Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update

With thanks to all for their efforts, here’s an overview
of recent progress toward the implementation of our
next-generation integrated library system (ILS)


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The new integrated library system is getting a thorough shakedown well in advance of its planned Go Live, with scores of project participants pitching in for Preproduction Verification testing. In late December/early January, the ILS project with undergo review for approval to proceed to implementation in July 2018.
>> FALSC, FLVC, the Working Groups, local implementation teams, and other library staff are conducting a formal, time-intensive program of testing on the new integrated library system (ILS), Sierra/Encore Duet.
>>  Preproduction Verification 1 testing by all participants took place Oct. 9-20.

 Issues identified during the first round of testing were logged and have been reported to system vendor Innovative Interfaces.

>>  Preproduction Verification 2 testing by all participants is to begin Nov. 14 and run through Dec. 2. The second testing period gives everyone the opportunity to retest the items reported in October testing.

>>  In addition to testing sign-off forms from all the Working Groups and ILS Coordinators, FALSC is providing the opportunity to give additional feedback via a testing survey.

Leadership and Collaboration
Library and technology staff from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), system vendor Innovative Interfaces Inc., and the colleges and universities continue development and testing for the implementation. 
Here’s an update on key groups:
  • The eight ILS Working Groups, made up of staff from the universities and colleges and focused on various areas of the new system, meet regularly, posting updates on the ILS wiki. Find meeting notes and agendas on the project wiki.
  • The Working Groups have eight corresponding Discussion Groups open to all college and university library staff who would like to help test and shape the new ILS. Learn more on’s Discussion Groups page, or go directly to the FLVC Discussion Lists to find a group and subscribe. Look for list names such as ILS-DISCOVERY-DISCUSSION.
  • The ILS Implementation Team meets every other week, most recently on Oct. 31. The Implementation Team is made up of the Working Group chairs, multiple liaisons from FALSC, two project leads, and two representatives from the Members Council on Library Services.
  • The ILS Coordinators representing each of the 40 colleges and universities meet monthly with the implementation project co-leads, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant. The Coordinators met Oct. 26. Find a list of Coordinators on
Check the Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki for details on each group’s activities, including meeting agendas, notes, and documentation.
Visit the Sierra/Encore Duet Wiki

Implementation and Migration

The ILS project is all about Preproduction Verification right now, with this program of testing, retesting, feedback, and corrections continuing through Dec. 8. The overall status of the implementation is to be discussed at length during the upcoming virtual meeting of Members Council on Library Services, on Nov. 1.
Project servers are currently running the most recent Innovative software, with Sierra 3.3 on Test, Training, and Production. The two servers that run the discovery tool, Test and Production, are using Encore Duet 4.6.3. Preproduction Verification testing is taking place on the Production server.

A new version of the Sierra software, 3.4, will be released Dec. 1. The next version of Encore Duet, 4.7, follows on Dec. 8. Check server status and availability at any time on the project wiki.

Other recent activities:

  • Completion of creation of initial staff user accounts
  • Patron data migration and ongoing patron loads meetings with Innovative
  • Continued discussions with Innovative on OAI-PMH Harvesting
  • Final corrections and customization for Encore mobile suites, underway now

Preproduction Verification

Preproduction Verification is a formal, time-intensive program of functionality, integrations, and performance testing on the new integrated library system, Sierra/Encore Duet. The work is being conducted by FALSC, FLVC, the Working Groups, local implementation teams, and any library staff who choose to participate.

Preproduction Verification kicked off Oct. 2 and continues through Dec. 8. FALSC and FLVC will test and retest throughout this period.

Working Group members and other trained library staff participated in formal testing Oct. 9-20. They will participate in a second round of testing beginning Nov. 14. It should be noted that work with the system need not be limited to scheduled time frames. These are merely designated for required testing.

The testing process is guided by a detailed Sierra/Encore Duet Preproduction Verification Test Plan that has been distributed to participants. Findings are logged via shared feedback reporting forms. Working Groups and ILS Coordinators also have been asked to share additional feedback on the system via on online survey. A link to the survey was emailed Oct. 25, and completion of the survey is requested by Nov. 3.

Excerpted from the Sierra/Encore Duet Preproduction Verification Test Plan, here is a timeline that puts our current activities in context:


Start Date

End Date

Execution of Pre-Production Verification 1

October 1, 2017

November 1, 2017

  • FALSC/FLVC Testing

October 2, 2017

October 6, 2017

  • Working Group/Discussion Group Testing

October 9, 2017

October 20, 2017

  • Feedback Loop/Response with III

October 17, 2017

November 9, 2017

  • III-FALSC Status Update Meeting


October 23, 2017

  • III-FALSC Status Update Meeting


October 30, 2017

  • III-FALSC Status Update Meeting


November 6, 2017

  • FALSC/FLVC Review

October 23, 2017

October 31, 2017

Execution of Pre-Production Verification 2

November 14, 2017

December 2, 2017

  • Feedback Loop/Response with III

November 23, 2017

December 8, 2017

System Acceptance / Approval to proceed

Late Dec.-Early Jan.

Late Dec.-Early Jan.

Executive Review and Approval to Proceed

Late Dec.-Early Jan.

Late Dec.-Early Jan.

Ongoing Topics and Development Issues

The Preproduction Verification 1 testing completed as of Oct. 20 identified several system issues that member libraries, FALSC, and FLVC want to see addressed. A spreadsheet listing those issues has been submitted to Innovative Interfaces. Fixes will be tested in November during Preproduction Verification 2.

To see the list of issues submitted to Innovative, along with a rundown on all 21 issues identified earlier this year and Innovative’s projected software release dates, please download the updated Project Timeline Overview, which was revised Oct. 24.

Many of the system development issues that FALSC, FLVC, and library staff asked Innovative to address prior to October testing have been resolved. Here’s the status of some items from our “list of 21” that are still under discussion and development:

  • Authentication: Has been set up for each of the colleges and universities and was tested in October for all 40 institutions. A few institutions experienced problems, and those are being addressed. We are supporting SSO integration (SAML, Shibboleth, and CAS), LDAP integration for three schools, and LWAUTH for many of the colleges.
  • OAI-PMH Harvesting Requirements: Encore 4.7, to be released Dec. 8, will address display thumbnails; linked Collection, Creator, Subject fields in the full record display; collection name appearing properly; logging records that failed to load.
  • Sierra Web Application: Innovative has contracted with a third party to rework the Sierra Web Application, which performed poorly in FALSC testing earlier this year. We expect to get a revamped Sierra Web Application in November. It will be available to libraries for performance testing statewide in December.
  • Paging in Sierra: Innovative has committed to Sierra development that would allow each institution to turn local paging off or on. While the proposed solution is not exactly what is needed, it will work as an interim solution until after Go Live, when discussions can continue. Functionality will be delivered in June 2018. 
Staying Informed
There are many paths for staying informed about the ILS project:
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News from the Working Groups
Everyone has been so busy with October testing that we haven’t pestered the Working Groups for reports. Group members have devoted hours upon hours of their time to the recently concluded first round of Preproduction Verification testing, and we are deeply appreciative of their efforts. For detailed information on the groups’ activities, please visit the project wiki
ABOUT FALSC: The Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative provides services and information to the libraries of the state's 40 public colleges and universities. FALSC is part of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), which is administered by the University of West Florida's Division of Research and Strategic Innovation. To learn more, please visit Find FALSC and FLVC's offices in Tallahassee and Gainesville:
• 1753 W. Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310
5830 N.W. 39th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606