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A guide to configuring the SimplyE Circulation Manager, for hosting/implementation providers or technical library staff

 


Note
titleStatus: Development

This guide is currently under development. We're converting from a previous set of documents, so a few of the instructions and links are no longer valid. As soon as the conversion and initial edit is complete, we'll update the status to draft. Nevertheless, comments and feedback are welcome.

 


Purpose

This document provides the basic instructions necessary to configure a demonstration implementation of the Circulation Manager. They provide access to a single library with a small, open access collection. This configuration does not yet demonstrate configuring a DRM-protected library service stream from a commercial service, such as Overdrive, Bibliotheca, or Axis 360. Instead, the aim here is to meet four goals:

  1. Ensure that the Circulation Manager is deployed successfully,
  2. Review how the Circulation Manager works,
  3. Provide an opportunity to experience actively configuring a Circulation Manager before deploying a production service,
  4. Review how the Circulation Manager works,
  5. Ensure that the Circulation Manager is deployed successfully, and
  6. Promote confidence that the organization is ready to deploy a more robust, production Circulation Manager.

Though this Quickstart does not demonstrate configuring a library's commercial collection of DRM-protected materials, there are other documents which provide step-by-step guidance. After you have configured this demonstration Circulation Manager, you may wish to see the "Configure" articles in the How-to articles section for integrating a one or more specific commercial provider collection.

NOTE: I need to do something with the following block. After reviewing and editing the doc, 
This document will provide the following:

  1. Getting your initial Circulation Manager installed and configured to a state in which a Sysadmin can access and use the configuration UI
  2. Getting a testable version of the App through test flight so they may evaluate and troubleshoot configurations and operations prior to pilot.

collections.

Assumptions/Requirements

Deployment. Your Circulation Manager should be completely deployed and available on the Internet to fully test the configuration elements presented here. Refer to the Deploying a SimplyE Service document for more information on deployment scenarios and instructions on deploying to virtual servers and or Amazon Web Services.

System and Library Information. This The instructions below refer to data you will need to complete the configuration of several areas of the Circulation Manager. For example, in a production environment as the hosting provider/implementor, you should have already received information from a library to be added to the Circulation Manager. The required library data is described in detail in the document SimplyE Library Implementation Guide. We've included example data below which you will use if following the demonstration library configuration.

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Note
TECHNICAL NOTE: The provider domain above uses a simple HTTP service, not an encrypted site. The simple test deployment instructions referenced in Deploying a SimplyE Service do not install the OpenSSL library/module needed to provide HTTPS service. This is by design: the circ-webapp container does not include an SSL service. In a production environment, we assume the Circulation Manager application service will actually be deployed as a multi-server cluster behind a load balancer for reliability and scalability. In that case, the HTTPS service will terminate at the load balancer. Communication between the load balancer and the back-end application server instances will be via simple HTTP. This is standard practice as it decreases load on the application servers. If you will deploy a single application server host for your production Circulation Manager service, you will need to implement SSL on the circ-webapp container or potentially build a custom container. In production, then, we expect the provider domain to be available only via HTTPS.

Web Browser. Last, we recommend you must use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to work in the Admin configuration interface. The Admin interface currently does did not render correctly in Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Edge browsers in early 2.x versions of the Circulation Manager and occasionally may still exhibit problems in Explorer/Edge.

Overview

Once you have deployed/installed the Circulation Manager software, you're ready to begin configuring the system to connect to the various external systems that make SimplyE work: commercial ebook provider systems and other sources of ebooks, libraries' integrated library systems, indexing/search servers, metadata servers, and analytics systems. The Circulation Manager acts as a nexus of these systems and provides lists of these resources in the form of OPDS feeds, based on the Atom Syndication Format, to remote clients. Currently SimplyE clients are available for both iOS and Android mobile operating systems. Plans are in place for a web-based client as well.

