[July 11, 2001] On June 25, 2001, the Board of Directors for the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association (VICS) approved the VICS CPFR XML Messaging Model as a specification which "establishes voluntary guidelines for XML message exchange among systems that implement the VICS Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) principles. The CPFR XML Messaging specification has been developed in cooperation with retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and other software and professional services providers. The guidelines "define a process to exchange, compare and alert trading partners to changes in key supply chain data to reduce inventory and improve customer service. CPFR is a process that touches many functional areas of the supply chain, including product activity, supply chain performance, forecasts, promotions, and product profile information. Various other efforts are responsible for standardizing XML messages in these areas, and the VICS CPFR XML specification has been integrated with the broader set of EAN/UCC XML specifications endorsed by the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) to ensure full coverage of CPFR process without creating overlapping or redundant message formats. The existing core EAN/UCC messages for item synchronization, party (trading partner) synchronization, purchase order, invoice, despatch (shipment notice) and other information have been augmented with the CPFR product activity, forecast and other transactions. The CPFR XML Messaging model uses class diagrams from the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to represent CPFR entities as a set of object classes. The CPFR XML Messaging model includes an XML Schema [XSD] mapping that provides a concrete syntax for messages, to encourage interoperability."
From the 'Introduction': "The VICS CPFR Guidelines define a process to exchange, compare and alert trading partners to changes in key supply chain data to reduce inventory and improve customer service. Some implementations of CPFR use a shared database, with interactive trading partner access provided via web browsers. Others use a peer-to-peer approach, in which servers at each trading partner synchronize their views through message interchange. Because the CPFR Guidelines are a public industry specification, the VICS CPFR committee has relied upon published standards for message formats in its work. The existing CPFR Guidelines provide two message mappings: one based upon the VICS EDI, the other using the UCC Standard Interchange Language (SIL). The advantages of EDI are its status as a public standard, and its broad acceptance by VICS members for electronic commerce purposes. However, existing EDI specifications only cover some of the transactions that CPFR requires, enabling only loose coordination of CPFR servers. The other message mapping in the CPFR Guidelines, in the SIL format, is more comprehensive. Unfortunately, relatively few retailers, manufacturers, or solution providers use the SIL format for electronic commerce. Since the CPFR Guidelines were published, there has been growing demand for XML-based mappings of CPFR messages. A number of recent developments have made it appropriate for the VICS CPFR committee to specify a CPFR XML protocol: (1) The Uniform Code Council recently evolved its strategy of migrating X 12 transaction sets to UN/EDIFACT to one of migrating both X 12 and UN/EDIFACT to common XML-based transaction sets. (2) The standards body that oversees XML (the Worldwide Web Coalition, or W3C) has published the XML Schema specification, a metadata standard that is much better suited to the construction of electronic commerce transaction sets than the earlier document type definition (DTD) approach. (3) There has been an explosion of XML-related technology and industry specification efforts, including UCCnet, the Global Commerce Initiative, the Open Applications Group (OAG), ebXML, and RosettaNet. (4) A number of VICS members have joined B2B marketplaces. These on-line marketplaces for goods and services intend to use both XML transaction sets and CPFR processes. An XML messaging specification is important for the CPFR Guidelines to remain relevant in this rapidly changing environment of electronic commerce."
UML and XML Schema: "The CPFR XML Messaging model uses class diagrams from the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to represent CPFR entities as a set of object classes. One diagram is used for each related group of messages. Classes contain attributes, which have scalar, string, or structured datatypes. Some classes (such as Message) appear on more then one diagram, because several classes are derived from them. Off-page references indicate a class that is defined elsewhere. Generalization associations indicate subtype/supertype relationships; aggregate associations indicate containment relationships. Reference associations illustrate attributes that are of an enumerated type, because enumerated types are modeled as classes with the stereotype +enumeration;. The Role of XML Schema (XSD): UML describes the structure and types, but not the syntax (format) of data in a message. The W3C XML Schema Definition (XSD) language is a set of conventions for representing information models in XML terms. The CPFR XML Messaging model includes an XSD mapping that provides a concrete syntax for messages, to encourage interoperability."
CPFR Extensions: "A major limitation of the EDI- and SIL-based CPFR guidelines is that format of the messages is fixed. Any implementation-specific extensions make the messages non-standard and limit interoperability. Yet CPFR is ripe for many extensions: additional scorecard measures, forecast data types, and state transitions are simple examples. Other initiatives, such as VICS Collaborative Transportation Management, may also wish to use CPFR as a basis for their own modeling. CPFR solution providers wish to provide many vendor-specfic extensions. The CPFR XML specification offers a better means for extending the structure and meaning of CPFR messages, while preserving interoperability. The XML Schema Language used to define CPFR XML allows implementations to derive subtypes of the standard datatypes, which provide new attributes, additional enumerated values, or relaxed constraints. The extended datatypes leave the standard types untouched. Implementations that are aware of the extended content can process it; those that are not can ignore the extended content and act upon only the standard content... Using an object-oriented schema extension approach, the CPFR Committee only needs to approve the base XML Schema set, rather than every proposed extension. Vendors that subscribe to CPFR will simply have to support that minimal set and are enabled and empowered and indeed encouraged to extend the set according their domain expertise. It is even possible that over time several vendors will replicate certain extensions that will evolve to become part of the base XML schema set. This is very likely as the body of CPFR knowledge grows and extends."
