MarcEdit – Direct ILS Integration

With all the new ILS systems being produced and the emphasis being placed on support for API support, one of the things that I’d like to eventually see is the ability to integrate directly with specific ILS systems to allow users to pull content directly from their systems (in batch or individually), edit the records in MarcEdit, and then upload the data back to their ILS systems.  So, when I was asked to consider some direct integration work to support Koha, I was certainly game. 

At this point, the program is primarily supporting search and update/creation of records.  Essentially, users will select their ILS system from the list of supported ILS’s (at this point, just Koha) and MarcEdit will add a new option to the MarcEditor window.  I’ve been working hard over Thanksgiving so that a first version of this function can be made available in the next update. 

I’ll post a YouTube video to demonstrate the functionality later this weekend, but in nut shell, here’s how it works. 

  1. Users will enable the functionality through the preferences.  A new Preference Tab has been added to the MarcEdit options. 
  2. In the preference list, I’ve added a list for Supported Systems.  At this point, the only option is Koha, but I hope to eventually add support for other ILS systems as either vendors provide documentation or individual users request/sponsor development.  The options needed to support a specific system are primarily a host name (baseURL that will be used to interact with the API), a username and password.  My assumption is that there may be some additional data needed (for example, Koha will use Z39.50 for searching, so some additional data may be needed…and when it is, MarcEdit will ask specifically then and save the data upon entry).
  3. When the ILS option is selected, a new menu item appears in the MarcEditor.  This is the menu item that needs to be used if the user wishes to push data directly back to their ILS system.

While Koha will be the only option available up front, as I say, I hope that I’ll eventually be able to provide additional support for other ILS systems. 


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