Ease of Use, Feature Full

The Pergamon range of products utilises a single-installation, multiple client level approach to deliver as appropriate a functional experience as possible to the organisation, while at the same time allowing the ability to scale up or down the product range without changing the installed software.

While The Pergamon Mu license is currently shipping to primary schools, it is mainly the license key which determins the features and functionality that are available, but also very importantly the way in which those features are provided. At the primary school level Pergamon Mu focuses strongly on the graphically oriented OPAC front-end while providing a streamlined, stripped down set of dialogs within the management logins suitable for the actual rather than perceived needs of a primary school environment.

As we move up through the license scale, the management dialogs become more capable and encompassing of the traditional librarian expectation, adding entire new tabs, dialogs and functional feature areas.

Whichever license level you choose or need, Pergamon is not skimping and has no hidden costs. Appropriate Import1 and Export, reporting, support, upgrades and functionality range are all included in the single purchase / support costs.

1Note that by necessity, this does not include the cost of sourced data which is often provided by third-parties.

Combined OPAC

Past library management designs provide a range of applications to form the whole: some small, some large and some ridiculuously huge for the job that they do - the most notable being separate management and OPAC1 systems.

Pergamon Mu takes a very different approach - the front-end of the management system is the OPAC but with the generous licensing system in place clients are able to install the full system in all locations where separate and differently priced applications would have been previously installed. Not only is this sometimes a complicated calculation financially, but it is often a nightmare for ICT staff trying to administer common workstation terminals using imaging and automated distribution.

With Pergamon, it's one piece of software. One installation requirement. All governed by user accounts within the software itself.

The benefits of this design are immense, but the obvious one is that you do not need a central library or workstation from which to manage everything . An increasingly common situation in Primary schools is to have a range of books distributed in different classrooms around the school. With the flexibility of the combined OPAC design, every classroom can become its own library - both separately but also collectively for school-wide administrative purposes and reporting.

1 Open Public Access Catalogue - the public search facility.

Database Compatibility

All products in the Pergamon range support both conventional and encrypted SQLite (single workstation) and Postgres (multi-user and network installations) out of the box. We can support this because of a special 'multi-lingual' system that we have developed that not only allows us to display different human languages on screen, but also different database languages behind the scenes.

SQLite and PostgreSQL, both 100% free, allow Pergamon users to set up both single workstation and large networks of multi-user environments without any additional cost. Support for other databases often in use in education, such as MySQL, Oracle, MS SQLServer and other database systems are arriving later in 2017.

Want some techie stuff? See below.

MySQL J/ODBC Oracle PostgreSQL SQLite MS SQLServer Valentina



What is SQLite?

SQLite is a fully complient RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) which supports all of the required features of a modern Relational database system, including ACID compliance and full standard SQL support. Unlike other RDBMS however, SQLite is mainly non-client-server1 meaning that standard installations are not really network (multi-user) compatible. The version that we ship also contains the option for very strong, military grade encryption to protect your reader data.

What this does mean however, is that SQLite is usually embedded within the application software and allows a very compact but fully RDBMS compliant database system to be shipped in an easy to install 'out-of-the-box' manner, allowing users of Pergamon to get their systems in place and usable within minutes of acquiring the software. You do not need to install any other software from either ourselves or a third-party to get your database up and running.

1 Though client-server versions do exist.



What is Postgre?

PostgreSQL is a large-scale RDBMS system akin to MySQL, Oracle and MS SQLServer. It has been in existence for many years and is a standard database installation on MacOS for internal operations and other flavours of the Linux and UNIX operating systems, but standard installation packages are available for all major operating systems including MS Windows. The biggest difference between PostgreSQL and others however, is that PostgreSQL is totally free of charge (it is shipped under a strong permissive free-software license - i.e. there are very few limitations on redistribution).

If you intend to install Pergamon in a multi-user environment, with terminals in different locations on your network and you do not already possess a database server on your network, Esferico ltd. recommend Postgre as the easiest, cheapest1 and most convenient to manage option.

1 As database systems such as MS SQLServer and Oracle are obviously commercial software, many organisations choose MySQL believing it to be an open-source, free to use option. This is however, not true. MySQL was a commercial development originally by MySQL SA and then taken on by Sun Microsystems and finally Oracle. While there is a MySQL 'community' edition available, it has a strict set of rules on who can use it free of charge. While most education uses allow the system to be utilised without payment, please check your own situation with the MySQL terms and conditions before committing to its installation.


It has always been very important to Esferico that as many people as possible are able to benefit from our systems, but without sacrificing development times or usability on platforms not considered to be our prime market-place. This is especially true with the new range of schools and academies opening in the UK, many of whom have decided to move away from the traditional school MS Windows platform.

For this reason, Esferico insist on using an inherently cross-platform development pattern which allows us to ship to Windows, Mac OSX, Linux (and more) based desktop environments from the same development project. We literally use the same development code for all of the major operating systems in use in schools today. No-one gets priority, and no-one is left behind. Upgardes and fixes for all platforms are available simultaneously.

Early in 2018, we also expect this policy to extend the Pergamon range to both the Web and Mobile computing devices, greatly expanding the flexibility of using Pergamon around the school environment.

Ease of Installation

In keeping with our cross-platform principles, we try to keep installation of our products as simple and consistent as possible (allowing for certain unavoidable constraints set down by the OS manufacturers themselves).

While we make 'installers' available, all of our desktop software can also be installed by simply decompressing a distribution file and then drag-and-dropping the applications into a folder of your choice. First run of the software will talk you through anything else that is needed.


And for you ICT technicians out there, there are no installation routines, writing to system registries or locking licenses to workstations so if you need to move the software, it's equally clean. Nothing is left behind, so distribution to many terminals in your organisation via image distribution is a breeze.