by Josh Weisman, republished from the Developer Network
Last year we launched the Ex Libris App Center, an online marketplace on the Ex Libris Developer Network for publishing and searching for apps which extend or integrate with Ex Libris products. Community developers and partners have shared more than 60 apps that users can find and download.
Today, we’re announcing the next leap in our openness commitment and continued efforts to enable the amazing work being done in the Ex Libris community and broader ecosystem of partners. It’s called Cloud Apps, an open framework which allows developers to write apps which run inside Ex Libris higher education products such as Alma, Primo VE, Esploro, Leganto and Rapido.
Share in the some of our excitement in this short promotional video:
Cloud Apps can add new features beyond core Ex Libris functionality, can integrate with other systems, or can provide shortcuts and efficiencies for institution-specific workflows. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many institutions overnight and forced a new level of responsiveness. These capabilities can help libraries adapt quickly to today’s changing environment and accomplish more even in the face of resource constraints. Those institutions that already work in the cloud are seeing the benefits of a system that is far more flexible and powerful than is possible with on-premise systems.
Once enabled by an institution, Cloud Apps can be searched and installed by end users. Cloud Apps can respond to the context of the user’s session, thereby offering additional functionality depending on the screen. Since Cloud Apps run in the Ex Libris cloud platform, there’s no need to deal with the headaches of local server hosting or other local runtime environment.
Among the Cloud Apps available at launch are:
- HathiTrust Availability shows full-text options in the HathiTrust repository for the displayed bibliographic records
- Appointment Scheduler offers a calendar interface to schedule appointments for limited resources such as research desks or item pickup and can help comply with social distancing requirements.
- Receive New Serial Items provides a streamlined workflow to create and receive new serial items and update holdings summary statements.
- Alma Refine enables refining bibliographic records with linked data vocabularies, such as those from the Getty Research Institute or Geonames.
Cloud Apps provide benefits to institutions, end users, and developers. Institutions can offer time-saving apps supported by the community while adhering to their governance policy. Users can enjoy new functionality and streamlined workflows integrated into their working environment. And developers can deliver innovative apps to their own institution and the wider community without the need to host or manage the runtime environment.
We take great pride in the way our phenomenal community leverages the open platform to build scripts, apps and integrations. We continue to invest in the open platform because we believe in the goals of access, interoperability, and standards support. Cloud Apps are the next evolution in that commitment, and we’re excited to see the different apps the community will build and the different ways customers will use them.
These links will help you learn more about Cloud Apps.
- Users can review the currently available Cloud Apps in the App Center and learn how to activate and install Cloud Apps in the online help (from August 2020).
- Developers can learn about the features of Cloud Apps, including how to get started, comprehensive tutorials, and detailed documentation in the Cloud Apps section of the Developer Network.
This training video shows how to install and use Cloud Apps:
July 7, 2020