Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 9 • October 2000
Endeavor Announces Voyager Upgrade, Implementations

Endeavor Information Systems, Inc. has announced that it has upgraded its Voyager integrated library management system to include Unicode capabilities. Endeavor has also announced that both Baker & Taylor, an information and entertainment services company, and the Library of Congress will integrate its Voyager software into their operations.

Unicode Capabilities
Voyager’s new upgrade allows its software users to view foreign-language information contained in their bibliographic database over the Internet.

According to Verne Coppi, Endeavor’s vice president for development, the 2000 release of Voyager can now be considered an international offering. “With this enhancement, our software applications are truly international. Our customers’ bibliographic information is now easily available to Internet users in its original-language format.”

The recent product enhancement is based on “glyph server” technology developed jointly with InterPro Global Partners, a firm that specializes in software localization and Web site globalization. The Glyph Server application is a software component in InterPro’s library of GLOBIX software localization technology. “The GLOBIX Glyph Server takes bibliographic information, stored in the MARC standard format, converts it to Unicode standard characters, and then publishes the characters in the form of a language-specific set of glyphs—images that are viewable from any standard Web browser,” said Michael Hanna, president and CEO of InterPro Global Partners.

“The Glyph Server allows the OPAC end-user to accurately see the language represented without taking the time and space to download font sets for each
language. This Unicode implementation in Voyager 2000 is vital to accurately display the diverse collections held by our customers,” said Jane Burke, Endeavor’s president and CEO. “Naturally, Endeavor chose to partner with InterPro, a premier company that would exceed at the task and work well with Endeavor’s commitments to provide global access to information. This partnership is an example of Endeavor’s desire to reach across the automation boundaries and integrate the technology necessary for Voyager to continue to lead the automation market.”

Unicode is a universal language character set standard developed by the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization founded to develop, extend, and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in modern software products.

Currently, most of the libraries that utilize Endeavor’s Voyager use a Western European language, such as English, as their default language. A U.S. library containing Japanese books, for example, would typically have the title of such a book transliterated into Roman characters in the MARC record format for that book. The transliterated title should, therefore, be viewable correctly over the Web. However, when a title has been transliterated there is usually a field on the MARC record that contains the un-transliterated data in the original language.

If the original language uses characters from character sets other than those that are Latin-based, they won’t currently be viewable over the Web because most browsers don’t contain the large number of fonts necessary to support all of the languages a user might see. With the glyph server technology embedded in the Voyager 2000 application, Endeavor enables any Web-based user to view foreign-language title information in the original language of the publication.

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor library customers are now able to place orders and receive invoices directly over the Internet through EDIFACT (the international standard for electronic data interchange).

“This service is another example of our focus on enhancing customer service, of making it easier for customers to do business with us,” said Michael Harris, director of the Information Technology Group at Baker & Taylor. “It also illustrates our commitment to making the latest in technology work for us.”

Endeavor and Baker & Taylor completed testing orders and invoices with Endeavor’s Voyager 2000.1 release in early August. Both orders and invoices are transmitted and received by the customer’s system via Internet file transfer protocol (ftp). There is no additional charge from either vendor for these services.

Kathryn Harnish, Voyager product manager, said: “Loading invoices electronically greatly reduces the time and effort Voyager users spend in manually transferring invoice data into their system. This has the added benefit of eliminating keying errors and frees up valuable staff time.”

The invoicing method is known as EDI (electronic data interchange)—an intercompany computer-to-computer exchange of structured business documents in standard formats. Through EDI, invoices, purchase orders, and other common business forms are transformed to a standard data format and transferred between trading partners via ftp across the Internet. The new EDI capability conforms to the EDIFACT EDI standard.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Baker & Taylor offers a wide range of products to libraries and retail stores, including books, videos, audiotapes, CDs, and DVDs.

Library of Congress
Voyager is the Library of Congress’ first automated system that provides computer support for integrating and performing all basic library operations through a shared database of more than 16 million bibliographic and authority records.

 “During the 40-day test period, the system performed at acceptable levels for response times in our environment,” said Barbara B. Tillett, director of the Integrated Library System (ILS) at the Library of Congress. “We are encouraged that Endeavor will continue to work with us to improve system performance to benefit all Voyager customers.”

Voyager’s implementation at the Library of Congress involves more than 12 million bibliographic records, 12 million holdings records, 12 million item records, nearly 5 million authority records, more than 26,000 patron records, 55,000 order records, and more than 31,000 vendor records.

The Voyager integration replaces six older, independent automated systems at the Library of Congress—some of which date to the 1960s. The implementation process involved more than 500 professionals on 82 teams. The library installed software on more than 3,000 new PCs and trained 3,320 staff members to be ready for Voyager integration.

Source: Endeavor Information Systems, Inc., Des Plaines, IL, 847/296-2200;

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