Biber is a BibTeX replacement for biblatex. It is written in Perl with the aim of providing a customised and sophisticated data preparation backend for biblatex. Functionally, biber offers a superset of bibtex's capabilities but is tightly coupled with biblatex and cannot be used as a stand-alone tool with standard .bst styles.
Biber is not restricted to reading
.bib files and outputting
.bbl files. It can read an increasing number of data source formats and can output to visualisation formats like
.dot and also to different data formats (thus allowing conversion between formats).
It has many advanced features not found in BibTeX:
- Full Unicode 6.0 UTF-8 for all data operations
- Auto-(re)encoding of LaTeX macros to and from UTF-8
- Various biblatex options offered with different scopes (global, per-entrytype, per-entry)
- One-pass for all bibliography sections
- Customisable inheritance rules (including nested crossrefs and a generalisation of the bibtex
@STRINGmacro functionality for multi-field syntactic inheritance)
- Sophisticated auto-disambiguation of names and name lists (Expanding name lists to the point of unambiguity when truncated with "et al" etc.)
- Support for remote data sources