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Support - EBSCO Help

Using FTP to Create and Maintain Records in your EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) Custom Catalog Database

For the initial set up your Custom Catalog database we will ask you to complete the Catalog Questionnaire, which helps us understand how to translate your MARC data into the optimal search experience in your EDS profile.  Please refer to the overview of the process for additional information about configuring your catalog records.  

New EDS Catalog Customers are assigned a user id and password to log into our FTP server where a home directory is created for your account on that server.

The user id is also the database code allocated to your catalog database. Please email eds@ebsco.com to request a username and password.

Host Address: ftp.epnet.com

If you have never accessed an FTP server via FTP client before, we will help you through the process.  See: Getting started with an FTP Client for EDS Custom Catalogs

Please note that EDS Custom Catalog files are now archived for processing upon logout from the FTP account after the upload has completed, so please disconnect from the FTP site once the upload is complete. Alternately, if this does not occur automatically by your system after the upload completes, EBSCO will close the connection to the EDS Custom Catalog’s FTP site after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Please also note that all files uploaded to the FTP site for an EDS Custom Catalog need to be in either a supported compressed format (.001, .zip, .gz or tar.gz) or an uncompressed format, rather than a mix of compressed and uncompressed files. Regardless of whether a file is compressed or uncompressed, file names must contain only alphanumeric characters (i.e. Latin alphabet and numeric, but no accented characters).

Adherence to these procedures will ensure that your catalog data is found by the automated system and applied correctly to your catalog database.

You may upload your MARC records on our FTP server as frequently as once per day.  Depending on the size of your file your submission may take 1-2 business days to apply to your catalog database.  Placing the file in the FTP account acts as notification of your upload.  

First Time Builds and Full Replacement Builds

Your FTP account will contain two folders, FULL and UPDATE. When files are uploaded into the FULL directory, any content in the current Custom Catalog database will be replaced with the files placed in the FULL directory. The contents of the FULL folder are automatically moved into a different directory with a timestamp upon logout (ex. 20110721-0500-full). There is no need for alarm if you see an empty FULL directory when you log in the next time.

Procedure for uploading a FULL rebuild with a single file:

  1. Log into the FTP server with your credentials. You will now be in your home directory on the FTP server.
  2. You should see two subfolders FULL and UPDATE.
  3. FTP the MARC data files into the subfolder labeled FULL.
  4. Log out of the FTP server.

Procedure for uploading a FULL rebuild with multiple files:

  1. Log into the FTP server with your credentials.
  2. You should see two subfolders FULL and UPDATE.
  3. FTP the first MARC data file into the FULL folder.
  4. FTP all remaining MARC data files into the UPDATE folder.
  5. Log out of the FTP server.
Adding New Records or Modifying Records

When files are uploaded to the UPDATE folder, the system will perform an incremental update affecting only the records you submit. Any new records the system finds will be appended to the most recent build. If two records share a unique identifier then the new record will REPLACE the old record.

Procedure for updating your record set:

  1. Log into the FTP server with your credentials. You will now be in your home directory on the FTP server.
  2. You should see two folders FULL and UPDATE.
  3. FTP the MARC files which contain the new records or updated records into the folder labeled UPDATE.
  4. Log out of the FTP server.
Deleting Existing Records

EBSCO currently supports deletion of the full record if the record status in the leader of the record is marked as defined in the MARC21 Standard, currently when the leader position 5 contains “d.”

A record marked as such in a FULL update (in the FULL directory on the FTP site) will not be loaded into your catalog. If a record marked as deleted is sent in an incremental update (in the UPDATE folder on the FTP site), then any existing record in your catalog with the same unique ID will be removed.

Procedure for uploading records you would like to delete from your catalog:

  1. Log into the FTP server with your credentials. You will now be in your home directory on the FTP server.
  2. You should see two folders FULL and UPDATE.
  3. FTP the MARC files which contain the records where the leader position 5 contains ‘d’ into the folder labeled FULL or UPDATE, depending on whether you want the records to do a full replace or amend your existing set.
  4. Log out of the FTP server.
EBSCO eBooks in Your Custom Catalog

EBSCO maintains records in EDS for all EBSCO eBooks accessible to your users, including subscription collections, purchased titles, and e-books available via PDA and Short-Term loan. In the event a title is no longer available, as happens with the EBSCO eBooks subscription collections, the records will automatically be removed from EDS, except in cases where you have loaded the record into your custom catalog.

If you have made the decision to include EBSCO eBooks in your custom catalog, and you are an EBSCO eBooks subscription customer, you are responsible for updating and maintaining the records set, just as you would need to for your local OPAC. If you subscribe to EBSCO eBook subscription collections and want to avoid any additional maintenance, we recommend excluding these eBooks and PDA records from your catalog files.


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