FOLIO Project Update – Month of September 2020

The Metadata Management SIG began a conversation on tracking productivity statistics which resulted in the formation of a working group. The group will outline use cases, identify short term solutions, and document longer term desired functionality related to tracking productivity statistics. Members from other SIGs are welcome to join. They also started gathering use cases for printing from FOLIO. These cases will be brought to App Interaction, as they are not limited to Inventory or MM. The Entity Management Working Group shared their draft vision document outlining a proposed entity management app. The group is still receiving feedback on the draft, which has also been shared with App Interaction. Once it is finalized, the vision will be presented to the rest of the community, including PC. Work is ongoing to outline the best (preferred and feasible) model for representing bound-with and in-analytics and discuss these options with developers.

The Resource Management SIG focused on User Acceptance Testing. Members of the Resource Management SIG provided feedback on the order and organization of data in purchase orders and invoices, and on the concept of Expense Classes. The larger group participated in a discussion around productivity statistics, led by guest Laura Wright. The Acquisitions Small Group spent time on requirements for EDI invoicing, which is the first development work for batch loading of invoice data; requirements for fiscal year rollover, and permission classes. Both the Acquisitions Small Group and the full SIG began a review of in-app reporting requirements, to see what could now be handled by the LDP or existing functionality and what still needs to be addressed. Within the ERM Subgroup, Duke provided an excellent overview of their process for implementing the Licensing app (presentation slides). The ERM subgroup also discussed integrating e-holding/e-resources with inventory, identifying licenses that are managed by separate libraries sharing a FOLIO instance, and tracking changes over time.

The Resource Access SIG are in the process of discussing various aspects of the Circulation log, like how to Record create/update/delete actions for manual blocks in circulation log? If so, what about them should be recorded: once a block is deleted, no record of it remains on patron record in FOLIO; searching in Circulation log; and anonymize circ log using same settings as other anonymization. The SIG looked at a draft version of a Lost Item Requiring Actual Cost Report –  It was agreed that with the change of making the Patron, Item and Loan ID columns contain links the log is good the way it is. Every Monday, there is a standing topic: Molly Driscoll reports the issues of the live libraries back to us, like Calendar Behavior – UI Issues – restructure the Calendar and Calendar Mock-ups by Cheryl Malmborg. They also had a follow up on the Delivery fulfillment SP: People liked the hybrid solution and thought that specifying the alternate DFSP in the service point would be best as it allowed for most flexibility. The SIG discussed prohibiting “local” page requests and it was decided to form a small group to discuss further as it is quite complicated. Another discussion was on fast add records without barcodes. They looked at renewal/check out failures: allow override of renewal/check out failures because of inactive patron and alert user at check out when patron is blocked. Finally, they discussed fee/fine record: after loan data has been scrubbed, loan data on Fee/Fine Record is still available. Preferred Options were:  scrubbing closed fees after x interval and scrub only item related info after fee fine closed after x interval.

The User Management SIG has been in close contact with the Spitfire team, and discussing various fields that UM-SIG has said need to be added.  They have had consultations with, and demos about Departments and adding them to the record, CRUD Permissions in the UI, how they update (what produces an error, does a Department name change propagate to all members of that Department in FOLIO User records, etc.), preferred first name, External System IDs and Updates to Patron Groups.

The App Interaction SIG has been a bit quieter for the last few weeks. The Entity Management Working Group attended one of the meetings; Jason Kovari gave an overview over their vision document for an Entity App.  Additional use cases such as the following ERM use case were discussed: there might be a potential to manage organization linked to agreements via the Entities App; the question was raised how this relates to the Codex vision; the next topic will be the general printing of records and data from the different FOLIO apps, that started in MM SIG; and use cases can be added in a document that was started for Inventory.

The Reporting SIG is proposing a documentation solution for the identification of data privacy fields (fields containing personal data) to enable those implementing reporting environments to maintain GDPR compliance. (See 20200910 Central Store for Data Privacy Fields.) Reporting suggests a centralized list as a solution but Peter wondered if we could realistically maintain this. Mike G thinks the Technical Council needs to take a look at this – there might be a technical solution. Maybe it’s time to restart the Privacy SIG – there are several requirements that need to be addressed, will be more complicated as more regions/countries join in, or maybe it belongs to the User Management SIG, since all PII should only be in user profiles – when data is copied out, who would monitor that it was anonymized?  A problem comes up with some cross-app interactions – it came up unexpectedly with proxy users for circ. The Consortia SIG is also interested in this topic. We will start with POs looking at their data. The Reporting SIG continues to work on report prototypes and queries in functional areas (RA/UM, RM/ERM, and MM) to support FOLIO implementations.

