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How do Top Libraries Make their Catalogs Easy to Use?

From the Library of Congress to university libraries at Harvard and Oxford, OpenEdge and Kendo UI Builder help make it easy to find books at top libraries.

It may be tempting to think that technology would herald the end of the print book, but print books are here to stay. This is all the more true of books in research institutions, where copyrights can prevent the digitization of rare books. While the average American checks out about 8 books from their local library each year, and can probably tolerate a delay or a bug as they wait for that best seller or classic, research institutions have it harder here too. With millions of books in the database, some of which have only a single copy and are essential to academic research, they can’t afford to lose track of a single book.

This is the problem that Generation Fifth Applications (GFA) has set out to solve with their flagship Library Archival Software (LAS). With customers such as the Library of Congress and the libraries at Oxford University, Yale University and Harvard University—the latter of which alone has upwards of 10 million items across a network of 73 libraries—the task is not an easy one. On top of that, libraries often lack large IT budgets and infrastructure, so their solution would have to require a minimum of resources.

A Network that Communicates

A key capability of LAS is the ability to seamlessly link libraries together, so that patrons can search for and request delivery of a book anywhere in the library systems network. Because LAS is based on OpenEdge, it was easy for GFA to utilize the Progress Application Server for OpenEdge to add this functionality. By making use of this, they were able to utilize a REST-based API and a Java-based application server without having to learn, and then code, the feature themselves—allowing them to focus on building the rest of the application.

Additionally, the OpenEdge platform is designed to be flexible. That means that LAS doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all, and can instead be tailored to the needs of individual libraries. Features like accessions, retrievals, file management and internal/customer reports and analyses can be incorporated as needed.

Industry Leading UI Increases Adoption

It’s one thing to build a highly performant app with powerful functionality, and another to get people to use it. To that end, GFA turned to Progress Kendo UI Builder, based on the popular Kendo UI suite. They were able to take advantage of the pre-built and pre-tested visual components to create a unified user experience across all screens and web browsers quickly. Kendo UI Builder also made it easy to customize the layout as needed while leveraging existing systems of record.

While GFA used Kendo UI Builder 1.1, the new Kendo UI Builder 2.0 incorporates requested features like enhanced data connectivity through OData and REST, Electron shell compatibility, faster page-rendering with script load on demand, and an even larger library of charts, graphs and views to choose from. For existing version 1.x users with a current maintenance agreement, the upgrade to version 2.0 is completely free. It’s also very cost-effective for new Kendo UI Builder users.

Build Engaging and High-Performing Apps Quickly

To succeed in today’s technology world, it’s not enough just to build an app that is beautiful, or powerful, or completed quickly—you must do it all, or the client will go elsewhere. With the rock steady reliability of OpenEdge, enhanced by the exceptional user experience Kendo UI Builder provides, it’s easier than ever to build engaging, scalable and low-code solutions you can count on.

Curious to learn more? Check out this on-demand webinar for Kendo UI Builder 2.0 to find out what’s new. You can also hear more from GFA below, and don’t forget to give Kendo UI Builder a try with a free 30-day trial.

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