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    Z39.50 Search

    To configure a Z39.50 Server profile, you must have the following role:
    • General System Administrator
    An institution’s catalog can be made searchable by external applications. This may be required for a number of purposes. For example, if the institution serves as a copy cataloging source or participates in a resource sharing network, it’s catalog may need to be searched externally.
    For general information about the Z39.50 protocol, see
    If a Z39.50 Server integration profile is configured, Alma listens for incoming Z39.50 searches. If an incoming request is detected, Alma returns a Z39.50 response, which includes record information in either MARC or OPAC format, depending on your client configuration.
    • Do not define more than one Z39.50 profile for an institution.
    • The following attributes are supported by Alma: Term (1016, 1017); Author (1, 1003, 1004); Subject (21); Title (4); ISBN (7); ISSN (8); Date (31); Identifier (12); OCLC Number (1211).
    • You must configure the Alma IP address, port, and database name on the Z39.50 client machine. The IP address/port to configure is: <Alma server>:1921 (or 210, if you are working with Refworks – see Configuring a Z39.50 Refworks Client). Note that these ports are open to all, with no restriction on specific IP addresses; there is therefore never any need to add new IP addresses on the Alma side. The database name to use is the Alma institution code—for example, 60univ_inst. For information about your Alma server domain, see Your Alma Domain Names.
    • For filtering Alma’s Z39.50 response at a campus level in a multicampus environment, you must add the campus code to the database name that is configured on the Z39.50 client machine using the following format: base (institution ID>/<campus code>. For example, base 60univ_inst/Springfield may be used at the client Z39.50 machine where 60univ_inst = the Alma institution code and Springfield = the Alma campus code. When this is implemented, Alma’s Z39.50 search and present results are displayed/filtered only for resources that are owned by the campus (and its libraries). This enables institutions in a multicampus environment to provide results that belong only to libraries identified within the selected campus.
    • When doing an external search using Z39.50 and retrieving 10,000 or more records, Alma responds with an error message when it retrieves the next bulk of records exceeding the 10,000 limit. Z39.50 integration is intended for integrating Alma search with other automated systems for the purposes of interlibrary loan, copy catalog, or selection. Using Z39.50 integration for other workflows, such as performing bulk exports of records, is not supported.
    The following rules govern the return of MARC record information:
    • MARC holdings records are returned only if the Enrich with holdings check box is selected (see the procedure below). Selecting the Enrich with holdings parameter enriches the MARC 21 results with MARC 21 holdings fields such as the 852.
    • MARC holdings records are returned only for permanent locations.
    • Suppressed MARC holdings records (Suppress from discovery is selected for the record in the MD Editor) are excluded.
    • MARC holdings records from suppressed locations (Suppress from discovery is selected for the location; see Configuring Physical Locations) are excluded.
    • Suppressed MARC bibliographic records (Suppress from discovery is selected for the record in the MD Editor) and their associated holdings records are excluded.
    The following rules govern the return of OPAC record information:
    • OPAC holdings records are returned for both permanent and temporary locations (on holding per location).
    • Suppressed OPAC holdings records (Suppress from discovery is selected for the record in the MD Editor) are excluded.
    • OPAC holdings records from suppressed locations (Suppress from discovery is selected for the location; see Configuring Physical Locations) are excluded.
    • Suppressed OPAC bibliographic records (Suppress from discovery is selected for the record in the MD Editor) and their associated holdings records are excluded.
    Alma Z39.50 server support includes UNIMARC support for Network Zone records, which are enriched with information from member institutions. When a Z39.50 call to Alma specifies the UNIMARC format, Alma responds with the Z39.50 presentResponse output in UNIMARC format. The availability indication is handled using the following UNIMARC format:
    • MARC 852 field
    • $a Location – Institution code
    • $6 Linkage – MMS ID
    • $9 Local field – P (print) / E (electronic) / D (digital)
    When more than one material type is available for an institution, such as print and electronic, the 852 field will contain multiple $9 entries.

