Finding & Importing the Barcode Field

We've received some questions during our weekly "Ask Atlas" Live Community Forum (Wednesdays at 2PM, Eastern) about importing a barcode. There are various options for pulling this data into your ILLiad client, but the most important part is finding out if you're actually passing this information.

If your ILS supports Z39.50, you can use the client to identify which fields are available and the Customization Manager to indicate where you'd like them imported. By default, only CallNumber and Location fields are provided as destination fields in the ILLiad transaction, but you can concatenate information to pull more data into each of these. (See the Docs for Instructions)

To find out if you are passing this information, identify an item that has a barcode and a local catalog record in your ILS (just any book that loans) and use any ILLiad transaction to open up the Z39.50 tab. Search and select the item by typing in the title or ISBN or other identifying value. Normally you only use the Searching subtab, but this time we'll click on the Record Detail subtab (see image).

Click on the tab that says Record Detail.This information represents the XML version of a MARC record and each "category" of information is typically enclosed between a set of <categoryname> and </categoryname>.

Scroll down until you locate the barcode number, which you should know from the process of identifying the item you're using in this test (see image). Here I can see that the barcode is encompassed inside the ItemID field and looks like: <itemId>31142042715451</itemId>.

Please note that the ItemID category is encompassed inside other categories, which is inside other categories. This breakdown goes: <opac record><holdings><holding><circulations><circulation<itemId>. This same parent category is referenced in the Result Mapping section of the Z39.50 set up in the Customization Manager (see image). The only categories that are eligible for importing are within the "Identifier" field in the Customization Manager, so make sure that the field that has the Barcode is encompassed underneath that larger category.

In this example, you can see that I chose to concatenate the Barcode inside the Location field, by using a + symbol in between the two categories inside the Location field in the Results Mapping Customization Manager section, creating a value of "localLocation+itemID."

This might be not be the best solution if you want the Barcode in its own field, for mail merge purposes. The CallNumber field can hold 100 characters and the Location field can hold 255 characters, so you might also want to concatenate all applicable callNumber and Location fields into the longer, Location field (put call number first, so it doesn't get truncated) and have JUST the barcode value in the CallNumber field.

If you do this for mail merge purposes, make sure that you use the correct format when adjusting the field in Microsoft Word. This format is: *{MERGEFIELD Transactions_fieldname}* Make sure to note the asterisk on both sides of the field, to show where the barcode needs to start and stop. The default barcode fields are already in this format, so you can reference them by changing the font of the barcode from 3of9barcode to a readable font, like Arial.

Finally, you can use an addon to copy and paste the barcode from either a new addon tab (typically using a form of screen-scraping) or by connecting to your ILS's API and importing the field directly into the ILLiad transaction. We have some of these freely available in our ILLiad Addons Directory; you can write your own; or you can contact Atlas for a custom quote.






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