[UPDATE: The ONIX converters will be retired on Dec. 31, 2016. You can find out more here.]
EXA Editor is the venerable XML editor for use with ONIX that BookNet Canada made available as a free download for the past few years. It was an excellent product with a not-so-excellent GUI (nerdese for your ability to find and click on things) and a useful tool for learning about ONIX. A number of publishers’ ONIX programs are, or were, based on it.
EXA Editor was software developed by a Montreal firm called GPG Solutions and it was different from the database solutions offered by Bob Houghton at HiPoint, or Doug Plant’s PeXod in that it was basically a way to directly work in an XML file. A database interface lets you to edit the fields in a database whose contents could then be exported as an ONIX file—your data entry is once removed from XML. EXA Editor was an XML editor, an interface that made it easier to directly edit the ONIX file—and the interface also provided the ONIX code lists, enforcement of mandatory fields and similar data quality basics.
Canada really is blessed with some excellent software!
ONIXEdit is GPG’s next generation of ONIX software, with a vastly improved user interface, an ability to check files against different standards including BookNet’s, our Quebec equivalent BTLF, the US’s BISG and the UK’s BIC, as well as a number of other improvements.
BookNet Canada, through various arrangements, was able to offer EXA Editor for free. And we continue to commission work from GPG Solutions (our template and ONIX converters are their work), but BookNet Canada has no more linkage to them than we do with any other development firm we work with. But this does allow me to address one question publisher’s have:
BookNet Canada does not offer ONIXEdit for free—EXA Editor is no longer being offered by GPG Solutions and BookNet Canada has not made any arrangements to offer the new product. GPG does offer a limited version it for “free” for file of less than 50 records, 30 day trial periods to assess the software, and the cost is pretty reasonable. You can look it up yourself, but I’d estimate the initial cost to be less than the cost of a single—a single—seasonal catalogue page in black and white for most publishers. The world of metadata for less than the cost of an outdated-before-it’s-published b/w page. Cheap in my book.
BookNet Canada, as a rule of thumb, does not review software, but 2 future blog posts will focus on the converters we are about to release, and have a look at ONIXEdit and why one might edit (or not) in XML in more detail. ONIXEdit still offers all the advantages that made our arrangement for EXA Editor of mutual benefit—and it’s an excellent product whose history with BookNet makes it a special case.