"CPFR XML is implemented as an extension of the EAN-UCC XML Standard. The EAN-UCC XML Standard schemas are divided into a set of core types, basic transactions such as order, invoice, and despatch advice, and specific industry process profiles that elaborate the basic transaction types with industry-specific extensions. CPFR is a specific business process. However, some of the CPFR document types (forecast, product activity, event) have broader applicability, and are not currently represented in the EAN-UCC core schema. To create a CPFR schema based upon the set of EAN-UCC schemas, the forecast, product activity and other generic document types will be added to the EAN-UCC core types, and a new CPFR schema, with its own namespace, will be created that contains CPFR-process-specific types, and imports EAN-UCC core types. CPFR-process-specific types include the exception, exception criteria, and batch documents, which themselves will be placed in separate files."
Relationship to other XML Specification Efforts: "CPFR is a process that touches many functional areas of the supply chain -- including product activity, supply chain performance, forecasts, promotions, and product profile information. Various other efforts are responsible for standardizing XML messages in these areas. The VICS CPFR XML specification has been integrated with the broader set of EAN/UCC XML specifications endorsed by the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) to ensure full coverage of CPFR process without creating overlapping or redundant message formats. The existing core EAN/UCC messages for item synchronization, party (trading partner) synchronization, purchase order, invoice, despatch (shipment notice) and other information have been augmented with the CPFR product activity, forecast and other transactions. Other XML-based industry standards efforts, such as RosettaNet and the Open Application Group (OAG) have produced specifications for forecast and product activity data sharing. If companies who wish to deploy CPFR have investments in these transaction sets, they can use the RosettaNet or OAG transactions, supplemented by the appropriate CPFR. See the section on Conformance for more details. Because the CPFR Guidelines are transport independent, the CPFR XML Messaging model does not include message headers that describe transport or routing mechanisms. Several other initiatives, such as RosettaNet, BizTalk, OBI and ebXML include XML-based transport and routing specifications. CPFR implementations can make use of any of these (including transports unrelated to XML) for message exchange."
VICS CPFR XML Messaging Model. 33 pages. June 25, 2001. Copyright 2001, Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association. Please send comments to Matt Johnson and Pam Flaten, co-chairs of the VICS CPFR technical team. [source, cache .DOC version]
CPFR XML Messaging Model Schemas. Extracted from the June 25, 2001 specification.
See also: "Uniform Code Council (UCC) XML Program"- Main reference page.
[January 23, 2003] "eBusinessReady Program Certifies 35 Software Products in First Year. Program Launches Certification Seal and Website." - "eBusinessReady, an industry-neutral software compliance and interoperability testing program under joint partnership of the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC) and Drummond Group, Inc. (DGI), announced today it has certified 35 products since its launch in November 2001. The products were certified to support AS1 and AS2 EDI/XML messaging over the Internet, VICS Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR), or ebXML messaging V2.0 standards. The UCC, a not-for-profit standards organization, is the founding sponsor of eBusinessReady, which provides the foundation for driving interoperability testing of multiple, standard compliant software products. DGI facilitates and manages the software testing for the eBusinessReady program. Enterprises and supply chains are increasingly demanding tested software solutions and the eBusinessReady program delivers a neutral third party to assess global interoperability. 'eBusinessReady has received an overwhelming response within the industry during its launch year,' said Michael Di Yeso, executive vice president and COO of the UCC. 'A certified product enables companies to more easily interface with the systems of their customers and partners and save the costs associated with implementing incompatible supply chain solutions. eBusinessReady helps software users simplify the procurement process and provides them with a selection of interoperable software products that meet their needs for price point and feature sets'... The program also unveiled the eBusinessReady certification seal and its website. The eBusinessReady seal informs software buyers that a solution has been tested and certified to ensure seamless interoperability across industries on a global scale. The program's website, located at www.ebusinessready.org, provides a comprehensive resource for software vendors and buyers, and features updated reports about the program and certification. An eBusinessReady certified product enables multiple software solutions to interact seamlessly for improved supply chain performance. The program brings together software vendors, exchanges, vertical industries and the standards community in a neutral, standards-based testing environment that simulates real-world operating conditions..." See: (1) "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)"; (2) "Uniform Code Council (UCC) XML Program."
