Remote Storage

Alma supports using NCIP messages in order to communicate with a remote storage facility system.
In this article, the term AWS will be used for the remote storage facility system ( Automated Warehouse System).

The following table summarizes the events which are part of this communication:

Triggering Event and Event LocationInitiating ApplicationService InitiatedResponding ApplicationBehavior in responding system
Item arrives in the remote storage facilityAWS Check In ItemAlmaItem is placed in the remote storage location.
Any other move requests or loans are deleted.
Item leaves the remote storage facilityAWS Check Out ItemAlmaAlma Scan In the item at the circ desk (that is being sent in the messages). If it was supposed to go out- Alma creates Transit and sends response.
Item is requested from the remote storage facility, but does not existAWS Cancel RequestAlmaThe item is defined as ‘Missing’.
The request is interjected.
Validation checks are be performed.
Item is deleted in AlmaAlmaDelete ItemAWSDelete the item from the remote storage facility DB.

There are mainly two workflows in which the above events occur:

  • Request workflow
  • Delete item workflow


Request workflow

The check-In message will be sent from the AWS to Alma when an item has been inserted to the AWS. This will happen as part of the following scenarios:

  • An item has been returned by a patron after loan
  • The current location of the item has been changed to remote storage location, or it is a new item
  • Move request for this item with a destination of the remote storage location

When Alma receives CheckOutItem message, it will be as if Scan-In was performed at the circulation desk:

  • If the item was requested- It will get a transit (Request’s Workflow Step: Transit Item)
  • If a Delete message was sent due to change of location- transit will be created

CancelRequestItem message will be sent from the AWS to Alma when an item requested by Alma could not be found. When Alma receives Cancel Request message, the following actions will be performed:

  • Item will be defined as ‘Missing
  • Interject will be executed for the request
  • If there are other items under the item’s title- interject will be performed, and will activate other item for the request
  •   In case there are no other items under the title- since the required item was already defined as ‘Missing’, and other items will not be able to fulfill the request, the requests will be cancelled.

Delete workflow

Delete Item message will be sent from Alma to the remote storage in the following cases:

  • Withdrawing an item
  • Changing location of an AWS item to other location

The DeleteItem message will be sent as part of the Inventory Remote Storage Update job.

NCIP messages structure

NCIP messageNCIP message fieldvalue
All messagesInitiationHeader.FromSystemIdNCIP_REMOTE_STORAGE
All messagesInitiationHeader.ToAgencyId.AgencyIdInstitution code
All messagesInitiationHeader.ApplicationProfileType.valueIntegration profile code (see required configuration in Alma)
All messagesInitiationHeader.OnBehalfOfAgencyLibrary and circulation desk in the following format:
Check In ItemItemIdRelevant item ID
Check Out ItemUserIdRequesting patron’s ID
Check Out ItemRequestIdIf the Check Out message was initiated following a request, the Request ID will always be added. If Check Out was not initiated following request- this field will be empty
Cancel RequestItemIdRelevant item ID
Cancel RequestUserIdRelevant patron ID
Cancel RequestRequestIdRelevant request ID
Delete RequestItemIdRelevant item ID

Required configuration in Alma

In addition to the remote storage location, it is required to configure an external integration profile of “remote storage” type: 

  • Integration type: XML/NCIP
  • URL: the base URL of the remote storage facility system. The NCIP messages from Alma to the remote storage facility system will be sent to this URL.

The Remote Storage facility should be connected to NCIP integration profile:

Required configuration in the AWS

The URL for which NCIP messages should be sent from the remote storage system to Alma is: