'Shared sets' in MARC Report

'Shared Sets' is the term we use for setting up the program on multiple computers in such a way that the same cataloging options are used on all computers. This type of configuration can help ensure consistency in environments where cataloging staff are using MARC Report on more than one computer.

In general, there are two steps to be performed:

  1. Creation of a shared folder on the network, containing the options to be shared
  2. Modification of each user's marcreport.ini file to refer to this shared folder

Once these steps are complete, when the program starts, cataloging options on the user's computer will be overlaid with whatever options are present in the shared folder.


The file 'marcreport.ini' (located in the user's My Documents\MarcReport folder) keeps a record of all the decisions that a user makes when selecting the 'Options' from the main menu of MARC Report. The file is organized into sections, and each section corresponds to one of the tabbed pages visible on the Options form: Batch Reports, Cataloging Checks, Edit Sessions, Record Display, Validation, etc.

By making a copy of this file, changing certain options in a text editor, and moving this file to a shared folder on the network, multiple users can share the same settings.

Note that not all options are suitable for 'sharing'; currently, only those options from the sections entitled

  • [Cataloging Checks]
  • [RDA]
  • [Validation]

in the marcreport.ini file can be overlaid.


The typical marcreport.ini file begins like this:

[Files and Directories]
ROOTDIR=c:\program files\tmq\marc report\ 
OPTIONSPATH=c:\documents and settings\richard\my documents\MarcReport\options\ 
OPTIONSPATH2=c:\documents and settings\richard\my documents\MarcReport\options\

By default, the second options path ('OPTIONSPATH2') is always set to the same location as the first ('OPTIONSPATH').

However, if OPTIONSPATH2 is set to a different folder than OPTIONSPATH, the program regards this as a flag, and attempts to initialize the shared sets environment using OPTIONSPATH2:

[Files and Directories]
ROOTDIR=c:\program files\tmq\marc report\ 
OPTIONSPATH=c:\documents and settings\richard\my documents\MarcReport\options\  
OPTIONSPATH2=\\library\quality assurance\marc report\

In the above example, when the program starts, it loads the user's marcreport.ini file from the My Documents\MarcReport folder. When the program sees that OPTIONSPATH2 is not the same as OPTIONSPATH, it checks the location referenced by OPTIONSPATH2 for a marcreport.ini file, and if found, parses it and overlays the relevant settings in the user's own marcreport.ini file with those found in the shared folder.

As a rule, the shared folder referred to by OPTIONSPATH2 is located on a server accessible to all users in the group, and the permissions on the folder are set to readOnly. The cataloging administrator will, however, need write access to this folder.

Files Required for 'shared sets'

A minimum setup required for 'shared sets' (in addition to the OPTIONSPATH2 requirement) is that the following files be present in OPTIONSPATH2:

  • marcreport.ini
  • default.can – cancelled messages
  • default.ccs – cataloging checks
  • default.lsb – local subjects
  • default.lvt – local validation data (see note below)
  • default.mct – marc review cataloging checks
  • default.mnd – mandatory fields
  • default.rdi – RDA Appendix I relationship terms ('default.rmx' in 244)
  • default.rdj – RDA Appendix J relationship terms (added in 245)

The marcreport.ini file can be empty, or it can be a complete copy of a user's marcreport.ini file; if it is empty, then the program will use the default installation values for the applicable options (probably not what you want); in the second case, only the Cataloging Checks, RDA, and Validation sections of the marcreport.ini file are consulted.

The 'default' files listed above are distributed with the program and should be copied from

C:\Program Files (x86)\TMQ\MARC Report\defaults\options 

to whatever folder OPTIONSPATH2 is set to.

In addition to the above, a number of other text tables are supported by shared sets. IF any of the following files are found in the shared sets folder, they will be preferred to the ones in the program path:

  • codelistLocal.txt
  • local.rdi ('local.rmx' in 244)
  • local.rdj (added in 245)
  • language.txt
  • relator.txt
  • country.txt
  • geogcode.txt
  • ctryplace.txt
  • fexcepts.txt
  • keycodes.txt
  • keycodes_utf8.txt

Also, if there are shared marc review ccataloging checks, the following folder must also be present as a sub-directory in the OPTIONSPATH2 folder (although it does not need to contain any files):

  • autoImport – storage area for shared marc review cataloging checks

Optional Files

The above configuration shares only the default setup. Its more likely that 'shared sets' will be useful to a cataloging group to share various program customizations.

