Related product I-Share

Alma Student Information System Integration Setup

Instructions for Creating SIS Integration Profile and Test Loading a Patron Sync File

These tasks should be performed by a staff member with Alma’s General System Administrator role.

A) Define S/FTP Server to be used

  1. On the Alma Configuration screen, select the General tab on the left side of the screen.
  2. Under External Systems, locate and select S/FTP definitions.
  3. On the List of S/FTP Connections screen, click +Add S/FTP connection; or, if you will be using CARLI's secure FTP server, select the row actions menu (the ... button) on the row for CARLI Secure FTP Server (unscoped); select Edit to modify the unscoped profile (then skip to step 17), or select Duplicate to copy and modify the profile yourself.
  4. Enter the Name of your ftp server connection. This name will appear in other Alma screens, so it should describe the connection unambiguously. If using CARLI’s secure FTP server, enter CARLI Secure FTP Server.
  5. Provide a Description of the server that will be helpful to others who view the configuration screen (e.g., server address, IT contacts, etc.)
  6. In the Server field, put the fully qualified server name.  Use the server address provided by your IT group. If using CARLI’s secure FTP server, enter files.carli.illinois.edu.
  7. In the Port field, put in 22.
  8. In the Sub-directory field, specify the directory that the s/ftp connection should open, if different from the home directory allowed for the account. CARLI's recommendation is to use a value of ALMA
  9. Increase the Max. Number of Files to 1000.
  10. Leave the Min Number of Files set at 1.
  11. Increase the Max. file size to 2000
  12. Make sure that Size type is set as MB.
  13. Set Allow Navigation to True.
  14. Set FTP Server Type to Default.
  15. Set the FTP Passive Mode according to your IT group’s instructions; if using CARLI’s secure ftp server, make sure FTP Passive Mode is checked.
  16. Set FTP Server Secured as checked.
  17. Select whether the connection will use Username/password authentication or Key authentication based on your IT group’s instructions. If using CARLI’s secure ftp server, select  Username/password authentication.
    1. If using Username/password authentication, enter your UserName and Password for the connection. These will be the server credentials provided to you by your IT group, if using a local server; or by CARLI, if you will be using CARLI’s secure FTP server.
    2. If using Key authentication, enter your UserName as provided by your IT group; then copy the Public Key; work with your IT group to incorporate this into authentication to your local server.
  18. Select Test FTP in the upper right of the Update S/FTP Connection screen.  If you have the correct permissions and sub-directory for your selected FTP server, the test should succeed. If the test fails, check your information and adjust the profile settings.
  19. Select the Save button in the upper right of the Update S/FTP Connection screen.

B) Create SIS Integration Profile(s)

  1. Log into your Alma instance.
  2. Select the gear icon in the upper right of the Alma welcome screen to enter Alma Configuration.
  3. On the Configuration screen, select the General tab on the left side of the screen.
  4. Under External Systems, locate and select Integration Profiles.
  5. On the Integration Profile List screen, select +Add Integration Profile.
  6. Enter a Code which will be a unique identifier for the integration profile. Ex Libris and CARLI staff may use this code later in troubleshooting integrations.
  7. Enter the Name for this integration; the name will appear on the Integration Profile List, in the Monitor Jobs list, and in emailed reports.
  8. As Integration Type, select Users from the drop down.
  9. After the Integration Profile screen refreshes, select your S/FTP Connection Type, as created above, from the drop down list. For example, if you’re using CARLI’s secure ftp, you would select CARLI Secure FTP Server.
  10. In the System field, select the student information system for this particular integration from the drop down lost; select Other if your system is not listed.
  11. Decide if you want this profile to be the default by using the checkbox.
  12. Write a description for this profile if you wish
  13. Select the Next button in the upper right of the Integration Profile screen.
  14. On the second Integration Profile screen, you will enter the details for the specific type of SIS integration you are creating. You will use only one type per integration. Mark the choice you will use in this integration as Active; other types should remain inactive.
    1. IMPORT only adds users to Alma. Generally, this integration would be used to add sets of users who are not routinely updated in another system.
      1. Set Record Type as Public.
      2. Enter the sub-directory on your FTP server where user import files will be placed.  If using CARLI’s secure ftp server, enter SIS.
      3. Keep the User XSD Version setting of V. 2.
    2. SYNCHRONIZE will add new users to Alma and will update users already added previously to Alma with current information from the SIS (provided data are included in the user files).
      1. Set Record Type as Public.
      2. Set Match ID Type as Primary Identifier.
      3. Keep the Synchronization Type setting of Swap All.
      4. Keep the Unmatched Record setting of Add.
      5. Enter the sub-directory on your FTP server where user import files will be placed. If placed in the home directory, you may leave this blank. If using CARLI’s secure ftp server, enter SIS.
      6. For your initial testing period, keep the Schedule setting of Not Scheduled. (You may change this value later.)
      7. Keep the User XSD Version setting of V. 2.
    3. ONLINE IMPORT gets user information from an SIS using an external REST API, typically for one user at a time. If using this approach, enter the URL and credentials provided by your IT group.
  15. Click the Save button in the upper right of the Integration Profile screen.

