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.
Coming Soon in Abraquest in 2018
Coming soon in Abraquest - free for Abraquest Software Assurance customers.
We are working here at Spherical to continually improve Abraquest for all our customers, adding new functions while making existing ones even easier to use.
The next release of Abraquest will have the ability to tag books. Books can be tagged either by ISBN or by Barcode (in other words all books you own with the same title or just an individual book). This allows you to group books together in ways not previously allowed by the system such as by reading level, or subject, or even a temporary location (box that a teacher uses in the classroom). Tags can be used in searches so books matching the tag can be easily found.
To allow this to happen, a new Catalogue Card form is being created that will replace all the existing ones in Abraquest. It will have Edit buttons if logged in as teacher or sysadmin.
A quick preview of this form is shown below, in View only mode:
New Catalogue Card form
Note the new tags option - there will be multiple ways to add and search for tags so they are very easy to use.
Abraquest can already handle lost books - where a book is "returned" to allow the pupil to borrow more in future (if they can or not depends on how many books they have lost in the past - which is user definable). The book is also marked as lost. If the book then turns up its an easy job to log in as sysadmin and change the book status back to ACTIVE again.
From the next release onwards, Abraquest will also handle damaged books. This way it will be possible to identify the previous borrowers and also highlight the pupils who damage books. There are two ways of recording a book as damaged - either during returns - or a separate option - book is damaged. This will change the status to Damaged and record this. If the book is subsequently repaired, the status can be changed back to ACTIVE again and the damage record will remain.
This is more complicated to explain than it is to use, so watch this space for more information.
All information is available in Abraquest from the enquiry menu when logged in as teacher. This does require a little experience / reading of the help file to understand how to customise the output.
For commonly used reports, we prefer to have an option called a "report" where the user can press the minimum number of keys or mouse clicks to get what they want.
Coming soon: Lost and damaged books reports and alterations to existing pupil performance reports to take into account damaged books.
Please keep reading this blog to find out about new features coming in the future.
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As always, your suggestions are always welcome. Abraquest Software Assurance customers get an additional month free for each and every suggestion they make, if that suggestion makes it into the software.