Newly established X12 group serves as a key resource for business process analysis

Alexandria, Va., June 29, 2000--Building on its strong X12 standards foundation, the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is incorporating business process analysis and the use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) into its standards development toolkit. By including these emerging data exchange tools with the electronic data interchange (EDI) foundation of the X12 standards and EDIFACT messages, ASC X12 is supporting the requirements of organizations ranging in size from the Fortune 1000 to small-to-medium-sized enterprises while working aggressively to accelerate the standards development process.

To support this effort, the committee created the Process Integration Task Group (PITG), which serves as a central resource for existing X12 subcommittees to use business process analysis and data modeling. One of ASC X12's most innovative ventures, PITG ensures that its methods of process analysis, X12 modeling, and registry-repository functions support a multitude of implementations and a wide range of emerging technologies.

"As we integrate different forms of electronic exchange, X12, EDIFACT, XML, it is important to understand the common link between their formats the business process and its definition," said ASC X12 Chair David Barkley. "The committee's proactive efforts to make EDI technology cost-effective and available across a broad base of users positions ASC X12 as an essential component propelling today's global e-business economy."

In addition to the work of this new group, the X12 committee continues to solidify its XML capabilities through the recently formed XML Task Group. This group provides X12 input into XML initiatives and ensures its XML development efforts coordinate with the evolving Electronic Business XML (ebXML) framework. Maintaining an active dialogue with ebXML and other standards bodies is key to the successful implementation of EDI. Ultimately, this collaborative effort will enable global use of e-business information in an interoperable, secure and consistent manner.

Committee representatives completed work on the next ASC X12 Version 4, Release 3, Subrelease 2, scheduled for publication in July 2000, and approved the following new Draft Standards for Trial Use:

* Transaction Set (TS) 133, Educational Institution Record, developed by the X12 Education Subcommittee, is used to exchange an educational institution's demographics, offerings, and other characteristics between such organizations as schools, school districts, national education agencies, post-secondary institutions, and libraries.

* TS 874, Commodity Movement Services Response, developed by the X12 Materials Management Subcommittee, is used to convey return validation information in response to product movement services.

In addition, ASC X12 approved a project proposal from the X12 Government Subcommittee for the development of TS 555, Vital Event, which is slated to convey information on birth and death certificates. This new transaction set will be developed in such forms of electronic exchange as X12, XML and modeling.

ASC X12, comprised of cross-industry representation, develops the most widely implemented EDI standards that interact with a multitude of e-commerce technologies and serves as the premier tool for integrating electronic applications. Through the X12 Committee's standards and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives, ASC X12 links together multiple industries and sets the norm for a more effective exchange of information. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.x12.org.

DISA.org, the association driving global e-business, is the leading provider of educational and networking forums on the booming digital marketplace. Propelling e-business initiatives, DISA.org also provides technical and management services to standards and XML specification development organizations, including ASC X12, the OpenTravel Alliance, the Interactive Financial Exchange Forum, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, and the XML/EDI Group. DISA's affiliation with the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, EC User Groups and emerging initiatives around the world facilitates an interchange of e-commerce topics hitting the marketplace. In other international arenas, DISA and ASC X12 serve as the entry point for the United States into the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of trade goods and services.