BISG WEBCAST -- ONIX for Books v3.0 Introduction


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In April 2009, EDItEUR announced the release of a major new version of the ONIX for Books standard: ONIX 3.0. This release of ONIX is the first since 2001 that is not backwards-compatible with its predecessors and, more importantly, provides a means for improved handling of digital products.

During this Book Industry Study Group (BISG) webcast presentation, Mark Bide, Executive Director of EDItEUR, and David Martin, from EDItEUR's ONIX Support Team, answered four key questions about ONIX for Books 3.0:

1) Why did the book industry need a new ONIX release?
2) How does ONIX 3.0 provide new support for digital publishing?
3) What are other important benefits of ONIX 3.0?
4) How should publishers and other ONIX users respond to the new release?

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BISG WEBCAST -- ONIX for Books v3.0 Introduction

  1. 1. This BISG WEBCAST took place Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. To register for future BISG Webcasts, please visit: To download further information about ONIX for Books, please visit: 1
  2. 2.  The U.S. book industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards and research  Develops and maintains standards and best practices that support effective communications between all parts of the supply chain  Conducts research and gathers data on issues affecting the whole book industry 2
  3. 3. Working to create a more informed, empowered and efficient book industry supply chain. 3
  4. 4. David Martin, ONIX Support Team, EDItEUR Mark Bide, Executive Director, EDItEUR David Martin is an independent consultant on Mark Bide is Executive Director of EDItEUR, the global standards for business communication in the book trade standards organization responsible for the trade, working principally for EDItEUR, where he maintenance and publication of ONIX for Books. He is leads the team responsible for ONIX for Books. also the Project Director for the ACAP Project, and a Director of Rightscom, the specialist media David has been involved with metadata standards consultancy. for most of his career, at INSPEC, at the British Library, where he was Director of Automated Mark has worked in and around the publishing Services for six years, and as a founder Director of industry for nearly 40 years, having been a Director Book Data Ltd (now part of Nielsen BookData). of the European subsidiaries of both CBS Publishing and John Wiley & Sons. He is a Visiting Professor of the University of the Arts London. 4
  5. 5.  London-based global trade standards organization for books and serials supply chains  Established 1991  ONIX family of communications standards  ONIX for Books  ONIX for Serials (online subscription products including ebooks)  ONIX for Publication Licenses  EDI  RFID  Secretariat for International ISBN Agency 5
  6. 6.  The first standard in the ONIX family  “ONline Information eXchange”  Late 1990s  AAP Digital Issues Working Group  Response to growth in online book retailing  Requirement for “rich product metadata” – never needed in this form before  Developed by EDItEUR in close collaboration with BISG and BIC  Now implemented very widely around the world 6
  7. 7.  Version history  v1.0 2000 (no longer supported)  v2.0 2001  v2.1 2004 (retained backwards compatibility) o Separation between structure and Codelists o Codelist Issue 8  Governed by International Steering Committee  Representatives from the 15 countries which have local ONIX committees  ONIX standard is designed to be very widely applicable  Local committees (including BISAC) work on implementation guidelines appropriate to local market 7
  8. 8.  Because our members (through the International Steering Committee) told us you needed a new release  Primarily to provide better support for digital products  Some other requirements could not be met by a 2.X revision  Decision taken to move to v3.0  Extensive structural work  No longer backwards compatible  Shared Codelist with v2.1 (Issue 10) 8
  9. 9. Including information on digital products… 9
  10. 10.  Removal of ‘deprecated’ elements  Digital products (ebooks and more)  Multiple-item products, sets and items in series  ‘Marketing collateral’  Market-specific data, for products sold internationally  Breakdown of product records into ‘blocks’, to allow partial updates  New schema language options (RELAX NG)  But where no change was needed – no change… 10
  11. 11.  Product form  DRM  Usage constraints  Distribution channels  Covered in new guidelines, with examples  to be published shortly on the EDItEUR website 11
