Sierra Demo

A few weeks ago now, we got a Sierra demo at our work. Here are just a few notes that I took.

Staff Client

  • Looks nicer
  • Faceted searching in staff interface
  • Easy access to search remote z39.50 databases – new?
  • Preview public display


2012 was phase 1

  • goal was no lost functionality with a couple of new things

Phase 2

  • workflow dev
  • RDA enhancements
    • basic things done, improvements in time as they’re added
  • REST APIs – sometime this year?
  • eBook integration
    • don’t have to leave OPAC, include statistics
    • coming in April
  • Circ web app
  • Developer community
    • Can write own SQL scripts – Postgres db
    • Increased transparency


  • 100% of data and settings converted
  • No profiling to do
  • vendor does the work
  • Self paced training

What’s New

  • Java web client (Note: Apparently this actually means you can launch a local app via a web link, not a Java plug-in browser-run program)
  • Desktop app has unified client functionality – customized view coming soon?
  • New login and roles management to web interface
  • Dashboard (think iGoogle)
  • Database with SQL views (now using Postgres)
  • Uses 3rd partly tool like Crystal reports
  • Sierra Everywhere
    • mobile app with basic circ functions and reports e.g. paging slips
    • 3rd quarter?
  • Purchases and info immediately pushed into ILS
  • Inventory express to search multiple vendors at once for one off purchases

Questions & Answer Period

  • OPAC – no change (sad panda)
  • API for catalogue content – Q3?
  • Integration with other discovery layers – been tested and in development
  • Cloud backup (ILS itself is still either local or hosted?)
  • More frequent, smaller updates


I must admit that I’m a little skeptical on the true benefits of upgrading to Sierra (we do use Millennium at the moment). While the improved acquisitions integration looks good and it’d improve workflow not to have to switch between modules all the time, I would have thought these improvements would have been features added to a major upgrade in the existing system rather than a whole new system.

I would like to see more of the features that are still in development implemented and thoroughly tested before seriously considering the move (not that I’d really be involved in the decision making anyway), especially APIs and the mobile staff app.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

3 thoughts on “Sierra Demo”

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’re a Millennium site as well and I’m very interested in Sierra as a next step, although I agree with the desire to see API’s up and running in the wild. Also, I hadn’t heard of Sierra Everywhere before.

    1. You’re welcome ^^ As to Sierra Everywhere, much like their APIs, it’s still in dev, so one can only hope it’ll actually be deployed when they say it will be

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