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Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP)

About the SIP Project

3M introduced the 3M™ Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) in 1993. This protocol provided a standard communication mechanism to allow Integrated Library Systems (ILS) applications and self-service devices to communicate seamlessly to perform self-service transactions. This protocol quickly became the de facto standard around the world, and remains the primary protocol to integrate ILSs and self-service devices.

Since the protocol’s inception in 1993, 3M has continued to produce updated versions of it. Most recently 3M published version 3.0, for which the library community of developers and interested parties was utilized to provide input for its production. Version 3.0 was published at the end of 2011.

While 3M has always sought input from the library community of developers and interested parties in enhancing the protocol, they felt the time was right for further maintenance and upgrades to SIP to be done in a more independent, community environment. 3M will continue to participate, but as a contributing vendor and user of the protocol.

A newly formed NISO SIP Working Group will shepherd the protocol through the NISO standardization process.

For more information, view the SIP New Work Item Proposal.


There is close connection between SIP and NISO’s Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) standard. With both standards approved and maintained within NISO, there is an opportunity for the two standards' working groups to clarify the structural differences and to provide the community direction on the appropriateness for each standard within a given context. This will be one of the tasks of both the new SIP working group and the NCIP Maintenance Agency moving forward.

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