Sierra 5.5 brings FTP and fund improvements, new Mark Damaged workflow, SDA installer updates


The latest release of Sierra contains improvements for FTP, working with funds, improved display, and better communications with BookNet Canada, OCLC ILL, and OverDrive services.

Here are just some of the features introduced in Sierra 5.5:

  • Simplify FTP login — Sierra now allows FTP connection information to be added to the vendor account records, enabling Sierra to automatically log the user in to download vendor status reports or print/send orders. If a user selects files that belong to multiple vendors, the connection information for each vendor will be retrieved and used as necessary.
  • Highlight numbers across all columns in Funds displays — Staff can now highlight the entire row selected in the funds display, so it is easier follow one fund across the page, including the Appropriation, Expenditure, Encumbrance, Free Balance, and Cash Balance columns (as well as the % column when viewing the Accounting Report Table).
  • Switch between fund code and fund name display — Acquisitions users can now right-click to toggle the fund code/fund name column to show either value in the funds display.
  • Export funds/fund codes from Sierra — There is a new Export option in the toolbar of the Funds function to allow acquisitions users to export columns from the funds display as a csv file. When users click the Export button, a window pops-up to select the column/columns to be exported. After selecting the columns to be exported, a csv file is saved with the exported information.
  • Send additional courtesy notices — Libraries can now send patrons an additional courtesy notice on the day before an item is due. Staff users will need to be assigned the Additional Courtesy Notices permission (402) and the Additional Courtesy Notices will need to be enabled in the library’s loan rules. Additional courtesy notices can be run manually or as autonotices.
  • Display the location of the holdshelf — In libraries with multiple pickup locations, Sierra will now display the location of the holdshelf as part of the status information for an item that is either currently on the holdshelf or was recently cancelled and the clear holdshelf process has not been run. Depending on the library’s configuration, the status message will include either the display name from the hold pickup locations table or the branch name. The status message will appear on the View item record screen and in the status bar of the Manage Holds display.
  • New workflow for Mark Damaged Items — There is a new option in the Mark Damaged workflow labelled Mark Damaged and Add Bill and it will be used to mark the item as “Billed” and bill the patron for replacement of the item, so when the item is marked damaged, the item will be checked in and a bill will be added. Based on library policies, a processing fee and billing fee will be added automatically, and the damage charge will be linked to the item and the patron. When the fee is paid, the item status automatically updates to damaged. This allows the library to distinguish “damaged and billed” from “lost and billed” in reports.
    • *Libraries that are not using the Mark Damaged functionality will need to ask Innovative to enable this functionality in Sierra.
  • Update RFID “Resensitized” color in preferences — Libraries can now set the color preference for the Sensitization Indicator in the user’s Sierra preference settings. Sensitization indicator is active only when the library uses RFID tags on library materials.
  • Link to Public Display in Vega Discover from Sierra clients — You can now configure the Public Display feature in Sierra to show the record in Vega Discover by linking to the resource through the ILS record ID. The link works for records that are published in Discover. Vega Discover handles incorrect IDs, unpublished records, and suppresses records by returning an error message.
    • *Contact Innovative Support if you wish to enable this option in Sierra.
  • BookNet Canada Sales Data Analysis program — Sierra libraries in Canada can now set up a job and tasks in Scheduler to export the library’s branch and circulation data weekly and send the exported data files to BookNet Canada.
    • *Libraries who wish to use this feature must coordinate directly with BookNet Canada before configuring this feature in Sierra.
  • OCLC ILL changes — In December 2022, OCLC is planning to retire the current ILL Direct Request service. Sierra 5.5 has support for OCLC’s new Request Transfer service. To transition to the new service, please complete the following form electronically, then print, sign, and send it to OCLC as indicated on the form. Once your institution has been configured for the new service, OCLC will send you an email with instructions for retrieving your API key. Once you have your API key, contact III support.
  • Improved upload of Inventory data — There is a new feature in Data Exchange to help users upload .rdi files and convert them to rdi* files. To be uploaded in Data Exchange, the .rdi file must have 1 or more lines where each line is like “n:barcode”.
  • Encore OverDrive Checkout API changes — The OverDrive Checkouts API changed in January 2022. When downloading e-content, Encore 5.5 offers a new OverDrive-hosted fulfillment experience where patrons can select a format and open the content, as well as download any necessary software. These changes have also been delivered as hotfixes for 5.4, 5.3, and 5.2.
  • Support for SDA installer on MacOS Monterey — The Sierra Desktop Application (SDA) installer can now run on MacOS Monterey.
  • Support the SDA installer on Windows 11 — The Sierra Desktop Application (SDA) installer can now run on Windows 11.

You can read the full release notes for Sierra 5.5 on the Innovative Supportal (login required).

Come to our webinar on October 20, 2022, for a look at these new features: