Aeon 5.1 FAQ

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In this article, we will go over frequently asked questions pertaining to the Aeon 5.1 update.

Updating to Aeon 5.1

How do I update to Aeon 5.1?       

Before you begin updating, please review the Hardware and Software Requirements for Version 5.1. For specific instructions on updating, see Updating Aeon to the Newest Version.

Will I have to uninstall my previous version of Aeon before updating to 5.1?

Aeon 5.1 features a new process that allows users to install the Client at the user level without requiring the use of escalated admin privileges. If you choose to install the 5.1 Client using this method, then older per-machine installations of the Aeon Client will need to be manually uninstalled either before or after the 5.1 Client installation. However, if you choose to install the 5.1 Client as a per-machine installation, then this will automatically overwrite previous versions of the Client on the machine for you.

How do I install per-user?

First, update the server using the Installing the Aeon Server instructions. Then, have each user update the client using the Updating Aeon to Version 5.1: Updating the Client per-user instructions.

Will there be full release notes available for Aeon 5.1?      

They are now available in the Aeon 5.1 Release Notes.

Will my system automatically update to Aeon 5.1 on release day?   

No. You can schedule your Aeon server update with Atlas Hosting Services or your local server administrator (if self-hosted) for a time that works for you.

I am self-hosted. How can I install the Aeon 5.1 server?   

Beginning with v5.1, the server installation/update for self-hosted sites must be performed using new installation and update PowerShell scripts that support a broader array of configurations. See the "Installing/Updating the Server with PowerShell Scripts" section in Installing the Aeon Server for more information.

How do I receive updates when new versions of Aeon are made publicly available?

Atlas Systems provide release updates and training opportunities through the following modes of communication: 

Aeon Community Forum


Will my addons continue to work after updating to Aeon 5.1?

Most addons will not experience any issues after the update to Aeon 5.1 and you should be able to continue to use them with no break in functionality. However, a select few will need to be updated to new versions prior to updating to Aeon 5.1 to ensure full compatibility. Please plan to review the Addons section of the 5.1 Release Notes for the complete list of addons that will require an update and follow the links on that page to download the new versions of any addons you are currently using prior to your 5.1 update.

Appointment Scheduling

Can I use the appointment scheduling feature on the pre-5.0 web pages?

Since the appointment scheduling feature relies heavily on the new CSS and Javascript libraries used by the 5.0 web pages, this feature is not compatible with the pre-5.0 web pages. If you would like to schedule a web tune-up to transition your institution to the new web pages, please contact Atlas Support at

I am using the 5.0/5.1 web pages. How can I implement the appointment scheduling feature?

The appointment scheduling web pages are not included in the 5.1 web pages by default and must be separately downloaded and added to your web directory as feature-specific pages. Additionally, the scheduled date feature must be removed from each of your web request forms and replaced with the appointment scheduling functionality. For complete instructions, please see Implementing the 5.1 Web Page Changes.

If you find that you don't have the capacity or necessary resources at your institution to make these web page changes yourself, Atlas is offering a smaller web tune-up package at a reduced cost specifically for helping you to implement this feature. To learn more, please contact Atlas Support at

Can Atlas help me implement the appointment scheduling web pages if I am a self-hosted site?

Yes, our web tune-up package is available for both hosted and self-hosted sites. Please contact Atlas Support at for more information.

Can I test this new feature before going live to patrons?

Yes! Appointment scheduling web pages are not installed automatically during the v5.1 update and must be manually added to your Aeon web directory to make this feature live to patrons. However, updating to v5.1 will add all appointment scheduling functionality to the Aeon Client and Customization Manager, meaning staff members are free to practice using the new features before going live. We also recommend adding the appointment scheduling web pages to your Testweb directory to test out the web interface before going live with this feature.

Can I limit appointments only to my single sign-on (SSO) users?

Yes. If you use both Aeon authentication and SSO authentication, you will have two sets of web pages in your web directory; one for each authentication type. In order to limit appointments only to your SSO users, you can add the new appointment scheduling web pages to only your SSO web directory.

My site has multiple reading rooms. How will my patrons know which room to choose when scheduling an appointment?

To reduce confusion, we recommend including some information to guide users on which room to choose on both your appointment scheduling web pages and on your web request forms near the appointment selection fields.

