Symphony: SirsiDynix's Flagship Integrated Library System: A Horizon User's Perspective by ProQuest


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									                  by Zahiruddin Khurshid and Saleh Al-Baridi, Ph.D.

                  The general perception
                  of libraries is that whileA         t the end of 2007, SirsiDynix introduced the first version of
                                                     Symphony, its new flagship ILS. This article will begin with
                                                     a look at the evolution of Symphony, user reactions to Sym-
                                               phony, and Symphony’s design and functionality.
                                                  In addition, the authors, along with a team of librarians from
                  Horizon will eventually      various functional areas, have recently completed testing of four
                                               Symphony 3.2.1 core modules and iBistro, the online catalog, at
                  be phased out, Symphony      the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) Li-
                                               brary in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where author Khurshid serves
                  is going to stay in the      as senior manager for the cataloging operations department and
                                               acting senior manager for the systems department, and where au-
                  automation marketplace       thor Al-Baridi serves as director-general of libraries. The results
                                               and observations from this testing will provide an overview of
                  for a long time.             Symphony’s strengths as well as its complexities and constraints.

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                                                                                                     COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
                                                                                  symphony: sirsidynix’s flagship integrated library system

Please note that the views expressed are our own and       alliances. For example, Aleph Yissum Ltd. and Ex Lib-
do not necessarily reflect those of our institution.       ris Ltd. merged to become Ex Libris in 1995; in 2000,
                                                           Elsevier purchased Endeavor and The Library Corp.
Symphony’s Evolution                                       acquired CARL Corp.
   The internet and web technology have had a huge            In June 2005, the consolidation of Sirsi Corp. and
impact in shaping library systems. Fascinated by the       Dynix created SirsiDynix, which emerged as the largest
new technology, users began to demand from the ven-        company in the library automation marketplace (the Li-
dors innovative interfaces and tools for managing elec-    brary Journal “Automation Marketplace 2009” report
tronic content and creating digital library collec-        shows that SirsiDynix has a customer base of 3,488
tions. As the next-generation systems evolved, libraries   libraries). Prior to the merger, both companies had de-
with legacy systems started to migrate to the new sys-     veloped and marketed multiple legacy systems, such as
tems. Competition for ILS sales became fierce. Those       Dynix Classic by Dynix and DRA Classic, MultiLIS, and
companies that could not stand the competition             INLEX by Sirsi, in addition to their flagship systems—
started merging with other companies or formed new         Unicorn (Sirsi) and Horizon (Dynix). Between Horizon


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   symphony: sirsidynix’s flagship integrated library system

         and Unicorn there was tough compe-                                                                     Digital Archiving are some of the prod-
         tition, but Horizon outsold Unicorn be-                                                                ucts SirsiDynix offers as SaaS. Total
         tween 2004 and 2007.                                                                                   SaaS costs over 3 years can save li-
             SirsiDynix Chooses Unicorn:                                                                        braries 39% or more over the costs of
         Following the merger, SirsiDynix did                                                                   owning software for the same period.
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