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:

ILL/D2DRelaisProductionRelais responds to
“Submit Request” with request form
  • Submit Request (Static URL)
  • Locate and Availability (OPAC Syntax of Z39.50)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
ProductionNRE responds to “Submit Request”
with search interface
  • Submit Request (OpenURL)
  • Submit Request – Supplier of Last Resort (Email)
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
ProductionILLiad responds to “Submit Request”
with request form, requiring loginAlma 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
OCLC WorldshareOCLC
  • Submit Request – Supplier of Last Resort (ISO) Not supported by Vendor
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0) Not Supported by Vendor
Not supported by vendorAPIs not being made available to Alma by OCLC
  • Submit – Tipasa can be set as a General Electronic Service target, see blog
  • Locate and Availability (WorldCat)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0), see blog
  • Locate and Availability (OPAC Syntax of Z39.50)
  • Fulfillment (NCIP v2.0)
InnReach via DCBInnovativeProductionRequires a script to mediate between Alma and Inn-Reach.
See Alma – Inn reach integration.
InnReach via Direct APIsInnovativeIn development
SLNP Supporting SystemsSISIS/OCLC
  • Resource Sharing Process (SLNP)
GTBib-SODKronosdocVerifiedNo use of the OPAC syntax
Clio IIClio SoftwareProduction
RapidILLColorado State UniversityPublishing/APIsProductionAlma 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


Submit RequestA borrowing may be pushed from Alma into the broker system.
Request is directly loaded into the broker system by an online request form
Locate and AvailabilityAlma repository, including its inventory status, may be exposed to the broker system
FulfillmentThe 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 ProcessCommunicate 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 FilePatron information is exported to broker using Alma’s integration profiles.


ProductionThe integration is used by customers in production
RoadmapThe integration is planned
VerifiedIntegration is tested or otherwise verified but not known to be implemented in production
Being TestedIntegration is actively in the process of being verified
Not Supported by VendorThird party system is known not to support the integration