ILL backends

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A generic inter library loan (ILL) module was added to Koha in version 17.11.0 (See Bug 7317 and this commit). This provides a generic framework for implementing different ILL workflows and protocols in Koha. These implementations will take the form of different "backends".

It is not yet clear if these backends will become part of Koha, or live outside Koha as more freestanding plugins. Bug 19605 - "ILL backends should be pluggable through regular Koha plugins" - aims to convert the ILL backends to regular KPZ plugins.

Here is a list of backends that have been developed so far:

Demo backends

  • Dummy - a demo with some sample data baked in, does not talk to any outside sources. Note: This backend is no longer maintained, it's role as a demonstration backend has been assumed by the FreeForm backend

"Real" backends

  • Koha - A Koha2Koha ILL based on existing SRU and ILS-DI API's
  • BLDSS - British Library ILL
  • FreeForm - "The FreeForm backend is a simple backend that is supposed to act as a fallback. It provides the end user with some mandatory fields in a form as well as the option to enter additional fields with arbitrary names & values."
  • Libris - Swedish ILL, in very early stages of development
  • NNCIPP - Norwegian ILL, based on NCIP

Installing a backend

1. Create the Illbackends directory below Koha, if it doesn't exist yet:

 mkdir Koha/Illbackends

2. Clone the backend or backends you want to install. You can clone them anywhere, but you might prefere to do this outside of the Koha directory.

 clone https://github.com/PTFS-Europe/koha-ill-freeform.git

3. Symlink the cloned backend to the Koha/Illbackends directory

 ln -s <path-of-your-backend> <path-to>/Koha/Illbackends

4. Upate your koha-conf.xml file, especially the backend_directory setting.

 <interlibrary_loans>
     <backend_directory>__PERL_MODULE_DIR__/Koha/Illbackends</backend_directory>
     <staff_request_comments>hide</staff_request_comments>
     <reply_date>hide</reply_date>
     <digital_recipient>branch</digital_recipient>
     <partner_code>ILLLIBS</partner_code>
 </interlibrary_loans>

5. Turn on the ILLModule system preference.

6. Create a patron category with the code ILLLIBS' and a first patron using this category.

7. Check for any problems on About > System information

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