Advice of Koha Upgrade – December 2018

The CALYX Newsletter took a little break this year but we are pleased to announce its return! Read on for information about a pending Koha upgrade and other interesting Koha news.

Upgrade to Koha 18.05 scheduled for next week

For libraries whose Koha system is hosted by CALYX your upgrade to Koha 18.05.06 is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 18 December, that is, one week from now.

No existing functionality will be lost in this upgrade. New features will be added to Koha which librarians will be able to utilize according to your own preferences and schedule. No action is required of clients prior to the upgrade.

Following the upgrade (that is, on Wednesday morning next week) if anything appears broken in your Koha, please clear your browser cache and try again. Occasionally cached content may be inconsistent with your upgraded software and give the appearance of an error. Clearing the cache should be all that is needed to see you underway.

Contact CALYX  if you have any questions in relation to this upgrade.

A demonstration Koha 18.05.06 instance is already available at https://demo-admin.calyx.net.au. Please feel free to log in and take a look around (user: Anne ; pwd: koha).

Non-Hosted Clients

To upgrade to Koha 18.05.06, be sure your apt-source is set to ‘old-stable’ as ‘stable’ is now Koha 18.11.00. We recommend waiting at least a couple of monthly maintenance releases before upgrading to Koha 18.11.

If you are using Debian Stretch (9) you should take a look at bug 20428. A new entry upload_path must be created in your koha-conf.xml file in order to define a temporary uploaded files directory.

For assistance to upgrade, contact CALYX.

Your Koha Current Version

The Koha project has two major feature releases each year, in May and November. Every other month there is a maintenance release.

CALYX policy is to upgrade our hosted clients twice per year on average. We generally run about six months behind the current stable release, to ensure that our clients receive only stable, robust software, whilst also having prompt access to the latest features and improvements.

All clients using CALYX‘ hosting service are currently running Koha version 17.11.06. The upgrade to this version took place in July in conjunction with our major refresh of our hosting hardware. Feedback has been very positive, particularly as to system performance. Thank you to those who have taken the time to provide feedback – it always helps us to improve our services.

The major addition (amongst many) to Koha in version 17.11 was of course the Inter Library Loans module. Contact CALYX for more information.

New Features in Koha 18.05

Koha 18.05 is again packed with new features and improvements. Here are some highlights:

Define Hierarchical Groups of Libraries [Bug 15707]

Koha now supports grouping libraries into hierarchies. The previous grouping allowed only a single level of groups. The new hierarchical grouping allows for trees of unlimited depth to be created. This will allow for grouping of libraries based on physical location, political affiliation, or any other type of grouping! The new system is currently used for search groups, and patron visibility limits. Expect to see more features using hierarchical groups in the future!

Allow Multiple Time Zones on the same server [Bug 20123]

Koha now has the ability to set times zones in Koha on a per-instance basis. That means that a single Koha server can support instances in several time zones simultaneously. (Unfortunately, a library with branches in, say, Melbourne and Perth will still have to choose one of those time zones.)

Merge Patron Records [Bug 9302]

To merge patrons, perform a patron search, select two or more patrons then click the ‘Merge’ button. Next, choose which patron you want to keep. Circulation data (checkouts, holds, fines, etc.) will be transferred to the remaining patron record.

Cataloguing [Multiple bug numbers – ask CALYX for details]

Several important enhancements have been made to the Advanced Editor including the addition of authorities linking. This module is no longer marked ‘experimental’.

Separately, there are enhancements to authorities handling for all cataloguers.

REST API [Multiple bug numbers – ask CALYX for details]

Lots of work has been done on the Koha API. This makes it much easier for third party developers to extract data (with permission) from Koha.

Read the Release Notes for Koha 18.05 here.

Koha 18.11.00 has been released

The Koha Release Team proudly announced the latest release in late November. We’ll provide more information in our next Newsletter, or you can read the release notes here.

CALYX expects to deploy Koha 18.11 in mid-2019.

SQL Reports in Koha

In Koha, if you can name it, you can report on it. An unlimited number of SQL queries can be constructed and added to your Saved Reports page.

Koha libraries around the world have contributed reports for use by other libraries. You can access these on the Koha wiki, copy the SQL and paste it into a new report in your Reports module. More often than not, the report will run in your Koha without modification.

The Koha SQL Reports library is now spread over several pages of the wiki. The original page still holds reports for bibliographic records, authorities, acquisitions, serials and more: https://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/SQL_Reports_Library

Now linked from that page are separate pages for reports on patrons, reservations and circulation.

You have an excellent chance of finding exactly the report you need, or else a template that you can modify.

Whether modifying an existing report or writing a new one, you might need to refer to the Koha database schema for the exact field names to include in your report.

If you are new to SQL, there is an excellent online tutorial at: https://www.w3schools.com/sql/default.asp

A brief reference book that we keep handy in the office is: Ben Forta, ‘MySQL Crash Course’, SAMS Publishing.

Contact us if you need assistance with reporting in Koha.

Best wishes from

CALYX information essentials