  12. 12.  ‘Epub’ elements in ONIX 2.1 have been scrapped  Product form description for digital products is now integrated with physical products in Product Form and Product Form Detail coding  Top-level <ProductForm> coding is based on delivery method: ‘D’ codes for digital content delivered on a physical carrier, ‘E’ codes for digital content accessed online or delivered by download (also new ‘L’ codes for licences sold separately)  Format specified in <ProductFormDetail> (eg PDF, EPUB)  Content specified in Product Content Type elements (text, audio, video etc)  ONIX 3.0 works best if ISBN guidelines are followed 12
  13. 13.  New element <EpubTechnicalProtection>  Enables DRM to be specified separately from format (except where a proprietary format implies proprietary DRM)  Coded to specify (eg) ‘No DRM’, ‘Digital watermarking’, ‘Adobe DRM’ etc – more values will be added as required  Example: ebook supplied as a download in EPUB format with Adobe DRM: <ProductForm>ED</ProductForm> Digital download <ProductFormDetail>E101</ProductFormDetail> EPUB format <EpubTechnicalProtection>03</EpubTechnicalProtection> Adobe DRM <PrimaryContentType>10</PrimaryContentType> Text
  14. 14.  New elements added for optional encoding of a limited set of usage constraints  Usage type: eg preview, print extract, copy extract, share…  Usage status: permitted without limit, permitted with limit, prohibited  Usage limit expressed quantitatively  Example: preview permitted, up to 30 pages <EpubUsageConstraint> <EpubUsageType>01</EpubUsageType> Preview <EpubUsageStatus>02</EpubUsageStatus> Permitted with limit <EpubUsageLimit> <Quantity>30</Quantity> <EpubUsageUnit>04</EpubUsageUnit> Pages </EpubUsageLimit> </EpubUsageConstraint>
  15. 15.  Past ONIX releases assumed a physical supply chain: publisher > wholesaler > retailer  Variety of supply channels (and pricing models) for digital products, eg: publisher > consumer / publisher > library packager > consumer / packager > library selected wholesalers > retailers selected retailers > consumer  Handled in ONIX 3.0 by new guidelines and code values rather than new elements - The <Supplier> composite can now be coded to indicate a variety of ‘supplier roles’ - Where pricing is too complex to be represented in ONIX, an item can be listed without price, as ‘refer to supplier’
  16. 16.  An admitted problem area in past ONIX releases:  sets, series, multi-media products, multiple copy packs (classroom sets), trade packs (shrinkwraps), etc  Problems of definition:  Is this a set? a series? a pack? or what?  Inconsistencies of description and encoding  Repetition of title elements when a set or series title is a necessary part of an individual product title
  17. 17.  Radical simplification of approach in Release 3.0: forget about ‘set’, ‘series’, ‘pack’ etc…  Multiple-item product: any product made up of two or more items  Bibliographic collection: any collection of products with a collective designation  Not mutually exclusive  Consistent approach to the description of any multiple- item product, and any collection  Collective (‘series’) title elements can be used as part of product title without repetition  New recognition of ‘publisher collections’ and ‘ascribed collections’
  18. 18.  For more detail and examples, see How to describe sets, series and multiple-item products in ONIX 3, downloadable from the EDItEUR website 18
  19. 19.  Publishers and others are using, and will use in future, a much greater variety of supporting materials to promote sales, particularly in the web environment  Previous ONIX releases used:  an <OtherText> composite to handle text content either as part of the ONIX record itself or by links to text accessible elsewhere  a <MediaFile> composite for links to non-text media, eg images  Structures are too limited to meet current and future requirements  Rigid distinction between text and non-text media is unhelpful  Both composites have been removed and replaced
  20. 20.  Three new data element groups:  <TextContent> is strictly for text which is carried within the ONIX record, and which is made available for use by the receiver: short and long descriptions, cover blurbs, review quotes etc  <CitedContent> is for third-party content, in any medium, which is cited by way of reinforcing the promotion of a product: bestseller lists, TV or radio features, feature articles etc  <SupportingResource> is for content, in any medium, which is offered by the publisher (or sender of the ONIX record) to be used by supply chain partners for promotional purposes, either by downloading or linking: images, audio and video clips, widgets, sample chapters
