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Switch to Alexandria 7

Are You Ready?

Your success is our top priority. We want your switch to Alexandria 7 to be as easy and straightforward as possible — once you've switched, you can't go back! So before you get started, let's go over all the things you need to know.

(You might also be interested in watching our Switch to 7 video, which walks you through the exciting features in v7 and explains what you need to know before making the switch!)


Contact Us

Call your Account Executive at 800-347-6439 and let them know you want to make the switch. They'll go over your license and subscription options, and explain everything you need to know to make an informed decision. Then, if you want to proceed, they'll transfer you to Customer Support to make sure your system is ready.

Central Catalogs and Controllers

Everyone should be in the know, so we'll contact all of the end users at each active site to make sure they understand what's going to happen and how it will affect them.

Prepare

Consider Cloud Hosting

Alexandria 7 is designed and optimized for the cloud. If you're running a self-hosted library, start saving time and resources with Cloud Hosting. Let us be your IT department! We'll manage your data, backups, hardware, server maintenance, and more. You'll always be on the latest version, so you always have the latest features. Ask your Account Executive about moving to Cloud Hosting today.

Prerequisites for Self Hosted

Cloud Hosted libraries are already eligible for the switch, but Self Hosted libraries have additional requirements to stay Self Hosted. If you need to update your system, now is the time.

    • Alexandria must be updated to version 6.23.1

 Review the changes

There are a lot of differences between 6 and 7 that will affect how you run your daily operations, and we don't want you to be caught unaware. Read through the list of changes and try out all of your usual activities in the demo. Go to the See What Changed tab for a list of suggestions.

Things to do

Not everything can be converted and transferred to Alexandria 7. Read the Things to Do list thoroughly and make note of everything you need to do once the switch is complete.

Back up your data

Alexandria will convert your current data into a format that is readable by the new program. Because nothing in life is guaranteed, we strongly recommend that you back up your data to an external drive before making the switch.

Once you make the switch to Alexandria 7, you will not be able to switch back to an older version.

Data Conversion

Our Conversions team will review the work order and call you in the next week to schedule the data conversion and version upgrade. It doesn't have to be now, though. If you decide you'd rather wait, give us a call back when you're ready. We'll do this on your time.

Time Frame

Your Alexandria library will be down during the conversion process, which which can take about 2 business days from the time we receive the data; larger districts and Central Unions with 10 or more sites may take longer. We recommend scheduling it for off-peak days.

Cloud Hosted Conversions

Already on Cloud Hosted? Fantastic! We've got everything we need to set up your new server. Easy peasy.

Self Hosted Conversions

The transition from Alexandria 5 or 6 Self Hosted is a bit different. Before we can schedule the transition, we'll need you to send in your library data so we can convert it to Alexandria 7 data. If you're moving to Cloud Hosted, which we strongly recommend, we'll get it set up on your new Cloud server. If you're sticking with Self Hosted, we'll send back your converted data so you can set up your new server manually.

Once your data has been sent, your database cannot be used again until the switch is complete and your new server is online.

A Word of Caution

We do not provide support for Alexandria Controllers running on a virtual machine. Alexandria Controller is a highly sophisticated database application that should be run on a dedicated server to optimize performance. While you can run it on a virtual machine, we don't recommend it. The resource-intensive nature of a controller's workload can place a significant strain on an inefficient VM, leading to challenges we will not be able to troubleshoot or diagnose. Refer to our Controller System Requirements for more technical information.


Try it Out

Alexandria 7 was designed based on Alexandria 6, so much of it should be familiar to you, but a lot of things have changed, too. We want you to hit the ground running, so we created Distributed and Centralized Catalog demos for you to try. Open the demo that matches your library setup, then test out all of the features you normally use and note the differences. Use the checklists below as a guide.

Distributed Catalog: demo.goalexandria.com

Centralized Catalog: ccdemo.goalexandria.com

Not sure how to do something? Read our Support Center documentation or contact Support for assistance.

