How to set up LibX with the Summon API

 Posted by on June 25, 2012
Jun 252012
 

A key goal of LibX 2.0 is to integrate with services such as Summon, which provides an API. Whereas LibX 1.5 mostly provided links a user could click on to initiate a search, LibX 2.0 aims to provide the resulting information directly to the user.

To contact Summon, LibX has two options, which we call “Summon Widget” and “Summon API (via proxy)”.  The Summon Widget service is less detailed and does not show circulation information, but can be used immediately by any Summon customer.  The Summon API (via proxy) requires an API key and it requires that you run our proxy on your machines where the API key is located, but it provides more detailed information. The Summon API also requires that the URL of the Summon proxy be included in the edition configuration.

An example is shown in this short screencast (0:47) which demonstrates live how Summon is contacted when the user hovers over an autolinked ISBN, as shown below:

 

If your institution subscribes to Summon, your edition can make use of these services as well.

As pointed out above, nothing needs to be done if you’re content with using the Summon Widget API, except you must make sure that Summon appears in the first position in the list of catalogs.

If you wish to use the more detailed Summon API (via proxy), you are required to install a proxy service that LibX can contact to search Summon via the API. Unfortunately, such a proxy is necessary because accessing Summon via the API requires a key, and this key must be hosted securely on a server belonging to your institution. Fortunately, it is very easy to set up. All you need is an Apache server that can run PhP scripts, and you’re good to go. All you need to do is to drop the PhP scripts provided into some directory, add the key. Full  instructions are on this page.

Then, you’ll have to tell LibX where to find the service. This is also described there.

If anything isn’t working, don’t hesitate to contact us at libx.org@gmail.com

If you have ideas where to include Summon results, let us know!

   
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LibX is a joint project of the University Libraries and the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech.
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