Introducing ONIX: Why & How to Start Using a Powerful New Publishing Tool

December 2001
by Frank Daly

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In the e-commerce era, every publisher has to be able to send usable digitized data to its sales channels. For example, you need to transmit cover images, contents listings, and possibly an excerpt or two to and so that they can easily and accurately display these materials, encouraging consumers to browse and buy. Using ONIX (which stands for Online Information eXchange) is the best way to do that.


Until now, your promotional materials have probably appeared in a number of different formats, with some in hard copy, some in electronic files, and some (covers, for instance) as mechanicals. Moreover, each of the major channel intermediaries–wholesalers, data suppliers, and retailers–has had its own requirements for receiving promotional material from you. As a result, publishers have had to create separate data streams for each trading partner.


A Standard Is Born

To address this set of problems, the Association of American Publishers began development of the new ONIX standard. Thanks to the efforts of the Book Industry Study Group in the U.S., Book Industry Communication in the U.K, and EDItEUR internationally, ONIX is now becoming the international standard for book “metadata” (data about data). The U.S. and U.K. are using it, France and Germany have set up national implementation groups, and it has been translated into French. The ONIX DTD (Document Type Definition) has been ex…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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