Features common to Koha and Vubis Smart reveal attributes that both library staff and clients would find desirable in a digital library system. In choosing a system that would offer the best value within the available budget, library staff would find key features common to both these integrated systems. Each system is all-inclusive; a complete library package. It can be integrated into an organisation’s web site. Both systems are Library Standards compliant using standards and protocols that allow interoperability between systems and technologies.
One key feature of both systems is the web-based OPAC; this enables clients to search the catalogue both in the library and off-site. Both systems are designed in such a way that libraries can tailor the OPAC to its individual style. The OPAC’s appearance, functionality and method of searching are adaptable.
Both systems feature standard flexible database formats such as UNIMARC and MARC21 for cataloguing and Z39.50 for copy cataloguing. Their integrated search engines can read structured records in various formats, for example, email, XML and MARC. Access is via Boolean and free-text searching.
Both Koha and Vubis Smart support the management of multiple databases. Updates occur automatically and millions of records are accessible. Both systems can perform multiple tasks as the same time enabling, for example, cataloguing and circulations to take place simultaneously.
They are fully integrated systems with desktop applications and email. Clients can be automatically sent a text message or email regarding overdue resources and other notices.
Both systems offer acquisitions components, providing processes for the management of orders, receivables, the creation and management of invoices, control of financial information and all areas of acquisitions relevant to the management of information.
The circulation component of the system provides functions including borrowing, returns, renewals and reservations and both provide tools for resource management, stocktaking, statistics, financial system and reporting system.
Also common to both systems are a serials management module covering subscription maintenance and circulation.
Both Koha and Vubis Smart provide online support for their clients. Tutorials are available, relevant links, forums and frequently asked questions. They both promote the utilisation of an intranet and the benefit of thin client computers.