Any workflow involving digital assets depends on standardized metadata. Consider the following simplified photo production workflow as an example. The camera already captures the first set of metadata such as current time and location and writes this metadata into the image file itself. The photographer then enhances that metadata with title, keywords and copyright information. The image is then sold and delivered to the buyers’ information system, where it may be enhanced with licensing information and organization specific metadata. An editor then finds the photo and places it in a product such as a magazine or a Web site. The metadata may still be used after this point, for example when generating reports about photo usages. This sample workflow can be efficient only when all users and computers involved in the process can access, understand and enhance metadata about digital assets in a common way.


The Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is an open metadata standard by Adobe Systems which is targeted at digital asset workflows. The XMP data model is based on Resource Description Framework(RDF) and data is encoded as XML. XMP metadata is most commonly stored inside binary files but it can also be stored separately from the files. Having metadata inside files has its advantages like metadata is not lost unless deliberately removed. XMP includes predefined schemas and allows extensions from other industry specific or even organization specific schemas. One of the most widely used schemas in XMP metadata is Dublin Core which contains universally applicable digital asset properties such as title, keywords, description and creator. XMP metadata is supported by a wide array of applications across vendors, which makes it a strong candidate for workflows involving heterogeneous systems. Another benefit of XMP metadata is that it can be embedded in a number of different types of digital assets, such as images, videos, Web pages and PDF documents.


IPTC metadata is a commonly used term when referring to metadata standards developed by the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) of which Profium is a member. Nowadays IPTC metadata is mostly found in two breeds. Information Interchange Model (IIM) is the older of the two standards and is commonly used in legacy TIFF and JPEG formatted image files. The other one is IPTC Core which is included in Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) as one of the predefined schemas.

Information Interchange Model (IIM) was developed with the intent of facilitating the interchange of news between news agencies and newspapers. The use of IIM metadata has since spread outside the news industry. IIM supports all types of data, such as text, photos and graphics. IIM specifies a data format – how metadata is encoded into files – and a schema. The IIM schema contains fields in several groups, such as contact information, content descriptions and status information.

IPTC Core:
The latest evolution of IPTC metadata is the IPTC Core standard. IPTC Core is based on IIM schema but uses XMP as the data format. This combination brings together the best from both worlds – the widely adopted schema of IIM and the extensibility and file format support of XMP.


Online INformation eXchange (ONIX) is a family of specifications aimed at standardizing information flow in the publishing industry supply chain. ONIX specifies a series of message formats describing books, catalogs, serials and other published products. ONIX messages are formatted in XML and typically delivered using FTP. In addition to providing a standard way to communicate publishing product information, ONIX message definitions provide a basic schema which can be used in managing product information.

The benefits of ONIX are shared throughout the supply chain, consisting of publishers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. ONIX message formats allow publishers to provide rich metadata about their products, enabling them to better reach desired consumer segments. Delivering and handling standardized, structured product information creates cost benefits in every step of the supply chain, and ensures that each operator has up-to-date product information available to them.