    Configuring a Z39.50 Search Type Integration Profile

    To configure a Z39.50 search type of integration profile:
    1. On the Integration Profile List page (Configuration Menu > General > External Systems > Integration Profiles), click Add Integration Profile. The first page of the integration profile wizard appears.
    2. Enter a code and name for the profile you are defining.
    3. From the Integration type drop-down list, select Z39.50 Server.
      The Default check box is not functional for this integration type.
    4. Click Next. The second page of the wizard opens.
      Z39.50 Integration Profile Wizard Page 2
    5. Only requests to the Network Zone include the ownership of member institutions. The returned information includes the institution, the bibliographic record (MMS ID), and the format (physical, electronic, or digital). This feature supports more efficient queries by collaborative network members, and is often required for third-party integration and resource sharing purposes.
      Member institution ownership information is returned in the following MARC 21 852 subfields:
      • $a - Institution code
      • $6 - MMS ID
      • $9 - P (print), E (electronic), or D (digital)
    6. Complete the export parameters using the information provided in the table below.
      Z39.50 Export Parameters
      Parameter Description

      User Name / Password

      Enter a user name and password (optional) for Alma to communicate with the Z39.50 client machine.

      The Z39.50 user name and password are case insensitive and can include:

      • No more than 10 characters
      • Uppercase/lowercase letters, digits, and underscores

      For example, if you set the user name/password to Alma_12_34 , it is possible to authenticate with all of following options: alma_12_34, ALMA_12_34, and alMA_1234.

      If a user name and password are configured, Alma cannot be searched unless the user name and password are provided.

      Allow Access

      Select this parameter to enable the Z39.50 client machine to access Alma.

      Enrich with Holdings

      Select this parameter to include holdings information, in addition to bibliographic information, in the Z39.50 response that Alma returns.

      Enrich with Representations

      Select this parameter to have non-remote representation information exposed to the external system.

      Enrich with Remote Representations

      Select this parameter to have remote representation information exposed to the external system.

      Apply Normalization

      New for May!

      Select this parameter to normalize Alma bibliographic records prior to any additional enrichment and being presented to an external system as a result of a Z39.50 request. Normalization can be applied to MARC 21, KORMARC, UNIMARC, and CNMARC bibliographic records using the following normalization processes provided out of the box or by customizing these processes with normalization rules that you create: Marc21 Bib normalize on external search, KORMARC Bib normalize on external search, UNIMARC Bib normalize on external search, or CNMARC normalize on external search.


      Example Normalization Rule from the CNMARC Bibliographic Metadata Configuration Profile

      The normalization rules that are provided remove the following information from the bibliographic record: 590 local note (MARC 21), 590 local note (KORMARC), 900 local field (UNIMARC), and 300 general note (CNMARC). See Working with Normalization Rules for more information.

      Since the enrichment process is performed after the normalization process has completed, the normalization process will not affect fields added by enrichment.

      The normalization rules that are provided out of the box use the following drools files (specified on the Task Parameters tab): drools/remove590.dslr, drools/remove900.dslr, and drools/remove300.dslr.


      Example Drools File from the Cnmarc Bib normalize on Z39.50/SRU search Normalization Rule

      For more information, see Working with Normalization Processes.

      Enrich with Members Availability

      If you are configuring this profile on a Network Zone, select this parameter to return member institution ownership in the Z39.50 response.

    7. Click Save.

    Configuring a Z39.50 Refworks Client

    To configure a Z39.50 Refworks client:
    1. In the Refworks client administrative application, select Search > Online Catalog or Database. The Online Catalog or Database dialog box opens.
    2. Click the Request a Z39.50 Site link. The Request dialog box opens.
      Request a Z39.50 Site
    3. In the Z39.50 Site Name box, enter the name that you want to display for your institution in Refworks.
    4. In the Details field, enter the following:
      • Server – The Alma server: <Alma domain>
        For APAC countries, you must use the alternate Alma domain <Alma alternate domain>. See Your Alma Domain Names.
      • Port – Specify 210
      • Database – This is the Alma institution code, such as 01_EXL_INST
      • User and password, if defined in Alma
    5. Click Send request.

    Example Refworks Client Settings

    The following is an example of one Alma customer’s Refworks client settings (note that this has not been verified by Ex Libris):
    • URL:
    • Port: 210
    • Database: 01_EXL_INST
    • Record Syntax: USmarc
    • Element Set Name: F
    • Import Filter: MARC Format
    • Character Set: ANSEL/ALA/USmarc
    • Requires Password: No
    • Any Field: 1016
    • Author Field: 1003
    • Year Field: 31
    • Title Field: 4
    • Keyword Field: 21
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