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Polaris (III) to Alma Data Delivery Specification

The procedure for migrating from the Polaris (III) ILS to Ex Libris’ Alma consists of the following steps:
  1. Indicate which local fields correspond to Ex Libris' expected fields using the Polaris Field Mapping form, prior to data delivery (customer responsibility).
  2. Validate the flat files using the Non-Ex Libris to Alma Validation Tool. It is recommended that this step be done against a small sub-set of data to ensure that the header of each of your flat files and the filled in field mapping form match each other.
  3. Extract the relevant data elements from Polaris into flat files (customer responsibility).
  4. Upload the files to Ex Libris’ FTP server along with the Polaris Delivered Files form and the executed/validated Non-Ex Libris to Alma Validation Tool (customer responsibility).
  5. Transform the data elements, based on the Polaris Field Mapping form, into an intermediate conversion XML format (Ex Libris responsibility).
  6. Load the transformed data into Alma (Ex Libris responsibility).
  7. Deliver the Polaris Field Mapping form and validated data validation output to Ex Libris along with the Polaris Migration Form prior to the actual delivery of the data. The lead time depends on your project schedule. Provide the Polaris Delivered Files form, which lists the file names and the record counts for each file, at the same time that you provide your data extract files.
  8. Provide the Polaris data elements in flat files, and place them on an Ex Libris FTP server. Prepare the data files with the naming conventions as described in Acquisitions.
  9. No acquisitions files are expected for Polaris customers. However, fill out the few acquisitions-related questions in the migration form so that your Alma environment is set up to use acquisitions. For more information, see Appendix – FTP Drop Point Delivery and Form.
For all files, the maximum file size is 2GB.
DO NOT OPEN/UPDATE any delimited file extracts you provide to Ex Libris in Excel. This can ruin the appropriate delimiter formatting and text formatting and can result in corrupted data.

Polaris Field Mapping Form

Prior to submitting your extracted files, complete the Polaris Field Mapping form. The Polaris Field Mapping Form and the Polaris Migration Form should be submitted at the same time. In the Polaris Field Mapping Form, indicate which data elements (files) you plan to provide in the Overview tab of the spreadsheet. On the subsequent tabs, indicate your local Polaris field names and how they map to our expected field names.
Even when the names of the fields being provided are the same as the ones listed in the ExL Expected Field Name column, the Local Field Name column for the fields being provided must still be filled in.
In addition, there are various note fields for each data element on the various tabs. For fields that are not expected by Ex Libris – meaning, there is no functional place for the data element in the corresponding Alma data structure – place the field in a note in the record if you want to keep it in Alma. Specify which note type you want the field to go to at the bottom of each tab in the Polaris Field Mapping form.

Polaris Delivered Files Form

At the time you submit the requested data files, submit the completed Polaris Delivered Files Form. List the files, record counts, and encoding for each file delivered to the FTP server.

Polaris Migration Form

The Polaris Migration Form is a separate Excel spreadsheet that contains information on how to migrate information that is specific to your local implementation of Polaris. For example, your local location codes and item types are converted to codes and types that can be used by Alma. Information on how to fill out the Polaris Migration Form can be found in the accompanying Polaris to Alma Migration Guide.

Expected File Formats

Expected file formats for Polaris data vary by file. Ex Libris expects a certain set of files to be exported from Polaris. We have included the general expected deliveries below. The data elements listed for each are those that Ex Libris expects to use in conversion. Some data elements may exist in Polaris but are not necessary to bring to Alma.
The scope of your specific conversion is agreed upon in your Alma contract.
As you extract data from any area requested below, provide it to Ex Libris via an FTP connection. This facilitates the transformation analysis and expedites the conversion process. Information on the FTP connection is provided by Ex Libris. For more information, see Acquisitions.
No acquisitions files are expected for Polaris customers. However, fill out the few acquisitions-related questions in the migration form so that your Alma environment is set up to use acquisitions. For more information, see Appendix – FTP Drop Point Delivery and Form.

Inventory

Bibliographic Records

Bibliographic records are expected in MARC format. Standard MARC is preferred, but files in MARCXML format are also acceptable. The character encoding expected from Polaris is UTF-8. If your library prefers to export in a different character encoding such as MARC8, inform your Ex Libris project manager. Deliver all MARC files with the same character encoding.
If you have loaded bibliographic records from an electronic resources management system (such as SFX) into Polaris, it is recommended that they not be included in the bibliographic record export to avoid unnecessary duplication with records loaded directly from the external management system. If you want Ex Libris to detect and not migrate the duplicate records, ensure that a 035 |a field with specific string (such as (SFX)) in the field content is provided so that they can be identified, and answer No to the question about SFX bibliographic record on the Questionnaire tab of the Polaris Migration Form.

