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Endeca Homepage

Endeca at the NCSU Libraries

FAQs

What Integrated Library System is this using?
The NCSU Libraries licenses SirsiDynix's Symphony system and the Web2 online catalog for authority searching.

How does the new catalog integrate with the SirsiDynix OPAC?
The new keyword search feature does not use any of the applications made available by SirsiDynix. The keyword search and Guided Navigation is completely powered by the Endeca software. MARC records are exported from the Unicorn system, modified, and re-processed by the Endeca software. Currently, the detailed record display page is still powered by SirsiDynix's Web2 catalog. Authority searching (a.k.a. "Begins with..." searching) is still powered by Web2 and Unicorn.

Why are there two search boxes on the catalog homepage?
The first version of the new online catalog preserves the ability to do what librarians (and only librarians) call "authority searching" (e.g., Subject and Author) and index searching (e.g., Title and call number). It was determined that the best way to do this was to separate the two set of features rather than creating too many radio buttons, dropdown selections, or additional tabs in the catalog interface. The top search box performs only Endeca keyword searches. The bottom box performs only Unicorn/Web2 index searches.

Which Endeca product is NCSU using?
NCSU Libraries has licensed Endeca Information Access Platform.

How does it search MARC records?
Endeca does not search MARC records directly. Every night, record updates are exported from Unicorn, added to the Endeca data and re-indexed. See the Technology section for more details.

How does it show circulation status?
Changes to item-level information that is controlled by Unicorn policy files (e.g., Library, current location, item type) is tracked in the record modification file. This information is updated nightly. Circulation status can be up to 23:59 out of date, depending on when the activity takes place. NCSU is looking into more permanent solutions to the display of this information but has determined that the benefits of displaying the information in the hitlist outweighs the limited potential of it not being completely accurate.

Will NCSU be sharing its software code?
While the look and feel of the new online catalog is completely within NCSU Libraries' control, the methods used are proprietary to the Endeca software.

Why Endeca? Why change the OPAC?
Over the years, the importance of the online catalog has been downplayed due to the prominence (and accompanying expense) of online and full-text databases. Another reason that the OPAC lurks in the shadows is because it has ceased to be an effective finding aid for many libraries. In the absence of tangible solutions from ILS vendors, NCSU Libraries consulted with various players in the industry and determined that Endeca was uniquely qualified to meet the needs of the Libraries and its patrons.

What are NCSU's plans for future development?
What you see now is very much a version 1.0 of the new online catalog. NCSU will continue to refine currently available features:
  • item and serial record displays
  • relevance algorithms
  • spell correction, thesaurus, and "did you mean..." functionality
As well as develop new features:
  • record-rollup, a FRBR implementation to display expressions of the same work in one place
  • thesaursus control of subject authority records
  • better integration with or replacement of the Web2/Unicorn interface
  • shopping cart functionality
  • RSS and Web Services functionality

Can another library do this?
We certainly hope so. Whether it's through Endeca, TLC, another library automation vendor, or other third-party system, NCSU Libraries hopes it has contributed to the development standard of next-generation online catalogs.

How much does the software cost?
The only possible answer to this question is, "It depends." Endeca licenses its software through ILS vendor TLC, and works directly with other customers, including NCSU Libraries. The best way to get an answer to this question would be to contact TLC or Endeca directly.