Offline Mode Overview

housekeeping, resolved-in-upgrade, mega-meta

Wes Osborn

Libraries use offline mode to continue library services when the Polaris server is unavailable for an extended period of time for planned maintenance, upgrades, importing data for new member libraries, etc. Members should following the instructions for Preparing for Offline mode when initially adding new Polaris workstations.

Staff do NOT need to contact the CLC when going into offline mode, though if the reason for going into offline mode is for a CLC service, you should following the reporting an outage instructions, so CLC is alerted of the root problem and can begin working to resolve the issue.

Using offline mode means that the transactions performed while Offline are kept in a separate log, and then imported into Polaris at a later time.

Preparing for Offline mode

  • There is no offline mode for Leap.
  • Make sure you have the most recent Offline configuration files from \\\Offline (built each morning)
  • If you get a Error: Client session initialization error 0 it means that you don’t have the proper offline configuration files or the proper permissions assigned to those files.
  • You can only use offline mode on a workstation that is configured and licensed to run the Polaris client. If the workstation name is not registered in Polaris prior to going offline, it will NOT be able to run in offline mode.
  • Double check the offline receipt printer settings under Tools -> Options while in offline mode.
  • Note: Polaris uses the branch associated with the logged-in workstation to calculate due dates. The branch name that appears on receipts during offline mode is determined by the branch associated with the staff member who is logged in.

ExpressCheck limitations

  • ExpressCheck use requires that the patron barcode is PRESENT in the offline configuration file. Patrons that were registered during the offline period will NOT be able to use expresscheck.
  • While in Offline mode ExpressCheck WILL NOT REQUIRE patrons to enter their PIN numbers to proceed.
    • There is no way to change this behavior. Because PINs are hashed in the database they cannot be “exported” for use in Offline mode.
  • ExpressCheck does not BLOCK for excessive fines. If you’d like to block patrons with excessive fines from using the SelfCKO, you’ll need to remove them from the PolPatrons.mdb file using a SQL script in Microsoft Access.

What to do while in offline mode

  • Make sure to clear out any OLD transaction files BEFORE going into Offline mode.
  • To log into offline mode, follow these instructions.
    • If you want to test offline mode and your PC is set to auto login. Choose the File -> Log off option from the toolbar, then select File -> Login. You’ll be prompted for your username and password. Check the box below the password field to enter Offline mode.
  • Make sure your offline files are being backed up. Or optionally you can store offline files on a local network file share.
  • You cannot handle fine payments in offline
  • Loan periods will be the same across all checkout type. If desired, you may want to batch together checkouts based upon material type and assign them a special due date in the offline client.
  • It is recommended that you only perform patron registrations at ONE workstation per physical building. When going online, the patron registration workstations should be processed first.

Processing offline files and going online