Tech Blog

Announcing the Ex Libris App Center

Here at Ex Libris we’re very proud of the vibrant community of customers. And we are inspired by the developer community’s creativity, professionalism, and willingness to share. Our commitment to the open platform and investment in this Developer Network are the direct result of our belief in the unlimited potential of that community.

We’re announcing a new way for developers to share their great work and to help it be discovered by the rest of the Ex Libris community. It’s called the Ex Libris App Center, a platform on the Developer Network for publishing and searching for apps which extend or integrate with Ex Libris products. Developers will be able to create and manage a page for their apps in the App Center, including descriptive details, screen shots, and a link to download the app. Users will be able to search the App Center for apps which meet their needs and have a single place to discover the work that the community has done.

For Developers

Today developers can share their work on the various product lists, in the Developer Network Tech Blog and at community events. There hasn’t been a single, searchable archive for other users to discover those apps. The App Center is meant to provide just that platform. Developers can share applications, integrations, scripts, add-ons (such as for Primo), anything that’s ready for a user from another institution to configure and use.

To add an app to the App Center, go to My Account and click on “My Apps”:

Add a new app and enter the app’s details. The description should include the purpose of the app and its basic functionality. Add some screenshots and a link to download the app.

 

ADD YOUR FIRST APP NOW

For Users

The App Center is meant to be a platform for administrators, system librarians, and other users to discover apps which could help them meet their institution’s requirements. The App Center homepage provides the ability to search for apps or limit by product:

 

Clicking on an app’s name brings you to the app homepage. There you can read about its features and click the “More Info” link for installation and download instructions.

GO TO THE APP CENTER

Coming Soon: Alma Apps

The launch of App Center is just the beginning. We’ve also announced that we’ve begun work on a framework to enable developers to write apps which will run inside of Alma. This framework will empower developers to write new apps which will interact with an open page in Alma and use REST APIs to update data.

There are an unlimited number of use cases that this capability could enable, such as

  • Adding a role to a list of users
  • Updating a list of bibliographic records or items
  • Formatting and printing the entire tree of a bibliographic record, holdings, and items
  • Performing an action on a list of items

We are very excited about the possibilities that Alma Apps will open for developers. Later this year we’ll seek out development partners interested in developing apps during the initial preview phase. Keep your eyes out for further details to follow.

Next Steps

The Tech Blog will remain a vital way to share development tips & tricks, how-tos, success stories, and a behind-the-scenes look on how we and others are leveraging the open platform to meet their business needs.  We’re excited for the potential of the App Center to bring the work of the community to a wider audience and we can’t wait to see what you shared. The App Center is being released in preview mode, and we’re happy to receive your feedback- feel free to leave a comment below or post to the special App Center forum.

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