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Transentric Publishes TranXML Schemas for Transportation Data Exchange.

Transentric has issued an initial release of the TranXML Schemas governing e-commerce transactions between shippers and carriers. TranXML is an Extensible Markup Language for the Transportation and Logistics Industry; it provides a "standardized set of XML structures facilitating the flow of information between various internal and external applications. TranXML has been designed as the common vocabulary to support logistics supply chain functions across vertical collaborative vocabularies." The TranXML version 1.0 schemas, examples, and templates [some 866 disk files in a .ZIP archive] describe messages for: Rail Bill Of Lading; Simple Rail Bill Of Lading; Motor Carrier Bill Of Lading; Motor Carrier Load Tender; Shipment Weights; Car Location Message; Shipment Status; and Terminal Operations And Intermodal Ramp Activity. XML schemas planned for release in the next version include: Purchase Order; Purchase Order Acknowledgement; Advance Ship Notice; Pickup Manifest; TranXML Envelope; Freight Bills; Application Acknowledgement; and Receiving Advice. Transentric has also published a 10-page white paper TranXML: The Common Vocabulary for Transportation Data Exchange.

From the white paper: "Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology represents the most versatile and robust format for exchanging business information since the development of open electronic data interchange (EDI) standards. In the last two years corporate entities, vertical industry groups and trade portals have begun to realize the benefits of XML. Many have embarked on a fast-track development effort to establish XML as their preferred format for Business-to-Business (B2B) Exchanges and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). Much of the development effort has centered on vertical industry implementations and has been motivated by the formation of B2B exchanges. Some efforts such as RosettaNet and ChemXML have addressed the supply chain needs of their respective industries (electronics and chemical). In these efforts, the business process models, semantic vocabularies, and message functions directly reflect the business practices found in a specific environment. Due to this development methodology, vertical industries are creating collaborative XML dictionaries that are intended to facilitate 'one-to-many' trading partner relationships within a specific vertical industry. However, 'many-to-many' relationships across industries have different goals and requirements and require a new XML open standard. Transportation is perhaps the best example of an industry that leverages 'many-to-many' relationships. Transportation activities cut across vertical boundaries in industries that produce and consume goods,the carriers that actually move the goods,and those involved in storage, loading and unloading. As vertical industries develop their collaborative vocabularies, Transportation may be asked to adopt and support industry standards inappropriate to its needs. Semantic definition of transport and logistic objects by industry groups may not be based on domain knowledge adequate to support logistics functions. It is for this reason that Transentric has developed TranXML, the common vocabulary to support logistics supply chain functions across vertical collaborative vocabularies. TranXML provides the perfect complement to companies who have already implemented EDI, and a perfect solution to those who are now developing XML solutions for their transportation data envisioned that transportation entities and their trading partners will endorse the TranXML repository and will soon be developing messages and structures to support their electronic commerce needs."

From the announcement:

Transentric, a leading supply chain and electronic message management company, today released eight TranXML schemas to support an open standard for Internet-enabled applications including load tendering, delivery, freight billing, reconciliation, scheduling/forecasting and equipment ordering. Developed as an open standard, TranXML is designed to be vendor-neutral and licenses will be available free of charge. Industry participants can use TranXML for various trading partner relationships, including point-to-point, application service provider (ASP) models or e-marketplaces.

Benefits of TranXML will include an easy and inexpensive way to implement new trading partner relationships. TranXML will enable new trading relationships for users of traditional EDI. ASP companies will be able to provide interoperability between TranXML and traditional EDI. Corporations without EDI infrastructure will be able to form new trading partners communities using TranXML.

"The development of TranXML is intended to be a collaborative process, and we value the participation of organizations wishing to extend their functionality and adapt TranXML to the needs of their enterprise. Parties interested in contributing feedback, endorsing, or assisting in future iterations should contact me directly through the TranXML address." [Fred Domke, Chief Technology Officer, Transentric]

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