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Upgrading from ITSfor Windows to BiblioFile

ITSfor Windows users will need to perform the functions described below to convert their cataloging operations from ITSfor Windows to BiblioFile. Be sure to also review the BiblioFile minimum system requirements.


The installation program asks whether you want to install the software, the database, or both. For a single station implementation, select both. The software must be installed on any station intended to function as a BiblioFile workstation. The database can be installed on one of these stations, or on a separate server. The hardware requirements for the server (or the station that houses the database) are higher than for the client workstations.

You will have to reboot after installation.

For more details, see the complete installation instructions.

Active file conversion

Automatic migration from ITS to BiblioFile is not supported. Your existing Active file must be converted from its existing Btreive database format to PostgreSQL. TLC will be happy to perform this step for you. See the offer. However, users can perform this step on their own. Follow the procedure described in BiblioFile help to export from ITS, then import into BiblioFile.

If you perform the conversion on your own, you may discover that certain records are not imported into BiblioFile. Such failures are due either to the presence of invalid ISBNs or invalid MARC-21 characters in the record. Records that fail the import are saved to an exceptions file called errors.mrc, and contain an 011 field describing the reason for the load failure. This file can be opened using the File | Open command in BiblioFile.

BiblioFile is less forgiving than ITSfor Windows about invalid characters, and will prevent their entry (with a popup message) during normal cataloging. In batch load operations, records containing invalid characters are written to an exceptions file (ERRORS.MRC). Exception records contain an 011 field describing the reason for the load failure. Such records must be edited in ITS to correct or remove the invalid characters.

Whether you perform the conversion or we do, consider whether you wish to retain MARC records carrying the delete flag ("d" in Leader/05). You may need to retain these for reporting purposes if your database is part of a union catalog.

Getting Started

You may receive this information and the BiblioFile software in advance of a usable copy of your Local Database. In this case, we urge you to use the interval to get used to the new software. You can save records you want to keep in an export file, as in ITS.

BiblioFile introduces a rudimentary level of security. Once in the program, any user can change anything, as in ITS.

BiblioFile permits multiple save-to locations. You should configure these prior to placing the program into a production mode. You should also establish your automatic control numbering sequences for templates.

If you have set up profiles to search Z39.50 databases, you should import them into BiblioFile. Exception: Profiles for all ITSMARC databases can be imported in one step. Invoking this new feature also assures that attribute settings are correctly set to take advantage of the new search options.

Label configurations cannot be directly imported. However, you will discover that the label configuration process has been greatly simplified, and includes standard label stock sizes from several distributors. If you don't see yours, contact TLC Support to have it added to the download list.

Finally, you should import your customized templates and macros.

Once you have set up one station the way you like it, it is easy to copy the settings from that station to all others. Since BiblioFile integrates all of its utilities into a single program, you can import all configuration settings from a shared file in a single step.

How long will it take?

Installation of the BiblioFile software takes about five minutes. However, if you plan to convert your Active File, that part of the upgrade could take much longer, depending on your hardware and the size of your Active file. As BiblioFile imports records, it builds indexes to support keyword and begins-with searching and browsing for each of 37 search types. By contrast, ITS for Windows supported begins-with searching only for 16 search types.

Active File conversion is a two-stage process: export from ITS and import into BiblioFile. The time it takes to export your existing Active File records can be determined by performing a File > Extract Record Set from ITS from within Cataloging Utilities. This will take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of your Active File. Importing MARC records into BiblioFile is more time consuming because as it imports, BiblioFile is building indexes to support browsing, keyword and begins-with searching for each of 37 search types. By contrast, ITSfor Windows supports begins-with searching only for 16 search types. The BiblioFile indexing usually occurs at the rate of between 1,000 and 10,000 records per hour, depending on processor speed, available disk capacity, and RAM. The most important variable is RAM.

One library, after estimating that it would take 20 days to import its 200,000 record database, decided to break the task into smaller pieces by uploading the records over several evenings and then add new records from export files. This was feasible because for this library, having access to old records in BiblioFile was merely a convenience. They were able to search their library automation system directly from BiblioFile via Z39.50.

Note that during the conversion, if you attempt to take any actions on the conversion dialog, you may receive a "Not responding" message. This is a Windows message, based on the fact that the process is taking a while. It does not mean the process has stopped. The Windows Task Manager can be useful to determine the true status of the process. If in doubt, contact TLC Support.

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