The Consortia SIG is continuing to discuss the open bibliographic utility idea.  They have to decide if to pursue a SkyRiver style or WMS style structure. They spoke to Kristen Wilson about how to use ReShare software as the basis for such a system.  It seems that ReShare could provide most of the functionality of a SkyRiver style system. In this setup each library would perform cataloging on their own separate system, and the utility would harvest records from them, add in records from National Libraries, deduplicate everything and make the best record available for others to download. This week they plan to speak with Theodor Tolstoy about how to possibly use Libris as the software basis.  They think that Libris already provides most of the functionality of a WMS style system. The primary obstacle would be that the interface needs to be translated from Swedish. In this setup, the participating libraries would perform cataloging on the central system, which would be supplemented by records from National Libraries.  They would identify holdings centrally and download a copy (maybe a stub) into the local system for circulation purposes.

The Accessibility SIG is working on testing at the UC Boulder Accessibility Lab (schedule), keyboard Navigation Checklist Tool (beta version), which can be used by anyone needing to do accessibility validation for an app and VPAT – Question: What is the best practice for requesting funds if needed? What type of information? What is the process? They are exploring potential partners.

In the SysOps SIG, two sessions were devoted to a demo of the FOLIO Devs Rancher environment, which was been performed by Stanislav Miroshnichenko. This uses Terraform to pull up Rancher (multiple projects), then Rancher installs FOLIO. It is a highly automated process. Inside Rancher, Helm charts are used for all modules. Stanislav also demoed module upgrades inside that framework. The Code for deploying FOLIO modules in Rancher with Terraform in an AWS Cloud environment is on github. It can be easily adapted to deploy on-premise on a virtual host cluster. The group discussed SAML SSO authentication and Tod Olson asked the group for deployment needs in the real world. He is going to take on a PO role for this issue. They conducted automatic Migration tests for Goldenrod: most JIRAs have been closed. Steps have been documented in column “Action required”.

In the Implementers SIG, Chicago gave a demonstration of their OLE serials check in and explained how they operate without predictive check-in or claiming functionality. The feature ranking labels aren’t as relevant in our current state of development, so we discussed changes with the Capacity Planning Team.  The current labels will be changed to: Go live = R1; can wait a quarter = R2; can wait for FYRO = R3;  can wait a year = R4; and Not Needed = R5. Working definitions for the new ranks are: R1 = Urgent – this feature is needed immediately; R2 = High – this feature is needed ASAP, at least in next release; R3 = Medium – workaround is deficient, needs to be fixed; R4 = Low – needed, but we can work around for a while; and R5 = Not needed. These will be fleshed out more in the next meeting. For FYRO issues, institutions need to go in to JIRA and re-rank them as R1 to be targeted for Iris development.

The Community Outreach SIG received a community request to provide the release name and details about that flower in the settings app. They are working to get a JIRA request in to either have it as part of settings, or in the release notes. They are working to create 2 improvements to the wiki: a job board and a help wanted section.  The Job board will be a spot for community members to list job openings at their institutions that are related to FOLIO. The Help wanted section will be opportunities to get involved within the FOLIO community. The cadence of the community newsletters will be monthly moving forward. The cadence of SIG meetings will be monthly moving forward.

In Forum Facilitators, planning continues for fall Forums. The archive of Forums can be found at

In Product Council, from August 14 to September 10, the PC introduced the “PC Vision & Strategy Project”, a short-term task force charged with developing a framework for describing our vision and strategy. Particularly at a higher-level focusing on themes and strategic objectives above the density of details in epics and stories. The task force hopes to present the results to PC at large in October. PC also followed up on the hotfixes for the Goldenrod release. PC also supported changing the features ranking system; asking the Implementers Group to develop a model making prioritization distinctive. PC also supported an immediate release date change for Honeysuckle from October 16 to November 23. In addition, the PC agreed with the Capacity Planning Team’s recommendation to adjust the FOLIO release schedule from 4 to 3 times per calendar year allowing for longer periods of feature development and bug fix. Finally, the PC agreed to submit an expression of interest for ITAV-in-Practice, the IMLS-funded project to create a toolkit for open source sustainability.

The Technical Council reviewed Tech Debt and established a Kanban Board to track/manage. Since January, 7 of 27 (26%) items have been closed; 9 of 27 (33%) items are in progress; and 11 of 27 (41%) items are waiting for further action/in the backlog. Note all but 2 of these are low priority. Release numbering was discussed; given the change from quarterly to 3-per-year releases, TC recommends that maintenance release numbering adopt a YYYY-N.S nomenclature. E.g. 2021-1.0 will be the Iris Release in March of 2021. Hotfixes would increment that last number – e.g. 2021-1.1 would be the first hotfix release. This will be reflected on the Wiki. They are leading discussions on how to deal with Optimistic locking issue and looking for something to happen in Iris (2021-1.0) release if it can’t make Honeysuckle (2020-3.0). They discussed work that lead to a new recommendation on UI Testing frameworks. The recommendation is to move away from current (deprecated) BigTest V1 to a combination of Jest/React Testing Library(RTL) and BigTest V2. Some controversy/uncertainties. TC will make a recommendation in the coming weeks. They discussed security related issues of Secrets Management, especially as it relates to configurations, and how that might be prioritized relative to current work on authentication refactoring. It’s important but not as urgent as authentication refactoring. There was activity on Data Types/Reference Data and they are getting closer to a short-term recommendation.