Microlcs README - Avanti Library Systems
  Home     About Avanti     MicroLCS     AvantiMARC     News    About the Developer


                            Avanti MicroLCS
                         Version 1.0 Beta No. 4

                  Copyright (C) 2005 by Peter Schlumpf

This document contains information about Avanti MicroLCS version 1.0
beta 4.  This includes installation instructions and instructions on
how to get the system up and running.  The installation instructions assume
a Unix platform on the server and a Windows platform for the client.
However, Avanti MicroLCS is platform independent and either component
can be installed and run on Windows or Linux with minor adaptations in
the install procedures.

Avanti MicroLCS requires a Java runtime environment to run, version 1.2 or
later.  If you do not hava Java installed on either the server or client,
you must download Java and install it first.  To get a copy of Java, go to
http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html .  The J2SE version 1.4.2 Java
Runtime Environment (JRE) is recommended.

This software is released under the terms of the GNU General Public
License.  Please refer to the license agreement included in this
distribution for terms of use.


     I.   Introduction
     II.  Files and Directories
     III. Installation
          - Installing the server
          - Installing the client
     IV.  Starting and stopping the server

I.  Introduction

Avanti MicroLCS is a small simple but powerful OPAC and cataloging system
designed for use in small libraries.  Written entirely in Java it is
platform  independent and will run on any computer that supports Java.
Avanti MicroLCS is vertically integrated, so it doesn't need any third
party software other than Java to run.  The clean and simple user
interface provides complete boolean search capabilities with AND OR and
NOT operators, nested searching and searching across all indexed fields.
This search system can handle any arbitrarily complex boolean search.

Avanti MicroLCS takes a different approach to software design, aspiring
to be an effective tool through a clean design and radical simplicity.
Rather than presenting the user with an array of complex features, we
have chosen to focus on a few core functions and implement them very well.

II.  Files and Directories

MicroLCS 1.0 beta 4 is distributed as a tarball.  Extract the files with
the command

     tar -xvzf microlcs-1_0b4.tz

This creates a directory named 'microlcs'.  The microlcs directory
contains the following:

     LICENSE.txt   The license agreement.
     README.txt    Basic documentation.  You're reading it now.
     bin/          A directory containing executable programs.
     client/       A directory containing the client component of
     data/         This directory contains MicroLCS databases.
     etc/          A directory configuration files.
     lib/          Contains the Java jar files.
     logs/         Log files live here.
     src/          A directory that contains the source code.

The bin directory contains:

     microlcs      Server startup script for Unix.
     microlcs.bat  Server startup script for Windows.

In the client directory you will find:

     client.jar    Contains the client Java classes.
     etc/          Contains client config files.
     helpfiles/    Contains the online help files.
     startcli      Unix shell script that starts the command line
     startcli.bat  Windows batch file for starting the command line
     startgui      Unix script that starts the graphical client.
     startgui.bat  Windows batch file that starts the graphical client.

In the etc directory you will find:

     motd          Message of the day file for the text based client.
     system.bak    A backup copy of the configuration file.
     system.cfg    The default configuration file.

The data directory initially contains a single directory called
'archive.'  This is where archives of library databases are stored.
Library databases are also stored in the data directory.  MicroLCS
can support any number of separate library databases although in
this version only one library's database can be online at a time.

III.  Installation

The following installation steps assume a server install on a Unix
system and a client install on a Windows system.  Both components can
run on either Windows or Unix with minor variations of the general
install procedure outline here.

These install procedures set up Avanti MicroLCS with an empty library
database called 'system' with a maximum capacity of 10000 titles and
15000 items.

Installing the server:

To install the server portion make sure you are in the mirolcs.  Then
cd to the bin/ directory where the server executable scripts are found.

1.  Edit the shell script called microlcs.  Set AVANTIPATH to the full
path to where the Avanti files live.  For example, if avanti has been
installed in /usr/local on your system it AVANTIPATH should look
like this:


2.  Initialize the system database.  Run the microlcs shell script as

     ./microlcs init system

You will get the following response:

     initializing system...
     Warning!! You are initializing or restoring MicroLCS.
     This will wipe out everything in all databases!
     Are you sure you want to do this? (yes , no):

At the prompt type out the word 'yes' and press enter.  Then you will be
presented with a final chance to abort:

     Type 'begin' to continue, anything else to abort:

Type out the word 'begin' and press enter.  MicroLCS will now create a
new library database as specified in the system.cfg configuration file.
With the default maximum database dimensions of 10,000 titles and 15,000
holdings.  The initialization process may take a few minutes.  When it is
complete, the server console command prompt will appear:

     Avanti MicroLCS>

NOTE:  You may may get get the following error message:

Error:  java.lang.Exception: System has been reset.  Restart server
in normal mode.

If you do, ignore it.  Everything should be fine.

The server console provides basic tools for starting, stopping and
managing the server.  To see a list of commands, type '?'.

3.  Start the Avanti server.  From the server console type

     start system build-indexes

You should see Avanti build the indexes and finish with a message
indicating that the server is started.

The Avanti MicroLCS server instllation is complete.

Installing the client:

The client may be used on the same machine for a "single user" system,
or more likely it will be running on one or more other computers on a
network. To intall the client,

1.  Copy the client directory to the target machine.

2.  On the target client machine Go to the etc directory in the client
directory that you jusy copied over.  Edit client.cfg. Set the following
parameters in client.cfg:

  - PATH:  Set this to whatever the path is to
    the client install.  Be sure to leave a trailing
    slash '/' or backslash '\' in the path!!!

  - ServerAddress:  Defaults to  This should
    be the IP address or network name of the server.

3. Start the graphical interface by running startgui.bat  The MicroLCS
client will connect with the server already running and be ready for use.
Click on the Help button for more information on how to use the client
for adding records and performing searches.

IV.  Starting and stopping the server

The server component is

To start the server from the Unix command line type:

     ./microlcs start system build-indexes

To stop the server from the server console, type


This brings down the server and exits the console program.

As of this writing (2 January 2005) this README is the only documentation
for the beta 4 release of MicroLCS.  Much more comprehensive documentation
is in progress and will be posted on the Avanti Library Systems website
as it becomes available.  If you have problems installing this program
you may contact the Project Manager at pschlumpf@gmail.com .


Copyright © MMV by Peter Schlumpf