Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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What Went Wrong with the Summon 2.0 Migration

This morning Institutional Marketing and I switched over most of the Summon search boxes to make them work with the 2.0 interface. I still have to do Course Reserve, but I will wrap that up tomorrow. I spent most of Monday on the phone with support, and most of last evening and this morning updating our website once I had figured out what caused the problem. Although it isn’t definitive, I think I discovered what happened (and my suspicions have been confirmed by folks at Summon).

We were the first Summon customer back in 2009. When Summon was added to the library website, they gave us a URL and form code to add to our webpages to create search boxes. The forms went to the URL, and the name of the field that held the query was just “q.”

Shortly after Summon launched, the URL for forms changed to, without the /results at the end. In addition, the name of the input field went from being just “q” to “s.q”. However, the Summon team left code in the old interface to make sure that folks using the /results URL scheme would still get the results they expected. Now, five years later, they probably didn’t realize anyone was still using that URL scheme. But we were. So when we migrated to 2.0, searches stopped working.

This is something that I should have caught in testing. I ran several simulations to make sure that migration would go smoothly, and every time I kept the /results URL scheme. But there is a strange thing about this that still doesn’t make sense to me: if you’ve managed to load the Summon 2.0 interface at its current URL once, then the old scheme works. If you’ve never loaded it, it will fail. Simply heading to the URL directly once before trying to search from one of our outdated forms would do the trick. Since I had loaded the new Summon 2.0 interface on every test device at least once before I tried simulating the migration, I didn’t detect any issues. Also, after migration, the first thing I did was load the URL directly. After that, all of my test searches worked. This is why I was so surprised to receive an error report a few minutes later from Debbie, who hadn’t loaded the interface before she tried her search.

Anyway, that’s what went wrong (at least from what I can tell) but we seem to have moved beyond it. Summon 2.0 is now our default search results screen, and now I’m going to go offline for the rest of the night and pretend I am a goat farmer.