Configuring Z39.50 Servers and Searches

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This section covers the installation and configuration of Z39.50 servers for searching local OPACS. You set up your servers and searches from within the Customization Manager under the Z39.50 tab. Also stored here are the default OPAC profiles listed below.

The configuration of Z39.50 searching is performed in the Customization Manager. At the top of the left-hand side of the Customization Manager is a tab labeled Z39.50. Clicking this tab will open a Z39.50 ribbon containing three groups, Servers, Searches, and Editing. The Servers group contains information for setting up a Z39.50 link to your resource(s). The Select Server icon contains a dropdown list of all of the existing Z39.50 server configurations that you have already set up for your system. Selecting an existing server entry will display the server configuration data for the chosen Z39.50 server.

Aeon Z39.50 searching currently supports the following default OPACS or systems: AlephDRADynixGeacInnopac, RLG, Sirsi, and Voyager

Creating a New Server Configuration

  1. Click the New button from the Z39.50 menu and choose the type of OPAC that you will be searching.

    If the type of OPAC you are creating a server entry for does not exist, choose any of the Server types. Applying this profile will insert information into the form for use as a server configuration template.
  2. Fill in the information in the required fields (highlighted in yellow) for your Z39.50 server.

    Then, fill in the other configuration information specific to your OPAC in the appropriate fields.
  3. Click the Save button on the Z39.50 menu.

The information that is pre-populated on the form is typically the default used for the type of Z39.50 server being entered. These values will be very different for most institutions. If you are unable to determine the appropriate values for any of these fields relative to your institution's Z39.50 server, contact your local Z39.50 server administrator. Be sure to get the actual Searching and Result Mapping information from the Z39.50 server administrator of the server you are adding an entry for if you encounter errors or are creating an entry for an OPAC type that did not exist.

Searching Options

Each Z39.50 profile has default options for the syntax to use when searching the Z39.50 server. These are based on typical settings for Z39.50 servers of each type. Generally, you should be able to leave those settings as is, but if you notice certain searches giving errors, contact your Z39.50 server administrator for information on editing those values.

The available Searching options include:

  • System Number Search
  • Call Number
  • Title Search
  • Author Search
  • ISBN Search
  • ISSN Search
  • Date Search
  • Keyword Author Search
  • Keyword Title Search

Result Mapping

The result mapping section of each Z39.50 server configuration determines which fields in the results are used to complete the call number, location and availability fields within the client. The default settings that appear work for the majority of Z39.50 servers, but if searches against your server return results do not fill out correct values for call number, location and availability, you may need to cha ge the settings within Result Mapping. Z39.50 holdings results are typically in either XML format or MARC format. You will need to choose one from the dropdown. If the format is XML, the identifier field is the tag that contains the holdings information within the results (i.e. holdingsAndCirc). These values are case-sensitive. The Call Number, Location and Availability tags would then be the tags under the identifier tag that contain those values. If the format is MARC, the identifier is the numerical MARC field that holds the call number, location and availability information (i.e. 930). The Call Number, Location and Availability tags would then be the tags under the identifier tag that start each of those values.

For example, if within the 930 fields the call number is after $h, then $h would go in the call number field. If the location is after $a, then $a would go in the location field. For either XML or MARC formatted results, you can choose between the availability tag being a value or a regular expression. If you choose a value, then the results will show whatever text is in that tag. If you choose a regular expression, then the regular expression is used to match the value from the tag.

For example, your Z39.50 server may put a 1 in the available tag if it is available and a 0 if it is not. You could have the regular expression say [1] and if it matches it would replace that value with the text from Available Text. If it didn't match (was anything other than 1), it would replace the value with the text from Not Available Text.

Multiple Option Sets and Concatenation of Values for Z39.50 Holdings Information

The value for Call Number, Location, and Availability can contain pipe (|) characters and plus (plus) characters to create multiple result sets and concentration of values respectively. These characters can be used together and there is no limit to the number of configurations you can specify (within the length of the configuration field in the database).

Examples (example values are assuming XML holdings, but the same options are available for MARC):

  • A value of "localLocation|shelvingLocation" states to attempt to retrieve the value from localLocation and if a value is not found (or is empty) then attempt to return the value from shelvingLocation.
  • A value of "localLocation+shelvingLocation" states to retrieve the value from localLocation and from shelvingLocation and concatenate them with a space separator.
  • A value of "localLocation+shelvingLocation|someOtherValue" states to attempt to retrieve the value from localLocation and from shelvingLocation concatenated with a space separator and if a value is not found (or is empty) then attempt to return the value from someOtherValue.

Editing or Deleting an Existing Server Configuration

Editing a Server Configuration

  1. Click the Select Server button from Z39.50 menu and choose the server to edit.
  2. Modify the Z39.50 server information.
  3. Click the Save button on the Z39.50 menu.

Deleting a Server Configuration

  1. Click the Select Server button from Z39.50 menu and choose the server to edit.
  2. Click the Delete button on the Z39.50 menu.

When you delete a server, searches where the deleted server is the only included server will be automatically deleted. If the server deleted is part of a multi-server search, the server will automatically be removed from search and the remaining servers will automatically be reordered.

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