10 ways for libraries to connect to academic eco-systems
Ex Libris customers can share their customizations, accessories, tips and tricks for using Ex Libris products with a very active global network of users on the Developer Network Tech Blog. They can ask questions through the forum, which will be answered by community members or Ex Libris experts. In addition, all the information needed to integrate Ex Libris products with a library’s institutional systems or create API-based apps is documented and explained in the Network’s searchable knowledge base.
Over 200 APIs give programmatic access to data and workflows managed in Alma and other Higher Ed Platform solutions. Currently, more than 50% of Alma’s activity is API-driven and there are more than 1,000 API calls by Alma users every minute. The APIs, with their documentation and sample use cases, can be explored through a built-in API console on the Ex Libris Developer Network.
Alma supports all major open industry standards, such as OAI, NCIP, SIP2, and many more, facilitating collaboration with institutional colleagues on a turnkey basis.
Users of Alma and other Ex Libris products can build on the large API set to develop their own scripts or entire applications for almost any library-centered purpose. The apps are then hosted and displayed on the Higher Ed Platform, where users can directly access them from within their Alma instance or other relevant Ex Libris products. Cloud Apps can provide additional functionality, streamlined workflows, or integrate with other systems.
Out of the box integrations
Alma easily integrates into the library’s larger environment and connects to student information systems, financial and bursar systems, and more. File-based integrations and integration templates allow external systems to share information with Alma and vice versa.
Webhooks change the paradigm for how events in Alma are monitored. Instead of an application checking for activity, Alma can be configured to send a message to a library’s custom application or script when events occur. In other words, without any delay in library tasks, Alma silently calls for the app whenever it is needed.
Open Discovery Framework
Libraries can customize their Primo discovery interface (in terms of layout, color scheme, branding, add-ons and functionality). Primo Studio makes it easy for library staff without coding or technical skills to use the Open Discovery Framework to make desired tweaks intuitively and easily. In addition, the integrations, extensions and customizations made will not be disrupted by future upgrades to Primo.
The Ex Libris Developer Network hosts over 100 applications, with annotations and screenshots, that can be integrated with Ex Libris products. The apps, created by members of the Ex Libris user and partnering community, are shared through the searchable App Center.
Ex Libris manages a GitHub organization, where the company shares code samples, sample apps, software development kits, and sample integrations. Ex Libris customers can find code for using the Cloud Apps framework, the Open Discovery Framework, and more rich offerings in the GitHub.
Ex Libris products have a number of features using Linked Data. Library records in Alma include URI’s that allow exposure of the library’s resources in various data formats (BIBFRAME, RDA/RDF, API endpoints). In addition, around two billion metadata records in Linked Data formats from around the world can be harvested by Ex Libris products using APIs in BIBFRAME.