Transition to ONIX 3.0: A Readiness Checklist for Canadian Data Providers

Whether you're creating an ONIX 3 file for the first time or using one you already have, the following checklist provides a basic outline/process to assess your readiness to provide your data in the ONIX 3 format.

  1. Speak to your ONIX solution provider for your print titles (can be either external or in-house). Share the August 28, 2020 deadline with them and ask whether your systems are 3.0 ready. If not, when will you be able to produce 3.0 files for your print titles?

    • Key questions:

      • Does your provider understand the differences between ONIX 2.1 and 3.0?

      • Does your system do validation on the data/files it produces?

      • Which version of ONIX does your system support? (The current version, as of April 2020, is 3.0.7.)

        • Tip 1: Check which ONIX version your system uses

      • Which version of the codes lists are being used and how often are they updated? (The current version of the list, as of July 2020, is Issue 50.)

        • Tip 2: Check if your system’s code lists are updated

      • Does your system support "production feeds"?

      • Does your system have the ability to send updates only (a.k.a. deltas) as well as full files?

      • Will your system be able to support both 2.1 and 3.0 feeds by the deadline?

        • Note: The expectation is that data providers will need to support both 2.1 and 3.0 feeds for an indeterminate period of time, until all data recipients have transitioned to 3.0 feeds.

  2. Review the list of essential resources and start reading!

  3. Create a test 3.0 file from your system.

    • This is not converting ONIX 2.1 data to ONIX 3.0 but rather mapping data you prepared and gathered previously to the new version.

      • Tip 3: Why you can’t just convert 2.1 to 3.0

    • ONIX 3.0’s data points and how they are organized are unique and distinct from 2.1.

      • Tip 4: There are critical differences between ONIX 2.1 and 3.0

  4. Do an internal review and assessment of your initial 3.0 file.

    • Tip 5: What to consider when doing an assessment of your 3.0 file

  5. Collaborate with your colleagues in different departments and roles to identify opportunities and workflow enhancements to collect and organize additional data points.

    • For instance;

      • your editorial colleagues can source additional information to flesh out the contributor composite;

      • your production colleagues can inform you of any special features of the book;

      • your sales colleagues can provide information on comparable titles;

      • your marketing and publicity colleagues can provide information on any marketing initiatives; and

      • your distribution colleagues can provide information on any territorial sales information.

    • Tip 6: Expect to have new and useful metadata options to support

  6. Identify the data points you currently do not support and need to collect and disseminate. Identify these to your ONIX solution provider and have them make updates to support the collection and distribution of these data points in your 3.0 files.

  7. Make sure to include BiblioShare in your data distribution plans. Start sending data to us to test your systems. Review and apply any feedback.

  8. Generate a test file for a primary recipient partner to test and validate. Ask for feedback. Review and apply feedback from primary recipient partner. Repeat until you are both satisfied with the resulting file and data.

    • Tip 7: Final considerations

  9. Advise your other trading partners that you can now send ONIX 3.0 files and request a transition timeline. Do not stop sending your ONIX 2.1 file until you and your trading partners are sure everything is working properly.

Tip 1: Check which ONIX version your system uses

  • The "Contributor Place" composite is unique to ONIX 3.0 and was part of the first release. The element, LocationName, was added in Version 2. Does your system support both? (It's needed support for retailer & CataList promotion of authors by being able to track their city as part of "Currently resides in" data.) The current Version is 7 so this test only shows you’re up-to-date for five years ago.

  • It's unlikely your system supports Version 7 released Spring 2020 but that version includes new support for Promotional Event information. Do you need it? When will it be available for your use?

Tip 2: Check if your system’s code lists are updated

  • Your system should support ONIX Code List 151 for the Contributor Place codes. If 09 “Registered in” and 10 “Operating from” are missing, your code lists are out-of-date. (They were added in Issue 46 about a year ago,.)

Tip 3: Why you can’t just convert 2.1 to 3.0

  • Many software suites or services will offer an option to support or convert a 2.1 file to 3.0. Be wary of a vendor who tells you that you don't have to do anything more than supply an ONIX 2.1 file. They are at best hiding work you'll need to do and at worst providing poor quality ONIX 3.0 metadata.

  • It is true that virtually all the data points in an ONIX 2.1 have a place in ONIX 3.0 (the very small number that aren’t used, aren't needed) and in many (but not all) cases 2.1 and 3.0 data is compatible. A company that offers a crosswalk 2.1 to 3.0 conversion is offering a great starting point in creating a good quality ONIX 3.0 file.

Tip 4: There are critical differences between ONIX 2.1 and 3.0

  • The following are things you’ll need to have right post-conversion to support ONIX 3.0 properly:

    • make changes in Sales Rights (small but real)

    • supply Market information in Product Supply

    • supply a valid Supplier Role in Supply Detail

    • supply Price territory statements

    • support one Product Supply per exclusive distribution provider assigned a unique market

Tip 5: What to consider when doing an assessment of your 3.0 file

  • Are there error reports from your ONIX system that you can review?

  • Do you audit the ONIX output to ensure that there’s no data loss?

  • Can you, or does your system, validate the ONIX file as a valid XML document? Note: There are notes from EDItEUR for validating your ONIX 3.0 file; on a Mac or on Windows.

Tip 6: Expect to have new and useful metadata options to support

  • For instance, the Market section can support a market-specific Publication Date in addition to the expected On Sale Date.

  • The Canadian supply chain already wants Contributor Place metadata. It's needed to support both Author "currently resides in" (including city name) data AND maintaining the Canadian author marker.

  • Promotional event metadata is another area that is often requested by downstream data users.

  • There are a lot more options beyond that, including things like Accessibility that are supportable in ONIX 2.1 but haven't been used. Now is a perfect opportunity to make advantage of some of these other options.

Tip 7: Final considerations

  • Does your partner produce a quality/error report? Can you get it?

  • If you send directly to retailers, check the results. Are the data points present?

  • If a third-party is creating/distributing your data, follow-up with them and receive confirmation that your ONIX is error-free.