Alma Indication Rules FAQ

This FAQ was put together by questions gathered from the technical services community.


When saving an indication rule, what is the effect of choosing ‘Private’ versus ‘Shared’?

In the Metadata Editor, you can view and edit rules saved as ‘Private’. However, when going to Manage Sets -> Actions -> Filter set, rules saved as ‘Private’ will not be included in the options available. In order to be applied to a set, indication rules must be saved as ‘Shared’.

What is the effect of creating an indication rule in the local (IZ) account versus the Alliance-level network (NZ) account?

An indication rule created in a library’s local (IZ) account can be used to filter any set, whether the set contains IZ or NZ bib records. An indication rule created in the Alliance-level network (NZ) account can be seen in the list of indication rules in the Metadata Editor in a library’s local (IZ) account, but it cannot be used to filter sets in a local (IZ) account. Creating an indication rule in the Alliance network (NZ) account is one method of sharing an indication rule amongst all Alliance libraries, but to use an NZ indication rule to filter sets in a local (IZ) account, you must first ‘Duplicate’ the rule which creates a usable copy in your local (IZ) account. Rules stored in a local (IZ) account have a building icon, whereas rules stored in the network (NZ) account have an NZ icon, as shown below:

Screenshot: BT TEST IZ, BT TEST NZ 1

Who has the ability to delete indication rules? Is deletion restricted only to the person who has created the rule?

In a preliminary test, we found that anyone can delete a rule saved in a library’s local (IZ) account, i.e., deleting a rule is not restricted to the creator of a rule. I did not test to confirm which user roles allowed rule deletion. A rule saved in the Alliance-level network (NZ) account cannot be deleted from within a library’s local (IZ) account, even by the creator of the NZ rule. Note: Even though I created an indication in the Alliance network (NZ) account, Alma does not allow me to delete my own NZ indication rule. This is another reason why creating indication rules in the NZ account should be avoided whenever possible. A Salesforce case has been submitted.

Is the ‘.dslr’ file extension necessary when creating indication rules?

No, the ‘drools/’ prefix and the ‘.dslr’ suffix are not required. A rule saved with a simple name such as ‘Find GovDocs’ will work just as well as a rule saved with the name ‘drools/Find GovDocs.dslr’. However, there is a known bug in Alma that often prevents a user from deleting rules with names that have the ‘drools/’ prefix and the ‘.dslr’ suffix, even if the person is the creator.

When are parentheses and brackets necessary in indication rules?

Curly brackets (or ‘braces’) are required to designate certain parts of a command, as shown in Alma documentation. Parentheses, however, appear to be optional. Parentheses are used to make commands easier to read, especially when complex commands are used using Boolean operators to join multiple conditions. For example, the following commands return the same results:


existsControl “008.{34,1}.a”


(existsControl “008.{34,1}.a”)

Similarly, the following commands return the same results:


existsControl “008.{34,1}.a” OR existsControl “008.{34,1}.c”


(existsControl “008.{34,1}.a”) OR (existsControl “008.{34,1}.c”)

I didn”t test any examples that were more complex (like those using a mix of ‘OR’ and ‘AND’ operators), as I would always use parentheses is those type of rules just to make them easier to read for myself and others.

Information in the Alma documentation on indication rules can be spread out and not intuitive to find. Can we develop some Alliance documentation/training in this area?

The initial version of this FAQ is not intended to duplicate the information found in Alma documentation. However, as soon as the new Alliance Technical Services document repository is available for use (which will be soon), this document will be added to that repository and we will invite others to submit additional information which could be added to this FAQ. When the Alliance training resources for Resource Management are developed (probably in 2017), inclusion of a module on creating and using normalization and indication rules would (I believe) be beneficial.

What conditions are available for the ‘When’ clause in indication rules?

The following five conditions are the only ones currently available for use in indication rules:

  • exists
  • not exists
  • existsControl
  • not existsControl
  • existsMoreThanOnce

The above conditions are shown below with the arguments shown in Alma documentation (‘not’ can be added to any condition shown below except ‘existsMoreThanOnce’):

exists “022”

exists “245.{1,4}”

exists “856.{*,1}”

exists “245.h”

exists “100.a.Kortick, Yoel”

exists “041.a.ger”

exists “035.*.(CPU)*01copu”

exists “245.{*, }.a.Le *”

exists “050.b.*ONLINE”

exists “035.a.(OCoLC)*

exists “536.a.*Donated*”

exists “866.8.0|99”

exists “900.a.Design|Architecture”

existsControl “007”

existsControl “LDR.{17,1}.u”

existsControl “LDR.{17,1}. “

existsControl “008.{35,3}.fre”

existsMoreThanOnce “245”


Software: Alma

Current phase: NA

Written by: Bob Thomas

Approved by: NA

Last updated: 3/16/2016

Nature of last update: NA