Orbis2 Activity Report

November – December 2001

Audrey Novak



November and December were incredibly productive months for the Orbis2 project.  The two key accomplishments were the purchase of the production environment hardware and the completion of the MARC and item record test conversion.  A third initiative involved the Orbis2 training plan.


Throughout this period, the Orbis2 Implementation groups continued to work on system configuration and workflow creation.


Production Environment Hardware:

Debbie McGraw led the effort to finalize the hardware purchase from Sun. Together with David Gewirtz (ITS/Library Group), Fred Martz and Roy Lechich from Systems, Debbie negotiated a discounted price for our tape subsystem, disk subsystem, production, test and development servers and ushered the purchase order though the university channels with lightening speed. 


This configuration, spread-out across multiple servers and installed in separate locations, will minimize service interruptions due to system upgrades, new releases, report generation and development activities. Furthermore, it creates a disaster recovery capability. In the event of a serious problem with the environment at 155 Whitney (e.g. a fire), within approximately 24 hours, the equipment in the Watson center could be configured to run without any degradation in performance.  For more information about our hardware configuration see: http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/wkgroup/mmgroup.html


The complete order, which when all the racks, cards, cables, servers, monitors, power cords, software and documentation are added together totals approximately 150 separate items, is being shipped over several days.  The first servers arrived Dec 31st.  The remaining equipment will follow throughout the first week of January.


MARC and Item Record Test Conversion:

Endeavor and Yale completed the first test conversion of our authority, bibliographic, holdings and item records in November.  As an added bonus, Endeavor also converted our vendor records.  Kalee Sprague coordinated the migration from the Yale Library side and worked closely with Gail Barnett who managed the ITS side.  Endeavor staff ran the actual extract and conversion.  The conversion included Yale specific customized routines for the bibliographic, holdings and item records (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/load1%20customizations.html)


The conversion statistics are impressive.  We extracted 5,477,193 bibliographic records, 6,135,336 holdings records, and 2,031,110 authority records.  We had a total of one corrupted bibliographic record and seven corrupted authority records.  For details, see:



System staff reviewed the conversion initially and then turned over the evaluation to a group of eighteen Data Migration Testers (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/First%20Data%20Migration%20Testers.html).


To quote Kalee, overall the migration was “pretty darn good.”  We identified minor bugs in some of the customized routines. We also found that we didn’t like a few of the decisions we made and have asked Endeavor to change the way some data converts.  The complete list of problems is available at: http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/reported_problems.html


During January, Endeavor and Yale will be running small extract and conversion jobs to test the fixes for the problems we identified.  In February, we will complete a second data migration test.  This second test will include all records from all NOTIS files (authority, bibliographic, holdings, item, circulation transactions, OPR’s, vendors, funds, etc.)




The Orbis2 project is negotiating a training contract with NELINET Consulting Solutions (http://www.nelinet.net/).  NELINET will work with Yale staff to design a Voyager training program and will conduct the training sessions.


In order to address the staff training and documentation needs, the Migration Management Group also expanded the Orbis2 Implementation Team.  Two additional members were added to each of the functional groups, i.e., Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation and WebVoyage (see: http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/workinggroup_implementation.html)


The additional members will participate in the general work of the implementation groups in order to be familiar with the decisions of the group, but they are primarily responsible for assisting in the creation of training and documentation.


More specifically, training members of the implementation groups will work with the outside vendor to:


Implementation team members and NELINET staff participated in two weeks of Endeavor functional training at the start of December.


Implementation Workgroups:

The Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation and OPAC groups continued to work through system tables, workflow, and Voyager functionality issues. See http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/index.html for notes from each of the workgroups.




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