I'm interested to hear from anyone who's taking billing data for
overdues/replacement fees from Aleph and getting it into PeopleSoft.
What software and/or procedures are you using to do that?
At our library, it works like this:
1) We generate a couple of XML reports in Aleph listing new bills and
2) Access Services imports those into an ancient, poorly written
homebrew application written in the days of PHP 3, affectionately
3) Access Services uses Satan to do mysterious things like charge
reversals to the bills.
4) Our accountant in Admin accesses Satan to get a list of bills and
credits that she can copy-paste into an Excel spreadsheet.
5) She double checks that the numbers add up, and then emails it to
Student Account Services.
6) Student Account Services sprinkles it with holy water and then
uploads it into PeopleSoft via rituals I am not worthy to know.
And lastly, the student who forgot to return the book gets billed.
The problem is that Satan has become increasingly erratic over time.
Sometimes it fails to import bills correctly. Sometimes it changes the
amounts, apparently without rhyme or reason. Sometimes it breaks in
other, more interesting ways. Half the time, Access Services and Admin
wind up doing the bills manually.
We desperately need something better, but writing something to replace
Satan from scratch is going to be a major undertaking. If any of you
have a better procedure, existing (sane!) code we could steal, or
suggestions for commercial products to look at, please -- sing out!
Web Services Librarian
Chester Fritz Library
University of North Dakota