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Setting up the Alma MARCEdit integration for Bib Records

MARCEdit Integration with Alma.

Note from the author (July, 2019).  There are several other MarcEdit-related blog posts related to Alma in the Ex Libris Developer Network that are more recent than this blog post.  I still believe everything is correct but the Alma UI in relation to APIs may have changed. 

The examples below utilize the Alma Sandbox.  It is usually preferable to test in your Sandbox, first.  Once you are certain it works, you can change the configuration to point to your Production Alma.

Note that this document presumes you have a basic understanding of working with APIs.

Also note that you can right click on images and click on “View Image” to see the screenshots clearly.

The author is not a a cataloger.  Use of this integration is dependent upon cataloging skills and knowledge of your bibliographic data.

Consult the MarcEdit web site::

Before you start you need to know:

  • Your Sandbox URL
  • Your Sandbox Database
  • Your Sandbox Z39.50 port (probably 1921)

You need to work in two areas. First set up the APIs.  Next, configure MARCEdit.

You should test that your Z39.50 is working.  Yaz can help you do that.  For example in Yaz:

Z> open

In the Developer Network API Dashboard:

  • Created a new Application for MARCEdit that uses the Bibs and Users APIs.
  • Under API Management for that application, change the Plan to “Sandbox read/write” and Save.
  • Copy the API key for the MARCEdit application as you will need it for MARCEdit.

API Key will be a long string that looks something like (below is not a real key):



Test of Bib (plug your own MMS ID and your own API key into this URL <example not a real API key>):

Test of Users (Plug your own API key into this URL <below is not a real API key>):


On the main ILS Integration screen in MARCEDIT (Preferences Icon – note this may not be current version of MARCEdit — your version may be different!)


Please note that several customers have been confused by the following:

Make sure you understand and know the URL for your API gateway

Host Name:

– This should be the same for all North American customers, regardless of sandbox vs. production.

– https:// is required here.

– As Terry’s instructions indicate, there is no username, and the password is your API key for the MARCEdit application.


These setting work as of 3/4/2017

I suggest you name it “Alma” – Set it up as above. Once this done, Click on Edit under use Z39.50 settings


Create this for your Z39.50 settings and save.


Then go back to main settings and select your setting.

On the Z39.50 Database Properties tab use this URL:


After logging in to our Alma sandbox, I copied this domain from the URL. (Correct for Mines as well)

Login and pw are blank.

I did receive an error the first time I tried to search from the MARC Editor, because my Z39.50 config had been dropped from Settings. I re-entered the config, saved, and the changes remained after that.


Using the integration


In the MARCEDIT EDITOR if you have set this up right you’ll see an Alma option (or whatever you called your integration):


See my Alma option above.

Select Search and do your search


Results retrieved.


Download all items results.


Test of editing and changing a record


I have added these screenshots after getting questions from other customers.  They show selecting a record and then saving it.


Above shows one change made to the abstract. Click on the Alma menu item to resave. Note that it can be slow.


After clicking on save menu option you receive confirmation.


11 Replies to “Setting up the Alma MARCEdit integration for Bib Records”

  1. I have gotten this to work for our Institution.

    Initially I used a “personal” API (not sure if that’s the correct term), which did not work. When I switched to our Institution API, the integration worked.

    So, perhaps just be aware of that.

    By Skalk Van Der Merwe on May 8, 2018 at 00:52 AM

  2. Can someone advise why read/write access to the Users API is also required for this integration? Original post mentions it is to “provide a thin layer of authentication before MarcEdit attempts to run an operation (since Alma doesn’t have it’s own authentication process separate from having a key).” It would not seem to be strictly required.

    By Queensland University of Technology 61QUT_INST on August 23, 2018 at 02:08 AM

  3. Adding this to perhaps help others. To test if your Alma implementation’s Z39.50 search works without fussing with Yaz, you can also plug in your server credentials at this Library of Congress site:

    The server name is the server where your Alma instance is hosted (and not the Alma address you use to access Alma). Port is likely 1921. The database name is your Ex Libris site code (ex>01XYZ_ABCD).

    By Jen Fritz on October 29, 2018 at 11:51 PM

  4. Should the API Management Plan be set to “Sandbox read/write” even if we are using MarcEdit in production, not in the sandbox?

  5. Hi Kristen,

    About your question related to “Sandbox read/write”:

    You would want to specify your production in the configuration once you are done testing. It is probably preferable but certainly not required to test first in your Sandbox.

    Laura Guy

  6. I have completed the integration testing (MarcEdit and Alma Sandbox) and is going to change the testing environment to the Alma Production. Please can anybody here advise if the Host (Z39.50 Database Settings) needs to be the Host of Alma Production?

  7. Hello.
    I am not sure exactly what you are asking.
    If you did your testing in the sandbox, I believe you will need to make changes in both the API settings and in MarcEdit to point to production, but I am mindful that the API configuration settings have changed since this blog post was written. You might want to check the other related blog posts on this platform and/or post a query to the customer listserv (“Voy-L”)

  8. Hello, team. I can search and open the bib record in MarcEditor. However, when I try update or save the record, there is error of “HTTP Status 401 – Login Failure: all modules ignored. This request requires HTTP authentication.” Could you please advise? Thank you.

  9. I cannot update/create a bib record due to HTTP authentication issue. No matter if I set credentials or not in the Z39.50 integration profile in Alma, I can retrieve the bib record but cannot update it. Could you please check if you can replicate the issue on your side with the latest Alma release? Thank you.

  10. Hello,

    I retired and no longer have access to Alma.

    While I have no way of knowing for sure, I still think these instructions should work. There are other Alma/MarcEdit blog posts that you may want to consult.

    You may want to send a question to the Alma-L list with specific issues.


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