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Below is an update from Wade and me on Systems activities.

ProQuest’s product strategy following its acquisition of Ex Libris

Earlier this week, Jane Burke and Oren Beit-Arie led an Ex Libris & ProQuest Product Strategy Webinar. 

At the management system level, Alma is going to be the combined company's focus of effort.  ProQuest will stop development of its emerging Intota library services platform, Intota - planned acquisitions, circulation, and print collection management services will not be developed. The Alma and Intota teams will be meeting starting next month to incorporate aspects of the Intota vision into Alma - with Intota's primary strength in electronic collection management. Also, ProQuest technologies such as Index-Enhanced Direct Linking (IEDL) will be implemented in Alma and the Alma Community Zone will be enhanced with ProQuest content.

Alma will employ the ProQuest knowledge base. This development is expected to take one year. This is a major, positive development - ProQuest's strengths are in the content area based on its relationships with content providers.

By early 2017, Summon will be fully integrated with Alma, providing an alternative discovery service for Alma customers (with, for example, full integration of Alma availability info into Summon). That is, Summon will be a technical alternative to Primo - with the same vendor, ProQuest, supporting and providing quotes for the two discovery products.

The Primo Central Index will be replaced by a shared Summon and Primo index. Again, there's the benefit of scale and taking advantage of ProQuest's relationships with content providers.

Ex Libris products like Rosetta, Leganto, and campusM and ProQuest's content products and its SIPX course list product will continue to be marketed by the vendor essentially as they were prior to the merger.

Some slides from this week’s presentation are attached, which include some timeline information.

Alma Link Resolver Validity Checking for EBSCOhost Full-Text URLs

The Alma January 2016 release, now installed in production, includes a new EBSCOhost link resolver validity checking feature. As described in the release notes:

Alma now supports the ability to check the validity of the full-text URL before presenting it to the end user through the View It services menu. This functionality is currently available for EBSCOhost Full-Text URLs. The EBSCO Link Resolver Plugin performs external checks using an API that determines the most accurate available URL for the full text.

The release notes and this Ex Libris Knowledge Article describe how to enable this feature in your institutional Alma instance.

However, two prerequisites to using this feature are required, but are not yet in place:

1. Population of the new link resolver plug-in information within the EBSCOhost CKB collections.
This task will be done by Ex Libris. As per SF ticket 196351, the CKB has not yet been refreshed with this new information. That refresh will occur with the January 19 CKB update.

2. The new validity checking feature must first be enabled at the Alliance network level.
We are currently working on getting this done, and will send out an announcement once we have enabled the feature at the network level.

Primo Alerts non-delivery and duplicate delivery

As many of you know, the delivery of Primo saved query alerts continues to be an issue. We recently experienced another multi-week stoppage of alerts delivery, followed by the duplicate delivery of previously unsent alerts. The root cause of the issue, as identified by Ex Libris, stems from delivery alerts which contain references to search scopes that no longer exist. Once such an alert is encountered, delivery of additional alerts stops completely. The recent delivery of duplicate alerts resulted from Ex Libris troubleshooting, as they worked to clear the failed alerts from the queue. Ex Libris has scheduled a fix for this issue for the next Primo 4 update. In addition, Alon Botvinik reported via email this week that development is working on an injection fix they wish to test in a sandbox. No additional information is available about that injection fix currently. But if successful, we might get a resolution sooner than the next Primo 4 update.

Patron loading using v2 schema, and expiry date / time

Another recent issue of general interest has been the setting of patron expiration date and time when loading patron records using the v2 schema. Initially, the expiry time for these patrons was variable, and did not always get set to 23:59. That issue has been resolved, so that patrons loaded using the v2 schema always expire at 23:59. However, at present, the expiration date set in the Alma record is one day earlier than the date specified in the XML. For example, a date of January 15, 2017 in the XML will result in an expiration date in Alma of January 14, 2017. As per SF case 193437, this behavior will be corrected in the Alma March 2016 release, so that the expiration date in Alma is equivalent to the expiration date as set in the XML being loaded.

Status of no-PDS authentication in Primo

Wade and Nathan are still working with Ex Libris development to test the new no-PDS setup at Puget Sound and Portland State, respectively. Testing is almost complete, and we are simply awaiting a Sandbox injection fix coming early next week to iron out a couple of last issues. Once we feel comfortable with the new authentication, we will document the setup process, and perhaps schedule a one-off open call to discuss and demo the new setup. In the meantime, the Ex Libris documentation describing authentication configuration has already been published in the Knowledge Center.

Open Systems Calls

Apologies for failing to get what should have been an open systems call this week on the calendar. Starting February 10, we will resume our regularly scheduled Open Systems Calls on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. So, through June 2016, we have the following Meetings scheduled, if you would like to go ahead and put them on your calendar:

Feb 10, 1 to 2pm: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/967487829
Mar 9, 1 to 2pm: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/913771101
Apr 13, 1 to 2pm: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/820619709
May 11, 1 to 2pm
June 8, 1 to 2pm

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)