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XML Book Industry Transaction Standards (XBITS)

Global Book Manufacturing Supply Chain Forms Standards Group within IDEAlliance

XBITS Working Group Using papiNet Standards to Develop XML-based Messages for Book Manufacturing Supply Chain

Alexandria, VA, USA. July 30, 2002.

A Standards Working Group, XBITS (XML Book Industry Transaction Standards, has been formed within IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance). by a group of major book publishers, printers, paper mills, and component vendors. The goal of XBITS is to design XML (Extensible Markup Language) based transactions to facilitate bi-directional electronic data exchanges within the book manufacturing supply chain through the application of the papiNet development process.

The end result will be a set of electronic documents that facilitate the flow of information among supply chain partners in the publishing/print industry. The effort supports efficient business-to-business (B2B) communication, improves the reach and richness of communication throughout the supply chain, and increases efficiencies in transaction activities while supporting interoperability among trading partners.

All major XBITS transactions are scheduled to be completed and published by Summer 2003, including:

  • Specifications
  • RFQ
  • RFQ Response
  • Purchase Order
  • Order Confirmation
  • Order Status
  • Delivery Message
  • Goods Receipt
  • Invoice
  • Usage
  • Information Request
  • Inventory Status
  • Business Acknowledgement

Working with the papiNet electronic standards initiative (created for the paper and forest products industry) XBITS will proactively develop, maintain and support the implementation of common electronic transaction formats for the book publishing industry.

The papiNet standard is developed and maintained by a dedicated, international team of business and technical experts. The process for development of standards begins with studying and documenting the business process. Next, electronic documents needed to operate the process are defined and described. Finally, case studies and examples of live XML messages are developed. These electronic formats for business transactions and information exchange are needed to support the progressive move by business towards increased system-to-system real-time exchange of information between buyers and sellers.

Brian Sharlach, XBITS co-chair from the McGraw-Hill Companies, said, "The Internet is a global infrastructure, and offers new opportunities for efficient and cost-effective execution of transactions to all. The messages XBITS is developing should significantly reduce the cost of implementing electronic commerce communications among those throughout the book manufacturing supply chain."

Diane Degener, XBITS co-chair from Von Hoffmann, added, "XBITS is providing the set of XML message standards needed for the entire book manufacturing supply chain and is open, free and easy to adopt, ultimately providing common benefits to supply chain participants. With XBITS, companies will no longer need to negotiate and agree on data definitions and formats with each trading partner, a costly and arduous task."

David Steinhardt, IDEAlliance president, said, "IDEAlliance seeks to extend the papiNet standard to more industry segments and, at the same time, apply our proven standards-making process. XBITS provides a great opportunity for book publishers, printers, paper mills, and component vendors to build on the international, two-year papiNet initiative."

For more information about XBITS, visit and

About IDEAlliance

IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a not-for-profit membership organization. Its mission is to advance user-driven, cross-industry solutions for all publishing and content-related processes by developing standards, fostering business alliances, and identifying best practices. IDEAlliance has been a leader in information technologies since 1966 (founded as Graphic Communications Association) having fostered the development and adoption of standards such as ADIS, GRACoL, ICE, JIFFI, Mail.dat, papiNet, PRISM, PROSE XML, SPACE XML, SGML, and XML. Learn more about IDEAlliance at


David Steinhardt
Tel: +1 703.837.1066

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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