Sierra Release Information

Current Release: Sierra 4.3
Release Notes:

Upgrade to Sierra 4.4 (Release not yet announced)
Release Notes:

New features in Sierra 4.3

  • The Print Templates data library for Due Slips now includes elements for the price of each item and the total price of all items on the due slip.
    MHLS:  This will need some testing, but it indicates that we might be able to put in the actual cost of the item rather than a generic cost based on itype,  Libraries who prefer the actual cost are able to make the change to their “You just saved templates”.  If you do make the switch, we should check that you don’t have any $0’s or barcodes in the price field.  We want to be sure to show what a great value using the library can be!
  • Allow customization of fonts and colors
    MHLS: Not 100% sure what this means, but am working on clarification.  I expect it means within the Sierra interface for users.
  • Sierra Web will support 40 concurrent users
    MHLS: What is Sierra web?  It is Sierra on the web.  It doesn’t need to be installed to run.  It is good for remote access when you need to rely on WiFi.  Our early tests show that receipt printing is not working, but we are hoping to see better results in this release.  We still don’t have enough access points for everyone, but we have enough to make use of it.    If you have an event or program where it would be a good option.   We expect this to be expanded to 100 concurrent users by the end of this year.  Let’s say you will be at the farmers market on Saturday and want to enroll new patrons on the spot.  Sierra web gives you the same Sierra that you have on your desktop, so you can check to see if a card exists, update the record or issue a new card.
  • PostgreSQL database upgraded from version 9.4.6 to version 10

    Not too exciting, I know, but there are also fixes!

Issues Fixed in this Release 

  • Certain facets are missing when searching by Keyword in Sierra Desktop Application (SDA). The facets are: Collections, Found in, Place (Topic place), Publish date.
  • when conducting a search in the catalog by Call Number or Inventory Number the facets window does not always open. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern, sometimes it’s the very first search, sometimes it won’t open after 10 searches, etc.
  • Statistics queries do not provide the option to report on patron records when using the index option instead of record range.
  • Searching for a hold through the holds tab in function Check Out (Circulation Desk) is showing two close buttons. 
  • The system selects all holds in patron Holds tab without displaying all holds as selected. This occurs when the first hold on the list is selected or the “All” select menu is toggled, and the patron record is exited and then re-opened.
  • Renew (no patron) function prints duplicate due slips. As each item is renewed, a slip is printed. These renewal slips get printed multiple times, for each item.
  • When using Finespaid to export a date range of fines to Excel, the export does not complete.
  • Overdue fines are not added for overdue items renewed using selfcheck by sending a 11 Checkout message. The behaviour is the same for both hourly and daily loan periods.
  • When browsing “Next” and “Previous” in Search/Holds function using a Review File, Sierra skips records to display.
  • The SDA client will freeze when linking patron record.
  • The behavior is inconsistent. Sometimes navigating to the different tabs is fast, other times it takes a long time for page to load, and other times, the action fails, SDA freezes, eventually producing an error and SDA closes.

Keeping current with our software makes it possible for us to move quickly when important  enhancements are available and also ensures that we have all fixes in place.  We choose to take the upgrades up after the release has had a period of use and vetting.

Upcoming release: Sierra 5.0
Release Notes:

Sierra 5.0 is becomes available 10/1/19 MHLS not scheduled for upgrade at this time.

New features in Sierra 5.0 

  • Staff can choose a print or email due slip (or no slip) when checking out or renewing items in Check Out.
    • New Due Slip Options configure available and default delivery method for each login.  (Staff circulation no longer uses the “Check-out: Print date due slips” Circulation Option.)
      • The Sierra upgrade will automatically set the new Due Slip Options according to existing due slip configuration (for example, if a login had immediate due slip printing before the upgrade, they will still have it afterward).  Email due slips will not be enabled automatically.
    • The “Print slip” checkbox is now a “Due Slip” button.
    • Email due slips require Print Templates.
    • Sierra will not prompt to “Print date due slip?” when entering Check Out (“ASK” setting of “Check-out: Print date due slips” Circulation Option).
  • Admins can manage Print Templates for Due Slips and Payment Receipts in the Admin Application like other output types.
  • The intermediate confirmation page for modifying holds in WebPAC and Encore displays a new “Action” column describing the pending change. (Winner of Sierra Public Services Smorgasbord challenge.)
  • Staff can re-run Create Lists queries, either by re-running an existing query or editing an existing query.
  • In Create Lists, if you remove records from the list, you will be able to restore them while you are still in that review file.
  • Improved customize facet functionality to include all facets
  • Support for Sierra Web on iOS tablets using Chrome browser
  • Sierra Web support of 60 concurrent users
  • My Account display of titles will now consistently display the same title as would appear on a circulation notice for the same record.  Previously, My Account used a simpler algorithm for selecting the title which could lead to differences.