For Primo VE environments, see Primo VE Sandbox.
The Primo sandbox environment is designed to provide a means for you to develop, test, and train without making your changes seen by patrons and without compromising the data in your production environment.
The Primo sandbox environments are completely isolated from your Primo production environment so that any actions performed in the sandboxes do not affect your production environment and any actions performed in your production environment do not affect the sandboxes.
As part of Primo’s standard offering, Ex Libris provides a standard sandbox. The standard sandbox contains your configuration, which is copied from your production environment and is limited to a 100,000 record subset of your data. This can be used for staff training and testing of Primo setup scenarios, new enhancements, and the integration with other systems without affecting your production environment.
Sites may choose to upgrade to a premium sandbox, which contains the library configuration from your Primo production environment and holds the full amount of records as per your production environment license.
- You cannot have both a standard sandbox and a premium sandbox simultaneously.
- The cloud sandbox environments are updated with the new Primo release two weeks before the general release to the production environments (refer to the exact release schedule published by Ex Libris).
- The configuration can be copied from your Primo production environment or copied to your Primo production environment using the export/import tools (see Primo Tools).
- For more details on working with your sandbox and Alma, see Alma Sandbox Environments.
For the initial population of a Primo sandbox, use the same published files from your Alma production environment's initial full Primo publish (performed when you go live with Alma). If the Primo sandbox is premium, all initially published records are loaded to the Primo sandbox. Otherwise, a selected set of those initially published records from Alma production (up to 100,000) are loaded to the Primo sandbox.
The best practice for optionally integrating your Primo sandbox with Alma after Alma and Primo go-live depends on whether you have an Alma standard sandbox or an Alma premium sandbox.
Since an Alma standard sandbox has standard Ex Libris configuration and data and will not match your Primo configuration setup with your institution's settings, the Alma standard sandbox does not link to any Primo. Institutions with an Alma standard sandbox can use their Alma sandbox as a test environment (not connected to Primo) for testing new Alma functions and features.
Instead, your Primo sandbox can be set up to communicate with your Alma production environment. This enables ongoing tests between Primo sandbox and Alma production (of changes in areas such as Primo normalization rules or the Primo user interface) on the Primo sandbox, while using live data from your Alma production environment to vet those Primo-side changes. Since this model potentially updates the Alma production environment with any user request or My account actions performed from the Primo sandbox testing, all tests should be performed in a controlled and limited manner. For information on how to link a Primo sandbox to an Alma production environment, see How to allow production Alma to return responses to a sandbox Primo.
The following diagram presents this setup:
Primo Sandbox Working with an Alma Production Environment
On an ongoing basis, a Primo standard sandbox can be updated by loading select records published from your Alma production environment, while a Primo premium sandbox can remain current using the ongoing publishing pipes based on the full incremental changes occurring to the data on Alma production.
In the above model, all test user requests submitted from the Primo sandbox environment enter into the Alma production system. We recommend that these tests are performed with specific staff or a specially defined test user on Alma production.
An Alma premium sandbox has your full configuration and data replicated from your Alma production environment, which matches your Primo premium sandbox setup. This setup enables the Alma premium sandbox to link to the Primo sandbox for fully integrated testing.
- As part of an Alma premium sandbox refresh, you may need to publish some of your records for testing purposes to your Primo sandbox. Note that you can publish installments of sets that include up to 10,000 records.
- If you are working with a Primo standard sandbox, you can publish up to 100,000 records only in total (all published sets combined).
In order to perform specific, targeted tests, you can publish some records (up to 10K) from your Alma premium sandbox to your Primo sandbox. The Alma sandbox publishes these records to a dedicated subdirectory of the same FTP location used by Alma and Primo production. These records are then retrieved by the Primo sandbox. If your Alma sandbox is not currently set up to work with your Primo sandbox (this is generally handled during the implementation process), you can set up your Alma sandbox as described in Linking Primo Sandbox to Alma Sandbox and Linking Alma Premium Sandbox to Primo Sandbox below. The Primo sandbox then communicates with the Alma sandbox for all user actions, such as requests and My Account.
The following diagram presents the Primo sandbox’s communication with the Alma premium sandbox:
Primo Sandbox Working with the Alma Premium Sandbox
- Your Alma premium sandbox environment is a full replication of your Alma production environment. It includes all of your institution's configurations and records. Your Primo sandbox environment may have only a partial representation of your institution's records (depending on your Primo sandbox model). So you may have records in your Alma sandbox that are not in your Primo sandbox.
- To test discovery of specific Alma records, you can publish a select set of records (up to 10k) from the Alma premium sandbox to the Primo sandbox.
- Primo sandbox is configured to work with Alma premium sandbox, so ensure that Primo configuration export/import is not done between Primo sandbox and Primo production or vice versa (the target Primo environment would then be—at least initially—working with the wrong Alma environment). If this must be done, reset the Primo-defined Alma URLs to the correct Alma environment immediately afterward (see Linking Primo Sandbox to Alma Sandbox below) to avoid any cross-sandbox/production mishaps.
