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OCLC Support

Advanced offline

Learn how to install and use the Amlib Advanced Offline, which allows checking of Borrower and Items from files previously copied via Circulation Reports, so that the Items and Borrowers are validated on the database and details displayed on the Offline window.

Overview

The Offline module is a facility that enables the library to continue processing Issues and Returns when a network is unavailable for example – the Database Server is not working or cannot be accessed across the Network.

The Amlib Advanced Offline allows checking of Borrower and Items from files previously copied via Circulation Reports, so that the Items and Borrowers are validated on the database and details displayed on the Offline window. This feature is most often used by libraries that often circulate offline, such as those offering a Housebound delivery route.

Details are checked at the time of processing of the file – for example Borrower Financials and Memos etc.

The Offline Module contains the Standard Option and the Advanced Option. The Advanced option allows checking of Barcodes against Borrower and Stockitem Files for example – checking to see if Borrowers owe money.

Installation

A handy Wizard is available on our Content Portal, which can install the Offline Module components onto any PC selected.

Downloading Amlib Offline Module from the OCLC Website

  1. The Amlib Offline module is available on the OCLC Support website, under Amlib > Downloads and Software Updates > Utilities.

  2. Download the AmlibOffline.msi and save it on your Amlib PC
  3. Double-click the AmlibOffline.msi to launch the Wizard – the Amlib Offline installer screen will display

Install the Offline module

When run, the Amlib Offline.msi wizard will install all that is required and will download the following:

  • Offline.exe (Offline Application)
  • Offline.ico (Offline Icon)
  • Application extensions files from the Amlib/Programs folder (these are the .dll files which enable to facility to run smoothly).
  1. Double-click on the Amlib Offline.msi file to open the Installation Wizard
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions and prompts to install the Offline module.
  3. Once installed, you will be prompted to copy your Offline.ini file from the Amlib folder on your Amlib server. The Offline.ini file contains your barcode validation settings as previously setup in Main > Supervisor > CheckDigits in Amlib proper. This file should be copied into the following (default) folder location: C:\Program Files\OCLC\Amlib Offline (on older versions of the Offline Module it may say Infovision Technology instead of OCLC in the filepath).

NEW USERS: May elect to use the pre-existing Offline.ini file though it is advisable to use your own generated by Amlib to ensure you have the correct barcode checking.

Please Note: If any changes have occurred to your settings since the last time the Offline module was previously used, then you will need to recopy this file.

Steps in the Process

  1. Set up the Reports in RepAddNew: Two (2) reports are available – Offline Export Template (&OFFLINE.QRP) and Offline Processing (&AOLPROC.QRP)
  2. Run the Report (&OFFLINE.QRP) to create the copy of Borrower and Stockitem
  3. Offline Utility in use using Offline.exe – Advanced Issues or Returns
  4. Carefully select where the Offline File is being saved as this is used in Step 5
  5. Download the File using Amlib Issues menu Issues > Advanced option
  6. Process the File
  7. Check the File Status
  8. Clear the File
  9. Run Report for Offline Results

Set up the Reports in RepAddNew

Offline Export Template

  1. Launch the Amlib client
  2. Go to Main > Reports > RepAddNew – the Report Files screen will display
  3. Select Circulation from the Report Entity drop-down
  4. Click the F1 New button – the Circulation – New Report File screen will display:
  5. Enter the Description of Offline Export
  6. Use the Browse button to select the &OFFLINE.QRP template from the Amlib/Reports folder
  7. In the Choose Type box, select Offline files for export
  8. Enter N in the Update History and Update Entity boxes
  9. Click the F3 Update button

Run the Report to generate the Txt files

  1. Launch the Amlib client
  2. Go to Main > Reports > RepCirculation – the Circulation Reports screen will display
  3. Click the F1 New button – the Select Report Format screen will display
  4. Highlight the Offline Export template and click the Select button
  5. Enter a Report Description of Offline Export and click the F3 Save button
  6. Highlight the report and click the F7Where button – the Circulation Reports – Where screen will display:
  7. Enter the following parameters:
    1. In box 1 choose Bor Barcode
    2. In box 2 select (does not equal)
    3. Leave box 3 blank
    4. Click the Paste button
    5. Return to box 1 and select Item Barcode
    6. In box 2 select (does not equal)
    7. Leave box 3 blank
    8. Click the Paste button
  8. Click the F3 Save button
  9. Highlight the Offline Export report and click the F6 Print button – the Print screen will display:
  10. Select the To File option and click the OK button
  11. A dialogue box will display, browse to the folder that will be used to save the text files of Stockitems and Borrowers. This could be a newly created folder – for example: AdvancedOffline

    Please Note: Make very sure to note this saved file’s location as you will need to browse to this file later to upload into Amlib.

