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Cataloging ID & System ID

This page describes the Cataloging and System IDs which are used by Variations distinguish unique records.


System ID

The System ID is the primary unique identifier that Variations uses to keep records separate. Each time a new record is ingested into the system Variations assigns it a System ID. Most catalogers, digitizer, and end-users will rarely use or encounter a system ID. The existence of the system ID has one primary impact on the Cataloging ID and Filenameing. Since the system ID is numeric, the Cataloging ID must contain numeric and alphabetic characters in order to prevent system collisions.


  • IU/Container/23045

Cataloging ID

The Cataloging ID is used primarily by digitizers and catalogers to ingest, access, and update records. Variations uses the System ID to maintain data integrity, which gives the Cataloging ID more flexibility to match with existing keys that the library may be using. The Cataloging ID is used in three primary ways filenameing, Z39.50 connection, and populating information on the access pages. The Cataloging ID functions as the only id number a cataloger or digitizer will use.


  • abc1234


One of the most difficult issues concerned with the Cataloging ID is creation and implementation. If a library has a predefined key for each item in its library the Cataloging ID is fairly easy to create. Most likely libraries with preexisting keys will already have a process in place for the addition of items to their library as well as a way of managing these keys. When integrating Variations with a library that has a preexisting record key the library will only need to match the Cataloging ID's format in the configuration step with the preexisting keys format. Then when ingesting records using the preexisting key as the Cataloging ID should allow files metadata to be easily imported.
If there is no preexisting key for records in the library then a system of creating and maintaining the new keys will need to be implemented. There are potentially many ways to implement a Cataloging ID which may very from place to place. If your library does not have a key/identifying number for records consider discussing strategies with other team members for Variations Cataloging ID integration.


When Records (Albums, Scores) are imported into Variations they contain individual media files like tracks and pages. Variations uses the Cataloging ID as a filenaming scheme for the individual media files. Each file that is part of a record is identified by the its Cataloging ID followed by a track number (i.e. aaa000-1.mp4). This means that for record abc1234 its files will be named abc1234-1.mp4, abc1234-2.mp4..., which allows Variations to keep the files separate.

Important Considerations
When creating the Cataloging ID it is important to consider the number of possible unique records. Creating a title with the enough letters and numbers will allow for ingest of current and future records.


The Cataloging ID can be used to import MARC record information through Z39.50. Variations is configured to use the Cataloging ID to query an institution's OPAC for records which contain an identical value to the Cataloging ID. Ideally institutions will have a key for each record in their OPAC or will create a key prior to ingesting files into Variations.

Pre-existing Key
If a key exists Variations will attempt to import the MARC record information and associate it with the imported media files.

No Pre-existing Key
If a key does not exist Variations will not import the MARC record and will display and error message, which asks if you want to manually import the record. The digitizer can then search the OPAC and find the appropriate MARC record to associate with the media files they are ingesting.

Important Considerations
Given Variations predetermined functionally it is important when creating the Cataloging ID Scheme (filenaming scheme) consider preexisting keys in the OPAC. For example if keys in the OPAC follows the format aaa0000, then the corresponding Cataloging ID would need to be formatted exactly the same.

Access Pages

The Cataloging ID also is used to populate information in the access pages used by Variations. In the example below entering the Cataloging ID into the end of the URL will populate the access page with information about the given record.

Example Access Page

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