Prism Blog

Prism 3 Release Preview – October 2010

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve just released the latest version of Talis Prism 3 for everyone to preview.

This release comprises the following changes:

  • The culmination of a large unit of work focussing on performance
  • A bug fix for customers with own hostnames, allowing them to view items in their sandbox tenancy.

As with all previous releases, these changes can be tested by using the demo version of your site. For customers using the “” domain, this is accessed by putting “demo/” just before your tenancy name, e.g.:

For customers with own hostname enabled, the “demo/” is placed at the end of your URL, e.g.:

If you have questions on this, or any other issue, please feel free to email, contact your account manager, or leave a comment on the blog.

5 Responses

  1. Christine Smith Says:

    I wonder if you could clarify what “performance” issues are addressed.
    I know it’s difficult to detect this kind of thing on the demo version – it would be useful to know what improvements to look out for.

    I had been hoping to see improvements in the accuracy and reliablity of searching

    (e.g. on our catalogue – a “photography” search, with 1664 results, which should include at least 14 ebooks, but “ebook” does not appear as a format).


    University of Bolton

  2. Phil John Says:

    Hi Christine,

    There are some benefits of it visible now, but some of the benefits lie in the architecture that we’ve implemented that will make it possible to introduce new sets of features.

    For example, we’re now saving search results for 10 minutes to make the “back to search results” faster; in the future this will also enable us to implement several new features we’re investigating such as selecting multiple records to export or browsing between records in a result set.

    This work will also allow us to better scale the service as we add more customers (and users) to Prism 3.

    It’s always difficult to balance which features go into which release, but we felt it was important to launch this unit of work now with plenty of time to spare.

    The eBook issue is something that has been addressed in the format part of the semantic data model (we also successfully identify eJournals and more specialised formats such as thesis). We’re wrapping up the beta test soon and will then start to widen availability, probably at the same time as we introduce the author part of the data model.

    Kind regards,

    Phil John
    Prism 3 Technical Lead.

  3. Nadine Edwards Says:


    Are there any plans to reinstate the save / email / download search results functionality that used to be in Prism 2. I would have thought that when searching any database users would expect to be able to save or email search results and details from My Account.

    University of Greenwich

  4. Phil John Says:

    Hi Nadine,

    Saving lists and emailing results are both under review, and may possibly be implemented in the “Export to Citation Tools” roadmap theme. There are some suggestions posted on Talis Library Ideas ( so it would be great if you could pop over there to add your thoughts.

    Our current plans may involve the ability to place records onto a list and then exporting them in in bulk to systems like Endnote or Refworks; email could then be implemented as another output format.

    There are some tricky details to work out, such as where the email would come from; we can’t use your university domain name if sent directly from Prism 3 because most spam filters would reject these messages as not genuine, and if they come from a different domain name it could lead to students questioning the source; this is why we’re taking some time considering this functionality.

    We often use a term at Talis that Prism 3 is its own API; this means that any page can be bookmarked, the URL copied and pasted into emails/onto website pages and linked to (unlike in Prism 2 where you had to jump through hoops to link to an item or search), so it’s already possible to send a prepared search to someone in much the same way as you would send a Google search to a colleague.

    Could you possibly expand on how you envisage people using email results (or how they currently make use of them in Prism 2.1)? It’s not a feature that is often mentioned in the feedback we receive from end users, so getting some concrete information would be very helpful.

    Kind regards,

    Phil John
    Prism 3 Technical Lead.

  5. Christine Smith Says:

    Can I offer an extract from a long-standing requirement of ours:
    “It should be possible to save search results to a removable media storage device (e.g. memory stick) or e-mail them.”

    Here’s how I envisage usage of marked search results:
    – a list to print out (not necessarily immediately) and take to to the shelves to find books
    – a list to export into their own file of references, etc.
    – export to citation software, such as Refworks, as you mention.
    There will be many other ways, I am sure.

    We have had comments, some via the Prism3 feedback link and thus forwarded to yourselves, about the lack of functionality.
    Here’s one example
    “Is there a way to pull in the bibliographic detail of a book directlhy
    from the library catalogue?” (feedback 2nd October 2008)

    It would be wonderful if I could respond positively to users very soon on this.

    University of Bolton

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