Aeon Implementation and Support Guidelines

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Atlas Systems is committed to helping your library staff implement Aeon so that you'll be able to start gaining all the benefits from the system as soon as possible. Once you go live, Atlas will continue to provide technical support for the Aeon system. This guide will walk you through the technical steps of the Aeon implementation process and what support you can expect from Atlas, as well as what support you will receive once you are live with the system.

Aeon Implementation

Working with the Atlas Team

The Aeon Specialist and Customer Service Agent will provide advice and guidance throughout the implementation process and once you go live. Your Atlas Team will help your special collections and systems staff perform basic system set up tasks and decide on what customizations and systems integration will be desirable. In addition, the Atlas team will implement your Aeon customizations and work directly with systems staff to modify other institutional or library systems to work with Aeon.

Server Setup and Basic Configuration

Once your Aeon contract has been signed, your Customer Service Agent will work with your project lead and local IT staff to perform the installation and basic setup of your Aeon database and web servers.

  • Server Setup. Unless you choose to host your Aeon server locally, Atlas will perform all Aeon server software installation and configuration tasks and perform routine data backups. Atlas will also obtain a security certificate and register a domain name for your server. Your local IT staff will need to provide IP address ranges in order for your staff workstations to access your server. Atlas also will set up FTP access to your Aeon web pages. If you choose to host the Aeon database and patron web interface on a local server, Atlas guides your systems administrator through the process of downloading and running the Aeon server software installer and choosing appropriate installation options. Atlas also provides guidance on configuring network ports and security settings and establishing a backup schedule.
  • Z39.50 connection. If your integrated library system supports Z39.50 connections, Atlas can configure your Aeon server so that your staff will be able to look up and import basic bibliographical and holdings information via the Aeon staff client to facilitate the creation of requests.
  • SMTP configuration. Atlas will help you configure the SMTP mail settings for your system to ensure that mail sent from the Aeon staff client reaches your users. Atlas will provide an SMTP server, if needed, for sites that chose Atlas’s server hosting service for Aeon.

Staff Client Installation 

Once your server has been set up, you will need to install the Aeon client applications on the local workstations of project team members and ultimately all workstations from which access to them will be needed. Atlas will provide access to a download site for the Aeon client installer. If needed, Atlas can provide assistance in running the installer and selecting appropriate options via a remote desktop sharing session. Please refer to the Aeon Hardware and Software Requirements to ensure that all of your workstations meet the recommended or minimum specifications.

By default, the installer will installer all of the Aeon client applications on your workstation desktop, namely the Aeon Client, the Aeon Staff Manager, the Aeon Customization Manager, and the SQL Alias Manager.  If you want to install only the Aeon Client and SQL Alias Manager on selected workstations, you may do so by using the Custom installation option when you run the installer.

Additional System Customization

Atlas staff work with your special collections staff to decide on additional customizations to be made to your system's settings.  The Aeon Customization Manager and Staff Manager allow you to easily change a variety of system settings, while Atlas staff will help you implement your desired web page customizations, freeing up your web developer time. Atlas will help you customize the registration forms, decide on the number of request types to offer, and set required fields. This is in addition to any basic CSS edits that make the Aeon pages fit with your overall web layout.

  • Print and email templates. Atlas provides guidance and technical assistance to help you edit the print and email templates that come installed with the Aeon staff client. Print templates, such as call slips, are set up as Microsoft Word merge files and include formatting for duplicate printing and custom fields. Email templates are either text files on the server or within the database itself that likewise function as merge files. Example edits include adding logos and library contact information, adding merge fields, rearranging field displays, modifying text and font characteristics, and incorporating sorting and filtering commands.
  • Client form customizations. The layout and labeling of most forms in the Aeon staff client can be customized, and the customizations can be easily shared among staff users by creating staff layout templates. Atlas provides guidance and technical assistance to help you create the most effective screen layouts to support your processing workflows.
  • Custom queues and routing rules. Atlas offers advice and technical assistance to help you establish a set of customized processing queues and automated routing rules to achieve maximal workflow efficiencies. Atlas also helps you edit the processing status labels that are displayed in the Aeon patron web interface and staff client.
  • Photoduplication order fees. Atlas helps you set up the billing table in the Aeon Customization Manager that contains your schedule of fees for photoduplication and digital image order services.
  • Web interface customization. Atlas performs basic customizations to your Aeon patron web interface, such as modifying the patron registration form to include desired input fields and instructions and modifying or creating item request forms to include input fields and fields labels appropriate to local needs. Atlas can also edit as required any validation rules, default values, status messages and other settings in the Aeon Customization Manager that pertain to the configuration of the Aeon patron web interface.
  • Web interface styling. Atlas will also integrate your Aeon patron web interface with the styling of your institutional website. Atlas will consult with your staff to determine desired graphical modifications, which may include the addition of logos and other graphics, custom colors, and font controls. Atlas will then perform up to three rounds of edits to ensure your satisfaction. Atlas editing is limited to HTML and CSS stylesheet modifications.

