Covisint has announced the "adoption and implementation of the ebXML message transport layer and use of the Open Applications Group's OAGIS standards for the XML document payload as its technology strategy. Covisint's adoption of these standards allows OEMs, automotive suppliers and software providers to make critical business decisions on applications and products that also use these common standards. This will promote software and application interoperability that enhances business agility, improves communication and reduces integration costs. A 'message transport layer' is a set of electronic protocols that works very much like a paper envelope works to 'envelop' a message or letter. It contains information as to who sent it and directs where to deliver the document. The XML payload, in an electronic sense, is the letter inside the envelope. This approach will give Covisint the ability to exchange Internet-based messages between trading partners wrapped in a standard message framework that is being adopted globally... At the outset, Covisint will use 'off-the-shelf' XML standards for the document payload but recognizes the need to develop industry wide XML standards that are focused on the needs of the automotive industry. In addition, Covisint will work in conjunction with other associations to manage a transition plan from existing legacy specifications to the adoption of ebXML and OAGIS XML standards."
From the announcement:
While this decision establishes a formal messaging protocol for Covisint, the company will continue to accept and transform messages with other messaging frameworks. However, Covisint's business model will make it more economical for its customers to use the ebXML messaging specification. Covisint's integration technology provider webMethods will facilitate the company's adoption of ebXML's messaging specification.
Covisint will also be utilizing Web services to complement its infrastructure capabilities as those technologies continue to mature. This further supports the company's open standards policy on which the exchange itself is built.
Covisint will initially only adopt the messaging services element of the ebXML specification. The company's adoption of the other elements of ebXML such as registry, business process specification, collaborative protocol profiles and agreements is dependent on those specifications maturing and customer demand for them.
See also the announcement of August 28, 2001: "webMethods and Covisint Unveil ebXML Proof Of Concept at Autotech 2001. Companies Demonstrate Universal Document Translation for Ebusiness Through Public Exchange." - "webMethods, Inc. and Covisint will reveal an AIAG sponsored Proof of Concept (POC) demonstrating the ability to facilitate electronic transactions through the global automotive exchange using the ebXML format. This POC also exhibits the capability of the webMethods integration platform to support a variety of electronic document formats and standards - both XML and EDI - accelerating e-commerce through public exchanges by leveraging participants' IT investments in legacy systems. This Proof of Concept demonstration will show the automotive industry the value ebXML can provide as the technical foundation to allow the exchange of electronic documents between trading partners...In the demonstration scenario, Covisint will act as an intermediary between an automotive manufacturer and supplier. The manufacturer will send an EDI-based Forecast/Material Release document to Covisint. This forecast will be transformed - based on the requirements of the individual supplier - into an OAG document and routed to the supplier using ebXML. The supplier will return an OAG Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) using ebXML back to Covisint. The ASN will be transformed - based on the requirements of the manufacturer - into an EDI-based Advanced Shipping Notice document and transmitted to the manufacturer. Covisint, the supplier, and the manufacturer will all be connected in real-time, and the entire manufacturing forecast and notification process will be managed using the webMethods integration platform..."
Other messaging protocols commonly used in the automotive industry include Odette International's OFTP (FTP) and the AIGI's E-5 2000 Guidelines:
Odette has a permanent Technology Committee which provides technical solutions for its Functional Committees. Support includes development and maintenance of the Odette File Transfer protocols and the development of other technical solutions for Data Exchange, e.g., EDI messages (Odette, EDIFACT, ebXML), E-forms etc.
The Electronic Commerce Message Routing Work Group of the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has produced the E5 and E-5 2000 Guidelines. The E-5 2000 Guideline For Electronic Commerce Message Routing "encapsulates EDI and other proprietary formatted data in a Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) envelope. The MIME definition incorporates added data elements in order to allow message routing in centralized and decentralized environments that use ANX [Automotive Network eXchange]. The guideline document introduces and defines AIAG Messaging Service Elements contained in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) objects along with other information for the purpose of using application level protocol HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for transmitting EC messages over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. If applicable, the AIAG Messaging Service Elements can be applied to other IP application level transport protocols as well..."
webMethods is developing support for the ebXML Messaging Specification (TRP), and plans to offer general support in the webMethods Integration Platform by February/March 2002.
See also the DGI anouncement from November 28, 2001: "ebXML Messaging Interoperability Pilot Garners Cross-Industry Support. Initiative draws support from Global Retail and Automotive Industries." - "Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), a leading interoperability conformance consultancy, officially announced the launch of the ebXML Messaging Interoperability pilot. The goal of the pilot, slated to run from October 2001 through February 2002, is to demonstrate the exchange of ebXML Messaging and to produce the first group of interoperable off-the-shelf products for these supporting industry groups: Global Commerce Initiative and the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail. Pilot participants include these leading software vendors: bTrade, inc., Cyclone Commerce, Sterling Commerce and Sybase. The pilot uses the DGI Interoperability Conformance Process' and is part of the Uniform Code Council's (UCC) Interoperability Conformance Testing Program... The Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) organization, comprised of companies supporting retail automotive operations, expects to deploy ebXML products that will support their XML messaging needs..."
- Announcement 2002-01-03: "Covisint to Implement ebXML and Open Applications Group OAGIS Standards." [source]
- Covisint web site
- "webMethods and Covisint Unveil ebXML Proof Of Concept at Autotech 2001. Companies Demonstrate Universal Document Translation for Ebusiness Through Public Exchange."
- "XML: Plugging into 'Standard' Hybrids." By Renee Boucher Ferguson. In eWEEK Volume 19, Number 1 (January 07, 2002), pages 24-25.
- ebXML Products and Implementations
- "Open Applications Group"
- "Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR)"
- "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)"