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Happy Everything!

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By Phil Green

I've been thinking about the various ways to wish our clients, partners and friends happy holidays, but am tired of the ubiquitous, generic “seasons greetings” mantra.

So instead I have provided an all-inclusive, hope-this-covers-everyone holiday greeting (apologizes to any and all groups that I missed...or offended):

  • Merry Christmas

  • Happy Hanukkah

  • Happy Kwanzaa or Habari Gani?

  • A belated Happy Eid Al-Fitr

  • Have a great Boxing Day

  • Merry Festivus!

  • Happy New year!

Did we miss one? Let us know about other holidays YOU celebrate!

It’s (a)live! Introducing Presto v4.1

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By Phil Green

The wait is over! We’re thrilled to announce the availability of Presto v4.1, our most comprehensive and feature-rich library management and Web publishing offering ever.

What’s Inside?
Presto 4.1 includes the following innovative features and enhanced functionality, making it easier than ever before for users to manage, access and publish critical information:

DB/Text Connector for DB/TextWorks and Genie
Presto's DB/Text Connector enables advanced Web publishing capabilities for DB/TextWorks customers, and allows Presto to read and index content in Inmagic's DB/TextWorks and Genie products. With DB/Text Connector, DB/TextWorks clients can maintain and build textbases in DB/TextWorks, and publish those textbases to the Web with Presto -- giving them the advanced Web publishing power including:
  • The ability to search across all textbases at one time.
  • A homepage that supports multiple groups; RSS feeds; look and feel; searching, browing and alerts; image slide shows, etc.
  • RSS feeds, InfoCart, the ability to email, download and print content.
  • The option to socialize content with tags, comments, and ratings -- without losing control.
Improved search speed
Results build incrementally in Presto v4.1, making searches even faster.


Full control of Web pages
Presto v4.1 balances a simple user experience with a variety of sophisticated features for more advanced users. Users at every skill level have total control of the layout, look and feel of their Web pages; the product includes HTML templates that enable power users to design screens and pages to their own specifications, while less technical users can work easily within Presto’s pre-set templates.

Customized views for content administrators and users
Presto v4.1 offers the ability to create multiple screens and views – administrators are able to design different views of the content for different users, and users have the ability to select the view that best suits the way they digest content.

Additional features include:
  • New and improved Web parts:
    • New slide show option makes it easy to display images from any content type on the home page. Users control how often the slide show changes the image and which images to display.
    • Improved RSS feed offers enhanced appearance, function and performance.
  • Date variable in search allows users to more easily search for content based on the current date.
  • Support for “download as CSV.”
  • More options for the table of contents offers the ability to omit on Print and Email screens and download as HTML or PDF.
  • More options for displaying iFilter text.
  • Added support for multi-value file and URL fields that provides additional flexibility and time savings in database design.
  • Automatic PDF thumbnails that make the inclusion of thumbnails for PDFs a snap.
  • API extension that offers enhancements to external single sign-on (SSO) integration, enabling increased security and control.
    Learn More
    On Tuesday, January 15th, Inmagic will host two interactive webcasts (one at 11:00 a.m.Eastern and one at 5:00p.m. Eastern) to introduce Presto v4.1. The session, presented by Phil Green and Vice President of Client Services Dave Golan, will provide a detailed look at new features and functionality, as well as the simplified integration with other Inmagic and SydneyPLUS products. Additional information is available here.

    Dumb, smart, dumb, smart…have we finally figured it out?

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    By Warren Ganz

    My Dad once told me that if you keep your clothes long enough, they'll eventually come back in style. As an 8-year-old, it didn't make much sense to me. Thirty years later, I now understand what he was saying and realize he wasn’t just referring to clothes.

    Over the last 50+ years we've heard arguments for dumb clients vs. smart clients. In the ’60s, the dumb terminal was everywhere. In the ’80s, the PC took off and I remember seeing a cartoon of a PC computer chip with a caption "mainframe replacement." At the time I chuckled, and for the most part agreed. I thought "silly mainframes with dumb terminals, they are so dead, it's all about PC apps (smart clients).”

    However, years later I found myself writing software for Netscape Navigator as the Web was born and we were back to dumb clients. I thought, "PC apps, you have to install them, update them, hope they install, what an annoyance. Long live the Web (and the dumb client)!”

    Now, skip ahead to 2007, and the iPhone is born. Suddenly we're back to smart client apps that have to be installed and updated. But wait, isn't the mobile website updated automatically? Doesn't it offer a similar experience? Why download a weather app when there are numerous mobile websites that offer exactly the same information? Two reasons: better overall experience and discoverability.

    So where do we go from here? Are we willing to accept and continue with the hassles of smart apps to gain a better user experience?

