Are OPAC Vendors Days Numbered?


Anonymous Patron writes "Are OPAC Vendors Days Numbered?: Eric Schnell just did a quick scan of the study report Software and Collaboration in Higher Education: A Study of Open Source Software by Paul N. Couran (Principal Investigator) and Rebecca J. Griffith [PDF]. He says the combination of open source and the reluctance of vendors to keep their systems up to date will result result in the demise of significant number of commerical library vendors in the next five years. The poor performance and outdated products of commercial OPAC products is due largely to the disconnect between developers in software firms and their customers. This should be an advantage to library developers, and the timing to look at open source networks/incubators is ripe."


Thank God.Does anyone know of a commercial OPAC company that makes a reliable easy to use out of the box product with good support and user interface?Me neither.It's pretty sad that librarians have spent the last 20 years tolerating the pathetic attempts of Sirsi/Dynix, III, et. al.Good friggin' riddance.

Insightful? More like insipid. I don't like ILS vendors but the OSS Koha and such are 5 years away from the functionality all major systems had in 2000. Great system for automating a manual operation.

It is closer to 25 years!

OPAC vendors never have properly catered for libraries to meet the needs for today, let alone for tomorrow. They were always self-serving rather than serving the interests of libraries. And their proprietary systems made upgrades, data migration, and cross functionality a nightmare. I don't think OPAC vendors realise that they are a dying breed.

While I heartily agree that current OPACS suck, I think the real question is, does the library OPAC market represent a mature market or a genuine opportunity? There is no such thing as "out of the box" OPAC's because we are pretty discriminating users, partially- if anyone has gone to their own OPAC user groups meetings, you'd be amazed at how MANY variations of the core products there are!

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