For example, let's say you have created several different sets of cataloging checks, one for authority records, one for bib records, etc. By copying each set file (in this case, all files with the extension *.ccs) from your OPTIONSPATH folder to the OPTIONSPATH2 folder, all of the catalogers in your group have access to these sets. The same goes for the other 'sets': Mandatory fields, Local subjects, Cancelled messages, and MARC Review Cat checks.

Local Validation

Local validation tables are also supported in this environment, but please note the following. Local validation uses two compiled files at runtime:

  • valdata.usr – validation data
  • msgs_usr.tmq – user messages

These two files:

  • always have the same name(s) (regardless of the name of the Local Validation set)
  • are re-compiled whenever the program runs or the options are saved, and
  • are saved in the same folder as the user's marcreport.ini file (My Documents\MarcReport)

But in the shared sets environment, only the local data set file(s) (file extension .lvt) must be copied to the shared folder specified in OPTIONSPATH2 (ie. ignore the valdata.usr and msgs_usr.tmq files, as they will are automatically updated on the user's computer if the user switches sets).

MARC Review Cataloging Checks

To share a MARC Review cataloging check, simply drop the corresponding xml file into the shared 'autoImport' folder (in OPTIONSPATH2). The next time any user setup for shared sets starts MARC Report, that cataloging check will be added to their configuration.

How does this work?

Whenever the program starts (or whenever the options are opened), the MARC Review cataloging checks are initialized:

  • the 'autoImport' folder in My Documents is located; if not present, it is created
  • if shared sets are in effect
    • the 'autoImport' folder in OPTIONSPATH2 is located; if not present, the next step is ignored
    • MR Cataloging Checks present in the shared folder and not present in the local folder (including updated checks) are copied to the local folder
  • a master list of all MR Cataloging Checks in the local autoImport folder is then created

Different 'sets' of MR Cataloging Checks are also supported. Again, simply copy the set (*.mct) that you want to share to the server, and the user will be able to toggle to that set.

Cancelled Messages

The program's cancelled messages feature allows cataloging messages to be cancelled using an in-memory table, circumventing a shared cancelled message set, if defined. The end-effect is that the user may cancel any additional cataloging messages they want.

If this is not desirable, then the [Cataloging Checks] section option called 'ALLOWLOCALCANCELS' should be changed from 'Y' to 'N' in the shared marcreport.ini file. When this option is set to 'Y', the default, then the user will be able to cancel cataloging messages during an edit session, even though these cancellations will be discarded when the program is closed.

Program Options

What happens when a user opens the program options while in a shared sets environment depends on several variables.

First, in the dropdown lists used to activate a customized set on the Cataloging Checks page, only those sets present in OPTIONSPATH2 will be displayed; any customized sets on the user's own machine are not displayed–and thus, not selectable.

Second, even if more than one set is displayed in a dropdown list, the set to be used can be forced for all users, such that if another set was selected, the choice will be silently ignored. To force a set, simply enter the setname in the marcreport.ini file in the shared folder. For example, the line


in the shared marcreport.ini file forces all users to use the cataloging check set 'default.ccs' (which is distributed with the program and which turns on all cataloging check error messages).

On the other hand, to allow users to select sets freely, add the line


to the top of the marcreport.ini file in the shared folder. In this case, when the program starts, the Cataloging check set specified in the shared marcreport.ini file will be activated, but the user can then go into the options and change it, if applicable (remembering of course that the only sets available will be those in the shared folder).

The various checkbox-style options on the Validation and Cataloging Checks page work in a similar manner. If you want to force an option for all users, enter it in the shared marcreport.ini file; if you want the user to be able to set that option themselves, remove it from the shared marcreport.ini file.

