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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

April 2016 Release Notes

The Alma April release provides numerous new features and enhancements. Some of these enhancements are a result of the NERS or Idea Exchange initiatives.
PDF.png 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

Action Items
Patron Purchase Requests - Do you want your patrons to be able to request an item for purchase? If so, you can enable this feature for Primo users to submit a request. Even when not enabled in Primo, a librarian can enter purchase requests manually. An Alma user with the Selector role can view and edit the request, email a requester for more information, and approve or reject the request.
Authority Control Task List - Finding it hard to monitor changes to bibliographic headings performed by the authority control process? With the new Authority Control Task List, you can now monitor the changes in an efficient manner and perform changes to headings when manual intervention is needed.
Control Global Authorities Displayed/Accessed in the MD Editor - Is your MD Editor navigation pane cluttered with Community Zone global authority vocabularies that you are not using? You can now define which authority vocabularies can be viewed and/or accessed in the MD Editor.
Expanding Booking Requests' Workflow - Are your patrons using booking requests to reserve resources for a predetermined period of time? Were you interested in implementing this service but wanted more options included in it? Now you can implement a richer workflow with booking requests, including full pick up from shelf and hold shelf management options.
Broker Notification for a Renew Request and Receive Renew Status Update from Broker - If you are using a Relais system as your broker resource sharing system, you can now enjoy a fully integrated renew process with Alma. New NCIP-based features enable you to set up a fully integrated renew request process, from the time the patron requests a renewal until the lender approval is received.
Automatic Rejection of New Lending Requests that Cannot be Fulfilled - If you are a resource sharing lender and want to focus on fulfilling requests rather than on rejecting requests that cannot be fulfilled, this is what you’ve been waiting for. With this feature, you can set Alma to automatically reject any new lending request that cannot be fulfilled (for example, none of its inventory is available).
What's new in each Alma functional area for the April 2016 Alma release?


Resource Management

Digital Resource Management

  • Enhancements for Handling of Special Representations
    • Configuring Representation Label Templates - You can now configure a template that can be used to create a label for partial representations.
    • Auto Generate Labels - After you configure a representation label template, you can click the Auto-Generate Label button when editing a partial representation to create a label based on the template.
    • Sorting and Find Options Available for Multiple Representations List - You can sort and search a list of multiple representations.
  • Additional Digital Resource Management Enhancements


Resource Sharing

Collaborative Networks


Due to an upgrade of the OBIEE used by Alma Analytics, the export option for reports from Alma Analytics to Excel 2003 will no longer be supported as of the Alma May release. Only export to an xslx format will be supported and not export to an xls format.

Alma Infrastructure and Usability

  • You can view the hidden columns (Actions > View Hidden) for a row in a table. For details, see Customizing List Tables.
  • NERS.png A NERS Enhancement: The maximum number of lines that can be exported to Excel (from Tools > Export) was increased to 100,000.
  • Right to left alignment (for Hebrew/Arabic letters) is now supported for most fields in Alma. Right to left support is also available whenever a Hebrew or Arabic character appears in the MD Editor.
  • A new privilege REGISTER_NEW_USER was added to several roles, including Circulation Desk Manager, Circulation Desk Operator, Circulation Desk Operator - Limited, General System Administrator, Repository Manager, Trial Manager, Trial Operator, User Administrator, and User Manager. This privilege is required to add new users.
  • Resource Management Usability Enhancements (see the Resource Management section above for more information):
    • User Information Details Provided in the MD Editor
    • Electronic Resource Editing Improvements
    • Control Global Authorities Displayed/Accessed in the MD Editor
  • Fulfillment Usability Enhancements (see the Fulfillment section above for more information):
    • Expanding Booking Requests' Workflow
    • Sorting Citations in the Reading List
  • Resource Sharing Enhancement (see Resource Sharing section above): Automatic Rejection of a Lending Request After a Move Request Cancellation

Alma APIs

  • Alma API usage continues to grow as customers provide innovative services to their users. After careful review of usage reports in recent months, we’ve increased the concurrent API request threshold to 25 API calls per institution per second. The concurrent API request threshold applies to all API requests to the Ex Libris API gateways.
    As part of our continuing efforts to enable and encourage creative use of the APIs while ensuring the Alma platform runs smoothly for all customers, API requests exceeding this threshold will receive an error message starting 1 July 2016. To help plan for this change, requests exceeding the threshold during the interim period will be marked with a warning message. It is recommended that you review your API applications in the coming months to ensure that your integrations are not receiving these warning/error messages. For more information, see
  • Support for digital representations was added to the Request for Services OpenURL API. Alma now returns <key id="available_services">viewit</key> for bibliographic records that have only digital inventory. For detailed information, see
  • The tracking ID for an error was removed from the error message and placed in a separate property, as follows:







            "errorMessage":"Barcode is illegal.",







  • Running GET /bibs/{mms_id in the Network Zone} on the Network Zone now retrieves an aggregate list of AVE fields from all member institutions, including a subfield with the the member institution's mms_id. For detailed information, see
  • The Create Bib API can now create bibliographic records in UNIMARC and KORMARC, in addition to MARC 21. For detailed information on this API, see
  • The <renewable> field was removed by default from GET /users/ID/loans, as it was causing system lag. If you require this field, set the new Fulfillment parameter temp_add_renewable_to_get_loans_rest to true (Fulfillment > Fulfillment Configuration > Configuration Menu > General > Other Settings).

Known Issues

  • 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.

Data Services

  • Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms thesaurus records were added to the Alma Community Zone. The records will be updated weekly when updates are available. The following is an example of the way in which you should link to the authority record:
    Title: Survivor: Thailand.
    655 #7 $a Survival television programs. $2 lcgft
    655 #7 $a Nonfiction television programs. $2 lcgft
  • Library of Congress Authorities Community Zone Updates
  • New Electronic Collections Added to the Alma CKB
  • No new external search resources were added for this release
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