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Access the Web-Based Configuration Interface

  


  1. Open a web browser and go to the /admin path in the Circulation Manager domain,
    as specified above; e.g., http://simplye.provider-name.org/admin 
  2. Scroll the bottom of the initial page to the section Create a new individual admin 
  3. Enter the appropriate administrative user's email address in the Email field
  4. Enter a secure password (12-16 characters recommended) into the Password field
  5. Click the Submit button below the form

 


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When the administrator account is created, your browser will be redirected to the Admin login page.

Login as the Administrator

  


On the Circulation Manager's login page:

  1. Enter the email address of the administrator you created above into the Email field
  2. Enter the password you created for the administrator into the Password field
  3. Click the Sign In button
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Configure the Circulation Manager System

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More information will follow in the detailed document.

Accessing the Demonstration Collection

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Once the system is configured , with the library you have created a library, and imported the demonstration collection you imported, you can set up the generic production SimplyE mobile app to point to your test library's collection for review. Because this library is not registered with NYPL, its name will not appear in the list of available libraries using SimplyE. Instead, you can review your demonstration collection by using a tap sequence to open up a hidden prompt.

  1. Download/install the SimplyE app from the app store for your device (Apple Store or Google Play Store)
  2. Open the SimplyE app on your device
  3. Tap the menu icon
  4. Tap the Settings item
  5. In rapid succession, tap the Version entry eight times
  6. Tap the Alternate URIs entry which appears
  7. In the Feed URI field, enter the URL to the demonstration library's OPDS feed; e.g., http://simplye.org-name.com/TXABCL
  8. Click the Set button at the bottom of the form
  9. Click the back arrow icon to go back to Settings
  10. Click the menu icon
  11. Click the Catalog item to display books in the demonstration library's collection

This manual mechanism is available for informally testing the display of library collections. This will work with DRM-protected collections as well as the open collection used in this demo. However, this mechanism will not work correctly when you are ready to test download and reading of DRM-protected commercial collections. For that level of testing, you will need to contact NYPL to include the library in the beta distributions of the iOS and Android mobile apps. For instructions, see Request a Library's Inclusion in Beta/Production App (Draft).

Once you have successfully accessed the library's OPDS feed in the generic app, you have completed the configuration of your first SimplyE deployment.

Register the Library with the NYPL Adobe ID Service

When you create a library with commercial, DRM-protected collections, you must register the library with NYPL so the library will have access to NYPL's shared Adobe ID license. Though you can skip this step for this demonstration example, it is a critical step in making the library's commercial collections usable in production. We are working on the forthcoming document Add a Library to the SimplyE Library Registry, which describes and demonstrates the registration process, as development on the SimplyE Library Registry continueswill be able to view the collection in the Circulation Manager Admin interface. 

To access the demonstration collection for the library, log in to the Admin interface as you've done in the sections above. Assuming the demo library is the single library tenant in the Circulation Manager, the library's catalog will be displayed in a series of topic carousels. If you have multiple library tenants in the Circulation Manager, select the desired library name in the library drop-down at the left side of the top Admin interface's top menu. The chosen library's catalog will be displayed.

Register with the Library Simplified Library Registry Service

Viewing a collection in either the beta or production SimplyE mobile apps requires registering the library with NYPL's Library Simplified Library Registry. App use currently is intended only for actual libraries. (Future development tasks have been discussed to enable registering a demonstration library but the feature is not yet available.) Skip this step for the demonstration example.

If you have configured an actual library and wish to include the library in the SimplyE Beta program so staff can fully review their collections in the SimplyE apps, you must register the library. Registration adds the library to the apps' list of libraries participating in SimplyE so users can log in and use materials. It also creates a secret key for the library so the apps can use NYPL's Adobe Vendor ID on behalf of the library in making loan requests of any commercial titles (OverDrive, Bibliotheca, Axis 360, etc.) in the library's collections.

Configuration steps coming soon.