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
\\proddb.clcdpc.org\Offline(built each morning)
- It is preferred that you make a local copy of these files on your server and then copy them to your workstations. The CLC created a script that libraries can run to retreive their offline files.
- The Polaris help file includes information about where the offline configuration files need to be placed on the client.
- 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 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.
- If you’re storing transaction files on a network share and the network share goes offline, please see this article for more details on how this will impact the offline process.
- 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
- If CLC INITIALLY instructed you go into Offline mode, do NOT go into online mode until instructed to do so by the CLC.
- The Polaris Help file for viewing and uploading offline transaction files can be found here.
- Make sure to Process transactions files separately for each branch (log into the branch you’re processing the files for)
- Process the patron registration workstation offline files FIRST. This will reduce the chance that you get a patron not found error when processing the files from other workstations.
- Review the report and error log and take an nessecary action
- When you go online, you can checkout and process the offline files but do NOT check in until CLC gives you the OK