Submitting Requests via OpenURL

Print Friendly and PDF Follow

OpenURL is an industry standard way of encoding resource metadata into a URL. Aeon supports all configurations of OpenURL and is highly customizable for different OpenURL sources. Aeon OpenURL is installed and functional as a part of the standard Aeon Server installation. As a general rule, if your Aeon web pages are functional, so is Aeon OpenURL. No further installation on the Aeon side of things is required. While the Aeon side of OpenURL is functional immediately, OpenURL will not be functional until an OpenURL-compatible system is set up to submit requests via your Aeon server. Aeon allows you to submit Unicode data in OpenURL requests. When a request is submitted, the Unicode data appears correctly on the Aeon request form. The user web interface and Client will accept and display CJK, Hebrew, Arabic, and other non-Western character sets as well as Extended Latin. If your site implements an OpenURL link to Aeon but can only offer one outbound link, you can edit your request forms to allow users requesting items to order copies without having to first submit a loan request and then request a clone to copy order.

Installing Aeon OpenURL

Aeon is capable of linking with any database system that supports OpenURL. This allows the researcher to request items found in various library databases directly through Aeon, without having to re-key any of the request information. Aeon OpenURL uses the built-in Aeon web pages, so you don't have to customize separate request pages specifically for OpenURL. The OpenURL link places them directly inside the standard Aeon web front-end.

Once requested using Aeon OpenURL, the transaction will appear in the Aeon Client at the status of Awaiting Request Processing. Aeon OpenURL is an integral part of the Aeon Web DLL and uses the same technology and web pages as the rest of the Aeon web system. The Aeon DLL supports OpenURL Version 1.0 in addition to the previous version of OpenURL, Version 0.1. To learn how web session data is maintained when placing requests through external systems such as OpenURL, see Submitting Requests.

Setting Up and Testing OpenURL with Aeon

To configure the base URL and test the setup with your catalog, create an OpenURL target of and add your test parameters:


The OpenURLMapping Table

The OpenURLMapping table is pre-seeded with a setup that should work with most default OpenURL systems. If you need to change the behavior of how OpenURL interprets certain fields or genres, this is where you can make the changes. The OpenURLMapping table appears in the Customization Manager under Web Interface | OpenURL | OpenURLMapping.

The OpenURLMapping Table Fields

The OpenURLMapping table consists of the following fields:

Field Name



This field has a default value of "Default". If you wanted to have separate mappings available based on the version of OpenURL being used, you could force that to happen by adding entries for a specific OpenURL Version. With the flexibility of the OpenURLFieldValue field below, this functionality isn't used in the default setup. You should rarely if ever need to change the value for this field from Default, but an example of the value for OpenURL version 1.0 would be "Z39.88-2004". The value is one that's passed from the source database through OpenURL and may vary.


This field has a default value of "Default" and rarely should need to be changed. If you wanted to have separate mappings available based on the source of the OpenURL link, you could choose to set that up here. For example, if you want the default request that comes in from FirstSearch without a Genre to be a Book, and you want the default request that comes in from Ovid without a Genre to be an article, you can set different rfr_id settings for each one. Note: If you decide to specify an rfr_id value for a particular source and AeonFieldName, you will also need to specify a corresponding URL_Ver value. In addition, if you specify one rfr_id value for a particular source and AeonFieldName, you must also specify that same rfr_id for all other AeonFieldNames in the table. This value is one that your OpenURL source provider can help you find should you need to make this change. An example of the value from FirstSearch is "info:sid/" but this value also gets stored in the CitedIn field in Aeon if it is passed over OpenURL (with the info:sid/ part removed).

Aeon Action

AeonAction can have 3 values: Replace, Substitute:genre and Substitute:rft.genre. Replace - the Aeon field represented in the AeonFieldName field is replaced with the data from the OpenURLFieldValues field. For example, if the AeonFieldName is set to LoanEdition, the OpenURLFieldValues is set to <#rft.edition>. For more information on the OpenURLFieldValues field, see below. Substitute:genre - This is used to set the RequestType, DocumentType, and the request form to use in Aeon. The only valid AeonFieldName is RequestType. The OpenURLFieldValues field equates to the genre returned by OpenURL (article, book, conference). This field can also have the value of "default", which matches any genre not specifically listed. The AeonValue field has three parts, separated by colons: RequestType:DocumentType:HTMLRequestPageToUse. Substitute:rft.genre - This tag does the same thing as the prior Substitute:genre tag, but is used for OpenURL version 1.0. It is recommended that if you add a new genre, you add entries for both Substitute:genre and Substitute:rft.genre.

Aeon Field Name

For AeonAction =Replace - This field corresponds to the Aeon field to store the OpenURL information that is sent via the OpenURL link. For AeonAction = Substitute:genre or Substitute:rft.genre - This field must have the value RequestType.

OpenURL Field Values

For AeonAction = Replace - This field has tags that are replaced with OpenURL information from the OpenURL link. Tags are in the format <#tagname>. Other text is allowed, so in the case of an Authors Name, you can separate the last name and first name with a comma and a space. Finally, you can have separate OpenURL values assigned to the same Aeon field. This is useful for handling different OpenURL mappings that end up going to the same Aeon fields. You can separate these with a pipe character ( | ). When Aeon sees the pipe, it interprets everything up to that point in the expression - if it has no values for the OpenURL fields up to that point in the expression, then it continues and uses the next expression. If it already has a value, then it ignores everything after the pipe. You can have as many pipe/field value combinations as you need. Some examples: This example has 3 parts. If the first part, <>, has a value, then that is what is sent back to Aeon. If not, then Aeon looks at the second part: <#rft.aulast>, <#rft.aufirst> <#rft.auinitm>. If any part of that has a value, then it is used. If not, then Aeon uses the last expression: <#aulast>, <#aufirst> <#auinitm>. <> | <#rft.aulast>, <#rft.aufirst> <#rft.auinitm> | <#aulast>, <#aufirst> <#auinitm>. Another example of how Aeon handles both the old and new OpenURL versions together is LoanDate. If Aeon sees the new tag, <> then it uses that, if not, it uses <#date>. <> | <#date> In either case, if none of the OpenURL values are returned, then Aeon puts no value into the field. For AeonAction = Substitute:genre or Substitute:rft.genre - the AeonFieldName is equal to the OpenURL genre field (article, book, bookitem, conference, etc.). This can also be a value of "default" which will be the default genre.

Aeon Value

This is only used with AeonAction = Substitute:genre or Substitute:rft:genre. The AeonValue is actually 3 values, separated by colons. The first value is the Aeon RequestType - either Article or Loan. The second value is the Aeon DocumentType (Article, Book, Book Chapter, Conference, etc.). The third value is the Aeon HTML page for OpenURL to use for that genre (ArticleRequest.html, LoanRequest.html, BookChapterRequest.html, etc.). For example, if the genre is book, then the AeonValue would be Loan:Book:LoanRequest.html.




If this article didn’t resolve your issue, please contact Atlas Support for assistance:

Contact Support