Alma Merge Rules in the NZ Account

Associated Alma online help page


A small number of Alma merge rules have been created in the Alliance’s NZ account to use:

  • in the import profiles that load the daily bib record files from OCLC;
  • in the Alma configuration for Connexion downloads;
  • other import profiles created in the NZ for loading bib records into the NZ;
  • in any institutional import profile that loads records into the Alliance NZ (i.e., the import profile has “Use Network Zone = Yes”).
  • in the merging of records using the “Merge Records and Combine Inventory” functions.

OCA Bib Overlay (Keep 035s)

This is the primary merge rule used in most import profiles, both those created in the NZ account and in institutional accounts. It is designed to:

  • In the existing Alma bib record (i.e., the bib record to be overlaid), retain the:
    • 001 field containing the MMS ID
    • 035 fields which do NOT contain the OCLC “OCoLC” prefix
    • 979 field containing the NZ Bound-with marker
  • Delete all remaining fields in the existing Alma bib record;
  • Retain all fields from the incoming bib record (i.e., the bib record being imported).
rule "OCA Bib Overlay (Keep 035s)"
   replace MARC."LDR"
   remove MARC."0"XX excluding "001,035"
   add MARC."0"XX excluding "001"
   replace MARC."1"XX
   replace MARC."2"XX
   replace MARC."3"XX
   replace MARC."4"XX
   replace MARC."5"XX
   replace MARC."6"XX
   replace MARC."7"XX
   replace MARC."8"XX
   replace MARC."9"XX excluding "979"
   replace MARC."035" when MARC."035"."a" contains "OCoLC" excluding MARC."035"("9","9")

OCA Bib Overlay (Keep ALL 035s)

This rule is similar to the “OCA Bib Overlay (Keep 035s)” rule except that it retains all 035 fields from the existing Alma bib record including the obsolete OCLC 035 fields. When the “OCA bib Overlay (Keep 035s)” rule was created, staff at some Alliance institutions felt some import profiles were created based on the old “OCA Bib Overlay” merge rule (which is no longer used) and relied on the behavior of that merge rule. The “OCA Bib Overlay (Keep ALL 035s)” rule was created to replicate the behavior of the deprecated “OCA Bib Overlay” merge rule.

rule "OCA Bib Overlay (Keep ALL 035s)"
    remove MARC."LDR"
    remove MARC."0"XX excluding "035"
    remove MARC."1"XX
    remove MARC."2"XX
    remove MARC."3"XX
    remove MARC."4"XX
    remove MARC."5"XX
    remove MARC."6"XX
    remove MARC."7"XX
    remove MARC."8"XX
    remove MARC."9"XX excluding "979"
    add MARC."LDR"
    add MARC."0"XX
    add MARC."1"XX
    add MARC."2"XX
    add MARC."3"XX
    add MARC."4"XX
    add MARC."5"XX
    add MARC."6"XX
    add MARC."7"XX
    add MARC."8"XX
    add MARC."9"XX

OCA Bib Merge (Keep 035s)

This is the merge rule used for the “Merge Records and Combine Inventory” processes in Alma, whether used in the NZ (which is most common) or in the IZs. It is designed to:

  • In the primary Alma bib record (i.e., the bib record retained in the merge), retain all fields.
  • From the secondary bib record (i.e., the bib record “canceled” in the merge), retain:
    • 035 fields (OCLC and non-OCLC identifiers)
    • 979 field containing the NZ Bound-with marker
rule "OCA Bib Merge (Keep 035s)"
   add MARC."035"
   add MARC."979"

Keep only old value (file name: drools/MergeNoChangeToOldValue.dslr)

This rule retains the existing Alma bib record and ignores all fields in the incoming bib record (i.e., the bib record being imported). Testing has shown use of this merge rule changes the way some import profiles behave, such as whether Alma obtains the portfolio URL from the existing bib record or from the bib record being imported. The rule was written by Ex Libris and uses a syntax that is not documented in online help.

[rule "Keep only old value"]
#global variable
global MarcRecord targetObj

Merge Rules to be Deprecated

As of February 2021, the following rules (created during the migration to Alma in 2013-14) were present in the Alliance’s NZ account, but we have requested Ex Libris delete these rules. They should not be used without consultation with the Alliance’s Technical Services Program Manager.

  • drools/ConditionalSubjectHeadings.dslr (Conditional subject headings)
  • drools/OverlayAllFieldsButLocal.dslr (Overlay all fields but local)
  • drools/Replace245and035OCoLCifExist.dslr (Replace 245 and 035 OCoLC if exist)


Software: Alma

Current phase: NA

Written by: Bob Thomas

Approved by: NA

Last updated: 2/15/2021

Nature of last update: Added OCA Bib Merge rule; updated deprecated rules list; changed contact information