    Fortunately, we may have found middle ground. The Web browser is not particularly dumb anymore…it's actually pretty smart. Just look at the Google Maps mobile website. Pretty impressive, right? It's an amazing user experience that doesn't have to be installed or updated, and is always up-to-date. As for discoverability, a quick look at what Google has done with their Chrome Web Store shows how they’ve taken care of that issue.

    Why have I spent so much time thinking about this? Because we’re ready to take Inmagic Presto mobile, and we need to decide what is best for our users. Do we build a native app, a mobile website, or something in between, such as PhoneGap? The answer is pretty clear: a mobile website. With the developments of HTML 5 and the capabilities of modern mobile browsers, it just makes sense. It will be written once, available on every device, and always up-to-date with no need to download. Users will simply go to the URL and enjoy.

    And it will even be smart!

     




     

    It's on the List

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    By Erika Halloran

     
     
     
     
     
    Shortly before joining Inmagic, I rambled on my personal Facebook page about today’s technology as it pertains to the public library system. In my post, I proclaimed that I was adding library technology to my personal (albeit imaginary) list of “things that work the way they should.” 
    This is not a long list.

    I marveled at the simple process by which I was able to: search for a book; view information about it; learn whether my library has it on the shelf; request a copy; and take possession of it – all without ever wandering the stacks or interacting with another human being.
    Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks later, I found myself employed by a company that provides library software.  While Inmagic is not the power behind my library’s network, I now have a much better understanding of what it takes to power a library in the modern age. 

    The logical organization of different types of content (books, photos, periodicals, media, historical data, etc.), and the handling of their different formats and file types, goes beyond what most people ever think about. And that’s exactly the way it should be.

    Inmagic tools are powerful. This is not new. What is new to the library world, however, is the increasing demand for powerful tools that are visually appealing and user friendly, too. In today’s world, we have all come to expect that things will just work, and work quickly. But what about the way things look? Is it possible that librarians and their constituents are now aiming higher than a yellowing card catalog, stored in aging wooden drawers?

    I am excited about what I see at Inmagic already, and what lies ahead in future upgrades currently in development. Powering an information industry, while also allowing for custom-designed visual experiences, will certainly put library technology even higher on my personal (albeit imaginary) list of “things that work the way they should.”

    Thanks on Thanksgiving

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    By Gina Napolitano and Matti Score

    It seems appropriate, at this time of year, to send a special Thanksgiving thank you to our customers who continued to have confidence in our direction and products during this transitional year to Inmagic Canada Software.  After all, the true meaning of thanksgiving is a reflection of our gratitude.

    It has proven to be a successful and rewarding change for all involved and we could not have done it without our cornucopia of loyal customers and friends.

    All of us here at Inmagic would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving, stuffed with an abundance of happiness, health, peace and the promise of a wonderful year.
     

    One Team, One Company

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    How time flies….can you believe that it’s been more than a year since Inmagic became part of the SydneyPLUS family of companies?  As we celebrate our one year anniversary and finalize our 2013 plans and strategic initiatives, we’re taking the time to reflect on our activities and accomplishments of the last year.  As expected, there have been highs and a few lows, but we’re pleased to report that the highs have far outweighed the lows. Here are some of the highlights from the last year:

    ·         First joint trade show with SydneyPLUS and Cuadra Associates – CIL 2012;

    ·         First joint customer reception at SLA 2012;

    ·         First joint customer project with Andrews Kurth;

    ·         Development of a Presto connector for SydneyPLUS;

    ·         Introduction of the Presto for DB/Text connector;

    ·         Many cross-company product introductions to existing customers; and

    ·         Last, but not least, Inmagic achieved all financial objectives. 

     A special thank you for all of your efforts and contributions toward the last point, as we can’t be successful without your support!

     A New Mantra

    If you haven’t noticed by now, a common thread runs through our 2012 accomplishments. They have come as a result of people working together to achieve success.  With this in mind, we recently set an important strategic objective for 2013 to ensure that we continue in this direction. We like to call it the “One Team, One Company” objective, and we hope this mantra becomes engrained in our culture and apparent to our customer base. 

     While a One Team, One Company approach may seem obvious, it is not as easy as to execute as it would seem, especially in an organization that consists of several well-respected global brands with strong client affinity. With several related products (think Inmagic Genie and SydneyPLUS Library System), our future success is dependent on our ability to develop unified processes and procedures across brands. This will allow us to produce, sell and implement complementary product offerings that:

    ·         Deliver maximum value to target customers;

    ·         Offer unique and valued differentiation;

    ·         Are not competitive within the brand family; and

    ·         Enhance the respective brand’s position in the marketplace.


