ASC X12 Strategy
Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is a membership based not-for-profit organization chartered in 1979 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop uniform data standards and specifications for cross-industry electronic exchange of business transactions. ASC X12 provides a neutral environment and an appropriate structure to foster data standards development and implementation.
Hundreds of organizations representing the Fortune 500, small and mid-sized companies, industry associations and government agencies participate in ASC X12. More than 300,000 companies worldwide use the X12 electronic data interchange (EDI) standards in daily business transactions. ASC X12 also contributes to the development of UN/EDIFACT messages used widely outside of the United States. In 2002, ANSI approved an amendment to ASC X12's scope to include development of business message standards based on the XML syntax, and other future data exchange syntaxes.
ASC X12 has a responsibility to ensure that the needs of North American users of data exchange standards are met by developing North American standards and by assisting in the development of international standards. ASC X12 intends to achieve this by doing the following:
- ASC X12 will continue to develop and enhance business message standards based on the X12 EDI syntax.
- ASC X12 will continue to collaborate with UN/CEFACT to develop and enhance business message standards based on UN/EDIFACT.
- ASC X12 will develop business message standards based on the XML syntax. ASC X12 recognizes that implementers of these standards will be best served if organizations that build and maintain XML-based business message standards use a consistent approach. ASC X12 will collaborate with UN/CEFACT to develop a single message design architecture, XML Schema syntax and XML design rules and guidelines. With this in mind, ASC X12 intends to do the following:
- The ASC X12 XML-based business message standards will be developed according to a consistent set of rules with the intent to convert these messages to a single message design architecture, XML Schema syntax and XML design rules and guidelines when these are agreed upon.
- ASC X12 will use UN/CEFACT core components when these meet the business needs of ASC X12 business message standards. ASC X12 will develop additional components as needed. Components developed by ASC X12 will be submitted to UN/CEFACT for incorporation into the UN/CEFACT core component directory.
- ASC X12 intends to harmonize the content and structure of its XML-based business message standards with those eventually managed by UN/CEFACT, as much as is practical, with the intent to have only one set of global business message standards to satisfy the same purpose.
- ASC X12 will engage other organizations which are developing XML-based business messages, in order to ensure that the XML-based business message standards developed by ASC X12 incorporate the broadest possible representation of business needs and technical considerations.
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