Textbook Express – Campus IT Technical Details

Textbook Express is a feature of the PrismRBS’s PrismWeb e-commerce platform for college bookstores.  It receives the student’s schedule information from the campus website via a specially formatted link, and takes them to a page where all of the books and materials for their classes will be listed.  From there, the student can add the books to their shopping cart and purchase their materials.  This feature ultimately lets the student bypass the process of selecting course materials for each course individually.

Because Textbook Express receives information from the campus website, there will need to be programming work done on the campus website to make this function correctly.  We do not have access to make these changes, so it will be up to the campus IT personnel to make sure that correct information is being sent to the bookstore website in the proper manner.  If third-party software is used for the campus’s online schedule, these programming requirements may need to be communicated with them.

Textbook Express Parameters

Textbook Express receives information from the campus website from parameters in the URL.  This can be done either by sending HTML form data using the “get” method or by directly passing these parameters in the URL.  The parameters that need to be passed to the bookstore site in the URL are as follows:




This must be set to the value “1” and is required.


This is the bookstore’s site ID.  It can be set to “2023” by default, or it can be the actual site ID as given by PrismRBS.  It is required.


This parameter is required, however it is not required to have a value (after the “equals” sign).


This is the term description from the back office system of bookstore. If the term is on the bookstore website, the description is what displays in the drop-down menu after the first hyphen, i.e., “Fall 2012”. This description will need to be communicated between the campus and the bookstore each term because they must match exactly.  If you need to know how to find the term description, please contact PrismRBS Support.  This parameter is required.


The department parameter is required.  It is important that there is communication between the bookstore and the campus that these match up correctly.  For instance, if the course abbreviation in the bookstore is ACCT for Accounting, the campus link will need to send ACCT or it will not work.  The dept parameter will be repeated for as many courses as the student is enrolled in.  There is a minimum of one department and a maximum of 50 departments.


The course is also required.  It will also need to match exactly what the bookstore has for the course number.  There will be one course parameter for each course the student is enrolled in (will match the number of dept parameters).


The section is required.  It will need to match exactly what the bookstore uses for defining sections just like dept and course (e.g. 1 is not the same as 001).  There will be one section for each course the student is enrolled in (will match the number of depts and courses).


This is required and will always have the value “display+books”.

Important:  If the bookstore groups sections and courses together that have the same books, this will need to be changed.  For example, course: 101/104 or section: 03-04.  This will need to be split into separate courses and sections by the bookstore, or the Textbook Express feature will not work.

There are many ways of implementing Textbook Express, so the campus programmer will need to decide which method works for him or her.  Some examples of implementation would be to put this information into an HTML form and use a “get” method to send the data, or to set up the direct link using the parameters given.  It doesn’t matter how you go about setting up the link as long as it has all of the parameters needed, in the correct order.

Example Textbook Express Implementation

Below is an example of how the information might be interpreted from a simple online schedule.

Resulting URL from the Textbook Express link:
http://(Your Bookstore URL HERE)/textbook_express/get_txtexpress.asp?remote=1&ref=2023&term=FALL+2012&dept=art&course=1201C&section=5&dept=chm&course=3930&section=1&dept=eng&course=3014&section=3&dept=fre&course=3244&section=1&getbooks=display+books

Links to Single Courses

Aside from creating links from a student’s schedule, the school may incorporate separate Textbook Express links to specific courses listed in an online course catalog or similar. Using the same parameters as listed above for the schedule link, single course links can be constructed.  Here is an example of what linking to one specific course would look like:
http://(Your Bookstore URL HERE)/textbook_express/get_txtexpress.asp?remote=1&ref=2023&student=&term=Fall+2012&dept=acct&course=100&section=01&getbooks=display+books

Links to Multiple Courses

Multiple courses can be included in the same link.  Each course to be included in the link needs to have a term, dept, course, and section specified.  Here is an example link with multiple courses in one link:
http://(Your Bookstore URL HERE)/textbook_express/_get_txtexpress.asp?remote=1&ref=2023&student=&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=1051&section=01&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=1004&section=03&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=1015&section=01&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=1048&section=01&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=1233&section=02&term=FALL+2012&dept=DRAF&course=1113&section=02&term=FALL+2012&dept=DRAF&course=1041&section=01&term=FALL+2012&dept=CIVCF&course=0229&section=04&term=FALL+2012&dept=SEMR&course=9209&section=02&getbooks=display+books

Important: When linking to Multiple Courses, note the change in the .ASP file.  When linking to single courses, the .ASP file is get_txtexpress.asp.  When linking to multiple courses, the .ASP file is _get_txtexpress.asp. 

Textbook Express with Verba Compare

If the bookstore website uses Verba Compare, they can still use Textbook Express. The only difference is that Textbook Express links will need to be sent to the bookstore’s unique verbacompare.com address. Here is an example link to a Verba Compare site:
http://(Your Bookstore Here).verbacompare.com/textbook_express/get_txtexpress.asp?remote=1&ref=28&student=&term=Spring+2013&dept=PHIL&course=315&section=S&getbooks=display+books

Textbook Express with Course Registration IDs

An alternative link format for Textbook Express is to link to specific course registration ID numbers. 

Note: This method of Textbook Express is not commonly used.

Here are the parameters used by Textbook Express when using course registration IDs:




This must be set to the value of “2” and is required.


This must be set to the value of “1” and is required.


This must be set to the value “1” and is required.


This is the bookstore’s site ID.  It can be set to “2023” by default, or it can be the actual site ID as given by PrismRBS.  It is required.


This parameter is not required.


The ‘X’ in the parameter name must increment for each course in the link.  The value is equal to the term ID and is required.


The ‘X’ in the parameter name must increment for each course in the link.  The value is equal to the course registration ID and is required.


This is equal to the number of courses in the URL and is required.  For example, if there are 3 courses in the link, course_count=3

 Each course registration ID must be included in the URL using an incrementing variable.  For example, the first course’s regId variable in the URL is regId1, followed by regId2, regId3, etc. 

 For every regId, there must be a regCampus, even if the course is on the same term.  The first term’s regCampus is regCampus1, followed by regCampus2, regCampus3, etc.

The regCampus variable is equal to the PrismWeb term ID.  It can only be found by looking at the source code of the “Search by Course” drop down menu on the PrismWeb site (usually found on the home page or Buy Textbooks page).  The value of the regCampus variable is equal to the dropdown option’s value (in the format of 5|6 or 25|31).  The “|” (pipe) character cannot be read from the URL, so you must use “%7C” instead.  For example, 5%7C6 instead of 5|6, or 25%7C31 instead of 25|31.

The regId variable can be found by logging into the PrismWeb Manager and navigating to Textbooks > Manage Courses.  Then select the Campus, Term, Department, Course, and Section from the menus. The Registration # for the section displays under the section information.

In PrismCore, the regId variable is also the Section ID, found the course request.

Here is an example link with course registration IDs:
http://(Your Bookstore URL HERE)/textbook_express.asp?ref=2023&step=2&mode=1&regCampus1=0%7C0&regId1=0330&regCampus2=0%7C0&regId2=0369&regCampus3=0%7C0&regId3=0432&regCampus4=0%7C0&regId4=0456&regCampus5=0%7C0&regId5=0504&course_count=5

First Published 05/19/2020

Edited 09/30/2020

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