OpenEFT: 1st Open Exchange Format for Enhanced Tablet Publications

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Public Draft for Comment Released – Deadline of July 22, 2013

Alexandria, VA - IDEAlliance® is announcing the release of the OpenEFT Specification as a Public Draft for Comment. OpenEFT is notably the first open format specification for the exchange and rendering of enhanced tablet publications. Freely open to adoption and enhancement by all media supply chain partners, OpenEFT is a standard industry format intended to foster workflow efficiencies, technology innovation, and reader engagement.

Key magazine publishers, digital newsstands, and digital technology partners from the United States, Europe, and Asia met on June 5, 2013 in New York City to preview OpenEFT. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together all players in the media value chain for the first time – publishers, digital newsstands, and technology partners – to bring efficiencies and innovations through standardization. Input from these key stakeholders, along with feedback from across the industry, is being sought during the 45-day public comment period. Version 1.0 of OpenEFT will be published in mid-September 2013 with implementation quickly to follow.

“The dawn of tablets and e-editions holds enormous promise for magazines, but the very proliferation of devices, formats, and e-storefronts fueling this revolution makes economies of scale elusive and highlights the urgent need for a common, industry wide format,"said John Loughlin, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Hearst Magazines.

“All across the media value chain – whether it’s CTOs of magazines, production staff in the trenches, or developers of digital newsstands – the absence of an open standard is inhibiting the development of innovative production tools to support the creative needs of publishers and advertisers,” said David Steinhardt, President and CEO of IDEAlliance. “OpenEFT offers publishers the ability to produce and export their content, including all associated interactive elements, into one standardized format for display across a wide range of devices, while minimizing disruption to current workflows.”
As a global association with a focus on technologies that power the media supply chain, IDEAlliance has a history of advancing the development of open specifications through its work with AdsML, ANSI, GWG, IDPF, ISO, papiNet GIE, and W3C as well as through its own Working Groups. IDEAlliance’s published technical specifications have proven to reduce variability and increase automation/efficiency across workflows throughout the media supply chain. By publishing an open format for the exchange and presentation of high-fidelity magazines on tablets and mobile devices, IDEAlliance fulfills its mission to enhance the media value chain through standardization and fostering technology innovation to remove friction and improve industry profitability.

OpenEFT (see www.openeft.org) is the first open format of its kind to be made available to the industry. In the context of this initiative, an “open” format is a published, standardized format specification that has been approved by the industry, is freely available to supply chain partners – both customers and technology providers, and can be managed and enhanced over time, through an open process by a specification-development body, such as IDEAlliance.

The OpenEFT framework can be easily extended to meet new publishing or advertising requirements including analytics. OpenEFT’s documentation is publicly accessible, allowing software developers to build enhancements that benefit both publishers and advertisers. The OpenEFT format can be exported by any publishing system and could potentially serve as a free and universal standard for interactive (EFT) ads.

“EFT” or “Enhanced for Tablets” is a term developed by the Association of Magazine Media and is now the standard industry term across the magazine media supply chain for interactive publications on tablets and other mobile devices. OpenEFT is built on open industry specifications including XML, HTML5, EPUB 3.0, PRISM® and the new IDEAlliance SAINT® specification that provides an industry lexicon for tablet publishing and advertising. OpenEFT was designed to support the encoding of the interactive magazine features in common use today, while including a model that is flexible enough to enable publishers and advertisers to implement custom enhancements and continue to develop new types of interactivity in the future.
The OpenEFT Specifications, along with the accompanying XML schemas, can be downloaded from www.openeft.org. A link to provide industry comments by July 22, 2013 is also available on the OpenEFT website. An OpenEFT Technical Working Group and a Workflow Impact Group are currently being formed. To participate, contact David Steinhardt, dsteinhardt@idealliance.org or 703-837-1066.