How does Aleph terminology translate to Alma?



Understanding how Aleph language translates in to Alma language is outlined in the following table that was created by another Alma library that migrated from Aleph:




Acquisitions Libraries

Order Units

There are no 'Order Units' in Alma, only 'Libraries'. Aleph Order Units have been condensed and mapped into a list of Acquisitions 'Libraries' in Alma.

All titles (search)


When searching "All titles," that really means "All records," i.e. you're searching all indexed fields in all records, so you can enter an ISBN or other metdata in that basic search box. 

Allocated Fund


The lowest level of the fund structure hierarchy. Allocated funds have dollars allocated to them, can have orders placed against them, and can be used to pay invoices. 

Continuous order

Order type S or subscription orders; also, Order type O

Includes both standing orders and serial orders.

EOD (Electronic Order Data)

Order Loader

MARC files from vendors with embedded order information. Electronic Order Data



The portion of a fund balance that has been paid out, as in an invoice payment.

Fund Code

Budget string

Three levels of funds (broad to narrow)…'ledger', 'summary funds', 'allocated funds'. 'Allocated funds' have the actual money attached, are used for ordering.

In Review


Orders (POL, PO) and invoices which Alma flags as containing errors; must be manually reviewed

Institution zone / repository

xxx01 (your library code 01)

Aleph xxx01 plus SFX activations



The resources that are owned or licensed by or associated with a particular library, institution, or consortium. All descriptive bibliographic metadata resides in the repository and can be edited using the Metadata management system.



The inventory level of a resource for fulfillment and usage. Items may include bar codes and other identification details. .

Item policy

Item status

Whether something can be loaned, requested, etc.   KY- Item policies are the rules which govern how specific items circulate and need to be configured on the Institutional Level. Terms of use are driven by Item policy and are what ultimately define whether something can be loaned, requested, etc., depending on the combination of item/patron/collection/fulfillment unit.



The highest level of the fund structure hierarchy. Ledgers represent campus and funding source (as defined by library business offices). 

Library and Location

Sub-library and collection

852 $b $c

Management tag


The record's brief level, as well as fields that determine whether to publish records to a discovery system or export the record. Publish and export fields can be set during record import or from within the Metadata editor.

Metadata editor

Similar functions to Aleph Cataloging Module

The tool for editing and creating bibliographic and holdings records in Alma.

MMS (Metadata Mgmt. System) ID

Record Number

The record ID number. The MMS ID can be 8 to 19 digits long.

One-time order

Order type M

An order for a one-time resource, be it a book, other physical material, a print journal, or a one-time electronic book.



"Physical" refers to anything with a holding/item (note you can have a holding without an item but not an item without a holding)

PO (Purchase order)


A group (one or more) of PO lines with certain fields in common sent to a single vendor

PO (Purchase Order) Line owner; POL owner

~Order Unit.

Unit responsible for creation of the order. May handle receipt & payment but not always.   Called “libraries” in Alma. Libraries can also refer to actual libraries like Widener.

PO (Purchase order) line; POL


One or more copies of a bibliographic item purchased by a library. Purchases can be physical, electronic, or digital, and they may be one-time, continuous (for example, subscriptions), or standing orders.

PO Line Owner

Order units

Unit/Library responsible for creating the order (often responsible for receiving and paying for order as well)

Process Type

Item Processing Status

For certain Technical Services status such as On Order, etc.



Process of indicating that the piece has been received at the library (from vendor)

Receiving Department

Somewhat similar in function to sublibrary / order unit

One must be signed in to the appropriate receiving department (as shown in Alma in the “Currently At” message at the top of the screen) to be able to receive items for a particular “library”

Reporting code

Object code

The 4-digit field with a fund that indicates the type of material purchased: this can be added either in the POL or in the invoice line item

Update inventory

Enhanced cataloging record loads

The process of loading enhanced-cataloging records


Master or xxx50 Vendor Record

Ex Libris: The supplier of physical or electronic goods or services. For physical goods, the vendor is a material supplier. For electronic goods or services, the vendor is the access provider, or there may be a third-party access provider. 

Vendor Account

Order Unit Vendor Record

Ex Libris: A subset of the vendor; may contain business rules for specific types of data. For example, a rush account may contain contacts and instructions on how to handle this material. 

Vendor Account Code

Local Vendor Record

Vendor account code corresponds to a specific bill/ship to address, and has a default claim date.

Vendor Code

Master Vendor Record

 The top-level vendor record, overarching the various local vendor records.

Vendor (EDI)

 unlike in Aleph, the vendors have a single code (in this case, -EDI).

Vendors configured for sending EDI orders from Alma (institution wide): AMALIVRE-EDI, CASALI-EDI, EDC-EDI, ERASMUS-EDI, ERASMUSFR-EDI

Work order / Work order status

Similarity to pseudo-patron, but while those often contain ‘From unit A to unit B’ type language, work-order statuses are static references to a particular workflow step; i.e. ‘Technical Services’

An internal library request to route physical materials for internal processing. A work order sends an item to a work order department (marking it as not available on the shelf), where it can be managed according to internal statuses. Both departments and statuses are configurable and can be used to manage tasks according to a library’s local needs. Jaime: Work order is like a train track, whereas ‘work order type’ refers to a particular stop on the train; e.g. ‘Technical Services’ during receiving.


  • Last Updated Mar 12, 2019
  • Views 800
  • Answered By Heidi Webb

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