[August 13, 2002] "Seven Vendors Achieve CPFR Data Interoperability in UCC-sponsored Test. First Interoperability Test of CPFR Standards to Drive Adoption in Business Community." - "The Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC), leaders in facilitating efficient international business, and the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), a vendor-neutral interoperability consultancy, today announced the results of the first interoperability test for software products supporting the VICS CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment) initiative. The test was sponsored by the Uniform Code Council and used EAN.UCC CPFR XML standard schemas and EDI-INT AS2 technology for message transport. The initial round of CPFR testing put in place transactions and data transfer from different databases. During the three-month test, seven participating software companies successfully achieved data interoperability for sales forecasts, sales forecast revisions and product activity. These vendors included i2 Technologies, Inc, IPNet Solutions, Inc., JDA Software Group, Inc., Logility, Inc., Manugistics Group, Inc., SAP, and Syncra Systems, Inc. The test, recognized as the first of its kind worldwide, was designed and managed by DGI, using the DGI Interoperability Compliance Testing Processes. Additional support was provided by the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards (VICS) Association and VICS member companies, which provided sample data... Participating Companies in the UCC/Drummond Group CPFR Interoperability Validation Test: i2 Technologies, Inc. [i2 Supply Chain Collaboration 6.0]; IPNet Solutions, Inc. [BizCollaborate v2.2]; JDA Software Group, Inc. [Marketplace Collaborative Planner v2003.1.0]; Logility, Inc. [Voyager Collaborate 6.5.04]; Manugistics [Manugistics NetWORKS Collaborate v7.0]; SAP America, Inc. [SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) v3.0, a component of mySAP Supply Chain Management]; Syncra Systems, Inc. [Syncra Xt v4.0]... The UCC and Drummond Group Inc. (DGI) announced that future interoperability tests will be conducted to address additional functionality within the CPFR schemas. Future test rounds will include error handling, bulk data, and message choreography. The next CPFR interoperability test is scheduled to begin in November 2002." See also "Uniform Code Council (UCC) XML Program."
[August 07, 2002] "IPNet Successfully Completes CPFR Testing. Interoperability Ensures Visibility Between Trading Partners." - "IPNet Solutions Inc., a leader in flexible supply chain connectivity, today announced it has successfully completed testing for CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment) standards. By completing the testing, IPNet BizCollaborate v2.2 has successfully completed the testing for CPFR Interoperability testing, sponsored by Uniform Code Council (UCC). This product supports the BizManager products including BizLink and BizConnect, and IPNet eBizness Transact... IPNet products endured rigorous testing and evaluation for conformance to EAN.UCC CPFR standards. They have successfully demonstrated data interoperability for sales forecasts, sales forecast revisions and product activity reports as well as interoperability with multiple vendors' products. Managed by the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), a vendor-neutral consultancy, the test is designed to offer supply chain participants a choice of interoperable products, which support collaborative processes and use EDI-INT AS2 technology to transport CPFR messages. CPFR is a revolutionary business process that uses forecasting models and ongoing point-of-sale transaction information to produce a collaborative environment for trading partners to improve efficiencies in inventories, customer service and bottom-line savings. The goal of the testing program is to drive increased interoperability and seamless connectivity between trading partners..."
[July 11, 2001] "Logility Announces Immediate Support for VICS CPFR XML Standard. Industry Standard Provides Trading Partners Open Architecture Connectivity." - "Logility, a leading supplier of business-to-business collaborative commerce solutions to power e-Business and optimize the supply chain, today announced support for the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards (VICS) Association CPFR XML standard providing trading partners an open architecture for seamless collaboration. The CPFR XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard enables the exchange of key information between supply chain trading partners to automate the CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment) process based on the VICS guidelines. The VICS CPFR XML standard will allow companies that participate in CPFR via peer-to-peer, hub-and-spoke or trading exchange relationships to share sales and order forecasts, event calendars, historic product activity, performance metrics, event monitoring and exception alerts using standard Internet protocols. The XML standard will permit companies using Logility Voyager Collaborate, that were formerly using EDI (electronic data interchange) for CPFR messaging, to easily convert to XML-based messaging without a major technology investment. 'Logility's support for the VICS CPFR XML standard further solidifies our commitment to open standards for collaboration,' said Andrew White, vice president of product strategy for Logility. 'Logility Voyager Collaborate, Logility's fourth generation CPFR solution, includes embedded support for XML and allows retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and suppliers the ability to increase supply chain visibility, optimize their operations, manage common objectives and prioritize, notify and resolve exceptions in a real-time environment.' As a pioneer in collaborative applications, Logility introduced the first XML CPFR schema in 1999 and accelerated the industry standard definition when it contributed much of this work to the VICS technical sub-committee. Working with retailers, manufactures, distributors and other software and professional services providers, the VICS board approved the CPFR XML standard on June 25, 2001."