ONIX has become the industry standard communications format for publishers and the book trade and its creators are continuing to focus strongly on innovation. The international development group, EDItEUR has stopped supporting version 2.1. - since the end of 2014, there have been no new updates.
That means it’s high time for users to switch their in-house systems to ONIX 3.0 - not only with a view to future updates but also for an additional reason. Since the standard in the new version has been completely revamped, ONIX 3.0 has no backward compatibility - in other words, efficient data exchange will sooner or later call for the use of ONIX 3.0.
What may initially seem an unavoidable requirement could actually represent a great opportunity, especially when viewed in the context of future business processes. The fact that the standard has been completely revised, means that it provides outstanding opportunities for tailored communication both for and with your products, which will certainly justify the conversion costs.
We recommend that you switch to ONIX 3.0 as soon as possible. The new industry standard is not just another update but will continue to form the basis for the first class communication of your products in the future. Here’s a first look at some of the key ONIX 3.0 features.
ONIX 3.0 finally offers an up to date solution for digital rights management (DRM). DRM relevant information is broadly defined in the new format and is transmitted along with other product data. In ONIX 3.0 DRM has been assigned dedicated codes, thereby eliminating the stopgaps and text inserts etc. which were unavoidable in ONIX 2.1. As a result, misunderstandings between senders and recipients of data have been virtually eliminated.
Another major plus with regard to the marketing of digital products is that ONIX 3.0 features a controllable online display. Furthermore, supplementary content and additional marketing materials, such as online resources can be directly linked to products using flexible containers. As part of this process rights holders always retain full control of access and usage - ONIX 3.0 allows for differentiated rights management, e.g. through the use of individual territorial restrictions.
Today more than ever the success of a product depends on the quality of the data deployed when placing it in the relevant channels. In ONIX 3.0 opportunities for gaining competitive advantage through the use of accurate and comprehensive data have again increased significantly. For example, multi-volume works and multi-element products can now be easily presented. This is particularly beneficial in the case of online stores, where the need to make subsequent readjustments to entries for more complex products has now been eliminated.
What goes for the marketing of digital products, also applies across the board: The flexible integration of content and marketing materials directly in the product record provides for improved visibility and eliminates the considerable additional effort of having to transmit such data via email or in Excel spreadsheets.
And last but not least - the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) which can be mapped in ONIX 3.0 provides for direct links between identical texts in different publishing formats. This allows for straightforward linking, e.g. of the print edition to the e-book – in itself an important contribution to data quality on a structural level!
International communication is also greatly improved using ONIX 3.0. In ONIX 2.1 separate files had to be created for individual markets, countries and target groups, whereas in ONIX 3.0 this information is bundled in a single file. Individual elements such as brief or long title descriptions can be assigned internationally relevant Thema codes. Furthermore, the most important text fields can be saved as localized versions of a record, which international recipients can then use straight away.
The “availability status”, a key factor in driving sales, also gets an upgrade in ONIX 3.0. Thanks to finely calibrated descriptions it can be communicated clearly and precisely according to different markets.
A major and long overdue improvement has been made in the field of new announcements and updates. New block updates no longer have to be sent as part of the entire data record, but can instead be precisely transmitted with reference only to the elements that need to be changed.
Every day hundreds of thousands of new and forthcoming titles are exchanged using ONIX. As part of this process, it’s becoming increasingly important for players in the industry to accomplish two key goals: good quality data and the shortest possible processing time. Our ONIX 3.0 import system makes this possible – or in other words, it ensures that shorter processing times don’t negatively impact on quality.
As a permanent member of the Germany, Austria, Switzerland ONIX working group we’re operating right at the heart of the new standard. As a consequence, our system can import all of the fields in the current ONIX 3.0 standard, including DRM relevant information and ISTC classification. We use all of the new features to maximum effect - especially block updates, in which updates and amendments are converted into partial amendments to data records, thus reducing the amount of data that needs to be exchanged and further accelerating the import process. Data from the older ONIX 2.1 standard can also be imported if required.
Imports are runs as bulk operations with parallel processing. This allows for the system to scale according to actual demand and use mechanisms for load sharing. The system’s high speed also comes from using standardized technology. .NET Framework and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) are being constantly improved by developer Microsoft, ensuring that the system remains reliable and up to date with respect to future upgrades.
The fact that both data quality and speed are provided in equal measure is due to the automated improvement of data quality – a further key feature of our system. Clusters of characters, line breaks or incorrect codification of special characters and umlauts are all examples of typical formatting errors. The import system corrects these by automatically adjusting long texts and by normalizing characters. The improvement in data quality pays for itself because the quality of both display and readability are also immediately enhanced. The system also blocks the import of incorrect information by specifically ignoring correspondingly defined data fields.
Many publishers use internal conventions for data management which diverge from the ONIX standard. In order to prevent this leading to the transmission of incorrect data, the ONIX system corrects such exceptions using publisher filters, which can be easily adapted and updated using an intuitive graphic user interface. An additional benefit is that these changes can also be automatically applied to previously imported data records!
Broadly speaking our ONIX import system can be easily integrated into an existing database. During the process, the active database structure remains and only the previous import process is replaced by the ONIX import system.
Regardless of whether it’s a new title announcement, an update or a deletion, when partners in the book business exchange title information ONIX has become the definitive standard. In the new ONIX 3.0 format, data relating to DRM, bundles, and supplementary marketing material can be easily integrated into the process. There’s one requirement, however: such data has to be transformed in compliance with the standard. That’s where our ONIX 3.0 export system comes in. It ensures that your data always fulfills the requirements.
As with all our solutions, it’s important that our ONIX export system precisely fits your requirements. The system can be quickly and easily implemented and is undoubtedly suited to publishers who are already using a database system. It’s also possible for us to install a dedicated ONIX 3.0 interface which will, for example, facilitate trouble-free data exchange with existing publisher software.
Our ONIX 3.0 export system converts existing data records to conform to the standard, and then validates and exports them. As part of the process, it uses the block updates newly introduced in ONIX 3.0, in which data fields relevant for new title announcements and updates are isolated by the system so that the size of the data record to be transmitted is considerably reduced. Individual adjustments to the export process are also possible, meaning that users can transform data according to their needs, e.g. if they wish to alter the convention for entering a date.
It’s precise because it’s innovative that our ONIX 3.0 export system has been built using tried and tested technological standards. During programming, we used T-SQL upgrades and consistently applied XML processing functions in Microsoft-SQL-Servers. As a result, the export process doesn‘t operate via a third party program but takes place within the database itself, thus increasing processing speed and saving time – time that can be more effectively invested in manual tasks than in data exports.
NEWBOOKS Solutions offers a converter that is capable to convert ONIX data to MARC21 and MARCXML. The converter is developed as a ‘standalone' program (.exe) which converts ONIX metadata from an input directory to the desired format upon execution and then stores them in an output directory. The system is equipped with a logging which holds infeasible conversions at field level. Thus, tags and composites can be identified, which can be recorded in the conversion later.
Based on an ISBN list, our Format Converter for library formats transfers publishers' title data automatically into your library’s desired format. Data supply is done either by eMail or via FTP. We also offer a web service that can further provide data for other services. Thus title queries are possible within an automated acquisition system or through invoice processing. Alternatively, the Converter can transmit the data to an FTP server. However, if no dedicated FTP server is available, the title data can also be saved on and provided from NEWBOOKS FTP on a long-term basis. MARC records can also be transferred to publishers or booksellers website for download by librarians.