Holdings

For Polaris migrations, holdings records are generated in two possible ways:
  • From a tag in the bibliographic record, such as 866, with a summary holding statement (optional)
  • Information from the item record, if the item has not already been attached to the holding in #1

Holdings From a bib Tag

If there is information in a field embedded in the bibliographic record that contains summary statement information, the migration programs can generate a holding record from it. An example of summary statement information is: Vol. 1 (2010) – Vol. 5 (2015). Fill in the values of the following fields in the Holdings tab of the Polaris Field Mapping Form. If the SUMM_LIB_CODE and SUMM_LOC_CODE match an existing holding record on the same bibliographic record, even a holding record that was generated from items attached to the same holdings record, then the summary holding statement is attached to that holdings record, regardless of the call number. In other words, the summary holdings information is placed on the holdings record with the same library and location, even if 852_SUBFIELDS_FOR_HOL contains call number subfields for matching like bchi. If there is no existing holding record on the bibliographic record with the same location, then a new holding record is generated.
Expected Field Name Value Notes
SUMM_TAG   Five characters; tag+2 indicators.  Can use # as wildcard, for example, 866##
SUMM_SUBFIELDS   Multiple subfields allowed, for example, abz. Can use # to indicate all subfields.
SUMM_CALLNO   If the summary holding statement has the same location as items on the same bib, the call number for the holding record is inherited from the items. If there are no related items, then this textual call number is used, if desired. An example is: Shelved by Title.
SUMM_LIB_SUBF   A single subfield code (like 'a') which contains a library code in local ILS format. Do NOT enter a different bib tag. The migration program searches for a subfield within the SUMM_TAG bib tag.
SUMM_LOC_SUBF   A single subfield code (like 'a') which contains a location code in local ILS format. Do NOT enter a different bib tag. The migration program searches for a subfield within the SUMM_TAG bib tag.
SUMM_LIB_CODE   If SUMM_LIB_SUBF is not provided or the subfield is not found, this is used for all records as a default. Provide a library code in local ILS format.
SUMM_LOC_CODE   If SUMM_LOC_SUBF is not provided or the subfield is not found, this is used for all records as a default. Provide a location code in local ILS format.
SUMM_PUBLIC_NOTE_SUBF   Public note, placed in the 852 $z field of the generated holding record.
SUMM_NON_PUBLIC_NOTE_SUBF   Non-public note, placed in the 852 $x field of the generated holding record.

Items

Extract all items in CSV format. The following table lists the expected fields for item migration. If your item fields have different names, indicate the field mapping in the Items tab of the Polaris Field Mapping form. The maps that are indicated in the Notes column below are found in the Polaris Migration Form. See the accompanying Polaris Migration Guide for instructions on how to complete these maps.
Expected Field Name Notes
ItemRecordID Matches item ID in loans, fines
ItemStatus Use in Item Base Status map
AssociatedBibRecordID  
AssignedBranch Use in Alma Location map (as temporary library)
MaterialType Use in Alma Item Type map
ShelfLocation Use in Alma Location map, along with Assigned Collection
Barcode  
AssignedCollection Use in Alma Location map, along with ShelfLocation
StatisticalCode  
LastCircTransactionDate  
ShelvingScheme Use in Shelving Scheme map
CallNumberPrefix call number $k
ClassificationNumber call number $h
CutterNumber call number $i
CallNumberSuffix call number $m
VolumeNumber  
CopyNumber  
LifetimeCircCount To see this value in Alma, search for the item under 'Physical Items' and on the results list click 'Other details'.
LifetimeInHouseUseCount To see this value in Alma, search for the item under 'Physical Items' and on the results list click 'Other details'.
OwningBranch  
CreationDate  
ModificationDate  
LastInventoryDate  
LoanPeriod Use in Item Type map
Price and Replacement cost:  The Polaris Price field can be used in either or both fields
Price The actual purchase price in Polaris
REPLACEMENT_COST Use Price in this field only if this is used as the replacement cost for lost items. 

Item Notes

Any additional subfields not listed above can be put into notes. The possible note fields in Alma items are listed in the following table in the Note Name column. If you use other field names or have fields that you want to include in the migration, but are not expected by Ex Libris, you can rearrange, add, or subtract fields in the Note Type column, as necessary. The text in the Note Label column are used as a prefix to the subfield contents and can be modified, as desired. If you want to include multiple local fields in the same Alma note, copy the line in the spreadsheet as many times as needed for all note name/local field combinations.
Note Type Default Local Field
PUBLIC NOTE  
FULFILMENT_NOTE FreeTextBlock
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE_1 FineAmount
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE_2 RenewalLimit
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE_3 Holdable, NonCirculating
STAT_NOTE_1  
STAT_NOTE_2  
STAT_NOTE_3  