Librarian

We are improving Alexandria with every release. Circulation, Items, and Patrons are largely the same in both programs, so everything should feel familiar to you. Explore all of the tabs, buttons, and options to see where things were moved. 

New features include:


Integrations

Part of how we are adding more features than ever is by working with our longtime partners for better integrations, and partnering with new services. 


Reports

No more Boolean options, at least not the way you're used to. We've simplified the selection options to only those that are relevant to the specific report, making it easier and faster to get the data you need. Run a quick report as-is, or customize it and save it for use later.

Because Alexandria 7 is a web app, all reports are generated in PDF format; VWP reports are no longer supported.

Old Saved reports will not transfer, so they will need to be recreated. The report titles in Alexandria 7 aren't the same as those in Alexandria 6, but the Reports Conversion Guide can help you match them up.

Run some of your favorite reports and compare the results to those in your current program. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Discarded or Lost Copies
    • Patron Overdue List
    • Loaned Items
    • Overdue Items Notice

We've made customizing your label reports so much better! You can choose what information to display, where it's displayed on the label, and whether it's bold, regular, or in color. For variable label reports, you even have the option to choose the font size and number of rows. Try it out!

 Customize a label report, like Copy Barcode Labels. 


Reservations

Making reservations—in both Librarian and Researcher—is a breeze with our improved Reservations interface! There's even a calendar to help you easily select a date range.

 Check out the new and simple process

 Try it out in the demo


Cover Art

That's right! Now you can choose to include cover art when viewing, emailing, or printing patron details. 

 See what it looks like


Researcher

Some of the most exciting changes are to our patron searching tools. Researcher is now a collection of tools for patrons. The main page is an Explore pane, which means you can choose which icons and links to display. The demo has buttons for each of the Researcher modules. Try them out on your computer and mobile devices to see how they work!

Go to Researcher and log in (top left) as a patron.

    • Username: 1001
    • Password: anderson

Explore Builder

The all-new Explore Builder lets you fully customize your Explore panes. Explore Builder includes hundreds of all-new modern icons at your disposal, so you can create buttons that navigate to predefined searches, specific items in your catalog, saved lists, external websites, panes in Search and Explore, bulletin boards, and more.

Explore buttons from Alexandria 6 will need to be recreated in Alexandria 7. Learn how:

  Create an Explore pane

  Configure Explore buttons

Modify the Researcher pane


Browse

Students don't always search for a book by author and title. Browse gives your students a new way to look through your library shelves by genre — no searching or rearranging required. 

 Browse the demo by genre

Learn more


Explore 

Not every student can read yet, but nearly everyone can click through pictures. Explore is a fully customizable, engaging search tool that uses pictures to guide patrons to the items in your library. Explore panes can be set up by genre, topic, theme, or anything else you'd like.

 Explore the demo by topic or category

Learn more


Scout 

Scout is a streamlined search tool for the K-4 crowd, because younger students don't need to be confused by complicated search options. There isn't even a search button — just enter a word or phrase and Scout will start looking.

 Try Scout on a mobile device

Learn more


Slideshow 

Display a slideshow presentation of titles from a list or search string. Use Slideshow to promote a theme or subject on a TV, computer, or tablet in your library!

  See what it looks like

Set up your own Slideshow


Alexandria Search is highly customizable, powerful, and fast. Find exactly what you want by searching keyword(s) in Smart Search, or use the drop-down menu to change the search type. You can refine your search by adding filters, like titles that have won awards or only titles with eBooks.

 Search for an item

 Refine your search results with filters

 Place an item on hold

 Create a list and add items to it

 Try an advanced search

Things to Do

Alexandria 7 has been has been completely redesigned as a web app, which means many of the tools and features have changed from what you're used to. Please read through the list carefully so you understand what needs to be done before and after the switch.

Authority Control

Authority Control has been redesigned and now works completely different than it did in Alexandria 6, and the existing index cannot be moved over. However, when your data is transferred, a new Authority Control index will be rebuilt based on your records.

