Online coverage/link info in your OPAC via SFX

As I’ve told some people, I have some code to put the info from SFX on what databases (ie SFX ‘targets’) have online coverage for a given serial, on the OPAC page for that serial. I think this is fairly easy improvement you can make with a big impact.


1) You have to figure out how to add something to your OPACs display page for a serial. You have to figure out how to get the ISSN of the item being displayed, and pass it to some javascript (or php, or whatever you can do). This is the hardest part. I can help you with the javascript part, if you can figure out how to get the ISSN and add something to the page.

2) You need to be able to run PHP5 code. Probably on the same server as your OPAC, if you want to do it via Javascript/AJAX techniques, which is what I do. Not being scared of PHP wouldn’t hurt.

3) You need to get a MySQL account with select permission to your SFX database. If you are the SFX admin, no problem, else you need to convince the SFX admin.

You need to email me and ask for the PHP code that querries the SFX API based on ISSN and provides some HTML suitable for including on the page. Ex Libris asked me not to put the code (which contains proprietary Ex Libris information) on the public web. This code is not supported by Ex Libris or me, although I’m happy to answer questions as my time allows.

One downside is that, since the SFX API is missing some important information (the ‘coverage’ string, like ‘from 1992’ or whatever), I did need to write some code to access the MySQL db directly. This will break in SFX 4.0, I can guarantee. Perhaps by then Ex Libris will have written the neccesary stuff into the API, so this stuff can be re-written using only supported API calls.


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