We also recommend making the name of each reading room as descriptive as possible when configuring the room in the Customization Manager to help guide your patrons to the correct location. For example, you may consider adding the name of your institution or the building where the room is located to the end of the room's name.

I updated the Aeon Client to v5.1, but I don't see any appointment scheduling controls. What happened?

Appointment scheduling controls in the Client will only appear after a reading room is configured for appointments in the Aeon Customization Manager. Additionally, if you had been using a custom staff template prior to updating the Client to v5.1, you will need to edit your template after updating to manually add the Appointments group tab to the Home form of the Client and the appointment fields to the relevant forms in order for these to display.

What is the "Appointment Name" field used for?

This field is an optional field that may contain a descriptive name for the appointment and is used to help the patron identify and keep track of their various appointments. For example, if the patron has two appointments, one for history research and one for sociology research, they might name the first appointment "Appointment for History Research,"  and the second appointment "Appointment for Sociology Research." The name entered in this field will also display if the user chooses to download and import the iCalendar file for the appointment into a calendar application.

Can I create an appointment for a range of dates?

Current appointment scheduling functionality will only support booking appointments for a single date at a time. If you would like to create an appointment for a patron on multiple dates, then a separate appointment must be created for each individual date. 

Will the number of days entered into the Minimum and Maximum Lead Days settings for a reading room calendar in the Customization Manager count all calendar days or just business/open days?

These settings will count all calendar days, not just business or open days. If, for example, you would like some extra padding to prevent a user from booking an appointment for Monday morning over the weekend when your library is closed, we recommend increasing the number in the Minimum Lead Days setting appropriately to account for this scenario. 

Can I make appointments required for a reading room on only certain days of the week?

No. If you select the option to require appointments for a reading room, then this requirement will always be enforced. 

How long will it take for a change I made to the reading room calendar in the Customization Manager to show up on my web pages?

Any changes made to a reading room calendar in the Customization Manager will apply immediately to your web pages upon saving those changes.

Can I configure a reading room to accept materials from multiple sites?

Yes, a reading room can be associated with multiple sites in the Customization Manager using the Associated Sites settings.

Requests associated with an appointment will be routed from Future Request Processing to Awaiting Request Processing once the appointment date is within the Minimum Lead Days setting for that reading room. Does this override the setting in my FutureRoutingDays customization key?

Yes, the value in the Minimum Lead Days setting will override the value in the FutureRoutingDays key when routing requests that are associated with an appointment. 

How can I reserve some seats in my reading room for walk-in appointments?

If you would like to keep some seats available for walk-in appointments, we recommend reducing the total number of seats in the "Seats Available for Appointments" setting in the Customization Manager by the number of seats you'd like to set aside for walk-ins. This will ensure that those seats will remain unbooked by any patrons in advance. 

Can I set the appointment requirement to start at some specific point in the future for patrons?

No, the appointment requirement will enforce immediately for all relevant requests as soon as the option to require appointments is enabled for the reading room in the Customization Manager.

I want to set up my reading room for appointments, but I don’t want any appointments to be available immediately. Can I select the specific date I want appointments to start appearing to patrons?

If you would like appointment availability to start on a certain date, you can set up the reading room calendar according to your desired settings in the Customization Manager and then create a closed exception date entry for each day that you want appointments to be unavailable until your target open date.

Does the appointment padding time always have to be the same as soon as you set it?

Yes, the padding time will apply the same way each time according to the value in that setting for the reading room. However, you can change the settings for the reading room, including padding time, at any time in the Customization Manager.

Do patrons need to request materials to make an appointment?

No, patrons can make appointments without any associated requests via the “Schedule Appointments” button on the Appointments web page.

Will appointments override a user’s reading room history?

No, the user’s reading room history will still be based on when that user is signed in and out of the reading room and not on the date/time of the user's appointments.

Can I limit the number of requests a user can associate with an appointment?

No, the user's request limit will still be based on the value set at the system level.

My reading room is open from 8:00am-12:00pm, then closed from 12:00pm-1:00pm, and open again from 1:00pm-5:00pm. If a researcher wants to book a full-day appointment, will they need to create two separate appointments for that day?

