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From Al and Wade, here are some systems-related updates for this week:

First, there are several Systems updates in this month's Alliance News. Continuing:

Primo standard sandbox

This sandbox will be retained and its version will be synchronized with Primo production and the premium sandbox (currently July release) to improve the Alliance's ability to manage Primo (including normalization rules migration from one Primo installation to another). Al and Keith Folsom will work with ExL to ensure this synchronization going forward.

ExL has made a significant cut in the renorm/reindex maintenance time, which had crept up to over 95 hours. The Alliance's testing showed the duration time reduced to 70 hours, 6 minutes. Still, this is far longer than the operational level needed to routinize norm rules testing and application on Alliance Primo. As noted in the monthly News, ExL will be making a presentation to the Alliance on its plans for further reducing Primo pipes/indexing run times.

Service Level Agreement information

One of the challenges to Alliance tracking of Alma and Primo performance has ExL's lack of reporting, including uptime reports for the Primo NA00 instance that hosts Alliance Primo production and premium sandbox, and Alma/Primo root cause analysis (RCA) reports following disruptions. ExL's Matt Baker, Director of North America Support, provided this information on Thursday:

  • It is agreed upon that ExL owes the Alliance uptime reports (including Primo, mirroring uptime report) and RCAs in the case of service disruptions
  • Going forward, expect RCAs for service disruptions to be automatically generated and distributed following disruptions
  • Matt is working on obtaining a Q2 Primo NA00 uptime report, which is essential in the Alliance's evaluation of ExL's adherence to its service level agreement with the Alliance; he will provide this info to Al
WorldCat adapter for Primo

No good news here - Ex Libris staff have reviewed the OCLC WorldCat Discovery API documentation, but still do not have access to the API itself. This meshes with the terms statement on the API web page ("not yet in general release or available for use by commercial partners"). John Helmer will reach out to OCLC to express the Alliance's interest in ExL access to the WorldCat API.

Ex Libris report on Alma usability testing

John Helmer and Al received the below info from ExL's Melissa Hilbert during the September 3 monthly ExL-Alliance meeting. Al discussed this info with the University of Oregon's Ann Miller from the Alma Product Working Group (PWG). Ann could not confirm this information, but said that she's communicating with the PWG and will obtain more info on the user groups' take on Alma usability work.

From Carmit Marcus, ExL lead on this initiative: Alma Product Working Group established a task force to work on usability that includes 8 members, including the University of Washington. There were sessions conducted with four of the members, including the UW. Similar sessions are being conducted with the four other members; these are expected to be completed in October. During November-December, ExL will plan and develop solutions based on the testing. The solutions will be rolled out to the Alma user interface in 2016.  

Alma and Primo training options, post-migration

During the September 3 call, Melissa Hilbert provided some information on Alma and Primo certification options:  

Expected availability of online Primo certification training: March 2016

With this support, do not expect Primo certification training to be conducted during the ExL Technical Seminar that will precede the 2016 ELUNA meeting in Oklahoma City.

ExL is relying upon its online Alma certification training option and likewise won't conduct certification training during the 2016 Technical Seminar.

Please let Al know if you have any comments or questions on the above training information.

Noteworthy recent posts sys-discussion (and dd-community)

Here are a few snippets of discussions that have happened recently on the sys-discussion email and dd-community lists, that offer some useful information. Don”t forget to check in on these lists regularly to ask questions, share your own knowledge, and discover valuable nuggets of information.

On the topic of mashup CSS

If you change your CSS to target the Summit request form only, it won't affect any fields on the local request form. The Summit form has a top parent div with class illRequest, while the local request form has a top parent div with class holdRequest.

So for whatever rule you're using to hide the format field, like div.clearfix:nth-child(1) > ul:nth-child(2) > li:nth-child(3) {display:none;}, change it to div.illRequest div.clearfix:nth-child(1) etc., and it won't hide your booking field.

On the topic of Primo error messages as configured in the PBO (from our neighbors over on dd-community)

I think you can customize the error message text by changing the label for the default.error.contact line in the Front End-> Error Messages code table in the PBO.  I think you”re stuck with the link being in the message unless you hide it with CSS, but you can change the text of the link by editing the default.error.administrator line in the same code table.

On the topic of proxy configuration for electronic resources

There is a page in the Ex Libris Documentation Center with a nice table that provides a summary on the end result (proxied, or not proxied) of different combinations of proxy settings (collection, service, portfolio):


On the topic of the use of the API for real-time availability (RTA) information

I think that you'll want to tap into Alma's real-time availability (RTA) API. That API gives you availability for all items attached to a bib record. So assuming your keys are all on one bib, it would work.

As an example, this blog post on the dev network uses it: https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/blog/Integrating-with-Alma-s-Real-Time-Availability-and-Get-It

And we're using this for laptops availability on our website: http://library.pdx.edu/study-spaces-computers/equipment/

Ex Libris introduces  Idea Exchange

Ex Libris announced on Alma-L this week a new direct customer-to-Ex Libris feedback path, called the Idea Exchange, available at ideas.exlibrisgroup.com. This site is open to the world, so anyone including library staff members, active library patrons, electronic resource vendors, and so on, might participate. The Idea Exchange is not related to or affiliated with organized customer bodies, such as ELUNA or IGeLU, or established, formalized product enhancement mechanisms, such as the Alma enhancements process. The available FAQs provide some additional information about the intended audience and use guidelines. For now, the following statement from the FAQs is the most succinct summation of Ex Libris commitment to responding to or addresses submitted ideas:

During the first six months of the Idea Exchange site”s operation, we are reviewing and responding to the ideas with the most points. At the same time, we are collecting data to define a popularity threshold—a certain number of points. Eventually, every idea that reaches that threshold will receive a response from us.

Have a good holiday weekend. I hope to see as many of you as possible during the September 9 Systems Open Call (1-2 PM).

Al Cornish
Program Manager
Systems support for Alma, Primo and other services
Orbis Cascade Alliance
541-246-2470 Ext. 204  (voice)
acornish@orbiscascade.org (email)