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    Configuring Cloud Apps

    Translatable
    Cloud Apps is an open framework that enables developers to write apps that run inside Ex Libris higher education products such as Alma, Primo VE back-office, Esploro, Leganto and Rapido. It adds new features beyond core Ex Libris functionality, which can integrate with other systems, or can provide shortcuts and efficiencies for institution-specific workflows. Once enabled by an institution, Cloud Apps can be searched and installed by end users. Cloud Apps can respond to the context of the user's session, offering additional functionality depending on the current page.
    The New Layout must be enabled to run the Cloud Apps functionality. To enable the New Layout, click here.
    To enable Cloud Apps:
    1. Select the Cloud Apps Configuration page from the Alma General Configuration menu (Configuration Menu > General > General Configuration).
    2. Click Enable Cloud Apps. This opens a page on the Developer Network.
    3. Read the Cloud Apps agreement and select the acknowledgment check box.
    4. Select Activate CloudApps.
    5. After performing these steps, please contact Customer Support and ask to activate Cloud Apps in your environment.
    Once you have enabled Cloud Apps in your environment and Customer Support have activated it, the Cloud Apps icon is available in the upper right hand on the new Alma layout.
    Cloud Apps.png
    Cloud App Center
    To limit which Cloud Apps can be installed by users in your institution:
    1. Select the Cloud Apps Configuration page from the Alma General Configuration menu (Configuration Menu > General > General Configuration).
    2. In the Allow or Hide Cloud Apps section, choose All, Allow Selected, or Hide Selected to define which Apps the users will see.
      Cloud Apps Configuration page.png
      Cloud Apps Configuration Page
    3. When choosing Allow Selected or Hide Selected, select the down arrow and choose which Apps to hide or allow.
    4. Select Save
    Changes to the allowed Cloud App list will take effect after your next login.

    Using Cloud Apps

    To use Cloud Apps, Select the Cloud Apps icon in the upper right corner of the new Alma layout. This opens the Cloud App Center, which contains two tabs, Installed Apps, which shows those apps that have been installed and are available to run, and Available Apps, which shows all the apps that can be used. You can browse or search in either tab.
    To find and install Cloud Apps:
    1. Select the Cloud Apps Center.
    2. Select Available Apps and browse the list of Apps, or select the Search icon to search for a specific App. Each App includes the following information:
      • Description
      • App developer
      • Link to the code on Github
      • Link to the App in the Ex Libris App Center
      • App’s license
      • Any external sites the app uses
    3. Select Install.
    To use Cloud Apps:
    1. Select the Cloud Apps Center.
    2. Select Installed Apps and browse the list of Apps, or select the Search icon to search for a specific App.
    3. Select the desired App and follow the prompt under the App listing.
    When an app is installed, the following actions are available:
    • Uninstall the app App Delete.png
    • Change settings App Change Settings.png
    • Configure the app (for administrators only) App Configure.png
    • View help for the app App Help.png
     

    Watch the Cloud Apps in Alma video (4:22 minutes).

    Developing Cloud Apps

    To get started developing Cloud Apps for use by your and other institutions, see the Ex Libris Cloud Apps on the Developer Network.

    FAQ

    • Q: When will we see cloud apps for Leganto, Esploro and the other Ex Libris cloud software?
      A: Currently there are Cloud Apps that are relevant for Alma.   Cloud Apps can be created for all the Ex Libris platform products including Leganto and Esploro. Users can create apps using Cloud Apps CLI. These apps can then be added to the App Center where they can be discovered by the community.
       
    • Q: Where can I learn about all the available Cloud Apps?
      A: All Cloud Apps will be in the developer network in the App Center.
       
    • Q: When I install an app, will it be installed only for myself or for my entire institution?
      A: Installing an app installs it only for the user. Note that Administrators can configure the Cloud Apps that are available for users to install.
       
    • Q: I have an idea for an app, what should I do?
      A: Institutions that have developer knowledge and skills, can create Cloud Apps for themselves. On the main Cloud Apps page you will be able to find links to Getting StartedDocumentation and Tutorials on how to create a Cloud App. Alternatively, you can suggest the idea to the community and see if someone will create it for you.
       
    • Q: I need support for a Cloud App I’m using. Who should I contact?
      A: The Cloud App framework supports a help link in the App details. We encourage all App developers to provide such a Help link with documentation on how to use the app, and how to receive more help if needed. You can access the Help link in the App details (by clicking on the 3 ellipses …).
       
    • Q: Can I test a Cloud App in our sandbox?
      A: Activation and configuration of Cloud Apps are done separately in your sandbox and production environments. If you want to test a particular Cloud App in your sandbox before making it available to your users in production, you can use allowed and disallowed lists in the sandbox and in production to control where the app can be installed.
       
    • Q: How do we receive updates to installed Cloud Apps?
      A: Updates to individual Cloud Apps are made by the app’s developer and deployed to the Ex Libris cloud by the developer. Users do not need to perform any action. They will automatically be using the updated app after their next login.
       
    • Q: How are privileges for Cloud Apps determined? Does a Cloud App have access to any data in Alma?
      A: One of the main benefits of Cloud Apps is that they use the context of the logged-in user. If a Cloud App tries to access data for which the currently logged-in user does not have the appropriate role, the app receives an unauthorized error from Alma.
       
    • Q: Can Cloud Apps send my data to other systems?
      A: Cloud Apps can interact with external systems to improve the productivity of your staff. To be fully transparent, Cloud Apps must declare to which systems they are able to connect. This information is displayed in the info pane before an application is installed.
       
    • Q: Are Cloud Apps checked for security issues before they are deployed to the Ex Libris cloud?
    • A: A new Cloud App undergoes a security audit as part of the deployment to ensure it is not using any code libraries with known security issues. Cloud Apps are also manually reviewed by Ex Libris before they are released.
       
    • Q: Are API requests made from Cloud Apps counted against our daily institutional API governance threshold?
    • A: API requests from Cloud Apps are not counted in the institutional governance thresholds. Cloud App API calls are subject to their own thresholds, the technical details of which are described in the Cloud App documentation for developers.
     

     

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