  21. 21.  <SupportingResource> is a generalised structure intended to handle an unlimited variety of content and media types by adding codes. <SupportingResource> <ResourceContentType> eg Front cover <ContentAudience> eg Unrestricted <ResourceMode> eg Image <ResourceFeature> Composite: feature common to all versions <ResourceVersion> <ResourceForm> eg JPEG <ResourceVersionFeature> Composite: version-specific, eg height in pixels <ResourceLink> URI <ContentDate> eg Date last modified  In Code Lists Issue 10 we have not tried to fill the new code lists with values that ‘might be needed’. Hence some lists are evidently under populated. We expect to add to those lists in the light of feedback from early implementers.
  22. 22.  Most English-language publishing (and Spanish-language publishing) operates simultaneously in different national or regional markets  Publication dates, availability status, price and much else are market-specific  Some ONIX feeds relate only to a single marketplace, some (e.g., to and from aggregators at an international level) cover several markets  Already partly recognised and supported in previous releases – but, for example, a ‘global’ publication date was assumed  ONIX 3.0 goes a stage further, by regrouping supply- related content into a new unified structure
  23. 23.  Full ONIX 3.0 specification, data element summary, and XML technical notes published in April. Slightly revised versions issued in July, correcting textual errors reported by users. Only one change of substance: relaxation of one of the ‘rules’ associated with multiple-item products.  DTD, XSL and RNG schemas also published in April. A small but important amendment was made in July, to add a release number attribute to the ONIX Message element.  Code Lists Issue 10 was published in July: a further issue is likely by 2010, if early implementers identify new requirements.  Additional guidelines are being developed or are planned in a number of areas: sets and series (already published), digital products (due shortly), sending updates (consultation with national groups about to start), and probably others.  Any changes from here on will be backwards-compatible.
  24. 24. Keep these things in mind… 24
  25. 25.  Not backwards compatible  Requires more extensive system work than upgrade to 2.x  Never a “right time”  Particular challenge for data aggregators  Support for multiple versions  Input and output  Essential for publishers who need better support for communicating ebook metadata  Important benefits for others, but less immediate pressure  ONIX for Books 2.1 will continue to be supported, but future development will build on 3.0
  26. 26. Now what?... 26
  27. 27.  Attend BISG’s next ONIX Webcast: “Best Practices for Implementation”  Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at 11:00am EDT  Richard Stark, Director of Product Data, Barnes & Noble, Inc. and Chair of BISAC Metadata Committee  Update your company’s entry in BISG’s ONIX Users Directory  Implement ONIX for Books v3.0…
  28. 28. When does your company plan to implement ONIX for Books 3.0? RECEIVERS 28
  29. 29.  We expect to be able to send ONIX files in early fall. (The target is end of August but we probably won’t meet that.). It is especially important to us in the digital product lines, but 3.0 also allows us to convey some attributes that we have been gathering for years, but couldn’t send anywhere.  We will most likely move directly on to being able to process inbound ONIX files in 3.0 but would not expect that task to be finished until mid-late 1st qtr, 2010. A lot will depend on what the publishers say. We cannot imagine requiring 3.0 from publishers for the foreseeable future, although we will start encouraging its use as soon as we have a clearer picture as to when we will be done.  Wendell Lotz, VP Product Database Development, Ingram 29
  30. 30.  We’ll have an ONIX 3.0 output by September 1st, 2009, though I don’t expect transmission to anyone beyond the testing phase. It’s our belief that no recipient will be accepting ONIX 3.0 until January of 2010. If someone chooses to go live sooner, we’re happy to accommodate.  Greg Aden, President, NetRead 30
  31. 31. When does your company plan to implement ONIX for Books 3.0? SENDERS 31
  32. 32.  We do NOT plan on looking at a 3.0 implementation schedule until we get requests from some of the major recipients. So far, we have not heard [from] anyone saying that they are interested in it. It’s not on our radar for 2009.  Fran Toolan, President, Firebrand Technologies 32
  33. 33.  We are looking at implementing both inbound and outbound ONIX 3.0 in 2010 but do not have a firm schedule at this time. Inbound will be the priority for us to support our digital efforts, and to date our data recipients have not communicated an urgency for 3.0.  Sam Dempsey, VP Data Management & Development, Baker & Taylor 33
  34. 34. Presenter Contact Information  David Martin:  Mark Bide:  Website: BISG Contact Information  Michael Healy:  Angela Bole:  Website: 34