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    Go VE: Differences in Primo VE and Feature Alignment Plan

    The configuration of Primo has some similarities in Primo VE, but because of Primo VE's design principles and its ability to utilize Alma's platform capabilities directly, there are many differences. In this document and many of the other Go VE documents, we will describe each of the differences to help in the move to Primo VE.

    This document provides an overview of the differences in the major configuration areas, and also provides a plan for which features that are not currently available in Primo VE will be added to align with existing features in Primo. 

    Configuration and Platform Differences

    Data Configuration and Normalization

    Primo VE allows to enrich the display and discovery of items in several ways:

    • Adding local configuration and normalization – Primo VE allows you to add your local data for various needs: display, search, facets, resource types, links and more. This local configuration can be based on any metadata located in the bibliographic records.

      Out of the box, Primo VE displays and indexes additional elements that are not in the metadata:

      • Course information – Primo VE displays and indexes course information.

      • Authority information – Primo VE indexes MARC 1XX, 4XX, and 5XX fields from authority records (preferred and non-preferred), and they are available for search automatically. There is a plan to allow institutions to exclude 5XX from the index (see Allow institution to exclude 5XX authority fields from the index).

      • Holdings information – various elements from the holdings are used for Primo VE functionality: availability calculation, display, search and facets. There is a plan to configure additional holdings information for search (see Ability to add additional holding records information for search).

    • Customize default OTB fields such as predefined author, subject etc.:

      • An option to modify and customize the display fields and its metadata.

      • Metadata in the search and facets fields for default OTB fields can't be edited.

      • Additional data fields – Addata is used in Primo VE for internal functionality (citations, push to records and more). Any other needs should be used in other various options. If you have any questions, contact us at

    • Dedup and FRBR mechanism – Primo VE has a default mechanism to match records in Dedup or FRBR groups. The Dedup and FRBR memberships are calculated at the time of indexing, but the groups themselves are only created at search time. in this way, Primo VE is capable of allowing you to decide at the view level whether to display the records as Deduped/FRBRized group or as single records. You can also define the preferred record to display in a Dedup group which will be taken into account at search time.

      Primo VE also allows you to exclude records from dedup/FRBR mechanism based on a defined condition. There is a plan to add configuration for Dedup and FRBR Keys (see Configuration for Dedup and FRBR Keys).

    Browse Search and Shelf

    Browse search in Primo VE takes advantage of the platform and utilizes the Alma browse functionality. In this way, Primo VE can support all the Alma browse options quickly and efficiently. In addition to the Primo browse options, Primo VE also supports the browse by series, shelving control number call number, and more. 

    Browse Shelf Service also utilizes the Alma browse functionality. You can configure your Browse Shelf to display physical items that appear together on a bookshelf, which is based on call numbers from the holdings, or if you prefer, you can also include the electronic materials so that Browse Shelf is based on the call numbers from bibliographic headings.

    Since Primo VE is aligned with Alma's Browse functionality, the cross-reference information functionality is not supported.

    Distributed Access to Electronic Resources (Multi-Campus)

    In Alma, you can manage electronic resources at the campus/library level to allow discovery and delivery of electronic subscriptions that may vary between campuses/libraries.

    In Primo, there are customers who implement their campuses as different institutions so that the electronic availability is reflected to the users based on their campus.

    In Primo VE, we have simplified the management of the campuses, and as in Alma they are managed within one institution by defining separate PCI profiles and views for each campus/library. This means, that you have the ability in Primo VE to manage the campuses availability in a view and PC key levels in the same institution. For more information, see Distributed Access to Electronic Resources in Primo VE

    You can define most of the features at the view level and enable them in the campuses to which they are relevant. Journal search is also sensitive to the campus that the view is affiliated with and retrieves only the journals that are available to this campus. In addition, the View It in other campuses/ library option is supported in Primo VE to see electronic availability of other campuses/libraries.

    There are features that currently applied at institution level and there is a plan to allow them to view at the campus level. For more information, see Feature Alignment Plan.

    Journal and Database Search

    Primo VE offers several search options in Journal and Database search pages that provide the end users more powerful tools to find what they are looking for in thousands of items. Based on customer feedback that A-Z is "old-fashioned" and no longer relevant since there are thousands of journals from which to choose, these tools have been redesigned. Here are the search tools and navigation options that Primo VE offers to help users find the information for which they are looking:

    • An accurate auto-complete based on the journal or database titles held or subscribed by the institution (a separate auto complete than regular Primo VE search). Instead of having the user click on a letter and get hundreds of journals in that letter they can start typing and get a much more relevant list.

    • Journal Search goes beyond the traditional link resolver journal search interfaces, offering both electronic and print journals making it the first true representation of all the journals an institution holds or subscribes to (as opposed to just electronic before).  

    • Journal search offers a 'search within' feature that allows the user to search for articles in that are part of the journal they are interested in.

    • Browsing journals or databases by hierarchical categories allows users to navigate for his interest subject and find all its related journals or databases.

    PNX Structure

    The PNX is rendered on the fly for front-end functionality during search time. It contains the elements and fields that are required for the discovery functionality, which are categorized under the following sections: display, control, addata, sort, search, and delivery.

    You can use the showPnx tool to see the PNX record, which is generated from Primo VE's out-of-the-box mapping. Currently, the tool does not reflect any changes associated with custom normalization rules (including local fields that use normalization rules) and those can be seen by using browser tools.

    Translations – Supported Languages

    The translations for various display labels are defined with code tables in Primo VE (which may or may not have similar names as the code tables used in Primo), but the configuration of supported languages is handled in Alma. For more details, see Configuring Institution Languages. Please contact us if a necessary language is not supported.

    MetaLib Search

    Remote searches in MetaLib are not supported in Primo VE views. Currently, there is no plan to add this capability.

    Feature Alignment Plan

    We plan to release the following Primo VE enhancements to gain alignment with existing Primo features. The features listed are the result of discussions and ongoing feedback from customers.

    We encourage you to review the Primo VE release notes for fixes and additional features released.

    Categories Area Title Projected Quarter

    Search and indexing

    Holdings information

    Ability to add additional holding records information for search

    2022 Q1 – Completed

    Authority fields

    Allow institution to exclude 5XX authority fields from the index

    2020 Q4 – Completed

    Normalization Capabilities


    Ability to display multi-lingual preferred from authority

    2021 Q3 – Completed


    Normalization Rules support in display and local fields for CNMARC records

    2021 Q2 – Completed

    Dedup and FRBR

    Configuration Options

    Configuration for metadata used in Dedup and FRBR Keys

    2021 Q4 – Completed



    Ability to create resource recommender at view level

    Dec. 2020 (Primo VE) – Completed


    Support Database search to be based on the campus affiliated by the view

    2021 Q2 – Completed



    Analytics for counting discovery data index

    2022 Q2 – Completed

    Rosetta integration

    Support Rosetta Collection Discovery

    Not planned since its integration is handled through Alma for discovery in Primo VE.

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