RCLS: ILS Services: SymphonyWeb
What is SymphonyWeb?
SymphonyWeb has many of the same functions as Symphony Workflows, but now they’re accessible in your web browser so you aren't tied to your workstation. And with no client-side upgrades or special workstation permissions to use, SymphonyWeb supports your staff from wherever they are.
Does my library need to purchase SymphonyWeb Licenses?
Your library will need to purchase a SymphonyWeb license for library staff if your library plans to have a third-party vendor manage your library IT infrastructure. If RCLS continues maintaining your workstations, they'll still run WorkFlows.
If you want to access Symphony on non-RCLS-supported machines, you could purchase SymphonyWeb licenses. Those SymphonyWeb licenses would be needed only for those using SymphonyWeb on those machines--you do not need them for anyone who is continuing to use WorkFlows on RCLS-supported machines.
How many SymphonyWeb licenses do I need?
The number of SymphonyWeb licenses you need should be the greatest number of logged-in simultaneous users you would have at any one time. The licenses aren't directly connected to workstations--different people could log in to SymphonyWeb on a particular machine, and as long as one person logs out before another logs in, it's just using one license.
You may ask RCLS to create more individual staff logins than you are asking for licenses--but we will monitor to see that no more logins are using SymphonyWeb at any one time than the number of licenses you purchased.
There's no limit on how many logins can use the same license as long as none try to use it simultaneously.
“Shared accounts are not supported for SirsiDynix SymphonyWeb login. Staff members that plan to use SirsiDynix SymphonyWeb should have their own user account” SirsiDynix Website
Can SymphonyWeb logins be shared?
SymphonyWeb logins will be created for individual staff members. They cannot be shared. Generic logins cannot be used. One staff user actively logged in to SymphonyWeb equals one SymphonyWeb license.
If there is staff turnover, the staff person's login must be removed before a new one will be created to replace it. Staff who work at more than one library would need a SymphonyWeb login from each library--they are not transferable.
This is a security issue since SymphonyWeb is using an open Internet connection and is available anywhere to someone who knows a login. If we created a login to be shared among several part-timers, we would need to change that login password every time a part-timer left employment, otherwise, they could continue using SymphonyWeb from home, etc. [Our current generic WorkFlows logins are secure only to the extent that they can't be used except on RCLS Supported machines within the libraries.]
Is SymphonyWeb connected to a particular workstation?
SymphonyWeb could be used on any machine with a web browser, though it likely would not be very usable on a mobile device. A SymphonyWeb login could be used by one staff person on different machines (but not at the same time).
If SymphonyWeb is being used to collect bill payments at a library that uses the Cash Report by Workstation report, the person logging in MUST use a "Station Name" that has been set to collect payment data (the same Station Names that are now linked to specific machines).
If we are keeping WorkFlows on RCLS-supported machines, why would a library need any SymphonyWeb licenses?
If you plan to continue to use PCs maintained by RCLS IT services, the reasons why you may want to supplement them and use SymphonyWeb are:
- for off-site use (at off-site events or staff working from home, assuming Internet is available
- for use in the library in areas that have no existing workstations; or for use on laptops to carry into stacks
- for backup, if you can access a network other than the RCLS network (wifi via local ISP).
Can't MobileStaff units supplement Workflows?
MobileStaff (formerly MobileCirc) continues to be available at no extra cost and can be used off-site or on mobile devices in the library. Note that MobileStaff does not have all the functionality of SymphonyWeb/WorkFlows, but can checkout, discharge, and register patrons.
What are the browser requirements to use SymphonyWeb?
“SymphonyWeb is a web-based application that needs to be accessed using a modern web browser. Supported browsers include the latest stable release of the last two major versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. For these browsers, which have shorter release cycles, we will target support of the latest release immediately. As soon as the new browser version has been certified, support for the earlier version will be dropped. The following list are the browsers with which SirsiDynix SymphonyWeb is compatible: Browser Supported Versions Platforms Google Chrome 80, 81 Windows, Macintosh Mozilla Firefox 74, 75 Windows, Macintosh Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based only) Latest Windows, Macintosh” SirsiDynix Website
Does the SymphonyWeb session time out?
Yes, by default, SymphonyWeb sessions end automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity. A SymphonyWeb server could have this default adjusted by SirsiDynix, but increasing the timeout could result in those licenses not being available when needed.
How many tabs can I have open within a SymphonyWeb session?
