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ILL Protocol Implementers Group

Standards typically define what to do but not how to do it. In order for systems to truly interoperate there needs to be agreement on how it should be implemented. There are many correct ways to implement the protocol. A Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement or PICS is a structured document written for technical staff which details each system's implementation. You can download the OCLC PICS profile (PDF).

OCLC test environment available

To help vendors prepare for ISO ILL-based communication us, we have established a test environment that is available to vendors and libraries. OCLC thoroughly tests each version of an ISO ILL system both for technical interoperability and for smooth workflows. Libraries that purchase an ISO ILL system that has completed testing with us will need to go through a second, short, test to ensure that both OCLC and the institution have the right connection information and are able to exchange messages. We list the systems with whom we are testing and the status of that testing. This is important because as long as systems continue to grow and change, testing is never finished—continual testing of each new version ensures ongoing interoperability.

ISO ILL system features vary

Features of different standards-based systems will differ. While the protocol can support interaction between systems, it does not manage all the tasks of ILL staff. For example, electronic payment systems such as OCLC ILL fee management (IFM) are system-specific. Other ILL functions such as searching bibliographic databases, book straps, cutting checks and tracking copyright and end-user request forms are not addressed by the protocol. Those functions may or may not be included in an ISO ILL compliant system but they are not part of the standard itself. ISO ILL can, however, allow you to have all your library's requests in a single database so that your system can provide those features through its own application.

Committed to standards

OCLC is committed to support of standards and to ongoing testing both in support of our member libraries who wish to use an ISO ILL system and in support of the members who prefer to use OCLC ILL without ISO.