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    Primo Glossary

    If you are working with Primo VE and not Primo, see Primo VE Glossary.
    This section contains a glossary of terms used in the Ex Libris Primo system.
    Term Definition


    You can save a search query, and set the search to be performed automatically. An alert notifies you if there are any new search results.

    Availability pipe

    The availability pipe checks for available updates several times throughout the day.

    Availability text

    This text is determined by Primo. It displays next to the item name and indicates the availability of the resource to the user.

    Back Office

    The user interface and programs that manage the Publishing Platform.

    Basic Search

    A configurable tile in the Views wizard. The user uses this tile to search for a specific item.

    Blended search

    A search in which several search engines are used to create a single results list. The most common blended search is between Primo and CDI.


    A positive value applied to groups of records to enable them to display earlier in the search results list when sorted by relevance. See Deboost.

    Brief Display

    The information (such as the title and availability status) that displays for each record in the brief results and enables users to determine whether a record is available and contains the information for which they are looking.

    Brief Results

    A configurable tile in the Views wizard. After the user searches for a specific item, the results display in this tile.


    The publishing pipe process records in groups of records that are called bulks. By default, the bulk size is 1000 records.

    Data source

    The data source from which the Publishing Platform harvests records. A single source system may contain several data sources. For example, in terms of SFX, Primo harvests a single SFX instance. A single SFX installation may include several instances (that is, data sources). In Aleph and Voyager, every bibliographic database is a separate data source. A single installation of Aleph or Voyager may include several bibliographic databases that are harvested by Primo.


    A negative value applied to groups of records to prevent them from appearing earlier in the search results list when sorted by relevance. See Boost.

    Delivery restricted scopes

    Restricted delivery scopes indicate access restrictions for online resources.

    Double metaphone

    The double metaphone search algorithm is a phonetic algorithm and is the second generation of the metaphone algorithm. It is called "double" because it can return both a primary and a secondary code for a string. For example, encoding the name "Smith" yields a primary code of SM0 and a secondary code of XMT, while the name "Schmidt" yields a primary code of XMT and a secondary code of SMT. Both have XMT in common.


    E-shelf enables you save search results in your Basket.


    A configurable tile in the Views wizard. The tile opens relevant links that might interest the user, determined from the search that was performed.

    Front End

    The user interface responsible for all interactions (such as discovery and delivery) with the end-user.

    Full Display

    The details of an individual record that displays on its own page. This page typically displays after clicking a record's title in the brief results.


    The Primo Publishing Platform process in which records are grouped using the principles in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records published by the IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.


    The Primo Publishing Platform process in which new, modified, and deleted records are gathered from a data source
    (such as an ILS). Obtain this information using one of the following harvesting methods: FTP, copy, or OAI-PMH.


    The institution is a central administrative concept in Primo. Users and resources belong to institutions.

    Main pipe

    The main ILS pipe is generally run during the night and includes all updates to bibliographic records and related holdings and authorities.


    Metaphone is a phonetic algorithm for indexing words by their sound, when pronounced in English. The algorithm produces keys as its output. Similar sounding words share the same keys and are of variable length in the metadata form.


    An n-gram is a sub-sequence of n items from a given sequence. n-grams are used in various areas of statistical natural language processing and genetic sequence analysis. The items in question can be letters, words, or base pairs, according to the application.

    Normalization mapping set

    The set of normalization rules that convert source records to the PNX.

    Normalization rule sets

    Normalization rules are applied to the source data. These rules are used to translate the data source into a PNX format.

    OPAC via Link (OvL)

    The delivery method in which Primo links out to the ILS's user interface and displays it within a Primo i-Frame or new browser tab. From this interface, users can interactively perform requests and check their library cards.

    OPAC via Primo (OvP)

    The delivery method in which Primo uses APIs to support the following OPAC functions within its native interface: My Account, inventory display (holdings and items), and material requests.

    Out of the Box (OOTB)

    This term indicates that a specific configuration or setting (which can be configured by staff users) does not require any configuration to enable.

    Patron Directory Services (PDS)

    A “back-end” Web component that facilitates user authentication and login to an Ex Libris application. See Primo Authentication Manager.

    Persistence layer

    An Oracle database that is part of the publishing platform in which PNX records are stored before they are retrieved by the search engine.

    Pipe run

    Every execution of a publishing pipe is called a pipe run.


    The pipe is the set of steps that the source information goes through before being turned into the PNX record.


    The Primo normalized XML format. This is the common format to which all source records are converted.

    PNX record

    Primo normalized XML record. The source record is translated to this format and loaded into the Primo database.

    Primo Authentication Manager

    An alternative authentication method that supports the authentication of users using SAML, CAS, LDAP, Alma, Aleph, and social logins. In addition, this method supports the ability to use separate authentication systems for bor_auth and bor_info requests.

    Central Discovery Index (CDI)

    A mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources of global and regional importance. These include journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators, and from open-access repositories.

    Publishing pipe

    Within the Publishing Platform, PNX records are created by publishing pipes. In principle, every data source has its own pipe with its own normalization mapping set.

    Restricted search scopes

    By defining restricted search scopes, you can restrict discovery of groups of records to specific users.

    Scopes (Views)

    Scope is a general concept that is used to create groups of resources. Primo has several types of scopes:
    • Search scopes
    • Restricted search scopes
    • Restricted delivery scopes
    • Blended search scopes
    The term “scope” is also often used to refer to search scopes, that are defined per view.

    Search scopes

    Search scopes are defined per view and define a group of records that can be searched together. There are two types of search scopes:
    • A local scope is a subset within the Primo repository. The default is the entire local repository.
    • A remote scope is a list of records in a remote location outside the Primo repository.

    Search Engine (SE)

    A system that retrieves library metadata from the local PNX database table and transforms it into useful information to provide relevant search results. For CDI, the SE provides relevant search results based on metadata as well as full text.

    Similar items

    You can create a search for similar items. Similar items creates a search based on the author of the item from the previous search.


    The Primo Search Engine supports multiple slices to reduce retrieval time for very large data sets.

    Source record

    The individual record from the data source that is converted to the Primo normalized record (the PNX).

    Source system

    The system from which the Publishing Platform harvests records—for example, Aleph, Voyager, and SFX.


    Users can add reviews and keywords to any item.


    A fully hosted solution that provides initial configuration, ongoing application configurations (such as end-user interface customizations), version upgrades, monitoring of data sources, and standard Support services.


    The View is the Primo user interface. You can define one or more views. Each view can have a different “look and feel” and list of search scopes.
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