Covisint to Implement ebXML and OAGIS Standards

Says move to promote standards across industry will reduce integration costs

Detroit  January 4, 2002  Covisint is adopting and implementing the ebXML message transport layer and use of the Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) standards for the XML document payload as its technology strategy, the auto industry coalition e-marketplace reported this week.

The Open Applications Group is a non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and processes based on XML content for e-business and application integration.

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.

Covisint said that its adoption of these standards will allow manufacturers, automotive suppliers and software providers to make key business decisions on applications and products that also use these common standards, which the marketplace says will promote software and application interoperability, thereby reducing integration costs.

"Because the ebXML set of specifications is a modular framework, industries can adopt specific modules of the standard to meet current customer and technological requirements," said Jeff Cripps, director of industry relations at Covisint. "Our customers looked to Covisint to adopt a standard message transport layer quickly, and ebXML's flexibility and worldwide acceptance made it the logical choice."

Dave Connelly, president and CEO of the Open Applications Group, said the group would work with Covisint and its partners to meet their goal of implementing common XML standards throughout their product offerings and promoting the implementation of common XML standards in the automotive industry.

Covisint said that while this decision establishes a formal messaging protocol for the e-marketplace, the company would continue to accept and transform messages with other messaging frameworks. However, Covisint asserts that its 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 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.

At the outset, Covisint will use "off-the-shelf" XML standards for the document payload, but the company said it recognizes the need to develop industrywide XML standards that are focused on the needs of the automotive industry. In addition, Covisint reportedly 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.