Product Form Data

Information on the form of the product assist merchants to identify the type of product, which allows customer-oriented classification and placement of the product.

When determining the product form, you need to decide, whether you are describing a single- or multi-part product, i. e. which product composition is available. This determines the product form of the complete product that you need to choose, which is to be further specified by additional information.

In the following, we have compiled the types of description possible for product form information in Metabooks.


For each product, you will have to determine, whether it is a single-part or a multi-part product.
E. g. if it is a book without additions, it is a single-part product. If you are describing a book with an attached CD, it is a multi-part product, for which you should provide information regarding the sub-products.

For multi-part products, you can also specify whether the sub-products are available separately. Furthermore, you can specify that all included products are identical, and that you are offering a package deal for it.

ONIX 3.0 allows you to store information on product composition in ProductComposition or x314 respectively with values taken from
Codeliste 2.

Single-part products are to be entered as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Product Form

The product form fundamentally defines the generic identity of a product. With this declaration, you define, e. g., whether your product is a book or an audio CD. Accordingly, merchants may match your product to a product type based on its form, and place it appropriately, or exclude it from their order.

Entering a product form for each product is mandatory in Metabooks.
This entry is to be made in ProductForm or b012 respectively. Possible values for defining the product form in ONIX 3.0 can be found in(Codeliste 150).

Please be as accurate as possible when entering the product form code and avoid unspecific designations like Code 00 (not defined) or superordinate codes *A (e.g. BA = book – no further specification).

The product for of a hardcover book is to be listed as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Product Form – Details

To describe the product more closely, or to provide additional information, you can store detailed product form information in ProductFormDetail or b333 respectively. This entry may be repeated. The possible values for determining product form may be found on ONIX 3.0 (Codeliste 175).

Under this heading, you will find a broad selection allowing you to describe your product more closely according to its form. This includes types of binding, book, audio and video formats and compatible operating systems The code lists include references which product form code may be combined with which detailed product form. Please ensure compliance with these.

That a hardcover book also has a dust cover (B501) and a ribbon bookmark (B506) is expressed as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Product Contents

Under this heading, you specify what type of content appears in your product. E. g., you may specify that the content of your book is text, supplemented by diagrams and photographs. For an audiobook, you would select the type “audio” and, if there is also text (such as with a DAISY book) specify this as a supplementary entry.

ONIX 3.0 distinguishes between primary and supplementary product content.

  • PrimaryContentType resp. x416
  • ProductContentType resp. b385

Values for either field can be found on Codeliste 81.

An Enhanced E-book which contains text (10) as its primary content, supplemented by interactive graphics (24) and video (06) is to be represented as follows:

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Product Form E-book

In ONIX 3.0, an e-book is characterised by a combination of Product tform, Product form details and Product contents.

  • ProductformDetail resp. b333 with a code beginning with E, additional codes may be entered as desired.
  • PrimaryContentType resp. x416 with a value of 10 for text.

E-Book format

That the book is available in HTML format is to be entered as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Type of DRM

Specifying the type of Digital Rights Management (DRM) allows you to inform the customer whether your product has any kind of DRM protection, and if so, which type.

In ONIX 3.0, the type of DRM is to be entered in EpubTechnicalProtection or. x317 respectively. The fields are to be filled with values from Codeliste 144. Although the field EpubTypeNote bzw. _b277_is a free-text field according to ONIX specifications.
Hence, free text entries are not transferred to Metabooks.
A product with Apple DRM is to be marked as follows:

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference

Metabooks type of binding

For specifying the type of binding, Metabooks offers a list of proprietary types of bindings that complements the ONIX product form fields. Please note that this specification only makes sense for certain types of products (especially books and physical audio and video products).
The type of binding is entered in ProductFormDescription resp. b014, Possible values for specifying the type of binding may be found in the following list.

You can either enter the code, or a description of the Metabooks binding type.

*Please note: according to ONIX specifications, ProductFormDescription bzw. b014 are free text fields. You may, of course, enter any free text description here, many merchants, however, expect to find the Metabooks binding type in this field.

The Metabooks binding type “Paperback” is to be entered as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference


To more precisely specify the packaging, you can enter in ProductPackaging or. b225 a standardised value from
ProductPackaging resp. b225 Codeliste 80.

The information that a DVD is packaged in a softbox may be entered as follows.

ONIX 3.0 Short
ONIX 3.0 Reference