 Learn about the new Authority Control.


Operations

Saved and scheduled Reports, Utilities, Imports, and Exports cannot be transferred.

 Run the Operation Summary report for a detailed list of your saved operations. Review the list for operations still in use, then plan some time to recreate them in once the switch is complete.

 Report formats and titles have also changed. Use the Reports Conversion Guide to determine which Alexandria 7 report best matches each Alexandria 6 report.

Learn more in the Support Center:


Explore Builder

Explore buttons and panes cannot be transferred. Now is the time to start fresh! Review your Explore panes to ensure your icons are updated and your custom searches are relevant, then use the new interface to tailor-fit your patron searching experience.

Run the Explore Pane Summary report for a detailed list of your Explore panes and buttons, so you know what to recreate.

 Learn about the new Explore Builder.


Researcher Lists

Alexandria Researcher is brand new, which means your Saved lists will not transfer.

Make note of the lists you have and want to save, then re-create them in Search once the switch is complete.

 Learn about Search Lists.


Researcher links cannot be transferred because they're handled differently now. In Alexandria 7, links are added to the title record and are displayed in the item details in Search results.

Write down the URLs of the links you want to save, so you can re-incorporate them later.

 Learn about Title Record Links.


Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts have been redone, so they'll need to be relearned.

 Print off the v7 Circulation Commands cheat sheet.

Learn more in the Support Center:


Union Site (Centralized Catalog)

The Union Site cannot be used to circulate items in Alexandria 7, so all items assigned to the Union Site will be given a copy status of In Processing.

Reassign all items from the Union Site to a registered site.

    • If items need to be circulated from a district site, please speak with your Account Manager about purchasing a new district site subscription.

 Learn more in the Support Center:

z39.50 Address Book

The z39.50 Address Book has been discontinued in favor of a new stand-alone preference in Alexandria 7. During the transition, Alexandria will convert the top ten addresses set to Available; all others will need to be added manually.

 If you have more than ten z39.50 addresses, write them down so you can add them back later.

Learn more in the Support Center:

Printers

Alexandria 6 slip printers are not compatible with Alexandria 7, so it may be time to upgrade to the Alexandria Network Printer — it's fully integrated with Alexandria 7 and can be shared by multiple stations.

 Contact our Sales Team at 1-800-347-6439 for more information.


DISCONTINUED

Due to lack of interest, Orders and Budgets are not available in Alexandria 7.

Switch to 7 Video

Switch to 7: What You Need To Know (40:07)

Are you thinking about upgrading to Alexandria v7? See what exciting features v7 has to offer and get up to speed on what you need to know before making the switch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Considering the switch? Check out our answers to common questions to help you make that decision.

Pre-Switch FAQs
 What is v7, anyway?

Alexandria 7 is the most current version of Alexandria. It's like v6, but way better! Try it out in the demo, and read about what's changed.

 Does v7 have Cloud Hosting?

Yes! And it's even better than before. With v7 Cloud Hosting, you never have to install anything on your computer—even after major updates. Also, v7 is constantly being improved and developed and we consistently back up your data for you!

 Will my pricing change?

Yes, it will. But wait! Our subscription prices are changing across the board. Contact our sales team at 1-800-347-6439 or sales@goalexandria.com to figure out what will work best for you.

 Do I have to switch?

Nope! But keep in mind that our support for v7 is much better: new webinars, articles, and cool features. Also, v6 is no longer being developed and will not have a 64-bit version.

 What do I get if I switch to v7?

Here's just a few cool features unique to v7: merging patrons, Clever & GG4L SIS integrations, custom label reports, cover art in Patron Details, Browse, Slideshow, and more!

Check out our Upcoming page to see recently released features and some exciting things we're working on.

 Okay, I get it. Is there any reason I shouldn't switch to v7?
  • V7 doesn't have the Orders & Budgets module, so if those are integral to your workflow, you'll want to find alternatives before switching.
  • Specialty libraries may find that the cataloging experience is different enough to warrant proceeding with caution. 

