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ASC X12 Publishes Technical Report

ASC X12 Publishes Technical Report Representing X12 Semantics in XML Format

Rising interest in XML initiatives prompts X12 to form XML group and endorse ebXML project

Alexandria, VA, USA. October 18, 1999.

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 embarked on an array of initiatives to express X12 semantics in eXtensible markup language (XML) syntax. At the recent ASC X12 meeting in Orlando, FL, October 3-8, 1999, X12's Communications and Controls Subcommittee approved for publication a technical report designed to provide an experimental representation of X12 semantics in XML syntax.

In an equally substantive move, X12 formed a steering committee task group charged with drafting policies and procedures that relate to X12 and XML, serving as a liaison to other XML groups and creating common approaches for XML/electronic data interchange (EDI) development within X12.

Additionally, ASC X12 members endorsed the efforts of the ebXML work group, formed by the United Nations Centre for the Facilitation of Procedures and Practices for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). As a contribution to ebXML endeavors, X12 Committee representatives submitted the technical report on XML and X12 to the newly formed ebXML work group. Several X12 members plan to participate in ebXML efforts to define the technical basis for standardizing the global implementation of XML.

"The proliferating activity of X12-XML initiatives reflects the essential foundation the X12 standard provides to a multitude of emerging e-commerce technologies," said ASC X12 Chair Kendra L. Martin.

In concert with the recently published technical report, other X12 subcommittees are looking to experiment with mapping transaction sets to XML. Knowledge gained from practical experimentation will provide additional input to other XML efforts to reach a consensus on merging EDI semantics with XML syntax. Additional work is planned to study schema requirements and to continue work on the technical report to advance it to standing as a full standard.

XML is a formal recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C. Additional XML-based tools are also in development, which will strengthen the ability of XML parsers to assure compliance of EDI data represented in XML syntax with the compliance rules of X12.

Data Interchange Standards Association, a Virginia-based not-for-profit association, is the leading provider of educational and networking forums on e-business. Representing e-commerce professionals from around the world, DISA's affiliation with EC User Groups, ASC X12, and many others, facilitates an interchange of e-commerce topics hitting the global market. In other international arenas, DISA and ASC X12 serve as the entry point for the United States into the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of trade goods and services.

Carmella Baccari
Communications & Marketing Director
Data Interchange Standards Association
333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 600
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
703.548.7005, ext. 177
703.548.5738 fax
Alan Kotok
+1 703-518-4174

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive. Note previously: "Update on X12-XML Initiative. ASC X12 on the Brink of Completing X12-XML Technical Report." And the main entry: DISA, ANSI ASC X12/XML."

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