ONIX 3.0 Raises Standard for Ebook Metadata
That third factor is changing. But it underlines that standards development is essentially a social process rather than a technical one. The data exchange standards that underpin the supply chain inch forward by agreement and consensus between business partners.
Organizations adopting ONIX as a part of their business process are in effect "investors" in the scheme and need reassurance about its stability -- and confidence in its continued development to meet their newest business needs. The overall roadmap for ONIX is drawn by the ONIX International Steering Committee convened by EDItEUR and comprising representatives from national user groups in each country. BISG facilitates the U.S. ONIX national group, BookNet Canada and BTLF the Canadian groups, and the committee is currently chaired by a representative of the French national group. It was this steering committee that set the sunset date to focus attention on the mid-term need to migrate, and any organization without a clear plan now has some catching up to do.
ONIX 2.1 support will be reduced and all new developments -- for example new codelist entries -- will be 3.0-only from the beginning of 2015. Of course, 2.1 will not just "stop working" at that point. But there is a risk in delaying migration -- that of being inflexible and unable to make use of more sophisticated metadata and marketing collateral, and missing business opportunities with new entrants who choose to use only 3.0.
Graham Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is chief data architect at EDItEUR, the trade standards organization for the global book, ebook, and serials supply chains. EDItEUR is a not-for-profit, membership-supported organization, based in London, but with around 100 members from many countries around the world. In addition to ONIX for Books, EDItEUR manages Thema and the International ISBN Agency.