HomeOffline TransactionsOffline Transaction ManagementManaging Offline Transactions

1.3. Managing Offline Transactions


Managing Offline Transactions

Evergreen’s Standalone Interface, also know as offline mode, is designed to log transactions during migrations or network outages. Each workstation that is used while offline will record transactions that must be uploaded and processed to be synchronized with the NC Cardinal database once network connections are restored, so it is helpful to limit the number of workstations using the Standalone Interface while offline.

It is important to upload and process the offline transactions immediately after access to the database is restored to avoid the misapplication of patron or item data in the database. If all transactions are not uploaded and processed as soon as possible and staff begin checking in or checking out items while logged into Evergreen, the delayed synchronization of data could create a confusing and frustrating situation if the patron account shows that a patron checked out an item (while offline) after they already returned the item (once the library was back online).

Example: The library will be offline from 2/26 to 3/5. Bob Smith checks out a video on 2/26 and returns the video on 2/27. The library sets aside all returned items, which are checked in on 3/5. However, when uploading & processing transactions, a workstation with outstanding transactions (including Bob Smith's video checkout) is overlooked and those transactions are uploaded on 3/6. Unfortunately, that means the item that Mr. Smith returned on 2/27 would be checked out to him on 3/6. So, it is imperative to make sure all workstations are checked for offline transactions and all transactions are uploaded and processed as soon as possible, ideally before the library checks in any materials while logged into the staff client.


There are four parts to uploading and processing offline transactions:

Each branch at your library that will be using the Standalone Module while offline must have its own individual session (unique to that branch) created and visible at the branch for staff to upload transactions. Please note that you can create these sessions in advance of the offline period so that staff are ready to upload their workstation transactions as soon as you get the go ahead from the INC Cardinal team that our data has been fully loaded on the MOBIUS production servers. The workstation used to create the branch session must be logged in at that branch (based on the workstation branch location showing on the login screen) at the time the session is created. There are directions for logging into a branch remotely in the A Note About Creating and Processing Branch Transactions section below.

Once fully logged into Evergreen for the first time after being offline, staff will upload transactions to the same branch session from every workstation used while offline (as identified by the red ribbon under Offline Use on the Evergreen login screen).



Creating an Offline Session

This action can be performed by any staff member. In the Evergreen staff client:

  1. Log into Evergreen with your username and password.
  2. Select Admin (-) → Offline Transaction Management from the menu. The Offline Transactions screen opens. Previously created sessions are listed in the Offline Sessions section.
  3. In the upper Offline Sessions section, click Create to create a new session.
  4. Enter a specific and unique name for the session. Including the date is a good idea. Click OK.
  5. In the Offline Sessions section, highlight the session you created. An Uploaded Transactions section appears in the bottom of the screen. Initially, this section is empty.
  6. Inform library staff that the session has been created and tell them the name of the session.
  7. Sessions may be created in advance of a planned offline event.

 



Uploading Workstation Transactions to a Session

Once a unique session is created for each library branch, staff at the branch can begin to upload transactions from each workstation to the same session. There may be several sessions listed on the Offline Transaction Management screen, so you will need to ensure that staff are uploading transactions to the correct session.

Every workstation used to perform offline circulation during the offline period must upload its transactions to the offline transaction session as soon as possible after the library is back online.

To upload offline transaction from a workstation to a session, perform the following steps in the Evergreen staff client:

  1. Log into Evergreen with your username and password.
  2. Select Admin (-) → Offline Transaction Management from the menu. The Offline Transactions screen opens. You should see at least one session in the Offline Sessions section. You may also see older sessions.
  3. In the upper Offline Sessions section, be sure to highlight the correct session, then click Upload. The transactions are transferred to the Evergreen server.
  4. When the transactions have been uploaded, select the session in the Offline Sessions section. The value in the Upload Count column has increased by 1 and your workstation is now listed in the Uploaded Transactions section. You have now uploaded the offline transactions to the session for one workstation. Do this for each of your assigned workstations.

Inform the administrator when you have uploaded the offline transactions for each of your assigned workstations. Uploading transactions to the session does not put the transactions into the Evergreen database. The transactions will not be sent to the Evergreen database until the administrator processes the session.

Processing the Transactions

This action is usually performed by an administrator. It is recommended that the workstation has print capabilities for these next steps. 

When all of the participating staff workstations have uploaded their transactions to the offline session, the workstation names are listed in the Uploaded Transactions section. To process the offline transactions and make them live on the Evergreen server:

  1. Log into Evergreen with your username and password. If you are processing transactions for multiple branches, be sure you are logging into the intended branch (shown on the upper right quadrant of the login screen under Workstation).
  2. Select Admin (-) → Offline Transaction Management from the menu. The Offline Transactions screen opens. Previously created sessions are listed in the Offline Sessions section.
  3. Highlight the correct session and, if necessary, click Refresh to verify all the participating workstations have uploaded their transactions to your session.
  4. Click Process. The processing may take some time to complete, depending on how many transactions you have done. Click Refresh to see the updated status of the processing step. Processing is complete when the Processing? column shows Completed.

