Alma (Partially Automated or Fully Automated FTP Upload)

NOTE: We recently made changes to this article. Trial customers and users wishing to provide a one-time, manually exported file may find those instructions outlined by clicking the link below:

http://support.thirdiron.com/knowledgebase/articles/1117075-alma-one-time-manual-export

Current BrowZine subscribers
 have the option of automatically transmitting their BrowZine holdings automatically from Alma to our SFTP server.

There are two configuration methods:

a) Partially Automated Option (standard):

The typical setup is considered a "partially automated" process as Alma currently does not provide a way to schedule the export job on a regular basis. Users must still go in and manually "trigger" the SFTP export each time they wish it to run (we recommend monthly). However, this method is still a time saver for libraries as it eliminates the need to manually export, download, zip and then re-upload the files to our web server.

b) Fully Automated Option (advanced):

Advanced users may use the ALMA API with a cron job to automatically trigger the SFTP export without any additional human intervention. This method requires access to a Linux server and some programming knowledge, and is outlined at the bottom of this article.

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Partially Automated Export (standard)


First time users, start here (one-time setup)

If you have not yet already done so, please email support@thirdiron.com and request SFTP credentials for setting up Alma exports.

Once you receive your credentials, follow the "BrowZine SFTP Configuration" process, which is outlined below, directly after step #4. This will walk you through creating a SFTP Connection within Alma, a process that you will only need to do this once.

Repeat users, start here

Once you have the SFTP Connection configured, follow the steps below to export your job. (These steps can be automated by following the "Fully Automated (advanced)" option at the bottom of this article.

Note: We recommend setting yourself a calendar task to remind you to trigger this export on the 1st day of each month. Our script will look to pull and process the files automatically sometime after the 1st on a monthly basis, so ensuring you trigger the job by the 1st ensures that your file is fresh when we go to pull and process it.

1. Go to Manage Jobs -> Run a Job



2. Select “Export Electronic Portfolios”


3. Select the previously defined/named set*


* Note that the above illustration is a sample only.  This Alma customer created a custom set and named it "EJournals".  If you have not created a similar set, the recommended parameters when defining the set are:

"Electronic Titles where All titles (Material Type equals "Journal")"

You can find detailed documentation on how to manage Sets here:

https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/Alma_Online_Help_(English)/Administration/070Managing_Jobs/Managing_Search_Queries_and_Sets

4: Run a job to trigger the SFTP export:

When given the screen of options below please choose the options as seen in the screenshot below:

Note: you will need to first request SFTP credentials from Third Iron and then configure your SFTP connection through Alma before proceeding. Contact support@thirdiron.com to request your SFTP credentials. Then follow the SFTP configuration instructions as provided down below.


Field Listing (text description of the graphic above for clarity)

  • Output Format: Google Scholar XML schema
  • Number of records in file: One File
  • Export into folder: Private
  • FTP / sub-directory BrowZine FTP (see below for config screen)
  • Sub-directory: (Leave Blank)
  • Add interface name (CHECK this box) - REQUIRED

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BrowZine SFTP Configuration

You need to configure the BrowZine SFTP connection from the List of S/FTP Connections page:

  1. Navigate to Administration > General Configuration > Configuration Menu > External Systems > S/FTP Definitions
  2. Click Add
  3. When the Update S/FTP Connection page appears, complete the fields as follows:


Field Listing (text description of the graphic above for clarity)

  • Name: BrowZine FTP
  • Description: User for exporting journal holdings to update BrowZine
  • Server: integrations.thirdiron.com
  • Port: 22
  • Sub-directory: (Blank)
  • Min. Number of Files 1
  • Size type: GB
  • Ftp Server Secured: Yes
  • UserName / Password: Given by Third Iron Support. Contact us at support@thirdiron.com for this information to enable FTP uploading!
  • Max Number of Files: 100
  • Max File size: 10
  • Allow Navigation: False
  • Ftp Server Type: Default

You can find more information on configuring SFTP connections in the ExLibris help document here: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/Alma_Online_Help_(English)/Administration/050Configuring_General_Alma_Functions/External_Systems

