Prism Blog

Prepared Searches, Links and New Stock

One of the great features in Talis Prism 2 is the ability to specify searches that you know will appeal to your users and let them get into exploring the catalogue. These prepared searches are one of the most asked about features for Talis Prism 3 so I wanted to take a little time to explain how Talis Prism 3 works, starting from the point of view of Talis Prism 2…

Setting up prepared searches in Talis Prism 2 was not a straightforward task, you had to work out the SQL query that would bring back the results you wanted then put that into webmin as a prepared search. SQL is not a friendly language and you then had to know how to construct a link for the search and add it into your prepared search list.

Only administrators could set up these searches and they had to be linked in Talis Prism 2 to make them useful.

We wanted to make things easier in Talis Prism 3 and we think we have.

Any search can be used as a prepared search in Talis Prism 3. All you have to do is perform the search you want to do, refine the search using facets, order the search results as you want them and grab the URL out of the address bar in your browser. No SQL, no webmin.

You can do a number of things straight away with that search URL, you can bookmark it in the browser (something you can’t do with Talis Prism 2 searches) or you can use it as a link in a document, or send it to a friend in an email. Any search in Talis Prism 3 is linkable. You can even submit them to Google for indexing, as a number of our customers have.

In Talis Prism 2 you had all your prepared searches listed on a prepared search page. With Talis Prism 3 you can put those links in any web page you like, anywhere on the web. In Facebook, perhaps or on your library blog. Of course, you can also add them to your homepage using Talis Prism 3’s homepage fragment.

What this approach means is that prepared searches can be easily put together by anyone, and used in far more flexible ways than Talis Prism 2 prepared searches. In Talis Prism 3 the feature is so simple we don’t even call them prepared searches… we just call them searches.

Of course, Talis Prism 3 is still evolving and we have work yet to do. We know that one of the very common cases for prepared searches is to highlight new additions to your stock (using the date received from the order history table). Right now the data model inside Talis Prism 3 does not track that date, in fact it’s not in the marc records that get sent over to us. We’re working on fixing that, and as it’s such an important feature to so many of you we’ve worked out how we can bring that development forward to this quarter and we’re aiming for a beta with a few customers by the end of March. 🙂

The next Talis Prism 3 Development Update Webinar  on 8th March will look to explore this functionality further, if in the meantime you would like further information please email

5 Responses

  1. Claire Eskriett Says:

    Hi I’m very interested in this facilty. Is it possible, in Prism 3, so search by Sequence? I’d love to be able to have a ‘prepared search’ that listed everything in a particular Sequence in order to publicise certain specialist areas of stock.

  2. Phil John Says:

    Hi Claire,

    That sounds like a great idea, we’ll look into how this could be achieved.

    Best wishes,


  3. Claire Eskriett Says:

    Thanks Phil, look forward to developments. In case it helps illustrate the point, we have sequences like Teaching Resources Collection, and Special collection (artists’ books and artefacts) that it would be good to highlight sometimes, to remind people about them.

  4. Robert Reid Says:

    I just wondered if searching by sequence was something that was ever achieved by anyone? I am am very interested in this facility for displaying our special collections as prepared searches.


  5. Terry Willan Says:

    The Sequence part of shelfmarks is currently not posted to Prism, so it is not searchable. However, Sequence may be used to build a collection, which is posted and can be made searchable in Prism.

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