Symphony Web is designed to have a limit of five (5) open wizard tabs and is configured not to allow a given wizard (for example, Checkout) to be open in more than one tab. [NOTE: there is a trick to get two instances of the same Wizard to run as tabbed routines at the same time: 1) open it first from the navigation pane on the left. 2) Open the second instance from the top menu option Wizards->All Wizards->Circulation (or Cataloging)->[select wizard]. Of course, for this to work, you must have previously set Preference->Desktop->Desktop Setup to allow multiple tabs.]
How can we work offline if SymphonyWeb can't reach the Symphony server--It has no Offline module?
The best solution is to use the Offline checkout feature of the MobileStaff product running on an iOS or Android device. Once that device can re-connect to the Symphony server, it will prompt you to upload offline transactions. Note that the browser-version of MobileStaff does not support Offiline transactions.
There are other solutions: handwriting transactions; using a scanner with a barcode font to scan items into a spreadsheet; scanning items into a text file, etc. But the easiest solution in terms of uploading and processing the data will be a MobileStaff unit.
Does SymphonyWeb work with the ProPay magnetic stripe credit card readers that are a feature of Blue Cloud Commerce?
No, it does not support this hardware. Likewise, Blue Cloud Circulation also does not yet support a credit card reader.
Additional questions may be addressed to RCLS ILS & Software Services:
Jerry Kuntz ext. 246 OR Martha Sullivan ext. 247
Initial One-Time Adjustments Required
- SymphonyWeb domain (symweb.rcls.org) URL needs to be entered in the browser’s pop-up blocker list of exceptions
- Need to go to Preferences->Desktop to check box for Tabbed windows, which is needed in order to open more than one wizard at a time.
- Need to go to Preferences->Desktop and set Max Response Size to 5000000 (until bug fix is installed -SymphonyWeb 4.0 in Fall 2022)
- Need to go to Preference->Peripheral and make sure “Receipt Printer is attached” is checked
- In a browser Print Preview screen, Uncheck “Print Headers and Footers”; this is needed before receipts will cut off properly
- Catalog search screen in Wizards require the user to pull open the hidden title browse pane and pull open the library/call number listing pane; both are hidden unless adjusted. Once opened, they usually remained open from one login session to another, unless the browser history is cleared.
- Even though Preference-Peripheral has a setting to indicate a barcode scanner is attached, in testing it was found that barcode scanners appeared to work OK without entering that setting.
- We did not have libraries test overdue notice printing, after in-house testing at RCLS indicated that adjusting the paper size/margins will need to be done for each printer brand/model to find the settings that will make the notice lines page properly (needed for use in window envelopes).
- Receipts cut off immediately after the last line of data, making them shorter than in regular WorkFlows. This could be adjusted by setting up a different properties file for SymphonyWeb logins that would have extra asterisks in the receipt footer.
- Turning the Browser menu bar off may make the screen less cluttered.
- Cash drawer support requires an additional free software program.
https://qz.io/download/ Download and install QZtray on the client, then when you are in preferences--->peripherals-->receipt printer, you can select the cash drawer device (from the printer list) and put in the ascii code numbers.
SymphonyWeb Support documents
We've done more receipt print testing here, and have discovered that the Firefox and Chrome settings behave differently.
Unlike WorkFlows, SymphonyWeb receipt printer settings follow the individual staff user login, not the workstation. So each login user that will be printing slips needs to adjust these.
In SymphonyWeb, found under Preference->Peripherals->Receipt Printer.
Check "Receipt Printer available"
Unless you have a cash drawer connected via the receipt printer, the only other setting is the Font size and style under the Preference->Peripherals->Receipt Printer Attributes tab. This is where the browser makes a difference.
We have found that Font size 20 is optimal for Chrome (checked with Chuck for drivers benefit)
Size 18 is optimal for Firefox.
To the eye, they look about the same. (Firefox 18 might even be a smidge larger than Chrome 20).
The page size is set by the print dialogue of the browser. In Chrome (Firefox is very similar), the dialogue on the right has settings.
Make sure size is set to Roll Paper, and the "Headers and Footers" is NOT checked.
Alex Carver and I have done some in-house testing, using both Firefox and Chrome, and our office printer (Xerox VersaLink B400).
The different browsers required different Symphony Report Settings values.
In Firefox, the settings that worked were:
In both cases, once you do View in SymphonyWeb to bring up the formatted notices, and then issue a browser Print command, make sure the Print Settings say that printing is 1-sided, and that it does NOT print Headers and Footers.
Those Report settings are stored by your SymphonyWeb login; so if you change them, at the close of your session, you'll be asked if you want to save them.
You'll need to be careful about which browser you are using.
We are gathering information to see if printer brand/model is a variable (as it was with regular WorkFlows)