Tech Blog

Alma – RAPID OAI Setup and Configuration

Author Note: as of March 9, 2020, the information and instructions provided in this blog post have been superseded by this:

This blog post has been left in place as a point of reference but should not be used for configuration of RapidILL.



In August of 2017, Colorado State University realized the incremental updates of the data being published to Rapid were not working as expected. As a result the advice is to run monthly full publishing jobs.

An update by Yifat Lulav: Starting  April of 2019, Rapid are capable of getting incremental data. As a result, like any other publishing profile, the first run will publish all set and the monthly job will publish the set incrementally.

This document has been updated accordingly.



Brief Intro

The purpose of the document is to provide setup and configuration assistance for implementing OAI (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting – OAI-PMH) that will allow a more automated harvesting of holdings.  If you are interested in setting this up, contact the fine folks at RAPID, first.

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

Note that there are additional pieces besides the holdings transmission that are important parts of this process.  You need to create lendability mapping spreadsheets which include a “Lendability Status” for your electronic collections and print locations.  That part of the process is beyond the scope of this document.

If you want to check if an item is in your holdings, you can use the Search Holdings feature on the Rapid website.  It is located in both the Lending or Borrowing menus.  You can limit the search to your holdings by checking the appropriate “Only” box beneath the search fields.  If you find that an item is missing, let RapidILL know the ISSN and what you expect your holdings to show; they can check your current holdings files to see if that item is included and if it has all the necessary data to be added to Rapid.

Please be aware that as of this time (May 2017) records that have an unsuppressed bibs but one or more suppressed holdings along with unsuppressed holdings can be problematic.  In this case the suppressed holding or holdings will be transmitted along with the unsuppresed holdings.  This can cause issues for some sites.  If this is a problem for your site, contact Ex Libris for assistance.

The Ultimate Goal is in part to  provide the folks at RAPID with two URLs that they need to set up the harvest of Alma holdings:

The Request URL

which is the link used to harvest holdings sets created by this process.

And the Alma URL

Which is the Alma link-resolver link that takes you to a specific journal in the collection.  This is an openurl link.

The following documents the RAPID OAI harvesting configuration for Mines in hope this will help other customers.  First written and put into production: November 2016.  LG.

It is presumed you have some understanding of integration profiles and publishing profiles in Alma.

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a low-barrier mechanism for developing and promoting interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content across repositories. Data Providers are repositories that expose structured metadata through OAI-PMH. Service Providers then make OAI-PMH service requests to harvest that metadata. OAI-PMH uses six request types (“verbs”) that are invoked within HTTP. Using this functionality, Alma can publish metadata (as a Data Provider) which can then be harvested by external tools/repositories (Data Harvesters) like RAPID.

To Do List In brief:

Create OAI integration profile

Create Sets

Create publishing profiles for sets

Schedule publishing profiles (first run full, then incrementals)

Test and Get URLs send to RAPID

Work Log:

Add the OAI Publishing Profile (from: Integration Profiles)

General Configuration Menu > Integration Profiles > OAI_DEFINITION > Actions tab

OAI Definitions

OAI Config

Note IP setup above.  Your setup may vary.

Note also that you can choose whether to open this up to the entire I.P. universe as what is shown above or restrict it to specific lending partners.  If you decide to go with the latter option, RapidILL can provide you with that list of I.P. addresses. You can then map your cofiguration to those specific addresses.  I am grateful to my colleagues at San Jose Statae University Librarian for this additional information and advice.


Next, Create your sets (first example is for ejournals, second is for physical journals)

Name of ejournal set: Rapidd-ILL-eJournals

Note search attributes used below:

E-Journals set.

Create a Publishing Profile for ejournals, from: Resource Management Configuration Menu > Publishing Profiles > Rapid-ILL-eJournals


We used this Services URL as per advice  (our openURL or link resolver base).  See below:

This is from our Primo Back office. Displays Base URLs. We (as mentioned) use the Primo one marked with purple

Important update! For Primo VE we use this as the openURL base in the publishing profile:

it creates an odd looking URL in the OAI file (because a & character is followed by a ? character), but at this writing (2/2018) that URL works. It looks like this:

Set up your OAI publishing profile:

Publishing Profile for ejournals. This limits your jobs to begin run once per month, which is fine.

Data Enrichment for ejournals as above  – includes link resolver base URL as specified in the earlier Back Office screenshot.


Run the Publishing profile

Test the ListSets URL you see below to make sure it is successful.

Example of test:

Test URL displays your sets.  Initially, only the first set was displayed (we didn’t do a screenshot at that time, so you see both electronic and physical here — apologies!)


Test your data:

Example URL:

This test renders ejournals set data. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with what these files look like. Note that if this is a very large file, you may see display/rendering issues and the xml tags will disappear. Do not freak out (like I did). It is is nearly certain that your file is fine. See an example of what you might see below.


Schedule (or run manually) the publishing job.

Resource Configuration Menu –> Publishing Profiles

Monthly job is set up.  This was discussed with RAPID and the schedule was approved by them.


Repeat all of the above for print journals.

Create a Set: Rapid-ILL-pJournals as you see below.  Note the search attributes:

Create Publishing Profile: Rapid-ILL-pJournals

Print journals publishing profile.

The initial job will publish the full set.

All subsequent jobs will include incremental data.

Print data enrichment needs to be set up. See the above screenshot and the following one.

Print enrichment as per advice received.


Run the publishing profile as per the ejournals.

Test set the availability with ListSets (example):

Same as the previous example. Displays available sets, now with two.

This test displays print journal data (example):

And Finally:

After all this work at the very end these are the two URLs that RAPID needs (other customers’ will look different):