Database of concepts launched by ISO

Paul Boughton
ISO has created a new database that it says will make the benefits of using standards easier to achieve, provide users with new possibilities for achieving such benefits and cut the time necessary to develop and revise standards.
In recent years, many of the technical committees that develop ISO standards have established databases to store and administer structured concept items from published standards or ones under development, such as: terms and definitions; graphical symbols; codes (language, country, currency, etc); units of measurement, product properties; and data dictionaries.
However, until now no platform was available to bring together in a single source the content from more than 18,000 ISO standards. To tackle this challenge, the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, has developed a new application, the ISO Concept Database (ISO/CDB), which provides a harmonised platform for search, development and maintenance of concept content throughout the ISO standards portfolio.
Most of the content of the ISO/CDB is publicly accessible via or from ISO's website at An online tour of the CDB is also available.
The ISO/CDB will enable standards users to access standardised reference data, with the possibility of re-using the data in their own applications. In addition, the ISO/CDB will assist ISO technical committees in developing and maintaining concept items included in standards, thereby helping to reduce the time required to develop new and revise existing standards.
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