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Alma October release
The Alma October release will be installed on production this Sunday, October 9. This is a maintenance release that’s focused on infrastructure, as opposed to functionality changes. Release details are online.

Two notable items included in the release notes from ExL:

  • Ex Libris is heavily investing in enhancing its cloud search infrastructure and basing more and more of it on SOLR.  As part of this investment, we are moving various functional areas based on the ORACLE Text Search infrastructure to SOLR. The Requests area is one such example. We expect this to offer better performance and allow for more efficient cloud operations.

  • Ex Libris’ cloud team is working on enhancing the way emails can be sent from Alma, with the objective of increasing the security and reliability of email delivery. Currently Alma (and the cloud) send emails to users using Ex Libris’ mail relay servers. In the future, it will be possible to send emails using the institutions’ mail servers. More details on this will be available in a forthcoming release.

When more details are released regarding the second item, the Systems Team will evaluate this change and be prepared to offer guidance to institutions on what (if any) steps to take.

Alma release change - Sandbox testing period
This is an update to information on Alma releases that Dana shared with the Alliance in a September 5 Announce message:

Ex Libris has published a revised Alma release schedule for 2017. The two weeks of additional sandbox testing will begin with the February 2017 release (not January 2017).  

Starting with next month’s release, the Release Notes will include a section that provides a sneak peek into the following month’s release. (That is, the November release notes will include a section describing the major features in the December Alma release.)

Planned phaseout of passwords stored in Alma
For Alma internal accounts, support for storing the password in Alma will be phased out, with support expected to end in mid-2018. An Authentication Task Group created by the Ex Libris user groups is working with Ex Libris managers on this planned change. The group will be communicating with the Alma user community in the coming days, and will survey the community on use cases. Please subscribe to ALMA-L if you’re interested in being engaged with this work. Subscription information is available online.