Related product Link Resolver (SFX)

SFX Navigation


NOTE: CARLI's move to Alma and Primo VE includes replacing SFX with the link resolver that is built in to Alma. SFX will be shut off sometime in fall 2020.

What is SFX?

SFX is a link resolver from Ex Libris. A link resolver is a product that, figuratively speaking, sits between a “source,” where a user begins the search process, and a “target,” where the user goes next. The “source” might be an abstracting and indexing database, an A-Z list of journal titles, an OPAC, or a footnote in an electronic full text article. If the source system can build a standards-compliant OpenURL containing metadata (typically bibliographic citation information) about the “object” the user is interested in, then a link resolver like SFX can generate a list (or menu) of relevant targets. Targets might be the electronic full text of the cited article (perhaps available from a provider other than the source where the user found the citation), or a document delivery request form, or a web-based service that will automatically reformat a bibliographic citation according to a specified style manual, suitable for pasting into the user’s bibliography.

For more information about link resolvers in general, read "The Lure of Linking."

Services “bundled” with SFX

The SFX product provides three user interfaces that take advantage of the SFX software and KnowledgeBase.

SFX Menu

Users traverse the menu on the way from a “Source” system to a “Target” system.

SFX A-Z List

The list of titles associated with the instance’s activated targets. There is an A-Z list of ejournals and another one for ebooks. Both are available in a mobile-friendly version.

SFX Citation Linker

This is a specialized tool that allows users to enter bibliographic metadata manually, and from there connect to a Menu of relevant Target Services.

See the Comparison of SFX Instances on the CARLI Server.

How CARLI “runs” SFX for your Library

Your library’s SFX instance is considered live as soon as it has been established on the CARLI server, whether or not your library has begun to make SFX available to your users. CARLI houses and maintains the server on which the SFX software and KnowledgeBase reside, makes regular back-ups, and applies the weekly updates that are released by Ex Libris. CARLI regenerates libraries’ SFX A-Z lists, and performs the “online-to-offline” copying of usage data (for statistical reporting) each night.


 The SFX software pricing formula is a tiered structure based on FTE. Beginning July 1, 2016, libraries will pay 70% of the cost of the annual software maintenance fee. Libraries will pay 100% of the annual software maintenance fee beginning July 1, 2017. CARLI also pays for the annual hardware maintenance associated with hosting SFX for governing members. For more specific pricing information, contact the CARLI Office.

Implementing SFX

To implement SFX for the first time, If you are taking over the administration of an existing SFX instance on the CARLI server, see SFX Administration in the CARLI Environment.

For detailed information,visit the CARLI SFX FAQ.


CARLI hosts the sfx-ig email discussion list  for the benefit of CARLI’s SFX implementers. CARLI offers periodic webinars on topics related to SFX administration. CARLI also offers period full-day, hands-on training sessions. To express a training need, please .

Technical Assistance

CARLI serves as the first line of support for technical and functional questions about SFX in CARLI libraries.  If your instance of SFX is on the CARLI server, for technical support. If your instance of SFX is on the Ex Libris server, or on a server of your own,contact Ex Libris for technical support.