    A Win-Win


    Please bear with us as we develop, adopt and execute new policies, practices and procedures on our way to becoming One Team, One Company.  We will be a better and stronger company as a result. More importantly, we will be able to offer you better products more quickly. And with this new structure, any representative or account manager, regardless of product, will be able to provide you with access to expert resources, and help you review options and decide which product is best for you. We’ve already had great success with this approach with a number of clients. The way we see it, this is a “win-win” for all – we have new and exciting options for our customers, and can pass along customer incentives and savings to those who choose to stay within our “family” of products versus going elsewhere to meet their needs. J

     2012 has been an exciting year for the Inmagic team and we’re looking forward to more exciting changes and accomplishments in 2013.  One Team, One Company…..

     

    A Strong Partnership Can Lead to an Open Marriage

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    Ok, not in the way you’re thinking, but let us explain…

    As you have hopefully heard by now, Inmagic partnered with SydneyPLUS in late 2011.  As with any new partner/parent, the transition has been both exciting and nerve-racking.  Now, with the first year of marriage under our belt, we’re happy to report that things couldn’t be better.  We are working hand-in-hand, and through this partnership we’ve been able to expand on our product offerings and provide solutions to customers that would not have been possible a year ago.   

    Case in point: we recently received an RFP from an information center prospect that required a knowledge management and integrated library system.  The requirements seemed fairly straightforward and we recommended our social library solution, Presto for Social Libraries, which provides knowledge management capabilities via Presto combined with integrated library functionality via Genie.   However, when we looked at the library features requested in the RFP – union catalog, multi-branch support for serials management needs, and detailed cost allocation control – we realized it might be a stretch for Genie’s capabilities.  And that is when the light bulb went off.  This seemed a perfect fit for the SydneyPLUS Library Automation System.  As our collective R&D teams already had a Presto/SydneyPLUS integration underway, we simply changed our recommendation. With that, a new offering was born!  

    Presto for Social Libraries, is now available in two flavors:  

    ·         Presto for Social Libraries w/Genie for clients with smaller library infrastructures requiring an easy-to-use and configure ILS or;
    ·         Presto for Social Libraries w/the SydneyPLUS Library Automation System for those clients that want an enterprise-scale solution capable of supporting large, distributed library infrastructures.
     
    An open marriage, of sorts, that presents more and better options for our customers. And, as if Presto in two relationships wasn’t enough, we are now in the process of integrating Presto with the STAR Knowledge Center for Libraries, the ILS offering from Cuadra Associates (another member of the SydneyPLUS family).  Presto is getting around. In all seriousness, our partnership with SydneyPLUS is opening a whole new world of exciting choices for our customers…and, as someone in an open marriage might tell you, choice is good.

    Back to the Future: a Pledge to Keep our Customers Self-Sufficient

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    I just got back from a week-long planning session with our partner/parent SydneyPLUS at their headquarters in Vancouver.  It was really invigorating to discuss the future and what we want that to look like.  But what was really funny (and exciting), is that that future looks very much like the past.  Let me explain.
     
    At the core of Inmagic’s product strategy (past and present) we have two core beliefs:  The first is that our software should be flexible and meet our customers’ unique requirements.  Secondly, our software should enable self-sufficiency so that customers – especially those whose primary roles aren’t technical – can easily use and customize the product. 
     
    A History of Ease-of-Use

    If you look at our history, Inmagic for DOS was a very powerful product, and yet users could essentially do everything themselves.  DB/TextWorks for Windows followed very much in this tradition, and when we introduced DB/Text WebPublisher, most customers were amazed at how self-reliant they could be and yet have the power to make information accessible to users around the world.
     
    But as Web-based technologies grew, more and more organizations turned to WebPublisher’s XML capabilities for even more flexibility.  The XML interface, in the hands of a skilled Web developer, enabled customers to build highly functional, but custom websites.  The problem is that often meant that DB/TextWorks users lost a measure – often a significant measure – of Web publishing self-sufficiency, as they couldn’t tweak or change the website themselves.
     
    This loss of autonomy has been at the center of many recent conversations with customers.  And that is why I’m so excited about Presto v4.0 and Presto for DB/Text.  Presto is helping customers build the advanced and visually appealing websites they want, and yet gain back that self-sufficiency that they have come to expect from Inmagic.
     
    Self-Sufficient Clients

    A client recently approached us to help them with two pressing needs for their custom DB/Text WebPublisher-based website.  The first was they wanted to be able to make future changes to the site themselves, without having to engage the consultant that had built their website originally.  They wanted a solution where only a modest level of HTML skills was needed to maintain and update their site. They also wanted to continue to use DB/TextWorks to build and maintain their database.
     
