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Alma/Primo VE Documentation: Start

Alma Login Information

Production site login

(Use your Andrew ID and password) 

Alma/Symphony Terminology Differences

Symphony Alma
Circulation Fulfillment
Hold Physical item request
Cataloging Resource Management 
Interlibrary Loan Resource Sharing 
Notice Letter 
Test Server Sandbox
Shadowed record Suppressed record
Library Catalog Discovery

Glossary of Terms

  • Alma: The library system created by Ex Libris, which has replaced Symphony at CMU. 
  • Primo VE: The library catalog (public interface) which replaced both VuFind and Summon.  CMU is using the latest version of Primo, called "Primo VE." 
  • Go-live: The date that Primo was made available to the public and Alma was used internally for work instead of Symphony.  The CMU go-live date was in March 2018. 
  • Institution: All of the Carnegie Mellon libraries make up the institution.  Policy changes at the institution level affect every library. 
  • Fulfillment: Circulation activities such as checkouts, returns, requests, etc. 
  • Location: Physical location of materials.   
  • Item policies: Categories of physical materials.  Item types from Symphony were migrated to Alma as item policies.  Examples are Book, Score, Journal, etc.   
  • Material type: Categories of materials which are maintained by Ex Libris to be consistent between all Alma institutions.  
  • Library: A physical library building or area.  The list of libraries migrated from Symphony to Alma. 
  • Sandbox: The test environment for Alma and Primo.   CMU has a premium sandbox, meaning that the sandbox is an exact copy of the production instance.   
  • MMS: Metadata Management System.  Alma uses the MMS ID number to identify records. 
  • New UI: The latest Alma user interface, which is in use at CMU. 
  • Holding record: Alma requires the use of holding records for physical items.  The holding record contains information about the item's library, location and call number.  If a title record contains multiple items, they can share a holding record unless there are differences in library, location or call number.  
  • Portfolio: Link information for an electronic title, which may also include details about coverage and services. 


For more information: The Ex Libris Alma Glossary