Kit-Catalogue v2.0.3 released

An issue has been reported where the installation wizard fails to install the database on some MySQL configurations.  The upgrade wizard is not affected.

The following update fixes the issue, and also contains a couple of other improvements. You can download the new release here:

IF INSTALLING – Please setup your web server, unzip the software, and follow the installation wizard by browsing to http://<your-site>/install/

IF UPGRADING – If you have already upgraded to v2.0.0 or above, you can unzip the code on top of your existing installation.  If you are upgrading from an earlier version, then your database needs upgrading, and there are some other major changes, so please browse to http://<your-site>/install/  and follow the upgrade wizard carefully.

If anyone finds any other issues, please do let us know by emailing:

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Kit-Catalogue Project Update – September 2011

The Kit-Catalogue project has been a hive of activity lately, although from my lack of blogging lately, you could be forgiven for thinking we’d all disappeared.

Cataloguing Loughborough’s Equipment

As Melanie recently mentioned, our summer placement students have come to the end of their time with us.  They may have only been with us for a short time, but they’ve managed to access and catalogue a tremendous amount of equipment, and around 6-700 items of new equipment have been added to our database.  Some areas of the university did escape the cataloguing effort, as they are having extensive renovations ready for the new academic year.  These should be supplying their own equipment details in due course, so the catalogue is set to expand even further.

Institutional Take-up

Prof. Rachel Thomson, a key member of our project steering group, has had high-level discussions with several universities about using Kit-Catalogue at their institution.  Early contact with these institutions has provided the opportunity for them to feed extra information and requirements in to the mix, and by having these discussions early in the development process, we think we’ll develop a stronger system, and better ensure sucessful deployments.

Software Development

For my part, a recent bout of illness and associated time off has put me a few weeks behind with the coding schedule, though I’m hoping to get back on track and have an early release of the system ready soon.

I’m currently working hard on completing the administrative interface for the system, and trying to incorporate the different requirements and options that have been suggested by some of the other institutions we’ve spoken with.

Watch this space, and we’ll hopefully have some more news soon!

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Kit-Catalogue Stakeholder Survey

This week saw the launch of our stakeholder survey.  A dozen questions designed to eke out what Loughborough University users (and non-users!) think of the current equipment database, and how it can and could be used.

In particular, we are questioning the perceived benefits and barriers to using the system.  This is something Melanie and I have always been interested in – with regards to the adoption of software, systems and technology at institutions – but it’s also important for the project.

One of our primary aims is to maximise the usage of our equipment.  For the Kit-Catalogue system, this means maximising usage of the database – both in terms of the number of people searching for, finding, and hopefully using equipment, but also engaging those staff who take the time to add their equipment to the database itself.  The success of the software will depend on boosting the benefits of using the system, whilst overcoming the barriers putting people off, and it will be interesting to see which benefits and barriers our survey respondents highlight as being most important to them.

Whatever the outcome, this data will shape the future development of the software, and the processes surrounding it.

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Steering Group; a preface

Melanie and I are busy preparing for the Kit-Catalogue project’s first Steering Group meeting tomorrow.  The project is funded for 9 months, so we’ll only hold three of these meetings through the duration.  While some might relish having less meetings, it does mean we have to pack in quite a lot of content, and as this is the first one, there’s plenty to report on and discuss.

Following the meeting tomorrow, I’ll report back on some of the outcomes.  One of the to-dos for next week is to sort our website out, which will give us a place to put our outputs and project resources, including blog posts and meeting minutes.  For now, though, this blog is going to be it 🙂

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First post!

This isn’t my first post ever, but it’s the first on my brand new blog!

Rather than scattering all my posts amongst the various work-related blogs I’ve contributed to over the years, I thought It would be much better to consolidate my thoughts in a single place, and then feed the posts out to other areas through category-filtering.

So, you might see random topic changes on this blog, as different things come and go, but the end result will be a single place to find all my posts!  Hurrah!

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