Systems Integration

Aeon can be integrated with a number of existing institutional and library systems to improve the patron experience and staff efficiency.  In general, systems integration work requires the input and assistance of local IT and systems staff, working with the Atlas Aeon team.

  • Authentication services. The Aeon patron web interface allows patrons to create a username and password to access their personalized account. If you would like to allow patrons affiliated with your institution to use their institutional ID and password to access their Aeon account, Atlas will work with your network administrator to configure Aeon to interface with LDAP, Shibboleth and other authentication services. This process requires input and assistance from your local IT staff.  
  • OpenURL links. Aeon is designed to receive bibliographical request data via embedded HTML links that are constructed according to the OpenURL protocol. Atlas provides guidance on how to add such links to your local OPAC and other content management systems, such as CONTENTdm databases. Atlas also provides technical assistance to help you edit the Aeon OpenURL mapping table and files in the Aeon patron web interface as needed to ensure proper bibliographical data mapping. Atlas can advise you on what data to include in that OpenURL, but since the link itself will have to be created in your ILS, this process requires input and assistance from your local IT staff.
  • EAD finding aids. Aeon supports automated requesting from archival finding aids that have been encoded according to the EAD (Encoded Archival Description) XML standard.  In order to take advantage of Aeon's finding aid requesting features, the EAD/XML data must be transformed into a format that can be processed by the Aeon DLL. This transformation can be performed internally by Aeon or externally by other applications. If you decide to use the internal method, Atlas can create a custom XSLT for an additional fee that will work within the Aeon web interface to facilitate patron requesting of individual parts of a collection and provide the appropriate inputs to create requests. Using the internal method, your systems staff will simply need to include a link to Aeon from your finding aid database(s).  If you decide to use the external method, your systems staff will need to complete the necessary transformations to allow patron requesting directly in your finding aid database(s).
  • Billing gateway. Patrons are able to pay for photoduplication orders through their web accounts via integration with an existing credit card payment provider.  In order to use the Aeon billing gateway, library staff will need to obtain the appropriate credentials for your credit card payment provider.  Using this information, Atlas staff can complete all configuration tasks to set up the Aeon billing gateway.

Legacy Data Migration

If you have an existing database containing patron, visit, and/or request information, Atlas can help you evaluate the possibilities for migrating your legacy data into Aeon. If deemed feasible and desirable, your IT staff will be responsible for extracting data from your existing system into a format suitable for import into Aeon and ensuring that it conforms to the Aeon data model.  Atlas staff will write and execute the SQL scripts required to import the data into your Aeon system. This can normally be done as part of our standard implementation service, but more complex cases may need to treated as a custom service (see below).

Custom Services

At any point during the implementation process, you can request additional help with customizations. Examples of the types of custom services Atlas can provide include more advanced web interface modifications or consultations for unique development projects related to Aeon and Special Collections. The Aeon Team will help you determine what additional custom services may be appropriate for your implementation and provide you with price quotes for those services, such as addon development, that go beyond Atlas's standard Aeon implementation services.

  • Aeon Client Addons. Client addons can be used to improve staff efficiency when performing routine actions within the Aeon client.  For example, Atlas can create a client addon that will allow staff to search the library OPAC and import information from the catalog back into an Aeon request or an addon that will allow staff to send request information to an automated retrieval system for retrieval from high-density storage.
  • Aeon Server Addons.  Server addons can be used to automate routine staff work. Server addons work behind the scenes to perform certain tasks without requiring any staff intervention.  For example, Atlas can create a server addon that will send out email reminders to patrons who have outstanding balances due for photoduplication orders.  
  • Aeon XSLT.  If you use the internal method of finding aid requesting, Atlas will create a custom XSLT that will be designed to work with the way your finding aids are encoded and that will ensure that the information you need to process patron requests will be imported into the Aeon request(s).

