Standard Interchange Protocol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Standard Interchange Protocol is a proprietary standard for communication between library computer systems and self-service circulation terminals. Although owned and controlled by 3M, the protocol is published and is widely used by other vendors.[1] Version 2.0 of the protocol, known as "SIP2", is a de facto standard for library self-service applications.[2]


SIP version 1.0 was published by 3M in 1993.[3] The first version of the protocol supported basic check in and check out operations, but had minimal support for more advanced operations. Version 2.0 of the protocol was published in 2006 and added support for flexible, more user-friendly notifications, and for the automated processing of payments for late fees.

SIP2 was widely adopted by library automation vendors, including ODILO, Bibliotheca, Nedap, Checkpoint, Envisionware, FE Technologies, Meescan, Redia and open source integrated library system software such as Koha and Evergreen. The standard was the basis for the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) standard which is eventually intended to replace it.


SIP is a simple protocol in which requests to perform operations are sent over a connection, and responses are sent in return. The protocol explicitly does not define how a connection between the two devices is established; it is limited to specifying the format of the messages sent over the connection.[4] There are no "trial" transactions; each operation will be attempted immediately and will either be permitted or not.[5]

The protocol specifies messages to check books in and out, to manage fee payments, to request holds and renewals, and to carry out the other basic circulation operations of a library.[6]

Encryption and authentication[edit]

SIP has no built in encryption, so steps need to be taken to send the connection through some sort of encrypted tunnel. Two common methods are to use either stunnel[7] or SSH[8] to add a layer of encryption and/or an extra level of authentication.


  1. ^ Tedd, L. A. (2007). "Library management systems". In Bowman, J. H. (ed.). British librarianship and information work 2001-2005. Ashgate Publishing Group. pp. 431–453. hdl:2160/679. ISBN 978-0-7546-4778-2.
  2. ^ "NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol Implementation Group". What is NCIP?. NCIP Implementation Group. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  3. ^ "3M will Lead Open Development on next release of Standard Interchange Protocol". Press release. 3M. Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  4. ^ "3M Standard Interchange Protocol". 3M. April 11, 2006. p. 15. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  5. ^ Vinod, Chachra (August 2003). "Experiences in Implementing the VTLS RFID Solution in a Multi-vendor Environment" (PDF). World Library and Information Congress: 69th IFLA General Conference.
  6. ^ "3M Standard Interchange Protocol". 3M. April 11, 2006. pp. 3–13. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Encrypting SIP2 Traffic with Koha". jsn4lib. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  8. ^ Scott, Dan (2010-04-16). "Setting up secure self-check connections using SIP tunneled through SSH". Coffee|Code: Dan Scott's blog. Retrieved 2018-10-30.