MeLCat Technical Requirements

Local online system

Local systems other than Innovative Interfaces

If you have a local online catalog and circulation system from a vendor other than Innovative Interfaces, 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, until the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) is operational.  (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) In 2012 or later, 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be upgraded, your holdings records need to better reflect what is actually on your shelves, or your patron records are out-of-date or need email addresses, now is the time for you to get them updated and ready for MeLCat!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 Interfaces local systems

Local systems from Innovative Interfaces need to be running the INN-Reach interface on Sierra or Millennium Release 2009 (or later) software.  Earlier releases are not compatible.

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 systems and un-automated libraries

For dedicated connections, the minimum bandwidth recommended is 56 KBPS.

Staff workstations must have dedicated or static 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 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 local systems

To ensure secure transmission of patron information between local Innovative servers and the MeLCat server, libraries with Innovative 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 40-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 Java script.