Repeat the above steps for each separate SIS that you are integrating, or for different methods of adding users.

C) Test Load a Patron Data File

  1. Prepare a user XML file using the format specified at CARLI's list of mandatory fields for user records. The file name should include “patron” in the name; other details such as date/time and user groups included may be useful in the name as well.
  2. Create a zipped version of the user XML file.
  3. Connect to your designated ftp server.
  4. Transfer the zipped user XML file into the path specified in the S/FTP server definition plus the sub directory specified in the Integration Profile. For example, if using CARLI’s secure ftp server for a user synchronization, the path would be /home/xxxftp/upload/ALMA/SIS
  5. Log into your Alma instance.
  6. Select the gear icon in the upper right of the Alma welcome screen to enter Alma Configuration.
  7. On the Configuration screen, select the General tab on the left side of the screen.
  8. Under External Systems, locate and select Integration Profiles.
  9. Select the integration profile you just created above for the type of load needed (i.e., import or synchronize).
  10. Select the Actions tab.
  11. If testing an IMPORT integration (i.e., you’re trying to add users not yet in Alma):
    1. Verify that Record Type is correct
    2. Set Input File Path as a further sub-directory to be appended to the sub-directory given in the S/FTP definition.  Here CARLI suggests a value of SIS.  Actual full path would then be  /home/xxxftp/upload/ALMA/SIS
    3. Select the Run button.
    4. Watch for Alma to respond with a notification that the job has been submitted.
  12. If testing a SYNCHRONIZE integration (i.e., your user file contains data on users in Alma as well as  new users):
    1. Verify that Record Type, Match ID Type, Synchronization Type, Unmatched Record settings are correct.
    2. Set Input File Path as a further sub-directory to be appended to the sub-directory given in the S/FTP definition.  Here CARLI suggests a value of SIS.  Actual full path would then be  /home/xxxftp/upload/ALMA/SIS
    3. If you are testing only the synchronization process, leave Schedule as Not Scheduled; if you are also testing whether the synchronization process runs on schedule, set a time for the job to run.
    4. Select the Run button.
    5. Watch for Alma to respond with a notification that the job has been submitted.
  13. Select the Back to Alma button at the very top left of the screen.
  14. Select the Admin menu, then select Monitor Jobs.
  15. You will see a new entry in either the Running Jobs tab or the History tab.
  16. Locate the job that corresponds to the time of the one you just ran.
  17. Click it to see the detail of what is happening/happened.
  18. If the job was unsuccessful, look in the report to see what went wrong.
  19. If the job was successful, then it should detail the changes that it made to Alma.
  20. If you have enabled Allowed Emails in your configuration, you will also receive an emailed report about the completion of the SIS integration job. This message will have a Subject line that describes the type of load (i.e., import or synchronize), the name of the integration profile used, and a statement on completion.
    For example: Users IMPORT using profile TEST SIS Integration Import

Alternately, job history may be reviewed from the list of integration profiles. Select the Row Actions menu (the button) on the right of the list, then select Job History. Then on the list of jobs, select the Row Actions menu for the job you ran, and select View.

Additional Resources

Ex Libris Knowledge Center, Alma Documentation: External Systems. Includes instructions for creating any integration profile and configuring secure FTP connection profiles.

Ex Libris Developers Network: User Management.

Ex Libris Developers Network: SIS Overview.

SIS_Integraton_Profile_and_File_Upload_Test.pdf (This document as a PDF file)