Secret Weapon X12

Summit works to harmonize XML vocabularies

Alexandria, VA  September 17, 2001  The ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12's E-Business XML Cross-Industry Summit provided a forum for organizations to harmonize the numerous industry-specific Extensible Markup Language (XML) vocabularies and ultimately enable a cross-industry convergence.

In his most recent IdeaByte titled "Giga Analyst Endorses ASC X12 Cross-Industry Collaboration on XML Initiatives," Giga Information Group Research Director Ken Vollmer wrote: "The willingness of ASC X12 to host this initial summit and to provide ongoing support to standards convergence efforts will be crucial to the long-term prospects for success in the attempt to find a common ground for merging EDI and XML capabilities into the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) framework. By leveraging its leadership role in the traditional EDI arena, ASC X12 can provide a valuable leadership as it is the primary standards body with significant experience and technical expertise in the area of supporting existing data exchanges between organizations in a wide variety of industries. The participation of ASC X12 in these new standards development efforts will help to ensure a positive result for all parties and provide some balance to competing XML initiatives."

At the upcoming ASC X12 Standards Development Meeting from Sept. 30-Oct. 5 in Miami, ASC X12 members will formulate a business plan to establish working relationships with XML industry groups and associations.

To bridge the gap between current X12 syntax, which is used by more than 300,000 companies around the world, and the next generation of electronic data interchange (EDI) in X12 and XML formats, ASC X12 hosted the Summit that took place August 15 at the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C.

With approximately 80 attendees representing a mix of industry consortia and associations, ASC X12 initiated a process to collect and consolidate XML best practices and form alliances with XML industry consortia.

At this initial meeting, attendees discussed how their industry-specific XML initiatives could work in concert with ASC X12 to enable cross-industry collaboration and convergence on electronic data formats. ASC X12 declared that as an ANSI-accredited standards body, it is committed to contributing to the ebXML follow-on work.

ASC X12 fully anticipates a level of participation equal to that of the original ebXML initiative (ASC X12 members chaired five of the eight groups within ebXML). Summit participants expressed interest in participating in this effort and wished to leverage ASC X12's numerous international liaisons and connections.

Visit for a full copy of Summit deliberations.