Falls Church, VA, May 16, 2006 – The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, developers can now use commercial off-the-shelf tools to develop XML messages and submit them into their metadata repository. X12 can now accept message submissions from the GEFEG Context Inspired Component Architecture (CICA) Editor product. This advance provides developers a user-friendly, graphical interface for coordinated development and maintenance of cross-industry messages.

CICA, X12’s metadata repository, houses reusable, syntax-neutral components that can be expressed as XML documents and many other standards’ syntaxes. The GEFEG CICA Editor is the first product on the market that enables users to generate, modify and maintain multiple versions of X12 CICA constructs and data models.

To complement this new capability, there will be a CICA Process Open Forum during the General Session on June 5 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the June 4-9 ASC X12 Meeting at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. This forum will address the CICA process from project proposal to message approval; streamlined acceptance of CICA development work-products from X12 users; and the function of X12’s CICA metadata interchange format into X12’s support infrastructure, including bi-directional metadata exchange between the X12 development tools and the CICA repository. The CICA metadata interchange format will ultimately enable X12 developers to use multiple COTS products to develop X12 messages.

With over 200 X12 users, the Tools for X12 Members Program - including software contributions from Altova, GEFEG, Edifecs, Sparx Systems, and Stylus Studio - is helping X12 members model their business processes, work with schema, and develop new messages. This program continues to mature as evolving X12 processes reflect greater agility.

“We are so pleased to implement usage of commercial off-the-shelf products to help streamline and expedite standards development,” said Dan Kazzaz, ASC X12 Chair. “Standards developers and software vendors must work hand-in-hand to ease the workload of systems architects. We instituted the highly regarded X12 Tools for Members Program to facilitate this relationship, and we look forward to continuing our collaborations with our esteemed technology providers as our work progresses.”

In addition to the CICA Process Open Forum, there will be free CICA tool training that introduces features of the GEFEG CICA Editor and Altova XML Suite. These sessions will take place June 6 from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., and repeated June 7 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in conjunction with the Chicago X12 Meeting. More in-depth sessions introducing CICA and Using XMLSpy with CICA are also available for a small fee. Information on those sessions and the X12 meeting can be found at: http://www.x12.org/x12org/meetings/pdfs/RegistrationFormX12Chicago06.pdf.

About Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, founded in 1979 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute, develops cross-industry electronic data exchange standards that interact with a multitude of e-business technologies and serve as premier tools for integrating electronic applications. With more than 2,500 individuals representing 360+ corporate members, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information through standards-setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.X12.org or call 703-970-4480.