Alto Blog

Archive for January, 2011

Talis Library Ideas for Talis Alto – Webinar recording

As promised in my last post, here is the recording of the Webinar on 27th Jan.

[podcast format=”video”][/podcast]

Talis Library Ideas for Talis Alto

Ideas36The Talis Library Ideas forum for Talis Alto is now live. There are links to it here. We recorded the launch webinar and (provided the audio is OK) we would hope to publish it in a future post.

As I described in my last post, this largely (but not wholly) supplants the existing PERs and Defects process. These have not been migrated en-masse to the Talis Ideas forum, but have instead been made available as read-only lists.

A number of interesting and useful suggestions were made at the launch webinar. Several folk suggested that we look for ways to tie Talis Ideas in with Talis Solutions: there is now a meeting in the diary to look at how we might do this. The majority of folk wanted internally-raised defects to be published monthly consolidated with old PERS and Defects and we will look to action that unless/until we understand that the majority would like to play it differently.

I do hope that we all find this new system helpful in honing Talis Alto

Talis Ideas for Talis Alto

One of the trickier aspects of managing the development of Talis Alto has been to understand the priorities of Alto users so that we can apply limited development capacity in a fair and effective way.

In the last few months we have been using a service which we call “Talis Ideas” to help us with setting priorities in the development of Prism 3, and several folk have asked us whether we would be extending this to Alto. We are now on the point of doing so, and plan to run an introductory webinar next week – more details at the bottom of this post

Ideas12 The Ideas service allows customers to raise requests for new features and/or to request that Talis prioritise the fixing of particular defects. Users can assign votes to any of these “Ideas” (whether raised by themselves or by others) and can also comment on them. The development team can in turn feed back on these issues and indicated when changes are planned or completed.

All this is a major improvement on the old static PERs and Defects lists, the occasional Friday-afternoon discussion of desirable features on LIS-TALIS and the static voting exercises used in the past. Proposals for change, discussions, commentary and voting are all in one place and updates dynamically.

Extending Talis Ideas to Alto has been a major exercise: unlike Prism 3, Alto has a long history in the form of a large number of pre-existing PERs and Defects. We did not want to swamp the new system by loading all of these, but neither did we want to throw them away and start again; so the approach that we have taken is as follows:

  • We have provided read-only lists of old PERs and Defects on line for reference. These links will also be on the front page of the Alto website when the service goes live
  • We will continue to whittle away at the older “pre-Talis Ideas” PERS and Defects as a background task
  • We will however prioritise issues raised and voted on in Talis Ideas above old PERs and Defects; so if you have an urgent need for something in the old lists to be addressed rapidly, raise it again on Talis Ideas and persuade your contemporaries to vote for it.

One other difference from Prism: we have increased the number of votes per institution to 20 for Alto in view of its size and complexity.

The service will launch on 27th January with a free webinar. Register here if you would like to join us for this. If you cannot make that date then there is a repeat webinar on 3rd Feb. We will also post a recording on this blog

Talis Assist – new feature available

We have introduced a new feature to the Talis Assist Security Service – real time monitoring of your servers. This monitoring service enhances the Talis Assist package you currently subscribe to. This allows the Talis Support team to monitor your server’s uptime, so that we can be more proactive in our approach to determining faults. This service is provided without additional cost to the existing subscription for Talis Assist, and after beta testing this service with a small group of customers, this service is now live. To have this new service enabled on your servers, you can use My Support or contact

Later this year we plan on introducing other checks to the monitoring component and are looking at the most effective ways of doing this, to eliminate any firewall configuration on your behalf. Please raise any questions or concerns via My Support.