TermBase eXchange (TBX)


When you write website copy, documentation, product sheets—any type of text, really—it is important to be consistent and use the right word in the right place. Most organizations and industries have a set of terms that they standardize. With a glossary or term base, you can manage such terms and help your translators and reviewers use them.

 The best known standard for exchanging term data in a structured way is the TermBase eXchange (TBX) framework.

 TBX version 1 was created in 2002, followed by version 2 in 2008, and version 3 in 2019. The standard is based on XML, combining structure with extensibility. Wordbee supports all three versions.

A shortcoming of version 2

The challenge with TBX v2 was that exchanging TBX files often failed because people would forget to include an eXtensible Constraint Specification (XCS) in the file. An XCS specifies the constraints that apply to metadata, thereby indicating what to expect in the TBX file. Without an XCS, the tool that imports the TBX file must try to predict its contents. Many tools struggled with TBX v2. Some still do.

Version 3 introduces dialects

The complexity of the TBX framework was elegantly reduced with version 3, through the introduction of a variety of standards known as dialects.
TBX v3 has the following public dialects:

  • TBX-Core
  • TBX-Min
  • TBX-Basic

A dialect must be specified for every TBX v3 file. Tools that import term bases can check the dialect of the file for compatibility and for the type of content in the file.

TBX-Basic includes the data categories of TBX-Min, which in turn includes the data categories of TBX-Core. Wordbee can import TBX files of any of the public dialects.

If you are switching to Wordbee from a tool that doesn’t follow TBX standards, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you migrate your terms in another way.

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