Web Services

 Please note: BIC Web Services have now been replaced by BIC Realtime.
BIC Realtime APIs should be used for all new implementations going forwards. 

 Find out more about BIC Realtime APIs by clicking here

Web services are a major component in the new generation of Internet applications and what is often referred to as "Web 2.0". Now that business-to-consumer applications of the Web are well established in the book and serials sectors, attention is switching to the potential of using the Web to speed up information and transaction flow within the supply chain. A supply chain that can respond in real time to requests for price and availability information and the placement of orders will in many circumstances serve its markets more effectively, leading to extra revenue generation as well as cost reductions.

Web services use standardised, web-based technology to transform web servers into automated systems that communicate with one another in "real time". Linked to the appropriate back office systems, a Web services server can deliver a practically instant response to a request.

However, as with all forms of automated communication in the supply chain, the success of a technology such as Web services depends upon agreement upon standard formats for the various kinds of requests and responses that are to be made. With this objective, BIC has formed a working party to agree business requirements for Web Services standards for the UK book trade. Its aim is to develop standards for all forms of supply chain communication that naturally take the form of request-response pairs of messages and are capable of being automated.

Implemented Standards:

Implemented Standards suitable for CDF (consumer-direct fulfilment) applications:

Draft Standards:

If you are implementing these standards or are interested in doing so, please join our web discussion group by emailing
bicwebservices-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk to receive information about changes to the documentation and to participate in the development of the standards.

Implementation checklist/FAQs