Internet Offer Format (IOF)

IOF is a XML-based complete format for the exchange of information about the characteristics of products, their availability and prices, used both in integration between online stores and in any other applications. Developed on the basis of experience gained during over a dozen years of work on thousands of integration and suggestions from various partners, it provides a well-thought-out, efficient and server resource saving for the data exchange process with simultaneous accuracy and timeliness of key information.

What is the IOF standard?

Internet Offer Format (IOF)Internet Offer Format (IOF) is the first standard created by practitioners for the exchange of information on products in XML format, available under license of Creative Commons. Providing an original format for describing the product offer in e-commerce is the basis, among others of solutions such as Internet Cross-docking and Dropshipping Format (ICDF) or the Internet Marketplace Format (IMF), but it can also be used in any other way.

Benefits of using the open IOF format

The IOF format that allows you to manage the most necessary information about products and their migration between any IT systems is supported in every store in the IdoSell Shop (IAI-Shop.com) and enables:

Bulk downloading and exporting products from various warehouses using the web import, updating and restoring products from the backup copy or the supporting application IAI Downloader,
Generating data in an efficient and incremental way, saving the server's resources while ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of information relevant for sales, such as the product price or its available quantity,
Full exchange of information regarding the offered products, combined with Internet Cross-docking and Drop-shipping Format (ICDF) also information about dropshipping orders from cooperating stores. Both formats, applied together, complement each other for perfect and full communication of wholesalers and online stores,
Creating integration using the Internet Marketplace Format (IMF) between a store or wholesaler, and any marketplace,
Preparation of a product offer from a store or warehouse, which can be further used as:

If you are a developer, do not wait, implement the IOF format today

If you are a developer and work on creating a mechanism to share a product offer from your system, whether to upload offers from other suppliers to it, or you offer your own system comparing products prices or marketplace, we encourage you to use the IOF standard, thanks to which:

  • You will multiply the savings of the used transfer and processing power of your server through proper service
    • checksums for photos and icons of products,
    • actual dates of generating individual format files (full.xml, full_change.xml, light.xml, sizes.xml, series.xml, warranties.xml, categories.xml, producers.xml, parameters.xml, stocks.xml),
    • the expiration date of the main gateway.xml file,
    • the logic of determining changes and incremental generating of differential files full_change.xml containing information about recently changed nodes of offered products.
  • You will provide your customers with access to, among others such characteristics of the offered products as:
    • product type,
    • category,
    • producer,
    • price: gross, net, suggested retail price, strikethrough retail price,
    • description: name, short description, long description,
    • photos,
    • icons,
    • parameters and sections,
    • warranty,
    • sizes,
    • series,
    • weight
    • units of measure,
    • group,
    • sets and collections with their components
    • attachments.
  • You will provide reference collections of all sizes, categories, producers, series, units of measurement, warranties, parameters or warehouses used,
  • Using extended tags IOF Extensions you will be able to meet the needs of the most demanding partners,
  • You will get instant access to the market of several thousand large IdoSell Shop online stores in Poland and abroad,
  • "You do not discover the wheel anew", meaning every programmer will be able to implement support for this standard,
  • You will not have to create plugins for Open Source software, with which "there is always a problem".

To prepare the offer of your store, warehouse or other service in order to make it available to your recipients, start by reading the Internet Offer Format (IOF) documentation and documentation for its extension IOF Extensions.

If you have any questions or would like us to include your suggestions regarding further development of the format, please contact us.

Choose a convenient way of integration using IOF

The IOF format due to its versatility can be used for a variety of applications:

Examples and comment on integration with the wholesale offer, please visit:
Integration of the online store with the supplier's offer (online warehouse)
An example and comment on the tool recommended by IdoSell Shop can be found at:
((functions/ products/update/|Web import, update and restoring products from a backup))
  • If you run any marketplace, prepare your website to enable integration based on the IMF standard using the IOF standard and API Marketplace and report it to us and we will then add a ready integration to the IdoSell Shop administration panel.
An example and comment on the integration with Marketplaces can be found here:
Marketplaces, i.e. sales of products in many places at the same time
Examples and comment on the integration with price comparison sites can be found here:
IdoSell Shop integrations - Price comparison sites and opinion services

IOF format documentation

Full format documentation can be found at: Internet Offer Format Documentation (IOF)