    We were thrilled to be able to offer our new solution, Presto for DB/Text.  The DB/TextWorks connector in Presto for DB/Text enables the client to build and maintain their textbase in DB/TextWorks while publishing the content in Presto.  And the connector easily accommodates their textbase of more than 100,000 records.  In addition, the Presto configuration layer enables the client to easily make changes to the website without technical support.  In fact, the client is so comfortable with the product that they’re handling the majority of development of their new website themselves, with only limited configuration and building help from us.
     
    A different client recently came to us with the desire to rebuild their intranet site and integrate with SharePoint.  In this case, we recommended Presto v4.0.  The conversion to Presto was rapid and seamless, as we were able to use the DB/TextWorks connector to migrate their textbases.  Once the content was in Pesto, we provided training only, as the client wanted to do most of the Presto configuration work themselves.  After Presto was configured, the client then installed several Inmagic Web parts in SharePoint.  These Web parts made Presto content available in the new SharePoint-based intranet.
     
    The Future is So Bright

    Our plans for 2013 and beyond are really the same as the driving principles that we put in place when the company was founded: build flexible software and train the customers to be self-sufficient.  Is self-sufficiency important to you?  Let us know!

     

     

    Dusting off the Blog

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    As you’ve likely read in our summer newsletter or one of our email updates, we went radio silent for a few months after our merger with SydneyPLUS almost a year ago.  We were – quite frankly – swamped working on post integration, product releases, etc.  The good news is that all of this activity has been terrific for our company and we continue to be busy with our current and new customers. We’re back to publishing a quarterly newsletter and a monthly email update, as well as giving webinars on our product roadmap.  The bad news is that our blog has languished a bit.  We’re going to fix that.  Ideas, case studies, tips and stories have been welling up inside our employees and they’re bursting at the seams to share them with you.

    Here are just a few of the exciting topics coming soon to the Inmagic blog:
    • Introduction to Presto 4.0
    • Presto for DB/Text: a three part overview
    • Musings of a new Inmagic employee
    • Adoption and utilization: you built it but they won’t necessarily come
    • Mobile vs. app:  why we chose to do a mobile website
    • Checking out IE 10
    • Completing the package: catering to power users and lightweights
    • The logic behind thumbnails
    • The lion and the lamb working together:  engineering and opps
    • Building Windows 8 apps for Presto/Genie
    • Mobile app for USAID
    • Getting IT’s buy-in: how Presto for DB/text helped solve the 20-year-old problem
    • The new office. Out of the silos, into a new space.
    Stay tuned for these and other thought-provoking blogs in the coming months. We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments.  Happy reading!

     

    Announcing “Presto for DB/Text”

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    Inmagic is pleased to introduce a new product that will bring advanced Web-publishing capabilities to DB/TextWorks customers.  The new product, “Presto for DB/Text,” is a limited version of Inmagic Presto, that will enable many new Web -publishing capabilities for DB/Text, while allowing textbases to continue to be created and maintained in DB/TextWorks.  Presto for DB/Text will work with both SQL and non-SQL versions of DB/TextWorks.

    A few of the capabilities provided by Presto for DB/Text include:
    • The ability to easily search across all textbases at once and display results  in one view;
    • The ability to provide custom home pages to securely deliver different content to different audiences ;
    • Support for SDI initiatives with email alerts and RSS feeds;
    • Integration of social features such as tagging, ratings and comments;
    • The ability to select and act on multiple search results items including Info-Cart, Email, Print or Save;
    • Advanced image handling including auto-thumbnail and  gallery views without programming;
    • And much, much more…
    Presto for DB/Text has been designed for customers that require advanced web-publishing capabilities without the need for custom programming, which is often necessary when using WebPublisher PRO.  Presto for DB/Text does not replace WebPublisher PRO, however -- WebPublisher PRO will continue to be enhanced and supported.  Presto for DB/Text just gives DB/Text customers an additional option for publishing information to the Internet or their intranet.

    Presto for DB/Text will also include additional optional features that can be purchased now or at a later time.  Some of these features include:
    • SharePoint  integration;
    • Federated search (e.g., the ability to search an external database such as EBSCO while simultaneously  searching a DB/Text database);
    • SSO via Active Directory;
    • Integration capabilities via a published WCF API;
    • And the ability to add and create native Presto databases / content types.
    Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the Presto for DB/Text solution and take advantage of our limited-time, discounted introductory pricing. For more details, please attend our webinar on Thursday, July 12th (you can register here.)

    Over the next days and weeks, we will be adding a series of posts which will describe Presto for DB/Text in more detail.  Please check back here soon.

    We are very excited about Presto for DB/Text and hope you are too.

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