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Setting up the Alma ILLiad Partner of Last Resort Integration

Setting up the Alma ILLiad Partner of Last Resort Integration

How to set up the Alma / ILLiad Partner of Last Resort Integration with a shared NZ Rota.  University of Wisconsin runs an NZ shared Rota in Alma, but we each have our own ILLiad instance.  The ILLiad partners need to be set-up in each IZ.  For institutions that use a standalone IZ, the configurations noted below will also work for you.

The workflow:

When a resource sharing request is placed in the discovery layer by a patron, it will go through the NZ Rota of partners and if it cannot be filled, it will fall through to the IZ defined ILLiad partner.  When a request is exported to ILLiad, it is not closed and remains active.  This helps with troubleshooting and we use the ILLiad NCIP Borrowing Add-on developed by Northwestern.  It was determined, at Wisconsin, that the user would also be confused if the request closed, while it was out in ILLiad.

Step 1: Set up an API key in ILLiad

  1. Open the ILLiad Customization Manager > System > Integration > WebPlatformConfig
  2. Add a new record
    1. Add your NVTGC code
    2. Click the … to generate a key and copy it.
    3. The BaseWebserviceURL is:

https:{your ILL domain}/ILLiadWebPlatform/

  1. For D description is: Key for testing the Alma Partner of Last Resort
  2. ExternalUserIDMapping: The value in ILLiad that matches the user’s identifiers in Alma. For us it was Username in ILLiad.

*** Prior to the ILLiad API option being available, our campus had this set up to run with the pop mail option.  When we initially set this up, we did have to contact Atlas to adjust the firewall.  (University of Wisconsin ILLiad servers are hosted by Atlas, you may need to contact OCLC or your local IT depending on where your ILLiad servers are hosted).

Step 2: Set up Alma in a Limited Capacity

  • You don’t want to open the floodgates for this as every canceled item will fail over into ILLiad. To test in production, you can do things a few ways, such as limiting by user group or deactivating the Rota assignment rules, so a request must be placed manually to get into ILLiad. In this example, both are used.
  • If you also want to use the NCIP integration Add-ons, you need to decide what location you want to house the borrowing and lending requests. One option would be a new location under the main resource sharing library. Madison due to other logistical needs built a dedicated ILL Library.  This is because ILL and shipping are a centralized operation on campus, and we have 30 some libraries participating in Resource Sharing across several square miles.  The separate library allows us to easily route materials across campus and separate out statistics just for ILL.
  • Here are instructions for setting up a library – our ILL library is technically an item less broker library that just facilitates borrowing and lending to our other libraries –

Step A: Set up your ILLiad partner in Alma

Here are the settings for the partner in Madison’s IZ

Tab Contact Information – add your ILLiad email to the email address at the very least.

Tab Parameters

  1. The URL Value is: https://{yourILLdomain}/ILLiadWebPlatform/transaction
  2. API Key: copy in what was generated from ILLiad.

The Close Request when Exported toggle defines whether the borrowing request will be closed after export to ILLiad or will be managed under the same borrowing request. If ILLiad NCIP integration has been configured, setting the Close Request when Exported parameter to false will enable to continue receiving updates about the request from ILLiad via NCIP throughout its ILLiad lifecycle.

***Used best with the NCIP add-ons – see Kurt Munson’s article for more information on that.

Step B: Set up your Rota Template and Assignment rules –

  1. Rota Template – Under Fulfillment>Rota Template> add template
  2. Add a code and name and then on the member tab add your ILLiad partner.
  3. Save

Step 3: Set up the Rota Assignment Rules – In Alma config>search for Rota assignment rules

  • If you are part of an NZ consortia with shared NZ Rota, you will want to schedule this as it is quite delicate, and you may want to do this during off time.

Rule #1 – Duplicate of the NZ Rota Assignment rule and any other NZ Rota assignment rules your consortia may have.

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Rule #2 – ILLiad   ***This rule stays inactive until you are ready to turn things on.

  • Name: ILLiad
  • Description: ILLiad as Last Resort
  • Input Parameters: Level of Service is not empty (note we have Archives but that is unique to the UW who does share Archives, is not empty should likely work for everyone else).
  • Output Parameters: Rota Template = ILLiad

* You might want to leave it turned off until you are ready to go.

Step 4: Set up your Sending Borrowing Request Rules

Go into your Sending Borrowing Request Rules queue [Alma Config – search for Sending Borrowing Request Rules.

You should already have a rule set up for regular RS called “Send Borrowing request.”

  • Click on the Add Rule​ button.
  • Model your new ILLiad rule after the example below.

o Name: ILLiad

o Input Parameters: Partner = ILL (or the name of your partner)

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Step 5: Set up new TOU rules and add them to the RS Fulfillment Unit

In Alma Configuration>Fulfillment Terms of Use

*** You can technically configure terms of use (TOUs) at the Institutional Level or the Library Level.  Our campus and consortia have discovered it is best that all TOUs be created and edited at the Institutional Level or you can have conflicts and problems with due dates.

    • Loan – must equal loanable but with a custom due date.  You decide what it is.  Madison decided to go with 135 days and create a special item policy for it.
    • Request –
  • Borrowing Resource Sharing Rule
    • This is very important if you are a stand alone instance the default is likely set to don’t allow Resource Sharing. It needs to be set to Allow or Alma will block it from sending the outgoing message.

  • Lending Resource Sharing Rule – this is really for the NCIP lending add-on.  If you don’t plan on using it you would not need this.

Library Level Rules

  • In Alma Config make sure you are at the Library level of the library that will be running the rules for the ILL partner
    • You may need a Temp Item creation rule for these where the partner is ILL (unless your consortia does not override the lender due date.  Wisconsin does do this to get consortia loans to circulate uniformly, so for now we ball park the ILLiad loan date, which is not ideal, but we must do it for now or we will break our current Resource Sharing rules).  If you don’t override lender due dates this part can be skipped, and you will use the exact due date you receive from ILLiad.

  • You will need to set up the Fulfillment Resource Sharing rules at this library level and apply the TOUs you created in the previous step.

In each of the areas – Loan, Request, Borrowing Resource Sharing and Lending Resource Sharing you will want to create a rule and refer to the TOUs you created previously.  For request, Borrowing Resource Sharing, and Lending Resource Sharing you don’t need any parameters as there is only one rule.  Wisconsin has two rules for Loans, but if you do not need to override the lenders due date you can set the due date to no due date and it will accept the due date from ILLiad.

Step 6: Turn on the Rota assignment rules by flipping them from inactive to active and then test and monitor in ILLiad.


It is worth noting that we discussed workflow between Circ and ILL for some time and decided that it was best to let Alma run the due date notices, overdue notices and lost notices (and we block users when they don’t return things after 21 days).  We have updated the on-hold notices in Alma, built out Overdue and Lost Notification jobs, and turned off the same notices in ILLiad.

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