MeLCat Technical Requirements

Local online system

Local systems other than Innovative Sierra

If you have a local online catalog and circulation system other than Innovative Sierra, your system will need to have these capabilities:

  1. Ability to export bibliographic records (with holdings information) in MARC format, preferably with circulation status information. Each holding of a title should be represented by a single 9xx (or other unique) tagged field.
  2. Ability to export patron records. (Patron data must be provided to MeLCat in comma- or quote and comma-delimited format.  If a system cannot export in that format, library staff will need to convert the data prior to loading into MeLCat.)
  3. Ability to frequently update both holdings and patron records.
  4. (Desirable but not mandatory) NCIP implementation in your local circulation system, using the INN-Reach DCB Application Profile new-window-icon.png.

Information on the MeLCat compatibility of selected ILS's is available via the MeLCat and ILS compatibility page. Contact MeLCat staff if additional information is needed.

MeLCat does not require that your local system have Z39.50 capability.

If your bibliographic records need to be upgraded, your holdings records need to better reflect what is actually on your shelves, or your patron records are out-of-date or need email addresses, now is the time for you to get them updated and ready for MeLCat!

Innovative Sierra local system

Innovative Sierra libraries need to be running the INN-Reach interface on Sierra.

Local systems using the Direct to INN-Reach (D2IR) API

If your local system vendor has programmed an integration using the D2IR API, it will need to have these capabilities:

  1. Ability to contribute and update bibliographic and item records.
  2. Ability to verify local patrons for INN-Reach requesting.
  3. Ability to update the status of an item as it goes through the circulation process.
  4. Ability to run appropriate collection management (i.e., Overdue, Too Long, etc.) reports.

Participating in MeLCat via the D2IR API is treated like a system migration and requires coordination with MCLS staff, your local vendor, and Innovative Interfaces.

Un-automated libraries

Libraries that have no local catalog or circulation systems will need to have staff workstations with a connection to the Internet to access the MeLCat servers, as well as to add their holdings and patron data.

Telecommunications requirements

For all libraries:

Access to MeLCat servers needs to be possible through any local firewall software. Information about which ports to open for communication with the MeLCat servers is provided during the MeLCat orientation sessions.

For non-Innovative Sierra systems and un-automated libraries

For dedicated connections, it is recommended that you have high-speed (i.e., DSL, Cable, Fiber) internet service.

Staff workstations must have dedicated or static public IP addresses, i.e., they must not change each time you access the Internet. Because the MeLCat servers are behind a firewall, access to them is limited to known IP addresses for staff workstations.

To check the IP addresses on your staff workstations, go to: new-window-icon.png. The IP address should be the same every day.

Software for secure transmission of information

Non-Innovative Sierra local system staff workstations

Participating libraries will use Secure Shell (SSH) security protocol on their staff workstations to transmit patron and bibliographic records from their local servers to the MeLCat server. SSH version 2 is required for MeLCat.

Here are links to two free SSH client software packages for Windows staff workstations.

  1. PuTTY new-window-icon.png, an SSH client that does secure file transfer as well as secure Telnet.
  2. WinSCP new-window-icon.png, open source client for secure file transfer using SSH.

For Macintosh workstations, here are two free SSH packages:

  1. Cyberduck new-window-icon.png, open source client for secure file transfer using SSH
  2. FileZilla new-window-icon.png, open source client for secure file transfer using SSH

Innovative Sierra and D2IR API systems

To ensure secure transmission of patron information to the MeLCat server, libraries with Innovative Sierra or D2IR API local systems will use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol for data encryption. Innovative's software is compatible with all SSL certificates. Encryption strength of 128-bit is acceptable. Libraries should use a "trusted" certificate authority.  Internal certificates do not meet the security requirements.  For information about SSL, Innovative libraries can go to CSDirect to read the SSL FAQ.

Library staff workstations


Patron workstations

Workstations for patrons to use MeLCat must have current Web browser software capable of handling Javascript.