Our library consortium is just getting started with a new test Sierra & Encore system. Has anyone gone through this before? Do you have recommendations for maintaining the records in that test server and do you set up Sierra logins with different colors/passwords to help staff understand it’s not the production environment? Thanks.
We have had a test server for Sierra for many years, but not one for Encore. I usually recommend using one skin for the production server and one for test (Glacier vs. Half Dome). The logins and records were all copied over from the production server, so everything is set up the same, but only for a short time. If we make settings changes we try to remember to also do those on Test (although I am not great at remembering to do that), but we don’t get new patron loads or item record changes on Test.
Let me know if that doesn’t answer your question or if you have any others.
I really like the idea of using unique skins/themes for each system!
Depending on how paranoid you are that someone is making the transactions in the system they expected to, you might also set up a unique login on the test side. Something like username-test to help ensure they’re in the system they intend to be.
Or… live on the wild-side and test in production!
Thank you so much Liza.
Is it possible for Innovative to update the records in our test environment periodically? Is that an option? I’m a bit unsure how to guide CIRC staff wanting to work with holds information when statuses will be out of date. . . . Even if we only requested an update of records once in a while when we are working on a project internally it would be helpful to know that’s possible.
Milwaukee County Federated Library System, Wisconsin.
It is possible for Innovative to update the records, but when we have asked in the past there was a pretty big cost to do that so we haven’t done it often. We got updated records recently when we went hosted and then again when the hosted servers were upgraded. So our Test server is usually out of date records-wise, but is usually one Sierra release ahead. One other thing we did was to remove the email address from all patron records on the Test server. That way if we are testing notices or email notifications we can control who gets the emails, and patrons won’t get weird notifications out of the blue.
For testing holds we usually place holds on the records on the Test server and just work with those records without trying to duplicate that exact hold on the Production server.
Let me know if you have any other questions or if I missed anything.
I batch disable the Sierra applications for all users and create 10-15 “test” logins (we have a max number of consecutive licenses). I also move batch reassign the email addresses into a note field just in case staff “accidentally” want to use that field. As others have said, we change the header display and the top left label includes “training” (Innovative set that up for us).
This is REALLY helpful and a good idea.
I wish there was a way to make the title bar of the training server a bright, color to have it stand out more. We also have that title bar area saying Training but it’s pretty small. We are going to shift the users to the Half Dome skin. . . Thanks for the communication.