First of all I am sorry if I kept you a little in the dark with my development process but I wanted to first have an alpha version of the application in order to get feedback and discuss future functionalities and improvements.
At this point, me and Dan Wells (my mentor), have developed an EG. Android application that has the functionalities of the OPAC :
- search library for records, view details and availability, place holds and add to bookbags
- view checkout items and renew them
- manage holds (place, update)
- view fines information
- manage bookbags (create, delete, add/remove items from bookbag)
The development is taking place on the git collab/drizea/android branch.
You can download the latest version of the Evergreen apk from this link.
The UI is still in progress (especially the color palette, this can easily be changed in the Android style sheet xml file) so feedback is most appreciated.
At this point I think you are anxious to give the application a try so I will walk you through the application configuration (first time on startup) and functions. It is important in order for the application to launch to have an enabled Internet connection.
- First launch
The first time you will launch the EG application a splash screen will appear and on top of it a Dialog will prompt you to enter the EG server (we can try a test one http://188.8.131.52), an username ( staff if the url is the one that I suggested) and an password (demo123 for the suggested url). At this point hitting the connect button will trigger a background thread that will verify if the server url is reachable and after that the login information will be tested. If all is well than the dialog will disappear , the information will be saved in Android preferences and a background task will be activated (this will download the IDL file and parse it, the OrgTree file, will authenticate the user, this is a bit redundant for now, and will also download the user bookbags)
- Searching for items
At this stage the application launched and the first activity is the most used one, the search activity.
The user has two main options.
He can try to search for a record, in this case he will enter a text string, chose a org to search in and hit the search button, or he can use the buttons displayed to make an advanced search, see library hours (the button has no link for now), or visit the application preference. (here the user can change username, password and EG server address).
If the user searches for a record the 3 buttons disappear and instead a listview with list results containing (image, title, author and pubdate + publisher )
Clicking on an item will take the user to the details view. Here the user can find information like title, author, pubdate nad publisher, but also information about availability subject, series, synopsis and ISBN.
Longpressing an item will pop up the context menu that will let the user to place a hold,add to a bookbag or view details.
- My Account
Hitting the My Account button in the application header will take the user to a dashboard view where he can select to view checkout items, holds, fines and bookbags.
- Checkout items
In the checkout items list vies the user can renew a checkout item that is about to expire using the renew button. In the renew button there are marked the remaining attempts to renew the record.
The fines activity permits the user to see the fines he has to pay for the checkout items. More work must be done on the UI part.
This is one of the most important application features. The user can manage his current holds for the my account holds option.
All the holds are presented to the user in a list view. The user can then click on any hold item and the an hold update dialog will
Here the user is able to create a bookbag and remove items from existing bookbags.
This is for now. Other post will come presenting different updates. The UI part is still in progress. If you have any ideas or feedback regarding the UI and functionalities please let me know.