Primo WG Updates – July 2021

July 29, 2021
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2021 Enhancements Update

We have concluded our 2021 enhancements process, which comprised one voting round for 98 Votable submissions for the member community to consider and prioritise votes.  We had an absolutely stellar result with almost 50,990 votes submitted, which was almost 15,000 more than in 2020.  Our member engagement continues to grow year on year, and it’s wonderful to see that this key member benefit is being so well utilised, so that we also have a clear community voice for desired Primo improvements to take to Ex Libris Primo Product Management.

At the conclusion of the pointing period with Ex Libris and In consultation with the ELUNA Primo WG leadership, we announced the final successful submissions to the community at the end of June.  These can be seen on our Primo Enhancements page, which is kept up to date with anticipated deliverables, timelines, and overall information about this process: https://igelu.org/products/primo/primo-enhancements

We will take this opportunity again to express thanks to the entire Enhancements Team, from both the IGeLU and ELUNA Primo Working Groups, who worked collaboratively over several weeks before the voting round, to review submissions and prepare the ballot.  We thank also Nili Natan and Yisrael Kuchar Ex Libris Primo Product Management for their commitment to productive discussions and community driven Primo improvements.

2020 Enhancements Update

For progress of our successful requests from last year, there are a few more items now delivered:

  • #4457 Fix indexing of words with hyphens (e.g. hand-book, etc.) – May 2021 for Primo via Back Office and July 2021 for Primo VE
  • #6552 Add 505$t to Primo VE TOC and Title indexes – June 2021 for Primo VE (n/a for Primo via Back Office, as this is the choice of the site to configure if they wish)
  • #6637: Extend customization options for all request forms (Primo VE) – July 2021

Another two are anticipated soon, such as in November 2021

  • #6710 Add support for microlanguages ISO 639-3 and language codes recognised by Library of Congress
  • #6702 Ability to dedup or FRBR between local data and CDI data #6702, to be delivered as the ability to exclude eBooks from CDI to prevent duplications with local records, while still enabling discovery of Book Chapters

We are also querying with Primo Product Management the timeline of the final anticipated deliverable, which is as yet not advised

  • #6718: Add Journal Coverage Dates to Brief Results Page

Again, you always keep track of progress via our Primo enhancements log here: https://igelu.org/products/primo/primo-enhancements

Some updates on our additional activities

  • We raised with Ex Libris Primo Product Management the issue of the need for both institutional configuration and personalised configuration options for individuals in the area of retention of private data.  While this is an overall concern for Primo design, this was specifically raised for the issue in recent Primo releases around initially mandatory retention of Search History data.  As a WG, we were able to add our voice to the community concerns raised in SalesForce cases of the negative implications of this for sites requiring compliance with GDPR, as well as privacy concerns for all sites, with the outcome of a change to design to allow sites to opt-out.  We noted in conclusion that ideally such options are not only at institution level, but also that users should be empowered to opt-in to such features via development of a Primo personalisation menu, and we encourage members of the community to add your thoughts and votes to this Idea Exchange submission: https://ideas.exlibrisgroup.com/forums/308176-primo/suggestions/43366053-make-persistent-search-history-a-user-customizable
  • We raised a further advocacy item with Ex Libris Primo Product Management regarding the very delayed rollout of OAS for local Primo sites, lagging considerably behind the rest of the community by several months.  This continued our efforts earlier to push for OAS supported Data Visualisation to be made available also for Primo sites on Back Office, and not just for customers on Primo VE on the Alma platform.  While the former was unsuccessful, we were able to contribute to escalation on behalf of local Primo sites to progress action on OAS for local Primo sites, and successful rollout was confirmed in early May 2021.
  • We are also watching closely the implications of EDI initiatives on Primo environments, including suggestions of censoring portions of metadata for display in both CDI and local records, and have discussed this with Ex Libris Primo Product Management.  We’ve shared our concerns on the need for open information and transparency in this area, particularly given the cultural variations across our international community, and that sites should have autonomy in this area, along with the need for due concern for the great sensitivity of this topic.
  • We also raised concerns to the Steering Committee regarding the CDI Advisory Group proposed in October 2020 still not yet being formed, with associated absence of community voice of feedback on CDI development direct to Ex Libris CDI Product Management.  Given the strong impact on Primo of CDI, including display, search, facets, and linking design decisions and defects, this is a significant concern, and we continue to advocate for this group to be established.  In the interim, our members continue with established channels such as specific CDI related items discussed with Primo Product Management, including when there is CDI overlap with requests in our Primo enhancement process, and with fortnightly meetings by Coordinator with the Ex Libris VP of Development also responsible for CDI.
  • We continue to work with Ex Libris Primo Product Management, our ELUNA Primo WG colleagues, and the community on the important item of angularjs end-of-support in 2021.  We hosted an open community discussion on 19th March, attended by over 65 community members.  A summary of key items from that discussion was provided to Ex Libris, including key concerns of ongoing support via commitment to security issue mitigation, customer customization breakage, clarity for our community on future customization development, and a Roadmap timeline for upgrades and move off angularjs to support change management and ample notice for our community of at least 12-18 months.  A summary was also shared with the community on 23rd March.  We continued discussions into June, with a dedicated meeting with Primo WG leaders, Ex Libris Primo Management and Development Team, and several developers from our community on the 11th.  The findings of this meeting were shared with the community on June 30th, which were that Ex Libris advised after a comprehensive investigation into the possibility of upgrading to Angular10, it was determined that it was not possible to upgrade without causing serious disruption to customers, including significant performance issues and failure of customizations.  There were clear further statements that Primo will therefore remain on the current version AngularJS, and Ex Libris will continue to take responsibility for addressing any security issues.  Our community was advised that they should continue to create customizations using AngularJS and that we can expect a next generation UI in 3-5 years, which will be built on a new codebase.  When Ex Libris begins work on its next generation of Primo UI, our IGeLU and ELUNA Primo WGs will be heavily involved as usual in soliciting feedback from our strong developer communities, as we did with the AngularJS-based UI, and we will continue to work together collaboratively in this next phase of Primo development.

Open call for new members

If reading these updates on our activities makes you feel eager to be more involved, we currently have an open call for new members announced to the community listserv 9th July, and closing on 31th July.  We’d love to welcome more active and engaged IGeLU members to assist in our volunteer work for the community.

Stacey van Groll – Coordinator, IGeLU Primo Working Group

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