In general, we recommend writing down any questions or concerns and then scheduling a training. You can also give us a call to go over your concerns and ask our Customer Support if they recommend switching.


Have you recently switched and noticed some differences? Don't worry! We explain it all here.

Post-Switch FAQs
 Why do reports only come in a PDF format?

Continued use of the old format, VWP, would have required a completely new application. But for label reports, we’ve added custom options so you can still format labels to fit your library's needs.

 What do I do if I cannot connect to my Hosted URL?
  1. Make sure your URL is correct.
  2. Try using a different browser on the same device or computer.
  3. Test connections off of your network by trying to access your URL on another device, like a cell phone.

If you're still unable to connect, use Offline Mode to get work done in the meantime and contact our Support team at 1-800-347-4942.

 Where did Vendors go?

You can customize or disable some vendors settings in Extras Preferences. Also, you can see a list of your vendors through the Current Item Actions menu gear icon Actions menu in Circulation

 Where are the Boolean modifiers in Reports?

We use some hard-coded Booleans for specific reports (e.g. overdue reports only look for items or temporary items that are checked out with a due date in the past). Also, you can add a bunch of AND Booleans via the Selections tab, and the Patrons with a Policy of field in all Patrons reports allows you to include or exclude multiple policies.

Why did this change? Most people had a lot of trouble setting up their reports this way, so we wanted to make it easier.

 What happened to the hotkeys/commands?

We didn’t get rid of any commands, and most of the hotkeys are still there. But as we moved into a browser, we didn’t want to override basic browser functions. So, some hotkeys have changed.

 How do I find the reports, utilities, imports, and exports that I ran?

Click on the Operations wrench icon wrench icon at the top right-hand side of the module, or append /operations to your URL. This will open up Operations Management, where you'll find all of your run reports, utilities, imports, and exports. If you keep it open, a noise will sound each time an operation is completed!

 Why am I no longer prompted to run an archive before a utility anymore? How can I run an archive?

If you are Cloud Hosted with us, we take care of all archives and backups for you. But you can also run an archive yourself using the Database Archive utility. However, you need to be mindful about how and when archives are ran and used. Check out our 7.18.3 Release Notes for more information on why Archive Before Import is no longer an option and how you can use archives responsibly.

 How do I print unused barcodes for books now?

Check out the Unused Barcodes report.

 Why are report set-up details not included in the headers anymore?

The headers never had enough space to list all of that information. So we moved it to a separate, detailed file called the information icon Operation Information file. Now you won't miss a single setting!

Name your reports! When you save a report, name it to indicate what it’s for (e.g. FIC A - FIC D Weeding List).

 What's the difference between Web-Based and Cloud Hosted?

Web-Based means Alexandria runs on your browser, like a website over the internet. This means several things:

  • You can access your Alexandria anywhere you can access other websites.
  • It makes use of various browser technologies.
  • It doesn’t care if you use Windows, Mac, or Linux—only what browser it’s on.

Cloud Hosted means COMPanion hosts your data, taking care of all maintenance and backups. This also makes it easier to troubleshoot issues.

 Why does it take so many steps (clicks) to get my report now?

If you bookmark the Reports module (append /reports to your URL), it should take about the same number of clicks. Here are some other things you can do to speed up the process:

 Why are my search results in the new Search different from the old Researcher?

The new Search uses a Smart Search that is significantly smarter than the old one. It may not seem that way if the item you are looking for doesn't show up first, but keep in mind someone using the same search term who is looking for something else. The new Search better allows for your patrons to find items they might not know the exact title for.

  • If you are doing a title search, change the search type to Title.
  • Learn more about Search Types including Smart Search in our Search Basics article. See how the different fields are weighted.
  • Review our information on Search Results.
  • Having trouble finding a book with a common title, such as "It"? Search by title and author (e.g. "it stephen king") to get more exact results.