Philip Johnson has been a software developer for over 33 years and has been involved with Abraquest since 2005. He is the director of Spherical Software Limited (www.sphericalsoftware.com), the company that owns Abraquest.
Abraquest Release 18.104.22.168
There have been some unexpected delays but with the next two releases of Abraquest are attempting to get every feature in that has been asked for in the past six months. This post explains further.
As our customers know, our policy regarding enhancements is not to charge but to include everything as part of software assurance. So customers who pay for software assurance get free updates throughout the year. Customers who make suggestions get a month extra added on for every suggestion they make.
We have had quite a backlog of suggestions and due to issues in other parts of Spherical Software, we are a behind currently with quite a long list of suggestions that need processing. The next two releases of Abraquest will remedy this, and after that, Abraquest will no longer work on Windows XP. So to summarise:
Release 22.214.171.124 - talked about here.
Release 126.96.36.199 - this release will hopefully cover everything else asked for but not part of 188.8.131.52
Release 184.108.40.206 - will be the first release that will not work on Windows XP, only Windows 7, Vista, 8 and 10.
Abraquest Release 220.127.116.11
There are many new features, including:
- Year End - Abraquest can now can take the entire school from SIMS and do everything necessary in one step rather than the five or six steps required previously.
- Option to lend books for the entire school term. To use, switch this option on in Base Data, Configuration Options.
- A new "speech enabled" option has been added to Base Data, Configuration Options. This allows all messages that show the smiley face or crying face to talk as well as show on screen.
- Some schools borrow books from a school library service, Abraquest has been enhanced to properly cater for this.
- Dewey number problems when adding books - not being able to specify the dewey number correctly.
- Adding keyword information when adding books.
- Reservations processing changes.
- Producing late books letters changes.
- Making lists of books - a couple of schools have asked for this, we are going to allow items to be tagged then all items (books) with that tag can be shown on screen and printed.
- Showing overdue books on issue/returns page - so you can easily catch a pupil who has a late book when they are in front of you.
- Staff can take out certain books for longer periods of time. Currently they use the same settings as pupils.
- Numerous small bug fixes.
The next blog post will show screen prints for the above and go into detail for each one.
Abraquest Release 18.104.22.168 is imminent. I keep saying the next week but unfortunately problems and work elsewhere are stopping us from releasing. We will get this out as quickly as we can. Watch out for further updates - I will post detailed screen prints of the new features in a blog post as soon as the software is ready and all the help updated.
Abraquest Release 22.214.171.124
This release will cover everything else currently on our list. I will blog about it in due course, i.e. as soon as the above release is available.
Subsequent Releases after that
Once these releases are catered for, we have some exciting new developments for this year, some of which will be additional cost. Please watch this space for further details.
Abraquest will no longer support Windows XP, for which support from Microsoft was removed some years ago. This is because Windows XP can no longer connect to Abraquest online, which uses the latest secure Microsoft technologies to operate.
Windows XP can no longer receive automatic updates because of this, so these two releases must be installed manually.
We strongly recommend that anyone still using Windows XP on the library computer upgrade to Windows 7 at least.
As always we are here to help if anybody has any questions.