The patron load file process is an integral part of the Alma system. These files contain records that are sent by each institution's IT department and are generated by their enterprise system (PeopleSoft, Banner, Workday, etc.). These records contain updated information about each student, staff, and faculty member affiliated with the college or university. Alma uses these records in order to check out materials, place holds on items, and allow access to content in Primo VE.
Patron load files are usually sent to FLVC on a periodic basis, either daily or once a week. The files must be in a specific format (XML) using the approved field outlined in the specifications. Each institution has the choice of either submitting two files, a student file and a staff file, or submitting one combined file of both students and staff. All files must be sent to FLVC's Secure FTP server where they will be picked up by Alma at a specified time. [Note: Access to FLVC's SFTP server is restricted. If you need access to the server, please contact the FLVC Help Desk.]
The specifications for creating a patron load file can be found here: Patron Load Specifications
All files must be zipped before being uploaded on the server. Files should be placed in the following directory:
Alma is configured to automatically load any new file on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly schedule as specified by the institution.
Files must be loaded to FVLC's SFTP server prior to the scheduled time. For instance, if Alma is configured to load a file every day at 3am for a library, the file must be put on the SFTP server before that time.
If a student and a staff file are sent, the student file will be loaded first, followed by the staff file. Both files cannot be loaded simultaneously.
Once a patron file is loaded successfully, Alma generates several reports that can be viewed by library staff. To see these reports:
Here is a good article on the “content is not allowed in prolog” error:
(Many times it seems to be a bad character in the header, or something wrong in the header. Usually deleting the header fixes it.)
To find an invalid UTF-8 character in a file: grep -axv ‘.*’ file.txt ; UNIX command, use the free program “Git Bash” for a UNIX environment on your PC.
The “primary id taken by another user” error takes some research:
The '&' character should be "&". It is a utf8 character.
<address preferred="true" segment_type="External">
<line1>2346 SE E & T Cir</line1>
*** either replace & with 'and' or '&'
If you see a record on your error report that says “not external”, then you need to look up the patron by the primary ID in Alma and switch the user from Internal to External.
When you pull up the patron, in the upper right corner (if you have the correct permissions) you should see a button that says “Toggle Account Type”:
You will then get a message that looks like this:
Most common cause: File either does not start with <users> element or doesn’t end with it.
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' standalone='yes'?>
This error can normally be ignored. It usually comes up when a there are two patron files loaded - a student and a staff file for example - and the patron is in both files. If matching patron records are in both files, then one will load but one will not and throw the duplicate error. A quick check of the patron record to see if they have the proper user group is all that should be necessary,