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Last modified: August 29, 2002
Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR)

[July 12, 2001] "The goal of the STAR (Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail) Group is to use information technology (IT) standards as a catalyst in fulfilling the business information needs of dealers and manufacturers while reducing the time and effort previously required to support this activity."

[August 29, 2002]   STAR and OAGI Approve XML Standards in the Automotive Retail Space.    A communiqué from Tom Campisi (STAR Communications Chair) describes the approval of XML standards for the retail automotive industry. Seven new XML specifications have been completed, and will be publicly available on the STAR web site. According to the announcement, STAR (Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail) and OAGI (Open Applications Group, Inc.) have recently approved seven new XML standards for automotive dealer-to-manufacturer transactions. STAR is a North American "non-profit, auto industry-wide initiative to create voluntary IT standards for the data elements and transmission format used by manufacturers, dealers, and retail system providers to communicate with each other. STAR's initiatives will result in a more efficient data exchange between dealers and manufacturers, with lower costs, more accurate and timely data, and increased levels of customer satisfaction. OAGI is a non-profit consortium focused on building reusable, interoperable XML messages." OAGI created the XML message methodology on which STAR standards, called BODs (Business Object Documents) are based. The seven standards govern Parts Order, Parts Pick List, Parts Return, Repair Order, Sales Lead, Vehicle Service History, and Warranty Reconciliation. [Full context]

[July 12, 2001]   Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) Group and OAGI to Collaborate on XML Specifications.    Recent announcements from the Open Applications Group, Inc. (OAGI), the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) Group, and Drummond Group describe collaborative efforts to design XML-based specifications for use in the automotive retail industry. Drummond will facilitate the creation of "a set of XML-based Infrastructure specifications and protocols for the Open Applications Group Inc. (OAGI) and the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) consortium. OAGI and STAR have partnered to lead a series of specification building projects focused on automotive distribution business processes and the messaging infrastructure supporting them. Drummond Group will lead the messaging infrastructure development effort for this group. The Open Applications Group, Inc. announced they have been selected by the STAR consortium as their development partner for their next generation business language and data messaging architecture. The two organizations have formed a collaborative initiative to design XML (Extensible Markup Language) based messages conforming to and extending the OAGIS specification. The STAR/XML project will enhance current systems, making them more timely, easier to use, and more automated. The STAR/XML initiative will use the standard collaborations and messages from the OAGIS specification and will also build new collaborations and messages specifically for the STAR constituency. In addition, OAGI architects and technologists, working with domain experts from the auto industry, will design a standardized infrastructure to streamline business data flowing between auto dealerships, manufacturers and other auto distribution 'value chain' companies. This infrastructure will be Internet based and utilize elements of the recently approved ebXML specification, which is a B2B protocol recently approved by the United Nations. The results of this initiative will enable STAR members to conduct business in real time by communicating data in common terms using standardized business processes." [Full context]

"As part of its standards activities, STAR has developed open data exchange standards for both batch file transfers and XML messaging to simplify the transfer of information between dealers, vendors, and manufacturers. The Data Transfer Specification (DTS) provides manufacturers, Dealer Systems Providers (DSPs), and other dealership software vendors with standard interfaces designed to reduce the complexity of daily dealership communication system (DCS) data exchange, such as vehicle and parts ordering, warranty repair and financial reporting. In keeping with the growing needs of both the retail automotive industry and the STAR Membership, these DTS documents have been posted to the STAR Web site, where they are readily available for use. For ease of use, an alphabetized list of approved and draft STAR Data Transfer Specifications has been posted to the STAR Web site.

STAR XML SIG: "The SIG will employ a proven XML standards methodology to develop applications supporting automated information exchange between dealers, manufacturers, and their business partners." The XML SIG Project Leader is Vicki Harper (Ford)... XML Schema names will be camel-case abbreviated versions of STAR Data Dictionary Data Element Names based on the Common STAR Abbreviations Table. OAGI XML guidelines will be adopted for STAR XML standards. XML messaging guidelines will be maintained with a version control separate from file transfer specifications. By adopting the OAGI guidelines, STAR would have a common naming convention that has proven its value over the last 3 years in the implementation of 170+ OAGI BODs. The OAGI XML naming convention has proven to be an effective naming convention in thousands of implementations... OAGI will grant STAR members and non-members access to use and/or modify (and use) OAGI XML standards. Consultants are available on a fee basis to train STAR/XML team members on the use of OAGI XML methodology. The XML SIG is an unfunded 2001 SIG and therefore the project's members share the cost of the consultants."

Data Dictionary: The data dictionary contains a list of all the database elements used in the STAR data transfer specifications as well as: (1) the XML DTD or schema element name, (2) the data element definition, (3) DMS Application interface associated with the data element, (4) Root Reference number used to assign attributes to the data element, (5) Minimum field length for data item if data is available for transfer, (6) Maximum field length for data item. (7) The Cobol defined picture clause for the data element. (8) Unique identification number assigned to the data element (9) Valid Value Rules for the data element. (10) Codes identifying the types of changes made to the data element since the last publication. (11) Sample data element information."

