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Connect VuFind to PICA

:!: PICA was never well-supported in the VuFind 2.x line, and the driver was removed entirely in release 2.5; this documentation is retained for reference in case any 1.x users still need it.


In order to make vufind speak with OCLC/PICA the PICA-driver can be used. But it has some limits. Main limit is that we are using LDAP-authentication, which is not supported by PICA by default. You need a LDAP-System, that stores the PICA-ID of the user and the password. On vufind side the LDAP server can be configured in config.ini. If you do not have such a LDAP system, some parts of vufind won't work, unless the user creates an account in vufind database, using the same data as in the ILS. The parts depending on this authentification are:

  • show checked out items
  • show fines
  • show profile
  • show holds and recalls

The PICA driver uses DAIA to get availability information about items. A DAIA server is NOT part of PICA standard distribution and has to be set up seperately. See the section below on how to get a DAIA server for PICA.


Configuring PICA is very easy. There are only three options to configure in DAIA.ini and PICA.ini. DAIA.ini only contains the address of the DAIA server. PICA.ini is to be configured with the host name of the catalog box. renewalsScript contains the address of a script, which is used to get the number of renewals for loans. If you have such a script, fill it in here. If not (its not standard in PICA), leave this option blank.


As already mentioned, you need a DAIA server supplying availability information for your local items. You can choose any DAIA server you want, for example phpDaia, which is part of the DAIA distribution (http://sourceforge.net/projects/daia/files/phpdaia-0.2.tar.gz/download). The DAIA server can be installed anywhere you like (e.g. on the machine where vufind is installed).

Configuring phpDaia: [Library] → the options in this section are easy-to-understand; I guess they do not need any additional information

[IDPrefixes] → does not need to be changed normally

[Catalog] → needs to be configured with your parameters

  • basicUrl = “http://[host]/DB=[x]/PPN?PPN=” ; [host] contains the fully qualified host name of your catalog machine, [x] shall be replaced with the PICA-number of the database supplying your local items.
  • reservationUrl can be left blank unless you have a script for reservation of items, that are on approval of the library currently. This is not a PICA standard.
  • catalogPostfix = “&LOGIN=ANONYMOUS&LNG=EN&DB=[x]” ; see above - only the DB number is needed here

locationsFile = “yourlocationfile.txt” ; This file is necessary to translate locations from PICA into human readable information. It may be a bit tricky to create this file. The sample file included in phpDaia shows how the file is needed to be structured.

configuration/ils/pica.txt · Last modified: 2015/12/21 17:50 by demiankatz