The Alma November release provides numerous new features and enhancements. Some of these enhancements are a result of NERS or Idea Exchange initiatives.
Download a PDF of the Release Notes - Note that the PDF includes the online help pages that describe the core functionality of the new features.
Make the Most of This Release
Digital Fulfillment - Alma Document Delivery – Are you supplying digitization services to your patrons, or would you like to implement this service? With this new enhancement, you can start sending digitized material to your patrons without worrying about email limitations and copyrights.
Control Patron Information Sharing – Do you want to participate in a fulfillment network but have concerns about patron data privacy? You can now control the patron information that may be shared with other institutions in order to facilitate the fulfillment network process.
Sharing Digital Inventory Between Member Institutions – This great new feature will provide end users with easy access to digital resources—regardless of where they are managed—and allow institutions working with a Network Zone to easily share their digital collections for the benefit of all end users.
VAT Support for Fines and Fees – If you manage VAT for library-created fines and fees, you can now manage your VAT inside Alma in a configurable, visible, and reportable manner.
Integration with Cloud IdP (Microsoft Azure) – If you are interested in secure management of user information without having to locally maintain identity management applications, you can benefit from the streamlined and integrated user management workflows that this new feature makes available.
The following sections present the new and changed features in this release of Alma.
- Sending Annual Receipts for Serial Legal Deposits in Bulk – You can now manually run a job to send annual receipts for serial legal deposits to a list of vendors.
- Additional Acquisitions Enhancements
- Idea Exchange: Add New Holdings from the Holdings List – You can now add new holdings records from the Holdings List page without opening and actively editing bibliographic records.
- Calendar Coverage – Calendar coverage for electronic resources was expanded to include month and day.
- Overlap Analysis Expanded to Include Community Zone Analysis – The previously available Overlap Analysis (now Overlap and Collection Analysis) reporting capability was expanded to include analysis of a titles list that is compared with resources available in the Community Zone. Watch the Overlap Analysis Expanded to Include Community Zone Analysis video
- Reminders for Bibliographic Records – Catalogers can now add reminders to bibliographic records. Watch the Reminders for Bibliographic Records video
- Cross Walk UNIMARC to MARC 21 Authority Records – Alma import options were enhanced to provide a cross walk between UNIMARC authority records and MARC 21 authority records.
- Publishing Using Filters – Publishing was enhanced to use filters on the set of records that you select for publishing.
- Browse Bibliographic Headings Sorting Improvement – Subfields in Browse Bibliographic Headings are now sorted in the order in which they are cataloged instead of alphabetical order.
- Chinese Bibliographic Headings Sort – Sorting of the Chinese bibliographic headings was improved as part of the Browse Bibliographic Headings enhancement.
- MARC 21 Leader Position 17 Enhanced for OCLC – MARC 21 leader position 17 for bibliographic records was enhanced to include OCLC options in the MD Editor form and Metadata Configuration.
- Priorities for Multiple Authority Vocabularies – A priority order of names and subject headings (up to three) can now be configured when you have multiple vocabularies defined for your system.
- Additional Resource Management Enhancements
- Enhanced Automatic Copyright Approval Rules – Additional clauses for digitization profile rules were added to enhance Alma's ability to automatically approve copyright clearance requests.
- Digital Fulfillment - Alma Document Delivery – You can now upload files to a document storage folder and send a link to the patron. Watch the Digital Fulfillment - Alma Document Delivery video
- Determine Primo Resource Sharing Form Type Based on Genre – The Primo resource sharing form will now load for book or article based on the genre parameter received in OpenURL.
- Shipping Lending Requests with Multiple Items – Lending requests may now indicate multiple items attached to a single request. Watch the Shipping Lending Requests with Multiple Items video
- Additional Resource Sharing Enhancements
- Sharing Digital Inventory Between Member Institutions – Institutions working with a Network Zone can now expose their digital inventory to other member institutions.
- Control Patron Information Sharing – When a linked user is created in a fulfillment network, institutions may now select attributes of a linked user that will be shared.
- Additional Collaborative Network Enhancements
- New Reports and Dashboards Added to Alma Analytics – Several new default dashboards and reports were added to Alma Analytics.
- Active Course Code and Active Course Name Added to Bibliographic Details – The Active Course Code and Active Course Name fields were added to the shared Bibliographic Details dimension.
- Citation Copyright Dimension Added to Course Reserves – The Citation Copyright dimension was added to the Course Reserves subject area.
- Citation Metadata Details Added to Course Reserves – The Metadata Details dimension was added to the Course Reserves subject area and contains the Non-Repository Citations.
- Additional Analytics Enhancements
Administration and Infrastructure
- VAT Support for Fines and Fees – Fines and fees now have the option to include VAT.
- SAML Enhancements – The SAML integration profile was enhanced.
- Integration with Cloud IdP (Microsoft Azure) – An option has been added to the Update/Notify Users job to export all users for Cloud IdP.
- Social Authentication - Alma and Primo (when working with Alma) now support external authentication for both staff and patrons, using social authentication via Google or Facebook (Twitter to be supported soon).
- Send a Webhook Request – A webhook request may now be triggered when a job ends.
- Additional Administration and Infrastructure Enhancements
- The Representation API now includes a new field, deposit_id.
- The /conf/general API retrieves general institution information such as institution code, environment type, and digital storage location. For detailed information, see https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/alma/apis/conf.
- The Retrieve PO Line API can now retrieve and sort by the following fields: Item description, Chronology I, J, K, Enumeration A, B, C.
- The Retrieve Jobs API now includes the related profile ID for MD import jobs.
- The number of elements sent in POST or PUT API calls is no longer limited.
- When importing an EOD file using the New Order profile, if the location of the item does not have a call number type, the call number type of the institution should be used as the alternative call number type. Currently, however, no alternative call number is used.
- Related to merging bibliographic records in the MD Editor, if there are no requests, the Merge Records and Combine Inventory pop-up window does not display a count of 0 (zero) requests. The count appears for requests only when it is greater than 0 (zero). The count should also appear as 0 (zero) requests when there are no requests.
- Regarding the autocomplete/pop-up assistance being provided for several UNIMARC fields in the MD Editor, there is a known issue related to UNIMARC 327 $a and 327 $b. These subfields are based on the same functionality and as a result, the pop-up suggestions in the MD Editor suggests both subfields’ values when entering content in either the 327 $a or the 327 $b.
- Fixed position fields (control fields) cannot be modified using the extension loader (extension packs) at this time.
- When creating an OCLC Connexion import profile in a Network Zone member institution with the Use NZ option selected, the Use NZ record option is used upon finding a match. Currently, there is no possibility to select the Merge, Overlay, or Do not import options instead.
- When a record is deleted in Alma, the headings associated with the record are still available when browsing bibliographic headings.
- The Total electronic portfolios imported count in the MD import report does not take into account the portfolios imported in the first file that is imported when the import is split into several files.
- The URL condition that was added as an advanced search option under Electronic Collection when searching for electronic titles is not functioning properly.
- A user with the Physical Inventory Operator role can edit a holdings record using the View Inventory option in the MD Editor, although the user should not have this capability and cannot perform this action from the List of Holdings.
- Receiving of multiple items using Scan In Item is currently not possible when shared barcodes are used.
- Library of Congress Authorities Community Zone Updates
- New Electronic Collections Added to the Alma CKB
- No new external resources were added to Alma for the November release.
Next Release Sneak Preview
View a list of the features that are planned for the December 2016 Alma release.