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OCLC Support

D-VDX800-4: VDX 8.0 release notes

Release Date: March 6, 2014

New Features introduced with this release

We have not introduced any new features with this release of VDX.

Bugs Fixed


Issue # Description

User Alerting Data

Whenever the status of a VDX request changes, a record is written to the ILL_ILLSTATUS_FOR_ALERTS table, which is used by the the system to trigger user alerts based on that status.

These records were being written regardless of whether the system in question was configured to use User Alerting or not. So we have now added a flag to VDX SYSGLOBS, that will prevent VDX from writing these records if the system in question has not implemented User Alerting.


Amazon Date Check service

The Amazon date check service now traps future publication dates when looking for ‘recent’ publications.


New OPAC holdings format for Ex Libris Aleph sites

We have create a new OPAC holdings format that takes account of the Aleph shelving location and prepends this to the call number.


Document Delivery

Document disposal conditions were not being shown to the Borrowing library in the ILL attachment details screen.


10-digit OCLC numbers

OCLC has enlarged the OCLC WorldCat Accession Number from 9 to 10 digits. The new 10 digit OCLC numbers will have the prefix ‘on’ (as opposed ‘ocn’ for 8 digit numbers, and ‘ocm’ for 9 digit numbers).

DocFind has been updated to recognise the new 10-digit ‘on’ numbers in MARC records when parsing MARC records.


ZPORTAL and WebAdmin bib searches

The “simple” bibliographic searches in ZPORTAL and WebAdmin have been defaulting to performing boolean keyword searches when users have expected them to perform phrase searches.

So we have added a new “zquery.defaults.splitwords” flag to both the zportal and vdx properties files.

If commented-out or set to “yes” (it is commented-out by default) the system will apply current behaviour: that is, it will do a keyword search. If set to “no” it will do a phrase search.

For Example:

a) With the flag set to “yes” (or commented out), a search for great british dinners will result in a keyword search for “great AND british AND dinners”

b) With the flag set to “no”, a search for great british dinners (without quotes) will result in a phrase search for “great british dinners”.


Request History Display

The Request history (or ‘audit trail’) for a given request used to be sorted in descending date order (ie most recent first). However in the US, this causes confusion with ISO requests since for sites on the west coast who send requests to WCRS the actions do not show in the order they are done, because of time zone differences between Dublin (where WCRS is hosted) and external US ILL systems.

We have solved this problem by sorting the request history list by the running auditno (a sequential action number) instead of sorting by action date. This means that the actions in the list now always appear in the historically correct order.


Generic Script state table changes for RenewReply=Yes

Generic Script requests were having their status changed to “Shipped” on receipt of RenewReply=Yes message. We have changed the state tables for Generic Script protocol so that a request’s status now changes to “Received” under these circumstances.


WebAdmin: Editing the user record

It was not possible to remove an existing email address from a user record when editing the record via WebAdmin. The deleted address appeared to reinstate itself when the record was saved.

We have therefore amended the user record update code to allow a blank value to override a previously non-blank email address.


Document Delivery

We have changed the PDF security settings on incoming PDF documents so that the patron cannot save or print them locally. Previously these settings were only applied to PDFs that had been converted from incoming TIFF documents.

PDF Security settings only get applied if the “PDF Security” flag is set to “Yes” in VDX Sysglobs.


A change to BL ArtEmail transactions

Requests with a BL “NOT” response should go to the “BL For Review” queue and not the “Not Supplied” queue. This will allow the borrower to resubmit the request to the BL with the “extended search” option set.

Requests with a BL “NOT*NUKL” response should continue to go to the “Not Supplied” queue, since the BL were unable to source the item even after using an extended search.


Document Delivery

The automatic document deletion program was not taking notice of the MAX_DAYS_SINCE_FIRST_NOTIFIED setting as it was always seeing it as a NULL value.


Document Delivery

The WebAdmin document upload option used only to appear if the request's Requested Service Type was set to "Copy" This meant that if a lender changed the service type from "Loan" to "Copy", the document Upload option didn’t appear. Similarly, if the lender changed the service type from "Copy" to "Loan" the upload options remained on screen.

We have now changed the system so that the Upload option appears if the Current Service Type is set to Copy, rather than looking at the value of the Requested service type.

VDX-12557 NLA Payments Gateway changing expiry dates



Circ Integration trying to place holds using invalid control numbers like “DNLM” and “uk”.

In MARC records - the National Bibliographic Agency control numbers are stored in the 016$a subfield, with the 016$2 subfield holding a code that identifies the source of the control number in the $a subfield.

VDX was erroneously treating both the $a and $2 subfields as separate control numbers so that the request ended up being associated with bogus $2-derived control numbers like “uk” or “DNLM”.

VDX now only uses the $a subfield data when pulling control numbers from the MARC 016 field.


Submitting duplicate requests

When running WebAdmin or ZPORTAL using the Chrome browser, it was possible to accidentally the same request more than once even though they had acknowledged the duplicate request warning message.


Generic Script requests and the “Locations on the fly” facility.

The “Locations on the fly” functionality was not working correctly for locations created from incoming Generic Script requests. The requests did not contain appropriate location details to let this work properly.

We have therefore decided to only make “Locations on fly” functionality applicable to requests coming into VDX via ISO ILL.


