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ONIX

Previous Releases

About Release 2.1

‘Sunset date’ – 31st December 2014

At the beginning of 2012, the ONIX International Steering Committee – the group that guides the future development of the ONIX standard – announced that full support for ONIX version 2.1 would end at the end of 2014, and that all users were strongly advised to update their systems and migrate to ONIX 3.0. The three year notice period ensured that adequate time was available for planning, budgeting and development of updated systems.

This sunset date is now less than nine months away. Note that ONIX 2.1 will not ‘stop working’ on 1st January 2015 – it will still be usable, but will not receive the level of support that it currently has. In particular, documentation will be archived and online DTD/XSD support for XML validation will be removed.

Any organisation using ONIX 2.1 (and even a few using 2.0) should ensure that a plan for migration to ONIX 3.0 is in place.

Release history

Release 2.1 was first released in June 2003, and was designed to be fully backwards-compatible with Release 2.0. Version 2.1 has been subject to four very minor updates. Prior to Release 3.0, the ‘current’ release for users in most countries was Release 2.1 revision 02, published in 2004, with some minor revisions to documentation in February 2005.

To meet the specific needs of ONIX implementations in Australia and Spain, a further minor revision, 03, was published in January 2006, adding a small number of optional elements to Groups PR.24 and PR.26. All other users were recommended to continue to work with Release 2.1 revision 02 – or at least, to ignore these optional additions.

To meet additional specific needs of ONIX implementations in Japan, another minor revision, 2.1 rev.04, was published in early 2011. This added a very small number of optional data elements and a new optional data attribute. This revision is not recommended for use outside Japan. Anyone wishing to use this version should contact EDItEUR or the Japan Publishing Organisation for Information Infrastructure Development (JPO). Similar functionality to meet the needs of ONIX users in Japan and China has also been added to ONIX 3.0 revision 1.

However, even if you are staying with Revision 02, you may still wish to use the Revision 03 or 04 documentation packages, which include some more general improvements. Within the documentation, new elements that are applicable only to Revision 03 or 04 are clearly marked as such. Note that the Main Series and Subseries Records have been removed from revision 03 and later documentation. They remain in the DTD and Schema for reasons of backwards compatibility, but have not been carried forward into ONIX 3.0. These record types were added specifically to support a national application requirement in Germany. They were never recommended for general use, and have now been withdrawn by the user group concerned.

To enable all users of ONIX for Books Release 2.1 revisions 02 and 03 to to use the same master copies of the DTD and Schema for reference and validation purposes, the online reference copies on the EDItEUR website – whose locations are documented in Section 5 of the ONIX for Books Release 2.1 XML Message Specification – are updated to Revision 03. Those who continue to use Revision 02 will notice no change, except that a minor unintended restriction in Group PR.18 was corrected (if you use Group PR.18, please see the Revision 03 release notes in the Product Record Specification). Note that as part of the 'sunset' process and reduction of support for ONIX 2.1 which was announced by the ONIX International Steering Committee at the beginning of 2012, these online reference copies of the DTD and XSD schemas will be removed at the end of 2014.

Release 2.1 downloads

You can download Release 2.1 rev 03 directly from this page. If you need to consult the documentation and/or schemas for other releases back to 2.0, they are still available here.

Specifying different terms of supply in different territories

These guidelines – which are applicable to ONIX 2.1 – give details of how to specify agency terms in an ONIX message, using new code values added in March 2010. They will also be useful to senders who need to specify different terms in different supply territories, even if they are not adopting an agency model.

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ONIX for Books Supply Update

The ONIX for Books Supply Update message format has been developed at the request of a number of ONIX user groups to enable price and availability and other supply-related data to be updated without the need to re-send a complete descriptive record for the product in question.

In effect, the Supply Update format allows SupplyDetail and/or MarketRepresentation composites, together with a very small number of related elements, to be replaced without sending any other parts of the ONIX record.

Use of the Supply Updates format is entirely optional. Its adoption should be agreed between trading partners or within an ONIX user group before it is brought into use.

The current release is Release 1.0, dated August 2006, and consistent with the ONIX for Books Product Information Message Release 2.1 revision 02 or 03. An outline specification is given in the Overview, which must be used in conjunction with the full specifications of the applicable ONIX for Books release.

For details of the location of online reference versions of the DTD and Schema, see section 3 of the Supply Update message specification.

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ONIX for Books tagname converter

The ONIX for Books tagname converter is an XSLT script which enables ONIX reference names to be translated into short tags, and vice versa. The XSLT script and instructions for its use are available here. In its present form, the converter is suitable only for use with ONIX releases up to and including ONIX 2.1 rev 03. It cannot be used with Release 3.0.


Documentation in French and German

Pour les utilisateurs des pays francophones, il existe une traduction en français des ONIX Version 2.1 (03), avec autre documents réalisée sous le contrôle du groupe ONIX France et avec le soutien du Cercle de la Librairie (Paris), disponible sur le site:

A German translation of the Supply Update Overview is also available:

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