To link your Primo sandbox to Alma:
- In your Primo sandbox environment, ensure a single ILS API base URL entry for the relevant Alma environment (Alma production if you have Alma standard sandbox or Alma sandbox if you have Alma premium sandbox) exists. If not, update or add a mapping row to the OPAC using Primo – ILS API Configuration mapping table (Primo Home > Advanced Configuration > All Mapping Tables) that specifies a single row URL for the relevant Alma environment. For example:
API Base URL configuration for communication with the Alma environmentThis page should already contain a mapping row for your Alma production environment (defined by Ex Libris), so institutions working with Alma standard sandbox may not need to update this table. Institutions working with Alma premium sandbox will likely need to update the ILS API Base URL with the Alma sandbox URL to replace the Alma production URL.
- In your Primo sandbox environment, edit the Institution Wizard (Primo Home > Ongoing Configuration Wizards > Institution Wizard) and ensure that the Alma, RTA, and API Delivery Base URLs reference the correct Alma environment (Alma production URL for Alma standard sandbox or Alma sandbox URL for Alma premium sandbox). For more information, see Configuring the Primo Institution.
Alma URL references in the Primo Sandbox Institution Wizard
- Ensure that the authentication setup in your Primo sandbox is pointing to the appropriate Alma environment (Alma production URL for Alma standard sandbox or Alma sandbox URL for Alma premium sandbox). If you are still using PDS, your authentication remains directed at Alma production, and authentication relies on your existing users from Alma production. For other institutions using Primo's authentication manager, ensure the parameters ALMA_LOGIN_URL and USER_INFO_URL on the Login Profile page (Primo Home > Ongoing Configuration Wizards > User Authentication Wizard) refer to the correct Alma environment (Alma production URL for Alma standard sandbox or Alma sandbox URL for Alma premium sandbox).
For more information on Primo authentication setup, see Primo User Authentication
- Ensure that a pipe definition exists on the Primo sandbox which connects to the appropriate FTP location where Alma publishes its Primo data. If not, and you are unable to set up the relevant credentials in the Primo sandbox pipe, open a support case with the title Credentials needed for harvesting published Alma records to Primo sandbox. For Primo sandbox pipe definition setup for working with Alma premium sandbox, add an additional sub-directory in the pipe definition as noted in Linking Alma Premium Sandbox to Primo Sandbox.
- Deploy any changes in the Primo back office by entering and choosing the deploy option from Primo Home > Deploy and Utilities > Deploy All.
Perform the steps in Linking Primo Sandbox to Alma Sandbox to enable the ability to link your Alma Premium Sandbox to your Primo Sandbox.
To link your Alma premium sandbox to your Primo sandbox perform the following steps:
- In your Alma premium sandbox environment, configure Alma to use the same Primo URLs that the Primo sandbox uses (in order to enable successful communication between Alma and Primo):
For information on these two parameters and their syntax, see Configuring Other Settings.
- Enter the URL of the Primo sandbox login page in the primo_pds_url parameter.
- Update the primo_service_page_url parameter with the Primo sandbox service page URL (which also enables Leganto and course-related communication with the Primo environment denoted).
- Ensure that:
- The Primo publishing profile on Alma sandbox is active and configured like it is in production (by default, after a premium sandbox refresh, it should be identical to production). Although you cannot schedule publishing on the Alma sandbox, you can publish up to 10K records using the on-demand job Primo Republish Set of Titles.
- On the Alma sandbox, all relevant FTP hostnames/IP addresses are in the FTP Include List mapping table (see Configuring Allowed S/FTP Connections During Testing).
- The values of the above Alma parameters are restored to the values of the Primo production URL when your Alma premium sandbox environment is refreshed by your Alma production environment. To re-enable your Alma premium sandbox to work with your Primo sandbox, reconfigure these parameters following a refresh.
- After an Alma premium sandbox refresh, the Primo sandbox may become slightly out of sync with the newly refreshed Alma sandbox data. You may choose to publish additional representative records from the Alma premium sandbox to the Primo premium sandbox for testing. Alma premium sandbox allows the publishing of up to 10,000 bibliographic records using the on-demand job Primo Republish Set of Titles.
- In your Primo sandbox environment, change the FTP location of the pipe from which to import records. The Primo publishing profile on the Alma sandbox appends /sandbox onto the subdirectory of the target FTP server; this ensures that the Alma and Primo production and sandbox servers publish and harvest to/from different locations. For example, if your Alma production environment exports MARC 21 data to the directory a/b/c, the Alma sandbox environment exports to the directory a/b/c/sandbox. You must define the Primo pipe definition with the same directory location (with /sandbox) for harvesting those Alma premium sandbox published records. For more information on Alma's Primo publishing and Primo's harvesting, see Publishing Alma Data to Primo and Harvesting and Publishing Alma Records in Primo
To test publishing between Alma premium sandbox and Primo sandbox with a select set of records (up to 10k):
- Create a set of titles on the Alma sandbox.
- Run the Primo Republish Set of Titles publishing profile on the Alma sandbox.
- Harvest to the Primo sandbox by running the pipe (for example, with pipe name: <customer_code>_ALMA_sandbox) on the Primo sandbox.
- Wait until the indexing and hotswapping are complete.
- Test the data.