Secondary Item File

You may want to provide item descriptive information in a secondary file. For example, you have a description in the format Vol. 12 No. 2 (2015 January), but Alma recommends that enumeration and chronology information are without labels and are in separate fields. You can provide your description in a secondary item file.
Provide the secondary item file in csv format, with the following fields:
Expected Field Name Notes
itemKey Provide either itemKey or itemBarcode, but not both. If both are provided, itemKey is preferred.
itemBarcode
itemDescription Provide in a format such as: Vol. 12, No. 6 (February 2015).
EnumA For example, “12”.
EnumB For example, "6".
EnumC  
EnumD  
EnumE  
EnumF  
EnumG  
EnumH  
ChronI For example, "2015".
ChronJ For example, "2".
ChronK  
ChronL  
ChronM  

Electronic Identification (P2E)

Most non-Alma ILS systems store records for both physical and electronic items in the same format, which is a physical format. Alma has different record formats for electronic and physical items. Records that initially migrated as physical but actually represent electronic materials can be converted to electronic format after migration to Alma.
Provide a list of Polaris bibliographic system numbers that represent electronic resources and an indication if these electronic resources are portfolios, packages, or database resources. The list should be a comma separated text file containing lines that represent each e-resource. Structure each line as follows: <bibnumber>,<resource type>
For example:
000000001,Portfolio
000000002,DB
000000003,Package
The words portfolio, package, and db are not case-sensitive; therefore, both portfolio and Portfolio are acceptable. In addition, indicate which locations represent electronic in the Location tab of the Polaris Migration Form. The migration only converts items, holdings, and orders that belong to an electronic location to an electronic format. This is especially important if your library has holdings of different formats attached to the same bibliographic record, for example, you have a print version and an electronic version of the same title.

Fulfillment (Patrons and Circulation)

Patrons

Extract all patrons. In order to migrate any area of fulfillment (fines/ fees, loans, requests), all patrons must be migrated. Two files for patrons are expected from Polaris: patrons and patron addresses. There is a patron block file, but the blocks in the patron record are preferred.
The patron files are expected in standard CSV format. The fields in the following table are expected. Indicate the local field names for the expected fields in the Patrons tab of the Polaris Field Mapping form.
Field Name Notes
file: patron
Organization  
PatronCode use in User Group map
PatronID used to link to loans, requests, fines
Birthdate  
ExpirationDate if this is empty, migration fills in conversion date + 1 year
RegistrationDate  
UpdateDate  
NameFirst  
NameLast  
NameMiddle  
NameSuffix  
NameTitle  
Gender  
BlockingStatusNote  
File: Patron address
PatronID Needed to link to main file.
AddressType See Address section below for preferred address selection.
PostalCode  
StreetOne  
StreetTwo  
ZipPlusFour  
City  
State  

User Preferred Address

There may be a number of addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses in the Polaris borrower address. You can decide which addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses are the preferred ones in Alma. If the preferred entry is empty, the secondary one becomes preferred.
Additionally, select an address type for each address: Home, School, Alternative, Work, All. Phone types are: Home, Mobile, Office, OfficeFax, All. Email types are: Personal, School, Work, All.
Polaris Type Value From File Local Field Name Preferred Address Designation
Preferred Address Selection Select one of the addresses  in the next column à (select Home, Primary, School or Work as the preferred address
Address number Address type (selection)  
Home Home, School, Alternative, Work, All  
Primary Home, School, Alternative, Work, All  
Make similar selections for Phone and email

User Identifiers

There can be a number of fields in the patron record that are user identifiers. The types of identifiers that are available for migration into Alma are listed in the left column. List the field names from Polaris in the middle column (typical field names are provided below). Change the field names and/or order of the middle column to suit your library’s extract. The values in the left column cannot be changed. Use the values in the left column to select the appropriate primary identifier in the Questionnaire tab of the Polaris Migration Form. If there is a field that contains a note specific to the identifier, for example: This barcode was declared lost, put the field name for the note in the third column.
Alma Identifier Type Polaris Field Name Polaris Note for Identifier
UNIV_ID User2  
BAR Barcode  
ADDL_ID_1 FormerID  
ADDL_ID_2 User1  
ADDL_ID_3 User3  
ADDL_ID_4 User4  

Notes

Any additional fields not listed above can be put into notes. The possible note fields in Alma items are listed in the following table in the Note Name column. The fields listed in the Default Local Field column are those that are expected by Ex Libris. If you use other field names or have fields that you want to include in the migration, but are not expected by Ex Libris, you can rearrange, add, or subtract fields on the right, as necessary. If you want to include multiple local fields in the same Alma note, copy the line in the spreadsheet as many times as needed for all note name/local field combinations.
Note Name Default Local Field
LIBRARY_NOTE LastActivityDate, LifetimeCircCount, NonBlockingStatusNote
BARCODE_NOTE LastActivityDate
ADDRESS_NOTE  
OTHER_NOTE OTHER_NOTE is set as user Viewable by the migration programs

