Broker-based Resource Sharing

In this workflow, the ILL main functions (such as submitting a request, defining potential suppliers and finding a supplier that is willing to supply the material)  are done inside the broker ILL system.
Alma is used mainly for the circulation and inventory aspects of the workflow.

Three integration points are typically part of this workflow:

  • OpenURL or another URL based integration for request submission.
  • Z39.50 integration for exposing the library’s holdings availability to the other members of the resource sharing network. At times, systems require full publishing of the institutions’ repository rather than rely on ad-hoc Z39.50 queries.
  • Integration for back office processing of the requests, at both borrower and lender sides.

An integrated broker resource sharing system may support some or all of these integration points.

Implementing these integration points enables libraries to use an external broker ILL system, relying on Alma and Primo to orchestrate the discovery, inventory management and fulfillment aspects of the resource sharing process.

The following diagram illustrates the workflow:

The following protocols are supported for broker-based Resource Sharing:
Each protocol implements the above communication with specific messages, including the relevant information.


Broker-based Resource Sharing with Alma and the following systems is supported:

System Vendor Functionality Status Notes
ILL/D2D Relais Production Relais responds to “Submit Request” with request form. Relais is eing tested for “Submit Request” via an API call
Navigator OCLC/Atlas
  • Submit Request (Static URL)
  • Locate and Availability (OPAC Syntax of Z39.50)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
Production NRE responds to “Submit Request” with the search interface
ILLiad OCLC/Atlas
  • Submit Request (OpenURL)
  • Submit Request – Supplier of Last Resort (Email/API)
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
Production ILLiad responds to “Submit Request” with request form, requiring login.

Alma can send structured emails to a configured email address, from which ILLiad may be configured to import the emails and create internally managed borrowing requests

It is possible to push borrower requests into ILLiad by a direct API call to ILLiad for further processing in ILLiad.

It is possible to push patron records into ILLiad if the requesting patron’s account has not been previously loaded to ILLiad

VDX OCLC Production
OCLC Worldshare OCLC
  • Submit Request – Supplier of Last Resort
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0) Not Supported by Vendor
Production It is possible to push borrower requests into OCLC WorldShare by an API call for further processing in WorldShare .
  • Submit – Tipasa can be set as a General Electronic Service target, see blog
  • Submit Request – Supplier of Last Resort
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0), see blog
Production It is possible to push borrower requests into Tipasa by an API call for further processing in Tipasa.
ShareIt AutoGraphics
  • Locate and Availability (OPAC Syntax of Z39.50)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
InnReach via DCB Innovative Production Requires a script to mediate between Alma and Inn-Reach.
See Alma – Inn reach integration.
InnReach via D2IR  APIs Innovative
  • Supported actions (Borrower and lender):
    • Request
    • Ship
    • Receive
    • Return
    • Check-in
Production See InnReach API Implementation Guide
SLNP Supporting Systems SISIS/OCLC
  • Resource Sharing Process (SLNP)
GTBib-SOD Kronosdoc Verified No use of the OPAC syntax
Clio II Clio Software Production
RapidILL Colorado State University Publishing/APIs Production Alma Publishing Profile is used to update Rapid ILL with holdings information. Additionally, requests created in Alma are pushed into RapidILL for further processing in RapidILL if the requested resource is indeed available via RapidILL


Functionality Legend
Submit Request A borrowing may be pushed from Alma into the broker system.
Request is directly loaded into the broker system by an API call or by an online request form
Locate and Availability Alma repository, including its inventory status, may be exposed to the broker system
Fulfillment The following actions may be done in the broker system and be automatically reflected into Alma:
Borrower Side :

  • Look up patron information
  • Receive Item
  • Send item back to lender

Lender Side:

  • Mark item as requested
  • Send Item to borrower
  • Receive item back from borrower
Resource Sharing Process Communicate resource sharing workflow actions such as :

  • Request (B)
  • Ship item (L)
  • Receive Item (B)
  • Return Item (B)
  • Check In Item (L)
  • Cancel Request (B)
  • Confirm Cancellation (L)
  • Request Renewal (B)
  • Accept Renewal Request (L)
  • Answer – Unfil (L)
  • Overdue (L)
  • Recall (L)
  • Will Supply (L)

## B – initiator of message is Borrower
## L- initiator of message is lender

Patron File Patron information is exported to broker using Alma’s integration profiles.


Status Legend
Production The integration is used by customers in production
Roadmap The integration is planned
Verified Integration is tested or otherwise verified but not known to be implemented in production
Being Tested Integration is actively in the process of being verified
Not Supported by Vendor Third party system is known not to support the integration