Guideline XML is "an open XML based model for storing schemas and achieving interoperability between schema consuming applications." Guideline XML is described as a "file structure that allows the open exchange of electronic commerce guidelines, otherwise known as EDI Transaction Sets / Messages and Schemas. Guideline XML (gXML) is the world's first XML standards-based exchange format specifically designed to simplify the integration of EDI translators, validation engines, forms builders, and specification tools." The gXML specification "provides a means for companies to publish their EDI specifications database directly to the Web and thus make them more readily available to trading partners. Guideline XML was first and foremost designed to be simple; each document is completely self-contained and follows the logical structure of the message to be exchanged. As a result, vendors standardizing on gXML can load schemas directly into their e-business products and users can open and edit guidelines directly in a web browser or XML editor. As an increasing number of applications publish their XML-based interfaces, gXML can be used to convert those schemas into products like mappers, schema editors, and validators. Using gXML as the format for exchanging schemas between organizations makes it's easy to bring the schema in to different tools. Already, there are converters which go between gXML and other standard formats. In addition, Edifecs and others are currently working on converters, to convert gXML into DTDs, DCDs, and other formats. Because gXML is based on XML, many of these conversions can be implemented simply by writing XSL (Extensible Style Sheet Language) style sheets."
gXML Announcement March 30, 1999. Posted to the XSL List.
[August 10, 1999] "Softshare Delta Supports Edifecs' SpecBuilder Guidelines. Softshare Delta, Softshare's New Data Translator, Supports Importing of Edifecs' Proprietary XML Standard for Universal Exchange of Guidelines Between Trading Partners." - "Softshare and Edifecs Commerce have announced a collaboration between their two product lines, Softshare Delta and SpecBuilder. Softshare Delta supports Edifecs' proprietary XML-based standard called Guideline XML (gXML). With this support in place, SpecBuilder users can import their XML guidelines directly into the Softshare Delta mapper. Frank Gott, president of Softshare, believes the collaboration to be a natural one, saying: 'Edifecs and Softshare's product lines are very complementary and when combined, provide the electronic commerce implementer with all the tools required to successfully design, build and maintain an e-commerce initiative. Softshare is looking forward to future collaboration with Edifecs to leverage the respective strengths of our products and solve the challenges of a rapidly changing commerce landscape.' Softshare Delta is a data mapping and translation application that integrates EDI and XML documents with an enterprise's existing line of business applications. Softshare Delta translates many data formats including the ANSI X12 and UN/EDIFACT EDI standards, flat files, databases, XML documents and text documents. SpecBuilder is the world's leading specification development suite. SpecBuilder's powerful yet very simple and easy to use interface allows users to define, manage, print, publish, document and distribute Guidelines. With that goal in mind, Edifecs has defined an XML-based standard called Guideline XML (gXML). Details on gXML are available on www.CommerceDesk.Com."