Active Loans

Extract only current circulation transactions in standard CSV format.
The fields in the following table are expected. Indicate the local field names for the expected fields in the Loans tab of the Polaris Field Mapping form.
Field Name Notes
CheckOutDate  
DueDate  
ItemRecordID Matches item ID in the item file
PatronID Matches patron ID in the patron file
Renewals Used to check status only; if you want to keep actual number of renewals also, put in note
OriginalCheckoutDate  
OriginalDueDate  
CheckOutDate  
Any additional fields not listed above can be put into notes. The possible note fields in Alma items are listed in the following table in the Note Name column. The fields listed in the Default Local Field column are those that are expected by Ex Libris. If you use other field names or have fields that you want to include in the migration, but are not expected by Ex Libris, you can rearrange, add, or subtract fields on the right, as necessary.
Note Name Default Local Field
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE BillingNoticeSent
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE OVDNoticeCount
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE OVDNoticeDate

Lost and Claimed Returned Loans

Polaris can export two files of loans: lost and claimed returned. The information provided in the file is minimal (lost date, item ID, and patron ID) but Ex Libris can generate a loan for these transactions so that the status is kept in Alma.
Lost Loans
Field Name Notes
PatronID Matches patron ID in the patron file
ItemRecordID Matches item ID in the item file
LostDate  
Claimed Returned Loans
Field Name Notes
PatronID Matches patron ID in the patron file
ItemRecordID Matches item ID in the item file
DueDate  
ClaimDate  

Fines and Fees

Extract only current fines/fees in CSV format.
The fields in the following table are expected. Indicate the local field names for the expected fields in the Fines & Fees tab of the Polaris Field Mapping form.
Only outstanding fines, with a balance that is not 0, are migrated. Additionally, only fines with a TxnCode of Charge are migrated – fines of type Waive and Credit are not migrated.
Field Name Notes
PatronID Links to patron record
OutstandingAmount  
TxnDate  
TxnCode Only migrates when TxnCode = Charge
FeeReasonCode Use in Fine Fee Type map
ItemRecordID Links to item record
Any additional fields not listed above can be put into notes. The possible note fields in Alma items are listed in the following table in the Note Name column. The fields listed in the Default Local Field column are those that are expected by Ex Libris. If you use other field names or have fields that you want to include in the migration, but are not expected by Ex Libris, you can rearrange, add, or subtract fields on the right, as necessary.
Note Name Default Local Field
FINE_FEE_COMMENT TxnAmount, LoaningOrganization, DueDate, FreeTextNote, CheckoutDate

Active Requests on the Hold Shelf

Extract only those request transactions where the item is trapped and on the hold shelf waiting for pickup. Provide the request files in standard CSV format. Indicate the local field names for the expected fields in the Requests tab of the Polaris Field Mapping form.
Field Name Notes
item# Links to item
borrower# Links to patron
pickup_location Sent through the Alma Location tab
request_date  
on_hold_date  
   
Any additional fields not listed above can be put into notes. The possible note fields in Alma items are listed in the following table in the Note Name column. The fields listed in the Default Local Field column are those that are expected by Ex Libris. If you use other field names or have fields that you want to include in the migration, but are not expected by Ex Libris, you can rearrange, add, or subtract fields on the right, as necessary.
Note Name Default Local Field
NON_PUBLIC_NOTE comment

Acquisitions

No acquisitions files are expected for Polaris customers. However, fill out the few acquisitions-related questions in the migration form so that your Alma environment is set up to use acquisitions.

Appendix – FTP Drop Point Delivery and Form

Each time data files are provided to Ex Libris in the formats indicated in Expected File Formats, place them on an FTP drop-point on the Ex Libris FTP server with the access credentials provided by your Ex Libris project manager.
The following is the default naming convention:
CustomerName+DataType+sequence+date+[.<file_extension>].
For example: centralu_bib_01_20120420.mrc, centralu_bib_02_20120420.mrc, centralu_bib_03_20120420.mrc, etc.
Ex Libris recommends a maximum of 200,000 records per MARC file and 400,000 for other types of records (items, orders, etc).
All records in a single file must be homogenous – all of the lines in the file must have the same number of fields, and those fields must contain the same type of data. Additionally, all of the records must be delimited in the same manner.
For security purposes, the file names listed on the FTP server are not displayed after you upload them.
Provide the Polaris Delivered Files Form along with the submitted files.
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