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Last modified: November 01, 2001
NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP)

[August 02, 2001] In May 2001, the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol Committee (CICP) released a Twelfth Draft of ANSI/NISO Z39.83-200x (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) as a NISO Draft Standard for Trial Use. The accompanying NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol DTD defines the schema for transaction initiation and response messages which together comprise the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol. The NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) "defines a repertoire of messages and associated rules of syntax and semantics for use by applications to: (1) perform the functions necessary to lend items; (2) provide controlled ac-cess to electronic resources; and, (3) facilitate co-operative management of these functions. The standard specifically addresses conditions in which the application or applications that initiate the lending of items or control of access must acquire or transmit information about the user, agency, items, and/or access that is essential to successful conclusion of the function. The protocol also addresses the use of an agency's circulation application to manage access by a user to electronic resources such as electronic books, serials, and sound recordings."

Background: "Circulation processes and services are evolving in directions that increasingly require disparate computer applications to exchange information about library users, the items they wish to use, the owners of the items, and the relationships among these three entities. In the absence of an agreed-upon standard for interchanging circulation information, interoperability among disparate applications has been ad hoc and proprietary. The cost of such solutions is high for individual agencies and in any case these solutions often provide for only a limited exchange of information because proprietary solutions limit the number of implementations that can participate in the exchange. A widely implemented standard protocol for the interchange of circulation information between and among disparate circulation applications, between circulation applications and interlibrary loan (ILL), or other related applications can solve this problem. The standard is intended to address the growing need for interoperability among disparate circulation, interlibrary loan, and related applications. Interoperability between self-service applications and circulation applications, between and among various circulation applications, between circulation and interlibrary loan applications, and between other related applications have been the principal focus of this standard... This proposed standard has been developed within the context of a variety of existing standards, as well as through an awareness of existing applications. Wherever possible, existing terminology and definitions are used, duplication is avoided, and every effort has been made to permit developers to meld standards into a single application. The NCIP standard defines and specifies a set of objects, a set of services and the messages of which they are comprised, a set of data elements used in the messages, and a pair of state tables governing the exchange of messages over a single connection. NCIP is thus a connection-oriented, sessionless protocol. In the development of this standard, a decision was made to specify one or more types of profiles in the standard, in order to permit flexibility and extensibility at the application level. Thus the standard provides general definitions and specifications, which are refined and further detailed in one or more profiles. The primary profile type, called a Cross-Application Profile (CAP), addresses a number of implementation issues, including message, character, and data encoding; required components and behavior; network transport; network security; scheme registration; and provision for extension. These issues are discussed in the Foreword to the CAP. Application profiles provide detailed information about how the standard would be implemented to support a particular kind of service or application within the construct of a particular CAP. The committee expects to produce a Cross-Application Profile and three or more application profiles as part of its work."

NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol Committee: The Committee Chair is Patricia Stevens (OCLC). "The NISO Standards Committee will base its work on the Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) developed by 3M to support self-checkout systems. The 3M SIP supports a significant portion of the inquiry and update transactions to be defined in this Protocol. In addition, the 3M SIP is in wide use by a variety of libraries and self-checkout vendors around the world. Moving from this de facto base to a national consensus standard will facilitate the development of open systems required in today's rapidly evolving information environment."

NISO: "The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) develops and promotes technical standards used in a wide variety of information services. NISO is a nonprofit association accredited as a standards developer by the American National Standards Institute, the national clearinghouse for voluntary standards development in the U.S. NISO's Voting Members and other supporters include a broad base of information producers and users including libraries, publishers, government agencies, and information based businesses. NISO is a leader in shaping international standards. NISO has developed standards for Information Retrieval (Z39.50), 12083 (an SGML Tool), Z39.2 (Information Interchange Format), Codes for Languages and Countries, and Z39.18 (Scientific and Technical Reports)."


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