Document Delivery and Diacritics

VDX had problems attaching an incoming document to the appropriate request record when the incoming document included certain diacritics. The diacritics in question converted to a control + character pair that threw out the GEDI header length calculations so that they did not match the actual size of the document. This caused the incoming document to be unreadable by VDX.



We have added an extra option to allow for the broker to automatically send a “Not Supplied” message to the Borrower when the request reaches End-Of-Rota except when the broker has received a Conditional message from any of the potential suppliers of this request.

This allows the broker to intervene in the request and manually respond to the supplier’s condition (by possibly messaging the borrowing library) before closing the request.

The advantage of this additional option is that for non-conditional requests the broker need not interfere with the automated processing of the request.


Brokering and Control Numbers

When requests were being brokered, the associated control-numbers (including the OCLC number) were not being passed from the incoming request to the brokered request.


Ex Libris ALMA holdings

There were two problems with our display of ALMA holdings:

1) We have improved our ALMA parsing code to better display ALMA holdings, and this will be apparent on any searches that yield a single unique hit for the search.

2) We have not been able to fix a problem where if ALMA searches return more than one hit - the holdings associated with each hit are not always those of the record to which they are attached.

The second issue is actually a problem inside ALMA Z39.50 server and we have put out a call to Ex Libris to get this problem corrected.

At the time this version of VDX is being released, we are not aware that Ex Libris have fixed this problem with their Z39.50 server.


NCIP AcceptItem and Media Types

The internal table for converting VDX media types to appropriate NCIP medium-types was lacking some values, and this lead some external circulation systems to reject AcceptItem requests which had no media info in them.

The full list of VDX to NCIP media types is now: (recently added values are in bold)

  • book
  • other
  • microform
  • video tape
  • computer file
  • compact disk
  • bound volume
  • audio tape
  • audio recording
  • audio file
  • audio DVD
  • web page
  • Daisy ROM
  • CD-ROM
  • Blu-Ray
  • movie DVD
  • bound journal

DocFind and Diacritics

DocFind was having problems matching on some Title searches when the Titles included diacritics. It appears that the Title searches were configured to be Title Keyword searches when they should have been configured to be Title Phrase searches. The Keyword normalisation was stripping out French apostrophes causing the search to fail to match against the appropriate records in the catalogue.


Brokering and request id searches

Biblio uses the manual type of brokering, and they had a problem where the original borrower will return an item, on the return slip they have a scannable barcode with the lender's request number so the lender can simply scan that in to update. But with manual brokering the broker needs to update the borrower request on the broker side, and they were unable to get to the appropriate request via the barcode printed on the return slip.

We have therefore includes the Corresponding-ILLno field within WebAdmin’s request-id searches - so that the broker can find their version of the request identified by the lender’s request id.

Note: The ILL Numbers index will need to be rebuilt for this change to take effect after the upgrade.


Expiry Dates

When the expiry date was calculated, if the library was set to be closed over the weekend (Saturday & Sunday) and the expiry date lands on Friday, VDX appeared to actually set the request to expire on the Sunday night.

This was due to VDX checking which day of the week a particular day was, by using a numeric value 1-7 (assuming 1 meant Monday and 7 meant Sunday). However, It turns out that for VDX systems with the Oracle NLS set to “US Territory”, the database was assuming that 1 meant Sunday, and 7 meant Saturday. So the system time and the VDX expiry data calculation code were at cross-purposes over whether days 1 and 6 were a weekend or week-day

Day of the week VDX Day Number Oracle Day Number
Sunday 7 1
Monday 1 2
Tuesday 2 3
Wednesday 3 4
Thursday 4 5
Friday 5 6
Saturday 6 7
Sunday 7 1

We have now fixed this by changing the way the VDX Code checks whether a day is on a weekend or not so that it does not get mismatched day counters.



Copyright Cleared requests (created in webview with 'for commercial use') were being sent to the British Library without the “VDXDTL” number prefixed by “RZ” which is the BL code for “Copyright Cleared” requests.


Local Change Request Details corrupting Renewal transaction dates

The problem was that for ISO requests, the system was checking for the existence of a Local Change Request details record and if so loading the message details (so that the correct details were sent out in the next message). Unfortunately it was loading everything including LCRD entry date which was why the current action date was being set to the entry date of the LCRD action.


CJK characters in VDX reports

CJK characters were not printing out in VDX reports because our reports code used the “Linux Libertine” font which could not handle non ISO-Latin-1 characters.

So we have changed our reports system so that it now supports two fonts:

  • Helvetica for all labels - which allows us to use Bold and Italics etc;
  • Ariel Unicode for all data output

We need two fonts because although “Ariel Unicode” supports non Latin-1 characters, it does not support bold or italic text, while Helvetica does (but only in Latin-1!).



In ZPORTAL Saved Searches are listed 10 per page. Whenever users deleted a saved search from beyond the first page, they were always taken back to page 1 of the Saved Searches list rather than to the page from which the saved search was deleted.


Article Exchange Integration

When the ISO Shipped-indication from WCRS/WSILL had a delivery method of Article Exchange it wasn’t getting mapped to the existing AE delivery method in VDX (ILL-DMX).


WebAdmin problem with diacritics in Calendar entries

WebAdmin users couldn’t always access their calendars when their entries contained diacritic characters.

We have fixed this by making sure that the Oracle table definitions use Unicode multi-byte character definitions rather than single byte ones.