[This local archive copy is from the official and canonical URL, http://www.marshall.com/dynamic/news?obj_id=57300&ntype=moti; please refer to the canonical source document if possible.]

navigation bar

Marshall News  
Marshall Announces Initiative for Datasheet Link Automation


Marshall Announces Initiative for Datasheet Link Automation

El Monte, California, November 10, 1998 -- Marshall Industries (NYSE: MI) announced today an initiative that would enable the automatic retrieval, indexing, and cataloging of electronic manufacturers' data sheets and technical papers over the Internet. The initiative, called ECMData, is a solution based on the eXtensible Markup Language, otherwise known as XML. XML is metalanguage based on SGML (Structured Generalized Markup Language) and a data format for structured document interchange over the web. XML has joined the ranks of HTML, having recently been made a standard by the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3c.org/XML/), the governing body of standards for the World Wide Web.

Marshall is leading an effort to produce simple exporting tools for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access for the Windows platform, as well as Perl, and C programs for the Unix world. These tools are key to making the transition to the new standard bearable for the manufacturer. If the manufacturer already has a list of documents, they only must choose the tool of their choice, configure top level information like company names and contact information, then map the existing fields within their current format. Traditionally, webmasters were required to keep track of the datasheets on the website. With export tools, this function can be handed to marketing personnel who know how to describe the parts to make product and technical paper searches more robust - - all without needing to know XML coding.

Robert Rodin, CEO and President of Marshall Industries notes, "Electronic component manufacturers store their product datasheet documents in either Adobe Acrobat or HTML format. It is extremely difficult to maintain an accurate list of the documents stored on their sites. This leads to broken links within web pages. Currently, these broken links must be discovered, researched, and maintained manually."

He goes on to state, "With ECMData, the component manufacturer’s company can easily maintain and export a complete, up-to-date list of the datasheet inventory in XML format. The resulting XML file is the key to the automation."

Using the exported XML file, which would be posted somewhere on the component manufacturer’s site, any customer, distributor, contract manufacturer, manufacturer's representative, or electronics sourcing site could access what they need. Actions that may be done include importing the exposed information into databases that are back-ends for websites, and/or indexing the information to support search programs. Eliminated are the dead links, the researching, and the phone calls.

Other standards that will proposed in the very near future are for parametric part information (ECMparameter) and standard pricing information (ECMprice).

Please refer to http://www.marshall.com/ecmdata for more details.

About Marshall

Marshall Industries is one of the largest publicly held distributors of industrial electronic components and production supplies. Marshall connects its customers and suppliers to comprehensive coverage in the major electronic manufacturing areas of the United States and Canada. Its network of branch locations deliver sales and technical support to OEMs and end users - - all linked to their 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week manned technical service center. Marshall's web sites provide customers with full Internet access - - from data sheets to on-line NetSeminars (tm) and real-time ordering. All corporate and value-added service operations meet quality standards required for ISO 9002 certification.

Marshall Industries and its subsidiaries have formed strategic alliances with SEI (Sonepar Electronique International) based in the Netherlands and Serial System Ltd. based in Singapore. The alliance partners provide coverage in 36 countries from 164 locations. They are connected to a state-of-the-art computer system providing global access to their business partners around the world. Headquarters in El Monte, California, the company's stock is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: MI). Marshall Industries may be found on the Internet at http://www.marshall.com or www.electronicdesign.com


Robert Rodin
Chief Executive Officer, President
Marshall Industries
Email: robrodin@marshall.com

Kerry Young
Vice President of Information Technology
Marshall Industries
Email: kyoung@marshall.com


Click here if you have any questions or comments
Copyright© 1999 Marshall Industries. All Rights Reserved.
9320 Telstar Ave., El Monte, CA 91731 USA.
See Also Terms and Conditions for Ordering.