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    Tester at public workstation unable to perform search with test servers

    • Article Type: General
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 18.01

    A tester found that when they tried to use one of the public workstations in our reading room with the test server (on Akamai) they were not able to perform a search.

    All the workstations in question are in our public reading rooms, and are on a local network. Because all the public workstations have specialized software on them (to do such things as patron authentication, limit the amount of time on a patron session, etc.), the network administrator doesn’t necessarily upgrade to each new version of Internet Explorer. Currently all the public workstations (and some of the Reference Desk workstations) in the reading rooms are on Internet Explorer 6. (The remaining Ref Desk machines, and all other staff workstations, are on IE7.)

    When we were conducting our stress test on the test server OPAC (on Akamai), some of our test searchers were on the Reference Desk in the reading rooms. They noticed right away that they had no troubles if their machine was on IE7, but if their machine was on IE6, they were unable to search the test OPAC. Specifically, if they were accessing the test OPAC via IE6:

    - they would type in the url and see the default search screen for the OPAC, which is a “Words Anywhere” search in the full catalog

    - they would type in a search, and hit “Enter”—but instead of getting any results, they would get an error message: “*empty search string*”

    - trying any other kind of search would just yield a screen refresh, or no response at all

    I subsequently went to each of these workstations myself and tried accessing the test OPAC, and had the same experience. If the workstation had IE7, the search worked fine; if the workstation was on IE6, searches didn’t work, as described above. This was true even in the case of workstations which otherwise appeared to be configured identically.

    When we discovered this problem, we spoke to the network administrator for the reading rooms, and found that she is planning to do a general software upgrade, and corresponding upgrade to Internet Explorer, in December. At that time the reading room machines will all be upgraded to *IE8,* which we haven’t tested at all. We asked for a test workstation to be set up on her network with IE8 installed, so that we could try accessing the test OPAC from there to see if this solved the problem. We expect to have access to this test installation later this week.

    We have been able to confirm installing IE 7 corrects the problem, and one public workstation in our reading room is now able to connect, search and display properly the test OPAC using an IE6 hack on the server.

    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013