The scheduling controls on the web interface would force that patron to book two separate appointments on that day since patrons would not be able to book an appointment during the hour that the room is closed. However, staff can override this restriction in the Aeon Client and extend the patron’s first appointment to the length of the whole day, if necessary.

What happens if a researcher makes an appointment available to their proxies?

If a researcher makes an appointment available to their proxies, this just means that proxies will be able to select that researcher’s appointment when submitting requests in order to add them to that appointment for the researcher. Proxies will not have any additional access to the researcher’s account or control over the appointment itself.

What if a patron needs to cancel their appointment, but the cancel option is unavailable to that patron because the appointment date is within the Minimum Lead Days for the reading room?

In this case, the patron would have to contact staff to have them cancel the appointment using the Aeon Client. We recommend putting some descriptive text on the Appointments web page to let the user know how and when to contact staff if they need assistance canceling an appointment.

Custom Fields

What type of information would I use a custom field to collect?

Custom fields are extremely versatile and can be used to store all kinds of information. For example, you may consider creating a free-text custom Transaction field to store folder information for an item, or a "Research Purpose" dropdown field that you can use to collect information on the type of research or project for which the patron is using that item.

To create a custom "Research Purpose" dropdown field, you would first create entries in the Customization Manager's CustomDropDown table for the values you'd like to appear as options in the dropdown list. These entries should all have the same group name, e.g. "ResearchPurpose." Then, you would simply define a field in the CustomFieldDefinitions table with a matching short name (i.e., "ResearchPurpose") and data type "CustomDropDown." Once defined, this field can be added to your Client forms and to your web request forms. For more information, see Unlimited Custom Fields.

Should I keep using the ItemInfo/UserInfo/ActivityInfo fields?

We recommend that you continue using the Item/User/ActivityInfo1-5 fields to collect custom information, and then begin to create additional custom fields once you run out of these built-in fields. However, since these fields are all free-text fields, you may also consider using a custom field in place of an Item/User/ActivityInfo field if you need to collect a different type of information (e.g. a Boolean custom field to collect a true or false value).  

What should I do if I have been repurposing an existing Aeon field to collect custom information?

We strongly recommend creating a new custom field to hold this information, then making arrangements with Atlas Support or your server administrator to run a query that will move all data you had stored in the repurposed field to this new custom field. Any field customizations you had set in the Staff Manager Field Customizations table for the repurposed field should also be reset in order to change that field back to the default value. 

I created a new custom field, but I made a mistake. How can I edit it?

After a custom field is created and saved, only the display label will be editable for future changes. If you make a mistake in the process of defining a new custom field and have not yet used that field to collect any data, you can simply delete the entry in the Custom Field Definitions table and create a new field with the correct configuration.

What happens if I delete a custom field?

Deleting a custom field will permanently delete that field and all of its values from the database. After deletion, the field will no longer be available on forms or templates.

EAD Processing

Do I need to make any changes to use the new EAD processing engine if I already have an XSLT configured for my EAD requests in Aeon?

Yes. If you already have an XSLT configured to handle your EAD Requests, you will need to add a record for this XSLT to the new EADMapping table in the Customization Manager. For assistance, please contact Atlas Support at

Preferred Name

Why can't I see the new Preferred Name field on my user records?

Preferred Name is not included on the User Information form by default and will need to be added via a customized Client layout template. If you would like patrons to provide this information during the registration process, the Preferred Name field should also be added to your web pages.

I have been repurposing another field in Aeon to collect preferred name information from my patrons. How can I use the new field?

If you have been repurposing another field for the preferred name in Aeon, we strongly recommend contacting Atlas Support or your server administrator to run a query that will move all data you had stored in the repurposed field to the new Preferred Name field. Any field customizations you had set in the Staff Manager Field Customizations table for the repurposed field should also be reset in order to change that field back to the default value. 

Web Interface

Will the new default web pages overwrite any customizations I may have on my current web pages?

No, the web pages are not installed automatically during the update. A complete set of 5.1 web pages are available for download on the Aeon Downloads page. Having the web pages downloaded separately from the update installers prevents overwriting any customizations your institution may have created.

If you have any questions or require Concierge Services when implementing the new web pages, please contact support at



If this article didn’t resolve your issue, please contact Atlas Support for assistance:

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