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Archived Previous Releases

ONIX for Books Release 2.1

Release history

Release 2.1 was first released in June 2003, and was designed to be fully backwards-compatible with Release 2.0. During its life, version 2.1 was subject to four minor updates. It was succeeded by Release 3.0 in 2009. From January 2012, all users are strongly recommended to migrate to the latest to Release 3.0. Archived documentation for Release 2.1 is still available, but from January 2014, online support for the Release 2.1 DTD and XSD files has been removed.

Release 2.1 was first published in June 2003. 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 was not recommended for use outside Japan, and 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.

However, even if you are staying with 2.1 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 They were never recommended for general use, and have now been withdrawn by the user group concerned.

‘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.

Note that ONIX 2.1 did not ‘stop working’ on 1st January 2015 – it is still usable, but it will not receive the level of support that it formerly had. In particular, online documentation has been archived and online DTD/XSD support for XML validation has been removed.

It is possible that because of the withdrawal of official support, organisations currently able to receive both 2.1 and 3.0 will request ‘3.0 only’ soon after the sunset date. 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.

EDItEUR and BookNet Canada delivered a webinar on the migration from ONIX 2.1 to 3.0. Similar webinars and in-person presentations were given in cooperation with BIC, BISG and other EDItEUR membes on several occasions throughout 2014. The Canadian webinar recording can be viewed here.

Using Release 2.1 after sunset

If you are using 2.1, the removal of the XML tools – the DTD and XSD files hosted on EDItEUR’s website – may cause problems in your IT systems.

If your ONIX applications rely on access to ONIX 2.1 DTD and XSD files on the EDItEUR website, then you must enable a workaround to avoid failures after sunset. Avoiding such failures is straightforward, but requires the use of a local copy of the various DTD and XSD files.

Organisations using commercial applications to create or manage their ONIX data should check with their software provider, as many will have implemented a local copy of the DTD and XSD files within their application already.

For those organisations with in-house applications that carry out validation of ONIX 2.1 files, or which require access to the DTD or XSD in constructor functions or for any other reason, there are many ways to implement this workaround, and EDItEUR has published outline instructions:

Release 2.1 download archive

You can download Release 2.1 revision 03 and 04 documentation and XML support files. These packages contain Codelists Issue 36, the last issue of the codelists that is compatible with ONIX 2.1.

Documentation and XML support files are also available for the older Revision 02, 01 and 00 of ONIX 2.1. The updated files for Revision 03 and 04 (above) are strongly recommended as they contain important improvements and corrections.

ONIX 2.1 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.

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.

Documentation in French and German

Pour les utilisateurs des pays francophones, il existe une traduction en français des ONIX Version 2.1 (révision 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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ONIX for Books Supply Update

The ONIX for Books Supply Update message format was 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 the ONIX 2.1 Supply Detail and/or Market Representation 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 only release is Release 1.0, dated August 2006, and consistent with the main ONIX for Books Release 2.1, support for it has now been reduced. Archived documentation and XML support files remain available. 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.

As with ONIX 2.1, the online DTD and XSD files which were previously available have been sunsetted.

An ONIX 3.0 equivalent of the Supply Update format is unnecessary: it is simply a particular type of 'Block update' containing various identifiers and Block 6 only.

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ONIX for Books Release 2.0

Release 2.0 was published in July 2001, replacing the earlier Release 1.2.1. It was superseded by the initial revision of Release 2.1 in June 2003, and is now considered obsolete.

Specifications and support files for ONIX 2.0 and earlier are no longer downloadable. They may be available by direct request from EDItEUR.

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Release 1.2 and earlier

The ONIX 1.0 specification was initially released in January 2000, and quickly followed by an International pilot release 1.0 (May 2000), 1.1 (July 2000), 1.2 (November 2000) and 1.2.1 (April 2001).

Specifications and support files for ONIX 1.2.1 and earlier are no longer downloadable. They may be available by direct request from EDItEUR.

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