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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Electronic Data Interchange for Libraries and Booksellers in Europe


The objective of this project is the standardised electronic information exchange of business messages between libraries and booksellers in Europe.

EDILIBE I, a Libraries preparatory pilot project, examined the business messages BISAC, TRADACOMS, EDIFACT and ANSI X.12 and analysed X.400 communications facilities available in four countries. The consortium also produced an EDIFACT recommendation for four library oriented business message types, namely: quoting, ordering, order response and invoicing.

This follow-up phase of the project involves the implementation of OSI based EDIFACT and X.400 software in each of the participants systems, inter-operability testing and support of the standardisation process for the library related EDIFACT subsets.
Impact and results:

Proven under actual trade conditions by organisations in the book sector, an EDI-based system for electronic communication of quotations, orders and invoices will considerably speed up order processing and cut costs for libraries and booksellers.

The commitment of EDILIBE II to simplicity of operation in respect to communications and to conformity with standards will accelerate work flow while ensuring consistent quality of transfer and data integrity.


The most important deliverable is the specification of hardware and software requirements for electronic communications for order processing between OSI-based systems in the book sector.

Some project aspects and associated documentation are classified as restricted, but in the public domain are:

An implementation guide;
Technical reports, covering X.400 status, EANCOM subsets, EDILIBE II code lists and message descriptions;
Implementation report.
Technical approach:

The project was managed according to a General Design Plan, under which the project was structured into linked domains:

OSI-based hardware and software specifications, including modifications to existing systems;
Standardisation of messages in the order business cycle: quotes, orders, order acknowledgement and invoicing;
Standardisation of terms of business;
Networked communications via the 1988 X.400 standard;
EDIFACT standards and migration to EANCOM in cooperation with EDItEUR, the pan-European book sector EDI group;
Pilot project;
Information dissemination via articles for professional journals and presentations at conferences and similar events.

Key issues:

Not only were the specifications of various standards to be accommodated and an internationally acceptable data exchange made operationally viable, but the resultant system had to imp-rove work flow and have cost advantages.

The issues included:

Stringent application of international standards utilising the EDIFACT subsets of EAN for transferring commercial data, UNIMARC and similar formats and X.400 as the communication standard;
System solutions designed to be uncomplicated, so that users will have minimum involvement in the mechanics of the communication process;
Automated handling, multiple use and interconnection of data entered once only;
Inter-operability testing, involving a representative group of users, followed by dissemination of results.

Documentation is available from the contact below and from in spanish and dutch.

Call for proposal

Data not available

Funding Scheme

Data not available


Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt
EU contribution
No data
Bockenheimer Landstraße 134-138
60325 Frankfurt am Main

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Total cost
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Participants (9)