We invite you take a quick technical tour of our new Sierra Services Platform. Use the controls below the image to advance through the slides.
Providing complete ILS functionality with the power and scale of modern software architecture and built on a foundation of "open services", Sierra will provide all the benefits of proven, stable business logic and integrated resource management on which thousands of libraries rely. At the same time, Sierra is designed with unmatched flexibility built in to meet changing needs of libraries and their users.
This overview will highlight the critical elements of the new Sierra Services Platform. We will also offer some insight into our agile development process.
Sierra's SOA-compliant design has four layers, each of which exposes applicable services and provides an independent, distinct set of functionality. The services architected within each layer are loosely-coupled and operate in widely adopted "wrappers" (including DAO, SOAP, Java, and http). A brief description of each layer is provided below:
Database Layer – Implemented using industry-standard open source technologies, this layer includes a PostgreSQL database and Lucene indexing. These technologies provide the technical underpinnings of Sierra. Access and management tools allow database and indexing control over those resources while at the same time exposing those resources to third-party applications such as report writers and other SQL-compliant tools.
Data Access Services Layer – In the Sierra environment, the data access services layer provides a consistent set of interfaces to the database and indexing tools. It also provides access to low-level resources maintaining persistence of key data structures that will be exposed to higher levels through a SOAP wrapper.
Business Logic Services Layer – This layer implements the business rules and workflow logic that supports the core functions of the library (circulation, cataloging, etc) along with newer logic such as discovery and e-workflow. In addition, it is within this layer where authentication and authorization methodologies are applied. Independent of user interface and application display handling, this layer manipulates information accessed from lower-level resources.
Presentation Layer – This layer implements the full suite of applications including the enhanced Sierra application. It manages the presentation and user interaction in an ordered and meaningful manner and is aware of device dependencies and provides multi-device support including client, web, table and mobile devices. In addition, this layer exposes various RESTful API extensions where services are identified by their URLs. A broad set of API sets are envisioned to support functionality spanning OAI/PMH-compliant data delivery, Patron Management, "My Account" access and more. This Sierra presentation layer is also "consumes" APIs of various third party sources including harvestable content, web-scale resources, and social networking and other web site/destinations.
Open Access – Innovative is committed to providing open access to key workflow and data in Sierra. Open source tools like the PostgreSQL database and Lucene keyword engine give users and developers a familiar manner to interact with Sierra. In addition, Sierra will have a comprehensive library of APIs for 3rd party and library-developed applications as well as to facilitate interaction with web properties and social networking sites.
Sierra increases opportunities for open development with Innovative's partners and customer libraries.
Libraries will have complete flexibility in determining their priorities and development options.
Sierra offers flexibility in deployment methodology, including cloud based, local and SaaS.
The platform is ideal for rapid application development, device adoption and resource independence.
Sierra maintains Innovative's history of rich functionality and robust workflow integration.
The introduction of the Sierra platform introduces several technology advancements. Our users will have more flexibility then ever before to integrate, create and collaborate with numerous third party applications and devices.