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Special Note for Libraries who utilize Alma within a Consortia Environment

For institutions who are part of a consortia with a shared Alma system, Alma manages records in two zones, the Network Zone (NZ) and Institution Zone (IZ).

https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Implementation_and_Migration/Migration_Guides/010Alma_Migration_Considerations_for_Consortia

Presently, most libraries are easily able to follow our directions and provide us with the Institution Zone (IZ) records but because of various Alma technical constraints, they are not able to provide us with a combined file of NZ + IZ. There is an active Alma Enhancement designed to address this short coming which we encourage libraries to upvote here: 

http://ideas.exlibrisgroup.com/forums/308173-alma/suggestions/31310698-produce-a-publishing-profile-for-browzine

In the meantime, we require libraries to provide each file separately to our FTP drop and Third Iron will combine these two files. Please consult with your Network Zone administrator for how to obtain a regular update of the Network Zone file.

Fully Automated Option (advanced)

Advanced Users may fully automate the above process with the ALMA API (External Linux Server Required)

This procedure has some technical prerequisites including knowledge of working with the ALMA API:

https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/blog/Working-with-the-Alma-Jobs-API

and you will need to be familiar with setting up API keys on the developers network:

https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/alma/apis#calling

You also need to have the above processes for the "Automated Uploading to the Third Iron FTP Server" already completed.

You can write a Python, PHP or other script to call the API. You will need to add in the Job ID from your BrowZine export job, your API key and also the ID for the Browzine FTP configuration you have created. Note that this should all be in the XML of the BrowZine job already if you have followed the instructions in the “Working with the Alma jobs API” article:

https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/blog/Working-with-the-Alma-Jobs-API

Finally, you need the ID of the logical set of records you created in Alma (although again this should already be in the XML).

You can cut the XML directly from the API Information box as detailed in the article above, and paste this into the script below, and this will contain all the information you will require.

One final caveat is that the API URL in the following example script is for European Alma clients and you may need to use a slightly different URL if you are elsewhere in the world. The call to an Alma API should be directed to the geographic location of your library, as follows:

America: https://api-na.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com 
Europe: https://api-eu.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com 
Asia Pacific: https://api-ap.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com

An example script is as follows:

from urllib2 import Request, urlopen

from urllib import urlencode, quote_plus

url = 'https://api-eu.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/almaws/v1/conf/jobs/{job_id}'.replace('{job_id}',quote_plus('<YOUR JOB ID>'))

queryParams = '?' + urlencode({ quote_plus('op') : 'run' ,quote_plus('apikey') : '<YOUR API KEY>' })

values = \

"""<job>

<parameters>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportBibParams_outputFormat_string</name>

<value>GOOGLE_SCHOLAR</value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportBibParams_maxSize_string</name>

<value>0</value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportBibParams_exportFolder_string</name>

<value>PRIVATE</value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportParams_ftpConfig_string</name>

<value><YOUR FTP CONFIG ID></value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportParams_ftpSubdirectory_string</name>

<value></value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportParams_interfaceName</name>

<value>true</value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportParams_filterInactivePortfolios</name>

<value>false</value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>task_ExportParams_baseUrl</name>

<value/>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>set_id</name>

<value><YOUR SET ID></value>

</parameter>

<parameter>

<name>job_name</name>

<value>Export Electronic Portfolios - via API - Ejournal Titles</value>

</parameter>

</parameters>

</job>"""

headers = { 'Content-Type':'application/xml' }

request = Request(url + queryParams

, data=values

, headers=headers)

request.get_method = lambda: 'POST'

response_body = urlopen(request).read()

print response_body

Finally, on a Linux server, set up a cron job to call the above script on the first of the month.

As an example:

30 7 1 * * /usr/bin/python /path-to-script/browzine-export/export_it.py > /dev/null 2>&1

The python on the server will need urllib and urlib2 built for the above to work.

With this automatic configuration enabled, you need only to activate the process and it will be automatically run and sent to Third Iron at the first of every month.

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

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