The Alma June release provides numerous new features and enhancements. Some of these enhancements are a result of the 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
Brief Record Levels - To enable more granular control of bibliographic record levels of briefness, Alma has introduced the support of multiple brief record levels instead of the previous two-level record support (brief/not brief). As part of this release, choose the brief level rule that is most appropriate for your cataloging policies (you can choose one of the out-of-the-box rules or create your own). Following this release, Alma calculates the brief level of the entire catalog, based on your choice. If you do not choose a brief level rule, a default one, simulating the two-level (brief/not brief) approach, is chosen for you.
A NERS Enhancement: Alerts for Shortened Due Dates - You probably don’t want your patrons to miss the fact that their loan has been issued with a shortened due date. With this month’s new feature, you can set the system to highlight this condition so that the circulation desk staff and the borrowing patrons do not miss this fact at loan time.
Contribute Vendors to the Network Zone - This new capability will allow your consortia to better collaborate in order to create and manage a shared vendor list.
The following sections present the new and changed features in this release of Alma.
- Contribute Vendors to the Network Zone - See Collaborative Networks
- Idea Exchange: Multiple PO Lines for an Electronic Resource - When a new order extends an electronic resource, such as adding additional users or adding access to additional portfolios in an electronic collection, the new (or existing) PO line can be added as an Additional Order to the existing electronic resource.
- Brief Record Levels - A new multiple-level approach for defining a bibliographic record's briefness level is being introduced, replacing the current approach that supports two levels (brief/not brief). Watch the Brief Record Levels video
- Call Number Duplication Validation Check - A new validation process has been added for checking duplicate call numbers.
- Automatic Generation of the Author Number for the 090 Local Call Number Field - The 090 $b author number can now be automatically generated.
- Authority to Bibliographic Record Navigation - Locating bibliographic records linked to authority record results when using an Authorities search has been enhanced to use the Authority Record ID, where applicable.
- SRU Operators Expanded - SRU support has been expanded to include new search operators.
- CJK Transliteration Options Expanded - CJK transliteration options have been expanded to include Kana.
- CNMARC Support - CNMARC support for bibliographic records is available in Alma.
- Hebrew Support for External Searches - Alma now provides improved display of Hebrew language results for external searches.
- Enhanced Search for German Language Characters - Search results for German language characters or character combinations have been improved.
- Multiple PO Lines for an Electronic Resource - See Acquisitions.
- Additional Resource Management Enhancements
Digital Resource Management
- Exporting Collections as an EAD - You can now download an EAD (Encoded Archival Description) file that contains the information from a collection and all its subcollections and items.
- Support for Dublin Core as a Digital Import Profile Target Format - You can now select Dublin Core as the target format for digital import profiles.
- Additional Digital Resource Management Enhancements
- Additions to the Overdue and Lost Loan Profiles - New options are now available in the overdue and lost loan profiles.
- New Fields on the Fines/Fees Notification Profile - New fields are now available in the fines/fees notification profile.
- A NERS Enhancement: Alerts for Shortened Due Dates - Staff and patrons will now be notified when a loan is created with a shortened due date.
- Idea Exchange: Place a Request from Manage Patron Services - A request may now be placed for a patron on the Manage Patron Services page.
Watch the Place a Request from Manage Patron Services video
- View Title in Search Option from Request Lists - The View Title in Search link now allows the user to see a request's title in the context of a search page.
- Matching Reading List Citations to Inventory in Bulk - You can now match inventory to citations in bulk by running the new Citation Inventory Enrichment job.
- Update RFID from the Scan In Items Page - Certain fields stored on the RFID chip may now be changed using the scan in interface in the Change Item Information tab.
- Additional Fulfillment Enhancements
- Prevent Receiving and Shipping from the Scan In Interface - The scan in interface now has the option to block a user from scanning resource sharing items.
- Receive Multiple Items for a Single Request - It is now possible to better receive and return resource sharing requests that have multiple items. Watch the Multiple Items for a Single Borrowing Request video
- Note Field Anonymized for Analytics Reports from the Network Zone - The Note field of the Lending Requests Details dimension of the Lending Requests subject area is now included as one of the fields that are anonymized for the Network Zone when creating reports for member institutions.
- A NERS Enhancement: The number of records that can be exported from Alma Analytics will be increased to 250,000 in the coming weeks and to 500,000 records at a later stage.
- Additional Analytics Enhancements
- Due to an upgrade of the OBIEE used by Alma Analytics that will take place in June and July, the export option for reports from Alma Analytics to Excel 2003 will no longer be supported. Only export to an .xslx format will be supported and not export to an .xls format.
- The new Fund Information dimension under the Physical Items subject area is currently under construction and should not be used. It will be made available soon in an upcoming release.
Alma Administration, Integrations, and Infrastructure
- Idea Exchange: All jobs that can be run from Administration > Manage Jobs > Run a Job can now be run using an API as well. For detailed information, see https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/alma/apis/conf#jobs.
- 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 they occur.
- 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 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.
- When LDAP is used for authentication, and one or more fields values in the LDAP integration profile are missing, the values from a previously defined LDAP integration profile are used. If there is no previously defined LDAP profile, or if this profile also contains missing values for these fields, authentication will fail. In the future, mandatory fields will be enforced and the previous LDAP profile values won’t be used. In the meantime, it is recommended that you fix your LDAP profile if you have missing field values.
The following known issue was fixed for the June release:
- When creating an Analytics report using the Cost per Use field, the year used is taken from the date of the invoice transaction instead of the fiscal year of the fund used in the transaction.
- Library of Congress Authorities Community Zone Updates
- New Electronic Collections Added to the Alma CKB
- No new external search resources for added for this release.