  12. Enter a file name such as Offline and in Save as type select Text Document
  13. Click the Save button
  14. On the Circulation Reports screen, select Application > RepStartSchedule – the Report Scheduler prompt will display

    Please Note: if this is option greyed out then the scheduler is already started and there is no need to follow this step next step
  15. Ensure that Save to file is ticked and click the OK button
  16. From the menu, select Application > RepPrintProgress – the Print Progress screen will display
  17. The report may take some time to run, however when it is finished, notification will appear in the Printed tab of the Print Progress screen:

Please Note: These reports can be scheduled to run according to a particular schedule – for example: on a daily basis.

This process will extract 4 files for use in the Advanced Offline module:

  • File 1 an extract of Borrower records
  • File 2 an extract of Borrower memos
  • File 3 an extract of Stockitems
  • File 4 an extract of Stockitem memos

Running the Offline Module in Advanced Offline mode

  1. Launch the Offline Module via the Amlib Offline.exe created during the installation process- usually available from the PC Desktop
  2. Instructions below detail how to issue and return whilst offline using Advanced Options

Advanced Issues

  1. Select Advanced Options > AdvIssues
  2. Choose where to save the offline issues file to. It is best to use the default file name consisting of the date and time and the default folder which was set during installation
  3. Select Save

Select the Files

The next step is to select a number of checking files so that checks of the data are made as the Issues are processed – for example Memos and Messages.

Please Note: If no checks are to be done select the No Files button.

  1. Next to the Borrower File files, select the  button and browse to the Borrower file created during the text report stage (BOR.txt)
  2. Highlight the file and select Open and then close the screen
  3. Repeat this for the Stockitem file (STK.txt), Bor Memos file (BORMEM.txt) and Stk Memos file (STKMEM.txt)
  4. Enter the Operator and Location codes at the bottom of the screen

Please Note: The Operator and Locations fields must be completed but do not necessarily represent the actual processing Location or a valid Amlib user. When the data is loaded in Issues, the operator will be prompted to confirm or select the actual Location.

The Advanced Module will store the Date, Time, Location and Operator against transactions.

It is possible to select how the files are checked whilst processing according to the following options: Issues – Borrower File Options

OPTION

FILE TYPE

PROCESSING

  • All Must be in File ticked

Borrowers

The Borrower Barcode is checked against the exported Borrowers list.

  • If the Borrower does not exist the transaction will not be permitted
  • If the borrower owes money or has memos then the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file
  • All Must be in File unticked

Borrowers

The Borrower Barcode is still checked against the exported Borrowers list.

  • If the borrower does not exist the transaction will still continue
  • If the borrower owes money or has memos then the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file

No Files

None

No checks are made from the exported Files and only the advanced issues date / time facility is used.

Issues – Stockitem File Options

 

OPTION

FILE TYPE

PROCESSING

  • All Must be in File ticked

Items

The Item Barcode is checked against the exported Stockitems list.

  • If the item does not exist the transaction will not be permitted
  • If the item has reserves or memos the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file
  • All Must be in File unticked

Items

The Item Barcode is still checked against the exported Stockitems list.

  • If the item does not exist the transaction will still continue
  • If the item has reserves or memos the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file

No Files

 

No checks are made from the exported Files and only the advanced issues date / time facility is used.

Begin Processing

  1. Wand a borrower’s barcode and their details will be displayed
  2. Wand an item barcode to issue the item
  3. Select the F2 Button to print a list of what has just been issued to the Borrower
  4. To loan to another Borrower (move from one borrower to the next) select F1 borrower icon.
  5. If the Offline is set to have borrower checking on, a prompt will display for items with Memos or Messages asking if you wish to proceed?
  6. To create a new file – for example you may leave the module logged in over a number of days and you wish to create and issues file for each day – Select the F1 File? icon
  7. To close out of Advanced Offline Issues simply close the window

Advanced Returns

If the Server is not accessible, it is suggested the Return items be stacked to be returned when the Server is back online. If this is for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to use Offline Returns.

  1. Select Advanced Options > AdvReturns
  2. Choose where to save the offline returns file to. It is best to use the default file name consisting of the date and time and the default folder which was set during installation
  3. Select Save

Select the Files

The next step is to select a number of checking files so that checks of the data are made as the returns are processed – for example Memos and Messages.

