if we wanted to. The question is, particularly as it would add to the Abraquest Software Assurance charge for customers that required it, do we want to?
The majority of our customers, I think do not require web access. The smaller primary schools need Abraquest to keep track of books borrowed first and foremost and the additional information available is a bonus they don't always have time to benefit from.
The only reasons I can currently think of are:
- To access Abraquest from the classroom using a tablet or similar.
- To access Abraquest from home.
- To possibly allow some kind of pupil access to see reading history, search, recommendations etc.
I would also think that the larger schools may require more sophisticated access.
However, I could be wrong. So I will put the question over to you.
Do you have any requirements for web access of your library system?
Do you see any scenarios where you think it might be useful?
I think for sure it will be sold as a different product option, with different pricing due to the cost of web hosting. I just wanted to ask the question that's all.
Please contact us via the usual channels. We will reward our customers for taking the time to respond with more than a simple yes or no by giving you a free months Abraquest Software Assurance by way of thankyou.