Ongoing Support

Standard Technical Support

You will continue to receive ongoing technical support for Aeon once your system is live and in production.  You can also get enhanced and customized support for Aeon even after you've gone live by subscribing to the Aeon Concierge package.

Reporting and Statistics

Atlas uses Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as the platform for Aeon web reports.  During implementation or after going live, your Customer Service Agent will set up a standard set of reports on the SSRS platform to allow you to gather valuable data for your collection and its usage. A description of each of the reports is included in the Aeon documentation. Regardless of whether Atlas hosts your Aeon server, Atlas can host and maintain your reports.  If you elect to host your Aeon reports locally, you will need to install SSRS on your server. All reports are password protected and can be emailed to individuals or viewed online.

In addition to the basic Aeon reports, you will have a number of options for getting additional information about your Aeon users, transactions, and Activities.  Your library staff can create custom reports using Microsoft Report Builder or Atlas can create unique reports for your needs. The Aeon client also allows library staff to build custom queries through a graphical user interface, which gives staff access to a variety of statistics without having to write SQL queries or use a separate reporting tool. 

New Version Updates

New major versions of Aeon are released twice a year in the spring and fall.  Updating to a new version requires updating your Aeon server and all locally-installed clients.  Atlas will perform all server updates on Atlas-hosted servers.  If your server is locally hosted, Atlas will work with your systems administrator to guide you through the process of updating the server.  Once the server has been updated to the newest version, your library IT staff will need to ensure that all locally-installed clients are updated. 

Minor versions of Aeon are released as needed to correct known issues or to make minor changes to functionality. Atlas will perform all server updates on Atlas-hosted servers.  If your server is locally hosted, Atlas will work with your systems administrator to guide you through the process of updating the server.  Once the server has been updated, staff users will be prompted to update the client the next time they log in.

Service and Enhancement Requests.

Atlas provides email and toll-free telephone support for Aeon Monday through Friday during Atlas's regular business hours. If your server is hosted by Atlas, you will also have access to a 24-hour emergency contact number. Whether you have questions about how to use a product feature, would like to request additional customization assistance or report a possible bug, all you need to do is contact our service and support team to receive prompt, accurate and courteous attention. Our support staff will also welcome your suggestions for additional features and enhancements that you would like to see incorporated in future versions of Aeon.

The email for support is service@atlas-sys.com and the phone number is 800-567-7401 x1.

Documentation

Atlas provides complete and up-to-date online documentation for Aeon that includes step-by-step instructions with detailed screenshots showing how to configure and use its many features.

Concierge Support

For sites that would like to continue implementation-level services even after they have gone live, Atlas offers an annual Aeon Concierge Package subscription, which is designed to supplement the standard technical support that is included with your annual Aeon licensing renewal. The Aeon Concierge Package is only available to sites that use our server hosting service and it includes the following set of exclusive benefits:

  • Personalized consultation and training on new Aeon versions. Our Aeon team will review new functionality with your library staff, assess training needs, recommend new features for implementation, and assist with rollout activities.
  • One onsite “tune-up” every two years. A member of our Aeon team will schedule a visit to observe how your staff is using Aeon and then make and implement recommendations for further customizations and training to improve workflow management, efficiency, and quality.
  • Technical assistance with implementing custom updates to your Aeon web pages, client and customization manager settings, and print and email templates. Going beyond our standard level of support, our Aeon team will perform additional technical tasks to fine-tune your system configurations as requested.
  • Custom report assistance. While our standard reports provide a wealth of useful statistical and analytical data, additional reports will further support data-driven assessments of your special collections services.
  • Maintenance of Atlas-created addons and stylesheets.  As the Aeon software and the systems with which it is integrated into your environment evolve, Concierge eliminates the need to find additional resources to maintain the functionality of Atlas-created addons and EAD XSLT stylesheets.

The Aeon Concierge Package has been designed to provide an economical and efficient way to maximize the benefits your institution will realize from using Aeon while minimizing investments of local staff time and IT support. We recommend budgeting for Concierge when you implement Aeon, but the Concierge subscription can be added or discontinued on a year-by-year basis without affecting your standard annual Aeon software licensing and service.

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