The number in the Transactions Processed column is equal to the number of items checked out or checked in. For example, 5 transactions processed could mean that:

  • 5 items were checked out, or
  • 3 items were checked in and 2 items were checked out, or
  • 5 items were checked in.

A Note About Creating and Processing Branch Transactions

If an administrator would like to create sessions and process the offline transactions for each branch from the main library, you will have to log into Evergreen as if you are at each branch. When you do so, you can set up sessions, get staff at the branch to upload transactions to the session, and then process the transactions so they are credited to that branch.

If you're logged in to the main branch and want to log into another branch, you can change the capitalization of one of the letters in polk.nccardinal.org to something like Polk.nccardinal.org or polK.nccardinal.org

What you usually see:

What you see when you change the capitalization of one of the letters in the Hostname

The Evergreen client  will then ask you to register your workstation, at which point you choose the branch you want to log into from the drop down list, instead of the branch you're currently at. Then, once you’re logged in as that other branch, you should see the session created by the branch. 

Selecting the branch to log into:


To process the sessions from multiple branches, log off, change the capitalization of a different letter in the Hostname and re-register the workstation for each different branch, then login and process those transactions.

Note: Once you finish processing all transactions and exceptions for each branch, be sure to select the hostname (usually with no capital letters) registered to the actual physical location of your workstation so that future transactions in Evergreen are processed for the correct workstation location. For example, if you left the workstation registered at Saluda, when it is physically located in Columbus, items checked in at that workstation would go into transit to Columbus.


Resolving Exceptions

After your session has processed, you can view the Exceptions for the session. Exceptions are problems that were encountered during processing. Examples of exceptions include: a mis-scanned patron barcode, an open circulation, or an item that was not checked in before it was checked out to another patron. Transactions causing exceptions may not have loaded into the Evergreen database. Staff should examine the exceptions and take necessary action. Please be aware that Evergreen is not able to check circulation policies or other limiting factors that determine whether patrons are or are not allowed to check out specific numbers or types of items in the Standalone Interface. Once the offline transactions are uploaded, these limiting factors may cause exceptions as Evergreen attempts to apply those limits and circulation policies while process transactions.

These are a few notes about possible exceptions. It is not an all-inclusive list.

  • Checking out a DVD with the wrong date (leaving due date set at +2 weeks instead of +1 week) does not cause an exception.
  • Overdue books are not flagged as exceptions.
  • Checking out a reference book does not cause an exception.
  • Checking out an item belonging to another library does not cause an exception.
  • The Standalone Interface does not recognize books on hold, so no exceptions will be generated when matching items are checked in or checked out.
  • The Standalone Interface can recognize blocked, barred, and expired patrons, as well as lost cards, if you have recently run an Admin (-) → Download Offline Patron List action on the workstation on which you are using the Standalone Interface. You will get an error message indicating the patron status from within the Standalone Interface at check-out time only for patrons that were already blocked when the offline patron list was downloaded. Other statuses will generate an exception.


Common error messages (this is not an exhaustive list):


Error Message What It Means What You Can Do
ASSET_COPY_NOT_ FOUND
the item barcode was mis-scanned/mis-typed
You may or may not be able to resolve this with the information available, particularly if there are digits missing. 
  • If the missing character location is identifiable (i.e. 30441100643\45), you can try 0 through 9 in that location to see if the item can be identified (correct barcode is 30441100643345).
  • You may want to call the patron and/or put a note in the account with the information you have.
  • If the barcode is doubled (barcodes back-to-back or an item barcode scanned in the wrong field),you should be able to identify and check the item(s) out to the patron.

ACTOR_CARD_NOT_ FOUND
the patron's library barcode was mis-scanned/mis-typed
May or may not be able to resolve this with the information available. If you cannot identify the patron, mark the item MISSING.
OPEN_CIRCULATION_ EXISTS
a book was checked out that had never been checked in
Open the patron account and check the item out to the patron listed in the exception. Select normal or forgiving checkin for the previous patron.
PATRON_ACCOUNT_EXPIRED
the patron account is expired
Click Retrieve patron and extend the expiration date a few weeks, rather than clicking on the Update Expire Date button.
MAX_RENEWALS_ REACHED
the item has already been renewed the maximum times allowed

ROUTE-ITEM
the book should be routed to another branch or library system
You'll need to find the book and re-check it in (online) to get the Transit Slip to print
CIRC_CLAIMS_RETURNED
a book previously marked as claimed-returned was found and checked in

COPY_STATUS_LOST
a book previously marked as lost was found and checked in

From this screen, it will be helpful to select Retrieve Item and/or Retrieve Patron (depending on the type of exception) to try to identify the error and resolve it. In most cases, you will want to go ahead and check the item out to the patron regardless of whether or not the patron is normally eligible, since the patron went home with the material and you want to make sure their record reflects that information correctly.

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