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Real-time ordering: General Overview

General Overview
Instructions for Institutions
Instructions for vendors
General overview of ExLibris APIs methodology
Related blogs

Real-time ordering is an integration between ExLibris Alma and Academic Library Service Providers, to streamline material ordering. It incorporates standard ordering and loading technologies with APIs to speed the availability of resources, increase the efficiency of integrating records, and enhance data enrichment.


  • The user searches for items in the vendor’s system, and places them in the shopping cart (or equivalent).
  • The user verifies owning library, fund codes and other relevant information.
  • At checkout, the vendor sends the shopping cart data to Alma using the Create PO line API.
  • Alma validates the received PO line information (see  PO line object)
  • Alma attempts to match the bibliographic data using standard identifiers. If no match is found, Alma creates a brief bibliographic record for the order.
  • Alma responds with the newly created PO line number to the vendor.
  • The PO line is processed in Alma as other PO lines are processed. If an order requires manual review, Alma sends it to the In Review task list.
The vendor reference number is kept as part of the Alma PO line. Alma PO line number is kept as part of the vendor order details.

The following flow chart represents the workflow.
The following vendors currently support this integration:

For detailed description about setting up the integration, see the following:

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