Please Note: If no checks are to be done select the No Files Button.

  1. Next to the Stockitem File field, select the … button
    ​​​​​​​
  2. Browse to the Stockitem file (STK.txt) created during the text report stage, ensuring that Save as type is set to Text file to be able to locate this file
  3. Highlight the file and select Open
  4. Browse to the Stockitem Memos file (STKMEM.txt) created during the text report stage
  5. Highlight to file and select Open
  6. Enter the Operator and Location codes

Returns- Stockitem File Options

 

OPTION

FILE TYPE

PROCESSING

  • All Must be in File ticked

Items

The Item Barcode is checked against the exported Stockitems list.

  • If the item does not exist the transaction will not be permitted
  • If the item has reserves or memos the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file
  • All Must be in File unticked

No Files

No files

Items

The Item Barcode is still checked against the exported Stockitems list.

  • If the item does not exist the transaction will still continue
  • If the item has reserves or memos the operator is given the option of continuing
  • If continued, a comment is written to the output file

No checks are made from the exported Files and only the advanced issues date / time facility is used.

Begin Processing

  1. Wand a Stockitem to return it
  2. If the item has a message this will appear
  3. It is possible to change the Returns saved file by selecting the File? icon

Download the File using Amlib Issues

When normal service is resumed or the Housebound route has returned, the files can be uploaded to the Amlib database. When all Offline files have been uploaded, the transactions may be processed.

  1. In Amlib navigate to Main > Circulation > Issues 
  2. Select Borrower > Advanced Offline Issues/ Returns > Load Offline Files
  3. Browse to where the Offline processing files were created, ensuring the Files of Type is set to Offline Issue Files (*.off). Highlight the first file and select the Open button
  4. Highlight the Location to be the Issue Location then select OK
  5. A message will displaying showing how many have been records have been loaded, select OK
  6. To load any offline returns files select Offline Return Files (*.ret) in the Files of Type box and Open

  7. All the Offline Issue and return files for a Location should be uploaded before processing so repeat if there are several files

Process the File

Once the Offline Files have been loaded they can be then be processed by using Process Loaded Data.

  1. Select Borrower > Advanced Offline Issues/Returns > ProcessLoadedData
  2. A confirmation will appear, select OK
  3. During Processing, messages related to the Return or Issue will display. Any return found with an Offline return date/time before the latest issue date is not processed as the system assumes the item was subsequently issued

    Some Example messages:

  4. When processing is completed a prompt will display, select OK
  5. Item history shows the actual Offline date and time in brackets in the comments field

Check the File Status

1. The Status of the File can be displayed by navigating to Issues > Borrower >AdvancedOffline Issues/Returns > Status of Loaded Data

Clear the File

  1. The files can be cleared by navigating to Issues > Borrower > Advanced Offline Issues/Returns > Clear Loaded Data and selecting Yes to the popup
  2. A notification will display, select OK

Run a Report for the Offline Results

A Circulation report can show the transactions that resulted in messages whilst processing the Offline Issues and Returns. The template to used for this is &AOLPROC.QRP.

  1. Navigate to Main > Reports > RepAddNew – the Report Files screen will display
  2. Select Circulation from the Report Entity drop-down
  3. Click the F1 New button – the Circulation – New Report File screen will display:
  4. Enter a Description of Offline Processing Report
  5. Use the Browse button to locate the &AOLPROC.QRP template which should be in the Amlib/Reports folder
  6. In Choose Type dropdown, select Offline process report
  7. Enter an N for Update History and Update Entity
  8. Click the F3 Update button
  9. Select Application > RepCirculation – the Circulation Reports screen will display
  10. Click the F1 New button – the Select Report Format screen will display
  11. Highlight the Offline Processing Report and click the Select button
  12. Give the report a Description like Offline Processing Results and click the F3 Save button
  13. Highlight the report and click the F7 Where button – the Circulation Reports – Where screen will display:
  14. Enter the following Where parameters:
    • In box 1 select Process Date/Time
    • In box 2 select (greater than or equal to)
    • Click the red Special button
    • Highlight Current Date and click the Paste button
    • In box 1 select Offline Message
    • In box 2 select (does not equal)
    • Leave box 3 blank
    • Click the Paste button
  15. Click the F3 Update button when complete

The results will display like this:

Please Note: You may also limit your report by Transaction type. For example to limit to Returns only you would select in your where statement:

  • Trans type ie ISSUE = 1 Return = 2 = 2

 

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