In the answer to bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib the advantages and disadvantages of Biber vs. BibTeX (and of
natbib vs. biblatex) were explained. However, one point was omitted: The question of compatibility of bibliographies between BibTeX and
After using BibTeX for a while, you get a collection of bibliographies in BibTeX style. Furthermore, many journals give BibTeX entries for citations on their home page. A lot of bibliography management programs either support BibTeX export, or even manage BibTeX files directly. Also, advanced editors like Emacs have special support for BibTeX bibliographies.
In short, there's a massive infrastructure for creating and managing BibTeX bibliographies and a big stock of existing ones. Moreover, as was noted in the other question, you cannot use Biber together with
natbib, which is used by quite a few journals.
Therefore the following question arises: Is the bibliography format of Biber compatible with the bibliography format by BibTeX? Or if not, it there at least an automatic conversion tool?
Note that both directions are interesting: If Biber cannot use existing BibTeX bibliographies, this means that you have to convert every existing BibTeX bibliography, and do so also for BibTeX entries from journals (unless they also offer Biber, but often it's just BibTeX and EndNote) and bibliographies exported from bibliography management programs. On the other hand, if Biber files cannot be used for BibTeX and no conversion exists, it means that any Biber bibliography is useless for journals using
natbib, and any programs interpreting directly BibTeX bibliography files cannot be used any more (including editor support).
Also, in case that Biber can read BibTeX files, but not vice versa: Does Biber still have advantages over BibTeX if the files are restricted to BibTeX-compatible ones?