Recently, the ONIX International Steering Committee announced a general statement of intent that ONIX 2.1 code lists should become truly and fully static after the release of Issue 36 in spring of 2017.
First, some background information:
There are 26 code lists that are unique to ONIX 2.1 (including List 7 Product Form and List 78 Product Form Detail). The ONIX 2.1–only code lists have been static since 2014 and they all correspond to areas where ONIX 3.0 differs from 2.1. So while the Product Form code lists continue to be developed, with new codes for new scenarios being added, only ONIX 3.0's code lists, 150 and 175, are actually being updated.
There are also 84 ONIX 3.0 code lists that are shared with ONIX 2.1. These code lists are currently valid for either ONIX version and continue to be updated as necessary for use in ONIX 3.0, with ONIX 2.1 having a kind of back-door access to the changes.
But supporting the static ONIX 2.1 lists in the ONIX documentation creates confusion: Which Product Form list do you use? What's with some of the code lists getting updates and others not? How do end users continue to provide support with this much variation?
So, Issue 36 (spring 2017) will be the last release where changes to shared lists will be considered to be part of ONIX 2.1. Starting with Issue 37, changes to shared lists will no longer be available to ONIX 2.1 even if the code lists are "shared."
That intent is clear and needed. Most suppliers of ONIX 2.1 data are not using the new codes and will not be adversely affected. And the exact details on how this will be implemented is still under discussion.
The following changes are likely:
- The schema's code list file (ONIX_BookProduct_CodeLists.xsd), which is the most common though there are different versions, will be stripped of ONIX 2.1–only code lists. Users of ONIX 2.1 should use Issue 36's version thereafter as Issue 37's code list file will not contain all the codes needed to support 2.1 validation.
- The linked code list files that accompany specifications and best practices will no longer carry the ONIX 2.1–only code lists as HTML pages.
- EDItEUR also supports an "all-code-list-in-one" file and it will probably lose the ONIX 2.1–only code lists.
If any of these changes will impact your business, get in touch with email@example.com to tell us how.
Finally, as always, actual use of ONIX 2.1 is a matter of agreement between two trading partners. None of these code list changes will affect your current feeds – companies accepting your ONIX 2.1 file will continue to do so. If you don't remember the last time you updated your code list or took advantage of a newly minted code, then it's unlikely that ONIX 2.1 formally becoming static will affect you in any way.
Anyone using XML processing of ONIX 2.1 should think very carefully about their procedures to ensure they are not affected.
Want to see a table outlining all the affected lists? We have that for you here.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about this change.