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Web services overview

Find an overview of the Relais Discovery and Relais Portal web services.

Relais web services are available for a number of Relais features and functions.  

OCLC Relais provides a sandbox for testing.

To arrange for testing and access to the sandbox contact your local Relais administrator or OCLC Support.  

Relais Discovery web services

A series of web services are provided that once implemented allows a library to use an alternate discovery platform to access the functionality provided through Relais Discovery. 


DiscoverItem is a suite of web services 

  • Search to execute a federated search against a configured set of Z39.50 catalogs & targets and retrieve a set of de-duplicated bibliographic records. 
  • Record to retrieve a single, de-duplicated (or merged) bibliographic record, which is part of the result set of an active search.
  • Search / Facet to retrieve the facets (date, medium, author, and subject) associated with the records returned from an active DiscoverItem - Search 

 Note:  The DiscoverItem services are well suited for use in other Discovery platforms to return results to the user in real-time.  When combined with Requestability these can be used to display to the user an appropriate fulfillment option for titles retrieved.  

Search Catalog

This service is used for testing and troubleshooting only.  It returns the search results along with the requestability of an item.

Discovery web services testing

Contact OCLC Support to arrange for testing of the Discovery web services, access to the sandbox, and for a PartnershipId.  

Relais Portal web services

Additional web services for use with Relais services. 


This service is used to assign a unique authorization id ('aid').    

  • The library provides patron credentials.  
  • These credentials are used to look up the patron in either Relais or in the local library system using NCIP LookupUser.  
  • Once the patron information is retrieved, Relais assigns a unique authorization id ('aid'). 
  • Relais uses the 'aid' in all subsequent calls in place of the patron's credentials.  The 'aid' is valid only until the patron is idle for the configured period of time.


This service is used to validate that an authorization id (aid) is still valid and optionally, to extend the session while making additional calls against other services.

Request Query

This service is used to retrieve request information from Relais.  Once retrieved the transactions can be integrated into the library account services portals, e.g., for your patrons.  

Add Request 

This service is used to add requests to the Relais database.