STAR General File Format Overview: "STAR has developed a General File Format (GFF) Requirements document to assist in the interpretation of STAR data transaction specifications. Like other STAR DTS documents, the GFF document has been posted to the STAR Web site, according to its effective date. This document includes areas of discussion such as File Naming and Location, Batch Data Transfer Format, Real Time Data Transfer, Data Dictionary, and Data Format. Below, a link to the draft version of the GFF, followed by the most recently approved version has been provided. Once the draft version has been approved, it will be removed as a draft and will then replace the recently approved version: STAR General File Format Requirements."

STAR specifications: STAR Delivery Reporting Interface Specification; STAR Financial Statement Interface Specification; STAR General Acknowledgment Interface Specification; STAR General File Format Requirements; STAR Parts Inventory Interface Specification; STAR Parts Invoice/Shipment Interface Specification; STAR Parts Order Interface Specification; STAR Parts Pick List Interface Specification; STAR Parts Return - Obsolescence Interface Specification; STAR Repair Order Interface Specification; STAR Sales Lead Interface Specification; STAR Vehicle Invoice/Inventory Interface Specification; STAR Warranty Labor Operation Interface Specification; STAR Warranty Payment Interface Specification; STAR Wholesale Parts Compensation Interface Specification.

From the STAR bylaws: "The Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) organization is composed of individuals and businesses interested in developing, promoting, and administering voluntary information technology (IT) standards in the retail automotive industry and improving the effectiveness, timeliness and competitiveness of the IT solutions needed within the retail automotive industry. Membership in STAR is limited to Dealers, Manufacturers and Retail System Providers (RSPs), as defined in Article 3. The STAR organization conducts regular meetings to develop IT standards for the retail automotive industry and to foster communication among dealers, manufacturers, and RSPs. The STAR organization will conduct itself in a businesslike manner, and prohibit discussions and actions that adversely affect the integrity of Dealers, Manufacturers, and RSPs. All activities of the Corporation will be conducted in accordance with state and federal antitrust law and other relevant statutes. See Article 14, Compliance with Legal Requirements. Topics of discussion will typically include one or more of the following items: functional components, IT industry standards and emerging IT technologies. Functional components are defined to include: hardware, software, application functions, e.g., the Dealer Communication Systems (DCS), and business systems, communication networks, Internet activities, intranet projects, and support services, including documentation, education, training, dealer support and installation activities..."

Principal References

Other References

  • [August 21, 2002] "Fujitsu Interstage Demonstrates Business Process Interoperability for the Automotive Retail Industry. Open Applications Group, Inc. (OAGI) Project Shows Fujitsu Interstage Providing Business Process Integration across Vendors Utilizing ebXML, OAGIS and Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) Specifications." - "Fujitsu Software Corporation today announced that Fujitsu has successfully shown Business Process interoperability utilizing B2B specifications that are being developed to meet the needs of the North American automotive industry. The demonstration executed a business process scenario developed by the STAR consortium based on the OAGI's Business Object Document (BOD) specification for interoperable Extensible Markup Language (XML) messages and the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) framework. The OAGI is the largest publisher of XML-based business messages in the world. The demonstration was conducted at the OAGI technical meeting in Detroit, August 13-15, 2002 attended by automobile companies, manufacturers from other industries, industry organizations and IT vendors. Fujitsu and Sybase, Inc exchanged messages, implementing STAR's Parts Order scenario using Open Application Group Interoperability Specification (OAGIS) BODs and ebXML specifications. This interoperability test proved that Fujitsu's Interstage CollaborationRing can communicate with other ebXML products, using STAR's BODs and business scenarios implemented using ebXML Business Process Specification Schema (BPSS), the ebXML Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement (CPPA), and ebXML Message Service (ebMS)... The OAGI specification has been adopted by the Auto Industry Action Group (AIAG), STAR and Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) consortiums for next generation business language and data messaging architecture. These organizations have formed collaborative initiatives with OAGI to design XML-based messages conforming to and extending the OAGI BOD library for eBusiness and Application Integration and the ebXML framework for B2B. The organizations' B2B infrastructure is Internet-based and utilizes elements of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business' (UN/CEFACT) ebXML specification -- a B2B protocol being deployed worldwide. The results of these initiatives will enable auto industry companies to conduct business in real time by communicating data in common terms using standardized business processes. The interoperability demonstration was a project of the OAGI/NIST B2B Test Bed -- a joint initiative of the OAGI and NIST, which strives to advance the state of the art in B2B. The B2B Test Bed is available to users and vendors for testing and validating business level data exchanges among business partners utilizing open, standards based approaches..." See "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)" and "Open Applications Group."

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