Documentation

Here you'll find documentation about running your own ReadingRecord server. I recommend following the documentation in the order listed here. Even if you are familiar with a particular task, a quick review is in order so you don't miss any ReadingRecord specific tasks. If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, please e-mail me. Thanks & enjoy!

A Request From The Developer

ReadingRecord is one of my pet projects. While I have spent a fair amount of work time on it, I have also spent (and continue to spend) countless hours of my own time developing, supporting & improving it.

If you are running your own ReadingRecord server and/or hosting one for a group of libraries, please, please, please consider:

  • Letting me know so I can include your information on the Wiki. Partly to know that other libraries are, in fact, running ReadingRecord on their own, but partly for libraries that may be looking for a host/expertise in their area. (If you prefer not to have your site listed publicly, at least consider letting me know you are using it.)
  • Providing statistics by library so I can add them to the Wiki. See the statistics page for details.

Thanks!

Overview

Getting a ReadingRecord server up & running can be an intimidating task. It is not your typical MS “point, click & install” software, nor is it ever likely to be. In part this is due to the ReadingRecord design philosophy:

  • It was designed to be a cloud-based (hosted) solution, where one server could support many libraries.
  • It was designed to be simple for patrons, staff & volunteers to use. This doesn't necessarily translate to “easy for the administrator to install”.
  • It was designed to leverage a variety of open source tools, including Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP & phpMyAdmin. While these tools are quite powerful (both alone & together), there is definitely a learning curve to all of them.
  • It has a decent feature set, which means a lot of configuration options.
  • It aims to be easy to change a site's configuration, even after the initial setup.
  • Once up & running it is easy to maintain, requiring little staff time & effort.

At some point in the (distant) future, the initial setup & configuration may become easier. For now, I continue to concentrate on features & ease of use.

The Documentation

I have done my best to make the initial draft of documentation useful without being mind-numbingly complicated. It will continue to evolve (and hopefully improve!) as time permits & feedback is received. I suspect those of you reading this documentation will fall into one of three categories:

  • We have the necessary skills to do this. We'll host our own site, and may even consider hosting other libraries in our area/region.
  • We have the necessary skills to do this, but the cost of having you host ReadingRecord for us is well worth it, so we'll go that route.
  • We definitely don't have the skills for this. We may investigate hosting solutions in our area or have you host it for us. Perhaps in the future we will nave the necessary skills.

Again, I recommend reading the documentation in the following order:

  1. Database schema information: A wealth of information about the databases used by ReadingRecord, with examples.

Help For The Lost

If you have read the documentation and are hopelessly lost, fear not! There are a number of possibilities for help:

  • Google, websites, listservs and/or (gasp!) books can provide helpful information about getting a LAMP server up & running.
  • Post your question to the ReadingRecord group, as someone else may have encountered the same difficulty. I will also try to answer questions as time permits. If the same question keeps coming up, I will revise the documentation.
  • E-mail me directly. Time permitting I will attempt to answer your question. (Or at least make up something that sounds good! ;-))
  • If you are set on running your own ReadingRecord server but would like some help getting it up & running, I may be willing to do so for a fee. Please contact me directly if interested in this option.
  • If you're still interested in running ReadingRecord but decide you don't want to host it yourself, check out some Options for running ReadingRecord, which include joining an organization already hosting ReadingRecord and paying me a small yearly fee to host it for you.

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docs/docs_start.txt (3790 views) · Last modified: 2013/04/05 08:43 by esisler