For example, you probably do not want your users to be able to disable validation, so you would include the line


in the shared marcreport.ini file. If you do not add this line, the user's local setting for ENABLEVALIDATION will prevail (as there is no shared marcreport.ini setting to overlay it). Thus, if the user changes one of the checkbox options on these pages, and that option is present in the shared marcreport.ini file, any change made to that option will be silently ignored.

Option Profiles

Option profiles were introduced in version 233, and this feature is enabled by default. If you wish to disable option profiles for users in sharedsets mode, add the following line


to the [Cataloging Checks] section of the shared marcreport.ini file. This will prevent the 'Enable option profiles' option from appearing in the program menu,

Note: There is an incompatibility between shared sets and option profiles. The design of the former intends all users to reference a shared, write-protected, network folder for their cataloging options; the design of the latter allows users to combine various option settings (all stored on their own computer) into distinct profiles.

Program Updates

MARC Report is updated twice a year, on average, to keep up with changes in the cataloging standards.

If shared sets are being used, the data files used by shared sets may need to be checked after each update.

Note: in a shared sets implementation, all users should have the same version of MARC Report installed, and the shared sets data files should be current with whatever that version is. If the end-users do not install a program update, then the shared sets data files do not need to be updated either; if the end users update their version of MARC Report, then the shared sets data files need to be checked.

First, assuming the end users have updated their version of MARC Report, then all of the shared set files named 'default.' need to be updated. These can simply be copied from the local 'options' folder to the shared folder.

Next, any custom set that is located in the shared sets folder needs to be checked for possible changes. The best way to keep this data current is for a nominated cataloger to check the new version using a MARC Report that is not connected to the shared sets environment (easily accomplished by editing the local marcreport.ini file and deleting the 'OPTIONSPATH2' parameter–when the program isn't running). A copy of the custom sets from the shared folder should be copied to the local MARC Report options folder. The cataloger should review the list of version changes on the wiki and determine whether any of these changes might impact, or need to be added, to one of the custom sets. If so, the corresponding custom set folder–copied from the shared environment–should be modified, saved, and then tested on the local computer. Once the changes have been confirmed, the cataloger copy the appropriate set files back to the shared sets folder.

NB. MARC Report is not able to update any of the shared set data files, as we assume these files are located on a network share with the appropriate permissions, i.e. read-only.

Notes on Setup and Use

  • The folder referenced by OPTIONSPATH2 should be read-only, or restricted to an administrator. Allowing users direct access to this folder could result in corrupt options and unpredictable behavior.
  • When a user tries to edit a customized set, a warning message will pop-up advising that the table is read-only and may not be changed. For this reason, all changes to 'shared sets' should be made by a head cataloger on their own machine, and then copied over to the OPTIONSPATH2 folder.
  • When entering OPTIONSPATH2 in the marcreport.ini file:
    • be sure to terminate the folder name with a trailing backslash.
    • use either a mapped drive (Z:\marc report) or a Windows UNC path (as in above examples)
  • If OPTIONSPATH2 is set to a non-default folder, and this folder either does not exist, or does not contain a file called marcreport.ini, the program will pop-up an error message, and exit.
  • When entering a setname in the shared marcreport.ini file, enter only the filename and file extension; do not enter a path. For example, enter 'default.ccs' and NOT '\\library\quality assurance\marc report\default.ccs'
  • Note that the marcreport.ini file is not present on a user's computer until the program has been started the first time–ie. this file is not created during installation (although it is preserved during an upgrade). Therefore, do not customize a user's marcreport.ini immediately after installing the program–the program must be started once by the user, or any changes will be lost.
  • Its important that the 'default' sets be copied to the shared folder even if you do not intend to use them. MARC Report checks that these files are present as a way of validating the installation, and if it does not find them, it will produce an error message.
  • If you have groups of catalogers that have different needs re: MARC Report options, yet still want to use the shared sets feature, you can meet these needs by creating a different shared sets folder for each group, and setting the individual OPTIONSPATH2 values accordingly.

Follow this link for a list of all options in marcreport.ini that might need to be set outside of the program's Options interface.

help/shared_sets.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/29 16:21 (external edit)
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